I have three checking accounts – a primary checking account at our local bank, a business checking account with the same bank, and an online interest-bearing checking account with ING Direct.Â I also have an online savings account, also with ING Direct.
Right Now –
I’m pretty satisfied with my current setup.Â My primary checking account is a joint-account that I share with my wife.Â We only write a few checks each month, so we rarely have to purchase checks.Â The account is free and doesn’t require a minimum balance.
Transferring money to and from ING couldn’t be easier, and their customer service is second-to-none.Â I’ve been and ING customer for more than eight years and I’ve never had a problem.Â There are other online banks that offer slightly higher interest, but I’m hesitant to leave ING.Â I’m impressed by the fact that I can get a real person on the phone when I call them.
The business checking account is my most rarely-used account.Â I’ve set it up so that any business-related income is automatically deposited into my business checking account.Â If I need to access the money in the account, I simply initiate a transfer, from business checking to my personal checking account.Â I only do this four or five times a year.
Possible Future Improvements –
As I stated before, I’m actually pretty happy with my current system.Â That being said, I do see some room for (possible) improvement.
First, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look for a free primary checking account, from a local bank, that would be interest bearing.Â (Interest bearing simply means that the bank pays interest on any money deposited in an account.)Â My wife and I do not have access to direct deposit from our employers.Â So, it’s absolutely necessary that we have access to a local bank branch.Â If we did have direct deposit, I would simply have our checks deposited with an online interest bearing account, and be done with it.Â As it is, deposits must be made manually.Â We live in a rural area, and the banking options are somewhat limited.Â I’m always on the lookout for a better primary checking account.Â If I see one, I just might make a switch.
Second, I might want to think about finding an online bank with higher interest rates.Â One of the best sites on the web for finding interest rate information is Bank Deals.Â I’ve visited Bank Deals dozens of time, and almost pulled the trigger and opened a new account.Â Right now, I’m really focused on rebuilding my emergency savings.Â Once I’ve fully rebuild by savings, I might consider a little rate-shopping.Â We shall see.
Finally, it might be smart to open an account with a local credit union.Â At some point in the (distant) future, I might want to borrow some money to buy a home.Â (My current plan is to pay cash for a new home, but plans can change.)Â I’ve heard from several close friends that it’s a good idea to have a relationship with a local credit union.Â Again, it’s something about which I should think.
What About You? –
I’d love to hear from you, my awesome readers.Â How many checking / savings accounts do you have?Â What’s the perfect system?Â Do you and your spouse use a joint account, or do you have separate accounts?Â Leave comments here and / or connect with me via Twitter.Â Those who are reading this via RSS or Email should click this link to visit the site and leave a comment.