Author Topic: your checking account balance  (Read 50641 times)

sol

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your checking account balance
« on: September 13, 2012, 10:48:52 PM »
How much money do you keep readily accessible in your checking account for weekly cashflow?

I went to the ATM today to pull out my customary wad of pocket money for the month, and the girl in front of me left before her receipt popped out.  Looking at it while I waited for my stack of twenties, she had withdrawn $20 leaving a balance of $11.46 in her account.

$11.46!  I was dumbfounded.  If I only had $11.46 in my checking account I think I would have a heart attack.  I've got so many auto-pay bills and deductions, money coming in and out every week, that I feel like I need to maintain enough of a buffer there to not get nailed with overdraft charges if one of my deposits gets hung up for some reason.

On the one hand I recognize that every dollar I keep in checking is not invested and working for me somewhere else.  On the other hand, $11.46 just feels like an invitation to disaster, to me.

What's your minimum threshold for your working accounts? 

arebelspy

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 10:52:37 PM »
About 2k.
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Nudelkopf

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 11:35:50 PM »
$0.00

I take out my fortnightly expenses in cash, and then transfer the rest into my savings account (5%)(which I can't withdraw from without hassle). If I need something, I have to wait until the next fortnight :P

keith

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 12:06:33 AM »
$1000 is my account "zero".

Agreed that keeping somewhere close to actual $0.00 would cause a great deal of stress and overdrafting in case of things coming up that you didn't plan for.

gooki

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 02:37:03 AM »

CG

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2012, 04:19:40 AM »
$11.51 (has been as low as $1.50 ish)

No direct debits, and no cheque facility. I keep a careful calendar of when bills are due, and mark the preceding (business) day as well to remind me to move the appropriate sum from my ING account, currently earning 3.75%. Likewise for cash (ATM) withdrawals, I decide the previous day how much I'm going to need before I'm next in the vicinity of the ATM (twice a week) and move only that much cash.

When I go away I set it all up in advance: the transfers from ING one (business) day ahead of when I've programmed a payment to go out. Variable bills such as utilities and a few regular charity donations go on the credit card, which is always paid off in full each month. To be sure of paying off the credit card balance in full from the bank account I may have to make an estimate based on the information available to me just before my departure, erring on the generous side.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 04:45:53 AM by CG »

SweetTPi

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 06:49:53 AM »
About 20k.

Now, before people freak, that includes my emergancy fund.  My checking gets ~2% interest (up to 30k, & higher % in the past) and I have pretty much no problems with impulse spending, so it's not a temptation to have it sitting there.

If I could find a better interest rate, I'd move it, but I'm not to concerned about it.

RoseRelish

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 07:05:55 AM »
Usually $2-5k. I've been as high as $50k (earlier this year, making impulse stock buys harder) and as low as $110 recently (after buying a bunch of stocks).

I'm glad I tend keep a big buffer because I had to write a $4k check recently to get my AC unit replaced. Without an adequate balance in my account, the check would have bounced!

jpo

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 07:13:09 AM »
$1k here as well, although sometimes it dips below depending on what time of the month it is. I think the highest it's ever been is $4k.

Adventine

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 07:16:47 AM »
In the Dark Ages, when I got my first job and was learning how to save money for the first time, I only had one bank account. Just one. It functioned as payroll/checking/savings/emergency fund account all in one. I made damn well sure I took the ATM receipts each and every time :)

I eventually wised up and moved most of my stash into a higher-yielding savings account/investment vehicles. Now I just leave the equivalent of 500 USD in my checking account. It's working well so far.

galaxie

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 07:23:22 AM »
About $25k-$30k.  This includes a partially-filled emergency fund and a soon-to-be-spent fund for unpaid parental leave (we plan to have a kid in the next couple of years).

simonsez

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 07:41:26 AM »
3k.  It is a highly variable account since I also have many auto-pays coming out of my checking account.  I square up the amount over the 3k threshold to a savings account once or so a month (after the main outflows are accounted for that month).  Although I get paid biweekly and since that means there are 2 months every year where I get 3 paychecks, I like to have the checking account a little higher then so I can zap more student loan debt than normal that month.

MoonPilgrim

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 08:40:24 AM »
1K is my zero, as well.  I get paid on the last day of the month, and all of my regular bills are autopaid from that account.  So I try to leave around $3K in there.  Anything over that gets moved to investments.

