We all do it but not intentionally. We open multiple personal bank accounts without considering the reason we opened them. You then end up having more accounts then you need which makes it harder to keep track of your money. Here are things to consider before you open your next bank account in order to simplify your personal financial lifestyle.
Purpose – Before you sign the documentation to open another bank account you must determine the purpose of the account. Ask yourself the following questions:
* Why do you need to open a new account?
* Does your existing account not meet your banking needs?
* Will this new account be your main checking or saving account?
* Are you looking to establish another banking relationship?
* Are you opening this account for business purpose?
Answering these questions will help you clarify the need for a new account.
Safety – How safe is the bank? With multiple banks recently failing, you have to ask the question, will this bank be around at the end of the year or even in six months. If you’re opening a new account, you want to be able to sleep at night knowing your money will be safe. This tool at Bankrate.com can help you determine the safety of your bank.
Convenience – How convenient are the bank branches and ATMs for this bank? How often will you use this bank’s ATMs or branches? Will you need access to these funds regularly.
Online capabilities – Will you be able to view your account online and are there other online services available such as bill pay services or account alerts. Does your existing bank offer these services?
Fees – Will there be a monthly service charge for this account? If waived initially how long of a period will the fee be waived? Will you have to maintain a specific amount in this new account to avoid fees or to receive priority services or better rate?
Rate- What interest rate will this account pay? Is the interest rate on your account an introduction rate if so how long will you receive this initial rate? What will the rate be after introduction rate expires?
Other banking services- what type of service are you looking for? Are you just looking to use the deposit services of this bank or you looking to us other banking services such as safety deposit or bill pay services. What services are provide at this bank that are not provided at your current bank? Are does this bank provide better customer service than your existing banking?
Remember in order to simplify your personal finances you want to limit the number of bank accounts you have to manage so stop and think before you open your next bank account.