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How Low Do You Let Your Checking Account Get? - Page 2

post #21 of 71

No buffer to speak of.  I keep a close track of our spending, and our savings is linked as overdraft protection.  We have never used it but it wouldn't cost us if it did.

post #22 of 71

Ours goes to under $100 every month.  I keep track of our expenses and know almost exactly what goes where each month.  I make sure to allocate all our "extra" money to paying off our line of credit debt.  In case of emergency we are able to transfer money instantly from our line of credit into our chequing account so we would rather pay off our debt and lower interest charges than keep money sitting in a bank account.

post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

I realize that this number will depend on a variety of factors, including your own monthly income and expenses, but what have number have you found to be safe for your own, self-imposed minimum balance in your checking account?  The author of The Tightwad Gazette doesn't let hers dip below $1000.  We followed that "rule" for awhile, but I'm wondering if some of that money might do better in savings or some sort of investment.  For you and your family, what works?  Assuming that it's a good idea to have some sort of "buffer," how low do you let your checking account get?



Funny you should mention this topic and that author; I recently started to read her "complete" book. smile.gif 


Edited by Mulvah - 3/3/12 at 12:45pm
post #24 of 71

Well...

 

I like having more than 500 dollars in my account at any given time, but often it just isn't doable because of my parents needing financial support from me.

 

Ideally, I would like to have 2500 dollars in my account of no other reason that that is the amount when I start to feel financially stable and feel I can afford those little everyday luxuries like my favourite conditioner and replacing my old t-shirts.

post #25 of 71

For us, $2500 minimum is our goal.  If we go below that, we have to pay $9/month fees on our account.  Above that, the account is free. 

post #26 of 71


Oh, those fees. Yes, definitely and incentive or reason to keep a chunk in the checking account!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahwhat View Post

For us, $2500 minimum is our goal.  If we go below that, we have to pay $9/month fees on our account.  Above that, the account is free. 



 

post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeahwhat View Post

For us, $2500 minimum is our goal.  If we go below that, we have to pay $9/month fees on our account.  Above that, the account is free. 


What awesomeness are you getting from this account that requires a $2500 minimum?

 

TIA
 

 

post #28 of 71

200. The point for me is that IF I needed some fast cash for tylenol, prescriptions, or if something was going to bounce. Generally we don't touch it at all. Its happened. We are a cash family though.

post #29 of 71

We keep a $1000 buffer in our checking account also.

post #30 of 71

The checking account that I have requires a minimum daily balance of $1,000 or I will get charged a fee. At first I hated this but now I look at it as a way to help budget my account. If I ever close the account I know I will have $1,000 to take with me.

 

My savings account doesn't require any certain daily balance but I always try to make sure it is never empty or anywhere close to empty.

post #31 of 71

Yeah if I got fined, I'd leave!  I use credit unions.  I couldn't imagine getting fined for being in the positive...  weird 

post #32 of 71

Yes, 


Edited by member234098 - 1/26/12 at 1:31pm
post #33 of 71

We have a savings account linked to our checking. We absolutely don't let that get below $300, but prefer $1000 (some recent medical bills means it's a lot closer to $300 the last year or so, but we are building it back up).

 

However, we let our actual checking get pretty low. I like to keep around a $50 cushion in there, but don't worry about it to much since I can easily transfer money from the savings in case of a mistake or emergency. It's set up to auto transfer if I go over my checking, but there's a fee when it does that so I usually hop online and transfer if I know I need to.

post #34 of 71

Okay I'll be the outlier here.  DH and I have three joint checking accounts.  One gets a pretty competitive interest (2.75%) and we keep about five months of take home pay in it.  The second has less  and earns a tiny amount of interest we usually keep about a month of take home pay in it. The third account we have I do not have any checks blanks or debit card for and it exists so I can cash checks at the bank that is a block away.

 

Neither DH or I are good balancers/reconcilers. We are both cheap not spender sorts at all. I wouldn't keep so much in checking except that it is the most interest I can earn on a FDIC insured way.


Edited by mnnice - 1/25/12 at 12:15pm
post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post

 One get pretty competitive interest (2.75%) and we keep about five months of take home pay in it. 



Is this in the U.S.?  Care to share the name of the institution?  I'd just keep my emergency fund in my checking account, too, if it had interest like that!

 

post #36 of 71

$1,000

 

But why do you all keep a buffer?  I do because I am a little disorganized these days and worry that I forgot to record a check, bill payment, or ATM withdrawal.  Is there some other reason I should keep a buffer?  We have a separate emergency fund in a savings account that is linked  to our checking account.

post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZippyGirl View Post

$1,000

 

But why do you all keep a buffer?  I do because I am a little disorganized these days and worry that I forgot to record a check, bill payment, or ATM withdrawal.  Is there some other reason I should keep a buffer?  We have a separate emergency fund in a savings account that is linked  to our checking account.



For me, that's it. I don't think I'm disorganized but there still remains the chance that I might have forgotten something, or that a mistake will be made (whether my own or someone else's).

 

Plus my savings are in online accounts, so there's a few days transfer. It's hard for me to imagine a case where we need a lot of cash on an emergency basis (I use credit cards as a convenience, which covers most scenarios, though not all) but $500 makes me feel comfy while still keeping most of the money earning its pitiful interest.

post #38 of 71

Yes it is in the US and it has some rules (must have a direct deposit, most have 10 debit purchases per month, the rate in only on the first $25K in the bank).  The bank does not take new customers from all states IIRC just ND, SD, NE, IA, and MN. 

 

If you want more info PM and I'll give you some info.

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice View Post

Yes it is in the US and it has some rules (must have a direct deposit, most have 10 debit purchases per month, the rate in only on the first $25K in the bank).  The bank does not take new customers from all states IIRC just ND, SD, NE, IA, and MN. 

 

If you want more info PM and I'll give you some info.



There are a lot of banks out there now doing this, but as mnnice has pointed out, there are requirements, which often include a specific number of debits/month and direct deposit.  Google "high interest checking" and your state (there are also national, FDIC-insured banks doing this) and you are likely to come up with something.

post #40 of 71

I never realized how much buffer people keep in their checking accounts. It's hard to say how far we let ours drain, since most of our spending & income is electronic (besides groceries), so checks and bills are coming and going on various days throughout the month, but in general we make sure it's not below $100.

 

My credit union gives us a no-fee overdraft feature, and it's connected to our line of credit. So in case of an emergency, or if we overdraw by a few bucks one day, it just pulls from that account. Then I just go online within a day or so and pay off the credit, so we only end up paying a few cents on interest.

 

I'd rather have any "extra" money go into the savings account, so I don't spend it.

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