Lars

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2012, 08:59:08 AM »
I too use 1k as my zero. Generally I keep 2k to 4k in the account and move the excess to savings when it gets much higher than that. The emergency fund is kept in a money market account and CDs. 

bogart

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2012, 09:15:43 AM »
Put me in the $11 column.  I keep careful track of expenses (most of which are electronic/direct/automatic) and don't have a lot of deposits (mostly just my once-monthly paycheck, which is direct deposited).  I keep money in my higher-interest (ha!  not by much, but it's a long habit) savings account.  I have overdraft protection through that, for which my CU charges me $.50 if it gets used and $0 otherwise.  I'd say I might (?) use it as often as once a year ...

I probably should, however, write a "what to do if ..." note to DH in case I am incapacitated; this stuff is easy to implement and follow (or override), but only if one's aware it needs to be done.

tkaraszewski

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2012, 10:15:14 AM »
About $25k-$30k.  This includes a partially-filled emergency fund and a soon-to-be-spent fund for unpaid parental leave (we plan to have a kid in the next couple of years).

Funny that "the next couple of years" is "soon-to-be-spent". You realize you'll have 9 months warning to transfer that money from another account before you need it, right?

Right this instant, I have $6,485.19. I like to leave at least a mortgage payment in there, since they are auto-debited from my account each month.

AJ

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2012, 10:20:19 AM »
Between $1k and $3k depending on the time of month (EOM has more, in prep for the mortgages that come out on the 1st).

Angelfishtitan

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2012, 10:32:47 AM »
My main checking account I normally try to have around $2k at the beginning of the month, and just refill each month to that amount. I auto debit for utility bills (electric and internet), but always pay my credit cards electronically on my own just because I like to confirm there are no errors before they take my money. I micromanage that part of my finances a little too much probably.

Right now though I have a large amount in a rewards checking account (get around 2.5%) because I should be making a down payment on a house in the near future (next few months). Once that is taken care of I will move the majority of my savings into the market.

Jamesqf

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2012, 11:17:58 AM »
Anywhere between $50 and $5000, sometimes more.  Basically I get paid by direct deposit into the checking account, and anything left after monthly payments gets moved, either to savings or mutual fund accounts.

James

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2012, 11:34:53 AM »
$1,000 is my zero, usually it varies between $3k and $9k as money flows through to savings accounts and auto payments.

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2012, 11:54:32 AM »
About 20k.

Now, before people freak, that includes my emergancy fund.  My checking gets ~2% interest (up to 30k, & higher % in the past) and I have pretty much no problems with impulse spending, so it's not a temptation to have it sitting there.

If I could find a better interest rate, I'd move it, but I'm not to concerned about it.

Which bank are you using?  2% interest is such a good deal.



Emerald

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2012, 01:22:08 PM »
Since I get paid by-weekly, I keep approximately 1 paycheck in checking. 

SweetTPi

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2012, 01:32:39 PM »
About 20k.

Now, before people freak, that includes my emergancy fund.  My checking gets ~2% interest (up to 30k, & higher % in the past) and I have pretty much no problems with impulse spending, so it's not a temptation to have it sitting there.

If I could find a better interest rate, I'd move it, but I'm not to concerned about it.

Which bank are you using?  2% interest is such a good deal.

It's a local credit union, Tinker FCU.  To be a member you have to fit into one of the elegibility criteria, like be in the military stationed at one of the Oklahoma bases, work for specific local governments, or at specified companies.

I have to jump through hoops to get the rate, which is currently 2.23% for $ up to 30k and for anything else above is 0.35%, but most of the things I would do anyway, like pay bills and direct deposit my paycheck.  Using my debit card 10 times a month is the only thing that can get me (what, go shopping 10 times in a single month?!), but I keep track of that in my checkbook, and I've only missed once.  When you don't hit all the criteria, you get a lower rate, which is 0.15% right now.  There are no fees & no minimum balance requirements.

kudy

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2012, 01:43:53 PM »
No direct debits, and no cheque facility. I keep a careful calendar of when bills are due, and mark the preceding (business) day as well to remind me to move the appropriate sum from my ING account, currently earning 3.75%. Likewise for cash (ATM) withdrawals, I decide the previous day how much I'm going to need before I'm next in the vicinity of the ATM (twice a week) and move only that much cash.

