1. Set a Target
Shoot for having three to six months of your regular expenses available for unforeseen emergencies.
2. Make Your Money Work as Hard as You Do
Keep idle cash in an account that pays interest.
3. Slim Down Your Checking
Keep just a little more than you need to pay the bills until your next paycheck, and move the extra to a savings account that pays more interest than your checking account.
4. Put Savings on Autopilot
Set up an automatic monthly transfer into your savings account, and you’ll be surprised how quickly the cash stacks up.
5. Boost Your Rate
Some savings and money market accounts pay competitive interest rates. Get the best deal for your average balance.
6. Say No to Fees
Find checking and savings accounts with no minimum balances and few, if any, nuisance fees.
7. Look for Freebies
Some checking accounts provide free checks. Credit cards often offer rewards. And some banks give cash rebates when you use their debit card. USAA does all three and even offers rewards on debit card purchases.
8. Make Every ATM Your ATM
Find a bank that refunds those pesky ATM fees.
9. Balance That Checkbook Online
Take advantage of banks that show your transactions online. This allows you to balance your account when it’s convenient for you, rather than waiting for your monthly statement in the mail. By viewing your documents online instead of receiving paper statements by mail, you lower your risk of identity theft.
10. Get Overdraft Protection
We’re all human — avoid fees by having overdrafts covered by your credit card or savings account.