Checking vs. Savings: Why Have Both?

Oct 31 2019

It’s possible to keep all of your money in one place, but that might not be the best strategy.
A balance scale with bags of money illustrating checking and savings accounts

When deciding where to stash your money, consider the main differences between checking and savings accounts. A checking account is designed for more day-to-day expenses, while with a savings account, you can squirrel away money for a big purchase or a rainy day.


Bell personal bankers Tracy McFarlane and Jon Walvatne explain 3 reasons why you should have both types of accounts.


1. Security

Tracy McFarlane
While you’re protected if you’re a victim of fraud – and daily card limits help to both hinder fraud and flag potential risk – Bell experts recommend limiting the amount of money you keep in your checking account.


“Say your purse was stolen or lost – if a criminal has your check blanks, they could go out and write checks on the account,” Tracy says. “If you have a large sum of money in your checking account, you probably wouldn’t want someone having access to that.”


A savings account stands alone. Typically people don’t unknowingly “advertise” their savings account information like they might their checking account with frequent use.


“Whenever you make a purchase with a check, that information is out there,” Tracy says. “With a savings account, that information is held within the bank. A criminal would physically have to come into the bank to access a person’s savings account.”


2. Savings Incentives

Jon WalvatneDid you know federal regulations only permit 6 withdrawals from savings per monthly statement period? (If you withdraw more often than that, you are subject to a fee.) To further promote saving, debit cards aren’t offered for Bell savings accounts.


Unless specifically requested, your Bell savings account is not “linked” to your checking. For instance, you cannot withdraw money from your savings account at an ATM. (You may see the option but that money is not accessible.)


“It kind of creates a barrier between you and your savings account,” Jon says.


Separate accounts mean added security if a thief were to get hold of your debit card, and they make it harder to spend the money you’ve tried so hard to save.


One way to ensure you’re regularly stashing away money is to sign up for ChangeSaver™.


“If you have a checking and savings account, you can either round up to the nearest dollar, or add $1 or $2 to each debit card transaction,” Tracy explains. “Then, at the end of the year, if ChangeSaver™ is still active on your account, Bell will match 5 percent of what you saved, up to $250.”


3. Budgeting

With 2 entirely different purposes, checking and savings accounts help you budget for different reasons, whether monthly expenses or future vacations.


For some people, it’s a lot easier to budget if they know they have a certain amount in one checking account. As for savings, the sky’s the limit.


“A person can have as many savings accounts as they like, and they can all be designated for different purposes,” Tracy explains.

Account modifiers, which act as labels, allow you to name your savings accounts appropriately. (Think of tagging your accounts with names such as “Vacation Savings,” “Home Repairs,” “Emergency Fund,” “Wedding Expenses” or “College Savings.”)


Review our checking and savings accounts now.


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