Which ING account earns 3.5%?

Sylly

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2012, 02:17:19 PM »
No direct debits, and no cheque facility. I keep a careful calendar of when bills are due, and mark the preceding (business) day as well to remind me to move the appropriate sum from my ING account, currently earning 3.75%. Likewise for cash (ATM) withdrawals, I decide the previous day how much I'm going to need before I'm next in the vicinity of the ATM (twice a week) and move only that much cash.

Which ING account earns 3.5%?

He's in Australia.

My checking fluctuates between 3-5k. I probably should look into bringing that down a bit more.

zinnie

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2012, 03:43:56 PM »
My account usually hovers around $5,000, when it goes above that I transfer to investments. $2,000 is a comfortable minimum because I don't really pay attention to when bills or the mortgage are due and I wouldn't want to overdraw. We usually find it keeps increasing unless we shovel extra out every month (the lovely benefit of living far below one's means, which I'm sure everyone here is familiar with)

atelierk

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2012, 05:33:22 PM »
move the appropriate sum from my ING account, currently earning 3.75%.

Wow. I guess I should move to Australia. My ING accounts are paying a whopping 0.80%! Whooopeeee! :-(

To answer the OP, I keep my checking between $500 and $700, but I don't use it for any automatic transfers/debits/bill pay. My checking account is for cash withdrawals, and the odd expense for which credit cards aren't accepted.

Automatic transfers and debits come out of my ING savings account, but there aren't that many since I put almost everything on my CC, which gets paid in full automatically each month from savings.


yolfer

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2012, 05:36:17 PM »
$1000 is my account "zero".

+1 for this!

atelierk

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2012, 05:40:19 PM »

I went to the ATM today to pull out my customary wad of pocket money for the month, and the girl in front of me left before her receipt popped out.  Looking at it while I waited for my stack of twenties, she had withdrawn $20 leaving a balance of $11.46 in her account.


She may not even have $11.46 in there. That number is based on the transactions the bank knows about. If she's written any checks that haven't been presented yet, she could be in negative territory. A lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck simply check with the bank's computer to see how much is available and then are shocked to find the overdraft fees piling up when "forgotten" checks show up on the statement.

Ryan

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2012, 06:02:10 PM »
I keep mine around 15k, which earns 3%.  We plan to buy a house within the next year with this money.  However once we buy a house I'm sure we'll still have a good chunk of money sitting in there for emergencies...it's hard to pass up the 3%. 

If my credit union didn't offer such a good rate I would feel absolutely comfortable with $1,000 in checking. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2012, 07:12:09 PM »
Before I started learning about personal finances, I was in the same boat Adventine was... my checking account held all of my money that I'd ever made! 

Now I keep about $1,000 in there, much like everyone else, it looks like.

Saving mom

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2012, 07:16:36 PM »
$13K in my regular checking. We have way too much in cash (I know, I know - it should be invested). I have been burned with timing of large investments in the market the last couple years and with me not working at the moment, I like the comfort of having cash. I am not going to mention how much is in my money market account at Schwab. It could pay off most of my mortgage but I am keeping it liquid to make some real estate investments shortly. My mortgage is only 2.125% (LIBOR-based variable rate).

mustachecat

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2012, 07:18:45 PM »
We keep about $6K in checking. It's too much--$3K would be ideal, since that's about a month's spending--but the buffer is so comforting!

happy

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2012, 10:25:56 PM »
1K is my zero too. 
Its offset on  the mortgage, so whatever's in there reduces the mortgage interest.

(Cash rate in Australia can be up to 5% currently, but before you decide to move here, remember mortgage rates are around 6% and houses are expensive!).

Cooperstown

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2012, 07:19:52 AM »
About 20k.

Now, before people freak, that includes my emergancy fund.  My checking gets ~2% interest (up to 30k, & higher % in the past) and I have pretty much no problems with impulse spending, so it's not a temptation to have it sitting there.

If I could find a better interest rate, I'd move it, but I'm not to concerned about it.

~$35k, same boat as the above.  I get 3% up to $25k in one savings and 2% up to $10k in another.  I'm working on convincing the wife that this is counter productive but that's been an uphill battle.

