Should You Open Several Savings Accounts?

For some people, having multiple savings accounts makes it easier to meet various saving goals like eliminating debt, saving for a home, or building an emergency fund.

Most banks don’t limit the number of savings accounts their customers can have. Having a fund dedicated to a specific goal can motivate some to be better savers and eliminate the temptation of tapping their account.

 

According to Bankrate’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride, “You may want to keep the money you’re saving for next year’s vacation or the new car purchase separate from your emergency fund, and having multiple savings accounts can make tracking those objectives easier.”

Here’s what you should know about having several savings accounts, according to US News My Money.

How To Open Several Savings Accounts

If you want to boost your savings efforts by opening multiple accounts, it would be best to do it at the same financial institution.

Compare banks and credit unions, so you find the one with the best rates, Sonoma Wealth Advisors’ managing principal Daren Blonski advised.

“Many of the large low-cost investment institutions now have full banking capabilities, so you can centralize your financial life,” he explained. “Charles Schwab, for example, is a sizable banking institution and has a full lineup of banking solutions in addition to their retirement tools.”

You could give each account a different name, which may eliminate the temptation to tap your emergency fund to cover the cost of a new computer, for example. 

“Whether you utilize one bank or spread the accounts across multiple banks depends on how much you value convenience versus rate of return,” McBride continued. “Having everything under one roof is certainly convenient, while having the accounts at different banks can allow you to shift your money between banks in order to capture the best yield.” 

Blinski recommended setting up automatic transfers to make savings more hands-off. “If you automate the process, it’s less to think about, and you will be more consistent.”

McBride suggested enrolling in automatic deposits between your checking and desired savings account to fund that specific objective.

How Many Savings Accounts Is Too Many?

Ultimately, the answer hinges on your goals and how frequently you save. Setting up automatic deposits can help you reach your savings goals faster. Some savers like having a specific account dedicated to a future down payment on a house or another for a down payment on a new car.

Evan Kulak, the co-founder of the financial planning company Polaris Portfolios, recommended opening an account for every target. “One rule of thumb is to have a savings account for each of your financial goals,” he said. “Even if you are just starting out, be sure to make consistent transfers to build your balance up over time.”

Although 2021’s interest rates are at an all-time low, it wouldn’t hurt to have multiple savings accounts to encourage you to save even more.

“Having multiple savings accounts doesn’t necessarily have to be predicated on where interest rates are,” McBride said. “Don’t fall into the trap of shunning savings for riskier investments just because interest rates are low. The money in your emergency fund isn’t designed to grow into fabulous wealth but to protect you from high-cost debt or liquidating other assets when unplanned expenses arise.”

McBride added that savers should watch out for minimum balance requirements that could result in fees. Additionally, under a federal law called Regulation D, you can only withdraw funds from your savings account six times per month. If you go over this limit, you could pay an additional penalty.

But opening several savings accounts is beneficial, whether or not interest rates are low, Kulak notes. “Goals-based savings provides a simple and efficient way to reach your financial goals,” he remarked. “By creating a separate savings account for each goal, it is easier to track your progress, automate your deposits and hold yourself accountable. Fortunately, most banks and credit unions make it easy to digitally open and fund multiple savings accounts.”

Banks With The Best Savings Accounts

Below are US News My Money’s top choices where you can find competitive interest rates and zero (or minimal) monthly charges. They also have no minimum deposit requirements and have convenient transfer options and online banking. 

 

  • Ally Bank 
  • Alliant Credit Union 
  • American Express
  • Discover Bank 
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs 
  • Synchrony Bank

 

If you’re considering opening one or more savings accounts, make sure you check these banks and credit unions out first.

 

Source
  • Chang, Ellen. “Should You Have Multiple Savings Accounts?” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, 8 Jan. 2021, money.usnews.com/banking/articles/should-you-have-multiple-savings-accounts.
Ian Schindler