Prepping for gift-giving season should be something you look forward to. When you prepare ahead of time, you can make sure you’re spending an appropriate amount. You probably have a household budget where expenses are carefully calculated, but when it comes time for holiday gifts and entertaining, the budget goes out the window. How many times have you dreaded opening your January credit card and bank statements because of the damage you’ve done to your checking account over the holidays?
Consumers are putting more cash in their checking accounts than ever before. According to the 2016 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, the average checking account balance in 2016 was $10,545, and the median checking balance was $3,400. (The discrepancy is because of a few high-deposit checking accounts that skewed the average results). This is up from an average of $9,132 and a median of $2,900 in 2013. And the average balance in U.S. checking accounts continues to climb, partly because consumers are finding new ways to leverage their checking for more types of transactions.
When it comes to opening a checking account, what is your best option? The answer depends on how you manage your money. If you’re like most people, your checking account is hub of your spending and money management. It’s the account that money flows into from various sources, such as your paycheck, and flows out of to pay bills, write the occasional check, and shop with your debit card.
Even in the age of digital transactions, everyone still needs a checking account. Your checking account is still the focal point for family finances and is the bank account that gives you easiest access to your cash. It’s where your paychecks are deposited, it’s used to pay household bills, and it’s even used to fund online wallet services like PayPal and Apple Pay. But how much do you really know about your checking account?