On one hand, you need liquidity: Experts say you need enough to cover several months' expenses, in case of an emergency or job loss. On the other hand, you don't want all your cash sitting in a low-yielding checking or savings account, earning little if any interest and getting eaten up by fees.
Unfortunately, competition between big brick-and-mortar banks won't help you much these days, said Alex Matjanec, co-founder of bank comparison site MyBankTracker.
"Many banks already have the maximum deposits they want to carry," he said. "They recognize they don't necessarily have to offer the best rates."
But luckily there are still options for people looking to get a little more bang for their buck, particularly for those willing to try small or online-only banks, as well as credit unions. Here are three types of cash you might be sitting on — and some smart places to put it.