Bank accounts are perhaps the most important financial product you will ever use—and how you use these accounts can have a big impact on your financial growth. In most cases, it makes sense to open both a checking account and a savings account, giving you access to the distinct features and benefits of each account type.
Curious about how to make the most of these personal banking accounts? Here are eight tips for maximizing the value of your checking and savings accounts.
4 Tips for Using Your Checking Account(s)
Checking accounts can serve as the hub of your financial activity, helping manage incoming money and outgoing expenses. Maximize the value of this account with the following tips:
1. Take advantage of bill pay services to avoid late fees.
Bill pay is a standard feature for many checking accounts, and it helps account holders track their bills and due dates to make sure payments are sent before the deadline. This organizes your monthly bills and gives you a centralized online destination to manage and pay your bills.
2. Track your income and spending.
Money management tools can connect with your checking account to track both your income and your spending. You can even separate charges into different spending categories and use this money tracking tool to compare your actual spending to your budgeted goals.
Over time, money tracking can help you learn more about your spending habits and help you get spending under control so that you’re earning more than you spend every month. Tracking tools can also lay the foundation for setting savings goals that can build toward financial success.
3. Pay yourself first.
When money goes into your checking account, you can prioritize savings through the “pay yourself first” method, which treats savings like any other necessary expense. You can then transfer this amount to your savings account.
4. Make fee-free ATM withdrawals with your debit card.
In addition to using your debit card to make purchases like you would use a credit card, you can also make free ATM withdrawals with your debit card at more than 32,000 locations.
4 Tips for Using Your Savings Account(s)
A savings account can be used to strengthen your financial security and make progress toward important financial goals. To get the best value from this account, consider the following steps:
1. Build up an emergency fund.
A savings account can serve as a dedicated emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, a loss of income, or other financial emergencies as they arise. This emergency fund can save you from going into debt on credit cards or facing other financial hardships, offering much-needed financial security.
2. Increase savings with automatic contributions.
Many consumers struggle with the diligence required to make regular savings contributions on their own. You can save yourself from this struggle by automating regular transfers from your checking to your savings account.
These can be scheduled on a monthly basis or on the date of each direct deposit. By automating savings, you can force yourself to develop a regular savings habit and start treating this transfer as a non-negotiable expense.
3. Take advantage of savings matching rewards.
Some savings accounts offer matching rewards or other savings incentives, such as FSCB’s Pocket Change service. These services can increase the number of ways you’re able to save, making better use of your savings account.
4. Earn interest to grow the value of your account.
When you keep your money in a savings account, you’re able to generate a small amount of income—and these earnings can add up over time. If you aren’t sure which savings account is the best fit for your savings goals, talk to a member of our team today!
The free tools and features offered with most checking and savings accounts can go a long way toward helping you improve your money management and increase your savings over time.
Looking for more ways to get more value from your personal banking experience? Check out our guide, Why You Should Switch to a Community Bank.