One simple decision could save you $750 a year

Michael Nagle/Bloomberg | Getty Images

Once you have money, you want it to grow. That means socking away as much as you can into a high-yield savings account, real estate investments and/or the stock market.

But the percentage you keep liquid and accessible in a checking account can make or break your financial health as well.

A recent report from WalletHub found that choosing the wrong checking account for your situation could cost you $750 or more in fees over the course of a year. These include overdraft fees, the price of new checks, wire transfer fees, out-of-network ATM fees and fees to receive a paper statement in addition to an electronic one.

For the report, WalletHub identified five archetypal profiles of different types of spenders: Old School, Young, Cash-Strapped, Everyday Joe and International and on the Move. The Cash-Strapped spenders, for example, use a bank account to help manage monthly cash flow but are often low on funds and overdrawing the account.

They typically pay around $474.75 in annual fees, which include monthly maintenance fees and out-of-network ATM fees a few times per month. The Cash-Strapped spenders also frequently take more than they have from their checking accounts and can trigger overdraft fees when they fail to bounce back quickly enough.

But, by switching from a traditional checking account to one with an online bank, they can save up to $387 per year, according to WalletHub.

What type of spender are you? Find out here, and then see how much you could potentially save by switching to a different type of account:

Chart asset: WalletHub checking accounts

WalletHub also found the best checking accounts overall. Here are the top five banks for any type of spender:

  1. Charles Schwab Bank
  2. Capital One
  3. Navy Federal Credit Union
  4. Ally Bank
  5. Discover Bank

However, it's important to keep in mind that everyone's checking needs are different. When evaluating an account, think about your personal habits. Do you write a lot of checks? How much do you typically keep in your account? Do you prefer to carry cash or use a credit or debit card?

By identifying which fees hit you hardest, you'll be able to figure out what to avoid, and how to find the best account for you.

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When asked, a bunch of people couldn't remember how to write a check
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