Wednesday, October 19

How many bank accounts should you have?

Local banks in Singapore have been doing a lot in recent years to attract customers by increasing their interest rates, giving freebies and many after sales services in an attempt to 'psycho' us to open a savings account with them.

We are in actual fact spoilt for choice, there is the OCBC 360 savings account, UOB One savings account, DBS Multiplier, Standard Chartered Bonus $aver account and others in the market that are almost as good as one another.

There are many review websites comparing the benefits of each bank and it is up to the individual to decide.
But the topic here is, how many bank accounts should you have? Is 3 accounts considered too many or if i have just 1 account considered too few? How many should I have?

In my case, I save money like a hamster who store food in many places and a little bit of food in each place, just like lots of savings account with a some money in each account. I probably learned this method from my mum who does the same thing. The advantage of this method is that i can allocate money by different money challenges which leads to different goals.

However if you are overwhelmed by the number of bank accounts you have, maybe because of some perks the bank had to offer or simply due a goal you discontinued. Here is what you should be doing. Go through your list of accounts and identify the reason for continuing it.

If there is no purpose for that account, simply close it like what i did to my POSB account. For many years, I have been using 2 accounts from DBS and POSB. They are essentially the same bank, therefore one fine day I simply decided to close my POSB account which was initially open as one of my previous employers' only use that account for salary transfer.

If you really need a guide on how many accounts you should have, here is what I recommend:

Primary account / Main account

A primary account is one that is convenient to you and with easy access. There should not be any fees required to maintain this account. Keeping a few hundred or a few thousand dollars as a buffer and moving the rest of your money to a higher interest savings account is recommended.

This should be your busiest account. Pay all your bills, your expenses, ATM withdrawals from this account. Spending from this account should be guilt free after proper budgeting.

Short Term Goal account (Dream account)

This is an account to be set up for your short term goals. It could be a dream vacation to a destination of your choice. Or perhaps for a new handbag or gadget that you have been aiming for a while. Again, spending from this account should be guilt free once the target is reached, because you deserve this!

And if you don't start saving for your dreams now, when then will you start?

Financial Freedom account (Do Not Touch)

This is probably the most important account and mentioned multiple times across my blog. Similar to the Dream account, funds are allocated here a goal but this is a DO NOT TOUCH account. It will be like a vault and everything that comes in here stays here. In fact, keep this account out of your sight such that you do not see the amount in it when you are drawing money from your primary account or dream account.

The idea is to 'Set and Forget'.

Set a monthly transfer of a certain amount to this account on auto mode. Transfer any other savings you have from the other accounts here. This account should be the highest interest yield for your money. You will be amazed at the amount you would have saved at the end of each year. But, Remember. DO NOT TOUCH!

Simplicity is King! At the end of the day, it all boils down to your own discipline. You just need to start somewhere. One account might be all you require, considering that there are so many budgeting apps and software in the market for proper tracking of your funds.

You might also wish to follow me on my various money saving challenges here! Cheers

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