Jaherman99

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2012, 04:10:41 PM »
One meeeeelion dollars!  ;)

c

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2012, 07:43:05 PM »
I keep a 1k buffer in the joint account and a 5k buffer in my account. Like others here, it gives me a level of comfort which I know makes no sense.

smalllife

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2012, 12:07:45 PM »
2k, or about one month's base income (not including second job).  I like being able to pay any and all bills without worrying if that might overdraw or having to transfer from savings, plus a 1k cushion for emergencies.   

MB

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2012, 02:11:18 PM »
I do "surplus transfers" on about a monthly basis.  This is when we've gone through a full cycle of monthly bills, and I know we won't be doing any shopping between that time and payday, so I move everything left in checking to savings.  So our minimum is $0.  But this is only possible because I've got our monthly expenses tracked down to the penny and NB and I communicate so regularly about  money.

If I wanted to do a surplus transfer, but I also needed cash for whatever reason, I would probably leave only that amount in there.  So sol could have very well watched someone like me withdraw my "last" $20 ;-)  Haha, you never know...

icefr

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2012, 08:43:44 PM »
I have a rewards checking account, so my goal is to keep about $10k in my checking account as my buffer/"zero" and then above that is my normal checking account. If I didn't have a rewards checking account, I would probably keep $500-1,000 in the account as a buffer from overdrafts.

I could never imagine keeping only $11 in my checking account.

Taffy

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »
NT$60,000 (around $2050, or two months' cut-to-the-bone expenses). Anything over that number plus this month's planned outgoings gets stashed, someplace where it's hard to get at.

DocCyane

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2012, 07:00:10 AM »
$3000 at 0% interest

I was laid off four months ago and, though I got a new job in less than a month, I still have stress issues. Therefore the balance is higher than it need be.

kkbmustang

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2012, 03:38:55 PM »
Look at this guy. $200 in his checking account and over $7 million in gold bars/coins in his garage.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/17/walter-samasko-recluse-dead-7-million-gold-coins_n_1891067.html

kisserofsinners

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2012, 04:09:39 PM »
When i lived a life before fiscal awareness i was often percolating above overdrawn.

I have a system of having my "pocket money" stop when it is gone, adigital envelope if you will. I have no overdraft to make me aware when i'm spending more than i think i am. I have another account with card that has $150 just in case i'm rejected and need something. Most recently due to expired card.

When creating my controls over my spending, i needed to create "a stop spending now" function to get my attention so i could make corrections before making mistakes. I'm pretty sure i don't need it anymore, but it's a good system; i think i'll keep it.

StashinIt

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2012, 05:11:20 PM »
5k + any monies that are already spoken for until the end of the month.

sowantere

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #45 on: September 17, 2012, 08:19:06 PM »
1k-5k as I got rid of all my credit cards years ago.  I keep enough that if I have some sort of car tragedy i wont have to go to the bank but can just swipe my debit to get it fixed.  I have a separate savings account with my emergency fund in it that is not coupled with my checking so someone cant empty me out if my debit card gets stolen.

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2012, 06:44:33 AM »
I also keep $1K as my zero balance. It's my buffer, since I get paid monthly and transfer 72% of my take home pay out of my checking account as soon as I get paid. I live on the rest and don't dip into the buffer, but it gives me peace of mind.

dragoncar

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2012, 12:54:00 PM »
Some people have more than one checking account.  For example, I have an Ally account that I use for ATM transactions, with near-zero balance.  I transfer money into it before a withdrawal.

kaeldra

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2012, 01:01:17 PM »
I guess I'm at the low end - if it gets below $150 I throw in a little padding from savings.

Russ

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Re: your checking account balance
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2012, 09:11:06 PM »
Being in college, I make nearly all of my money in the summer and then work just enough during the school year to scrape by until next summer. My lowest account balance is always right before my first big internship/co-op paycheck. Last year, that was $1.41, this year it was $35.63. I'm entirely comfortable in the tens, single digits less so. At least $10 will buy a week of food, if I'm careful with what I buy and how I eat it. It's pretty hard to eat on less than that though.

By the end of the current internship rotation I'll have several thousand dollars, all in the checking account because I can't risk it in investments. I could put it in a high-yield account or CDs or something, but that's quite a bit of work for what will net me a little over $10 before I need to take it back out again.