A checking account is a very important asset for handling financial matters, but it also comes with a significant amount of responsibility. That responsibility is multiplied with each new checking account you open. Learn the basics of owning and maintaining one account, as well as the benefits and problems of having more than one.
Opening Two Accounts
You can have two checking accounts open at the same time, whether it is at the same bank or two different banks. Bank policies may vary but in many cases, they don't restrict you to owning and maintaining just one checking account. When you have two checking accounts open at the same bank, the bank usually links the two accounts so that you can perform quick transfers when necessary.
Two Accounts for Budgeting
It is helpful to have two checking accounts for budgeting purposes. For instance, you might use one account for paying monthly bills and another for saving to pay quarterly bills. Separating monies can simplify the process of classifying your income and expenses so that you can make required payments. You can also use the second account as a backup funding source in case you fall short in the first checking account.
Challenges of Having Multiple Accounts
While having a second checking account has its benefits, it is also a challenge for some people. You must watch the balances on both accounts and make ongoing adjustments as necessary. Some banks charge account maintenance fees for checking accounts, so if you maintain two, you must pay double the cost to keep them open.
If you do decide to open a second checking account, pick one that earns interest. With an interest-bearing checking account (also called a NOW or Negotiable Order of Withdrawal account), you get the combined benefits of a checking and savings account. It is liquid, meaning you can access it quickly using a check or debit card, and you earn money. Many banks require you to maintain a minimum balance for an interest-bearing checking account.