5 Ways to Use Your Bank Account Wisely

by Kristina on January 16, 2012 · 5 comments

atm tellerGood Morning DINKS. Today we are discussing different ways to use our bank account wisely.  We often discuss different ways on how to make our debt more efficient by using our credit cards wisely, and today DINKS is going to give you some helpful tips on how to use your bank accounts wisely as well.

This topic came up recently because I was making a large purchase and I was deciding which of my bank accounts to use.  I was also deciding if I should use the money in my bank account instead of charging the purchase on my credit card.

I currently use two banks and have different bank accounts for several reasons.  The main reason why I have a relationship with two different banks is because it helps me easily manage my financial goals and monthly bills.

5 Easy Ways to Use Your Bank Account Wisely:

  1. Keep Bills Separate.  Different bank accounts allow us to manage our bills separately which makes managing our money very easy.  If we have more than one income we can have our primary and secondary incomes deposited into different bank accounts.  The money in each bank account can be used towards a different goal and for a different purpose.  I have both a US Dollar as well as a Canadian Dollar bank account.  My US Dollar account is used to save for travel expenses and my Canadian Dollar bank account is used for daily living expenses.
  2. Always Maintain a Minimum Balance.  Having several bank accounts can be very costly if we are required to pay monthly service, administration or maintenance fees.  We should try to find bank accounts that offer to waive our monthly fees if we maintain a minimum balance. I recently opened a TD Bank Convenience Checking Account; this account waives the $15 monthly fee if I maintain a minimum balance of at least $100 per day.
  3. Don’t use other Bank ATMS.  I have said this time and time again; I will never pay fees or service charges.  I think that ATM service charges are a waste of money and a total rip-off.  If we find our wallets lacking cash we should always try to get cash back on our purchases at the grocery store or at the pharmacy.  This ensures that we will have cash on us at all times and it also ensures that we will never have to pay to get cash at another banks ATM.
  4. Earn perks whenever possible.  Many bank accounts offer perks for every time that we swipe our Debit Card.  We can earn points or cash back on all of our debit purchases.  Check with your Bank and find out which accounts offer free perks.
  5. Never Close a Bank Account. We don’t want to have more bank accounts open than need.  However, if we have a bank account that has a zero balance we should still keep it open just in case we need it in the future.  I have a US Dollar bank account at one of my financial institutions that currently has a zero balance because the interest rate is higher on the account with my other bank.  However, I am keeping the bank account open because when a bank decides to put a hold on our deposits it is based on how long the account has been open, not how long we have been a client.

Photo by Editor B



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daisy January 16, 2012 at 8:52 am

I’d though of opening a bunch of different accounts for all of my different expenses, like gifts, clothes, groceries, and fun. Maybe that would guide me to stay on budget. I just don’t know what type of accounts they should all be – any suggestions?

2 KC @ PsychoMoney January 16, 2012 at 11:45 am

You really got to be careful with never closing accounts so it does not end up hurting you later when the bank changes policies on the accounts. I had a bank of america account with a coupon hundred bucks in it for years, then the bank changed its terms without ever telling me and all of a sudden I started getting hit with a monthly service charge.

3 James Smith January 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

A Nice way of opening account and solid information about having an account. People should follow these steps while opening account. Very valuable information.

4 Kristina January 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

@ Daisy – Try high interest savings accounts these accounts usually have no monthly fees. However, you will also need a checking account so that you can transfer to and from the high interest savings account. You can also inquire with your bank if they offer accounts with no minimum required balance and no monthly service fees.

@KC – That sucks! They should have definitely advised you. My bank starts to charge a fee if the account has been dormant for a certain period of time and it also takes 48 hours to reactivate the account. However, we advise clients in writing twice before this happens.

Thanks for reading Everyone!

5 funancials January 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Like psycho said, I would be very careful keeping an account open with a zero balance. I would say keeping it open would potentially hurt you more than it would help you.

Let’s say you go 1-2 years without checking the account (because what would you have to monitor??) and now your bank charges a dormant account fee? The dormancy charge would only be around $5, no biggie there. But what if you aren’t aware of negative balance – because again- why would you check it? Now that the account is negative, the bank may charge you a daily overdraft charge. Now you are paying $8×30 days (depending on when you finally notice it). Whoops!

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