If you're like most people, you have enough to manage when it comes to dealing with the household finances. Between budgeting, bills, and bank statements, it probably seems like managing one checking account is more than enough to handle.
However, you really should think about opening a second one. Here are some of the best reasons why:
1. You can greatly reduce the potential for fraud if you're an online shopper.
Everybody these days is a little worried about identify theft -- the recent security leak at Equifax, one of the top three consumer credit monitoring agencies in the country, exposed around 143 million consumers to hackers -- and it feels like you're taking a gamble every time you order something online.
Having two different accounts can alleviate some anxiety. You can keep one that's just for online purchases only and move just enough money into that account to cover them. If your account is stolen after an online purchase, thieves won't be able to get much and you won't have to worry about your bills going unpaid because someone emptied your account.
2. You have a backup account in case your main account is frozen.
Again, these days, everyone is a little paranoid about identity theft and fraud -- including banks. If you make too many purchases in a single day that are outside of the "norm" for your regular use (as determined by a computer algorithm), the bank may lock your card. If it happens during business hours or the bank has 24-hour services for those situations, that's easy enough to fix.
On the other hand, if you use a smaller bank, have a credit union, or do business with a bank that doesn't offer 24/7 customer service monitoring, you could be stuck without access to your own money for the night, the weekend, or longer (if the coming Monday is a bank holiday). A second account can allow you to keep a small amount of money on hand for emergencies like this or even transfer funds to the account with the working card.
3. You want to keep yourself from spending more than you should.
You can trick yourself into saving money. People do it in all sorts of way, but one way you can try is setting up the second account and then treating the account like a bill that has to be paid every month. Decide how much you can afford and go from there -- whether you make it a $50 a month deposit or a $10 bill each payday.
Ultimately, the money will still be available in a crisis, but you can create a tidy little emergency fund in the meantime.
4. Take advantage of some of the perks being offered.
A lot of banks offer perks to new customers -- if you set up a direct deposit or use your bank-issued debit/visa card associated with that account a specific number of times in a given month -- you can cash in on some free money. There were at least 24 bank promotions in October alone! Competition for new customers is pretty fierce these days.
For more information on how to open checking accounts, talk to a bank or credit union in your area today.