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