Your cash is parked in a bank account. Do you know if it’s making or losing you money? Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your banked cash:
- Understand your bank accounts. Not all bank accounts are created equal. Interest rates, monthly fees, minimum balances, direct deposit requirements, access to ATMs, other fees and customer service all vary from bank to bank and need to be considered. Start by digging into the details of your accounts. There may be some things you’ve been unnecessarily living with like ATM fees or monthly account charges. Once you have a handle on your current bank, conduct research on what other banks have to offer.
- Know your interest rates. As a general rule, the more liquid an account, the lower the interest rate. Checking accounts offer the lowest rates, followed by savings accounts, which yield lower rates than Certificates of Deposits. Maximizing your earnings is as simple as keeping your cash in accounts with higher interest rates. The overall interest rate earned between all your accounts should usually be higher than the inflation rate, which is generally around 2 percent during normal times. But in the midst of high inflation like we are currently experiencing, your combined interest rate may have a difficult time beating the inflation rate.
- Make smart moves. There are a couple of things to take into account when making transfers. First, make sure you are knowledgeable about any restrictions on your account for transfers. For example, you may be limited on the number of transfers you can make per month without paying a fee. For Certificates of Deposits (CDs), it’s important to understand any penalties that might be assessed for early withdrawals before the maturity date.
- Stay diligent. Putting together a cash plan is just the start. The key to success is to be persistent. Besides losing out on potential earnings, mismanaging your cash can result in hefty overdraft fees. The more attention you devote to your cash, the more your money will grow.