Why your savings and checking accounts are the foundation of your financial strategy

Graphic design image of a blank check and a pen - TAB Bank

by Michael Palmer, COO

Checking and savings accounts are so universal to the process of personal banking that they're often overlooked in favor of other needs and opportunities that are newer or more exciting. Of course, you can't do much of anything involving finances, from depositing a paycheck and paying bills to saving money in a secure location away from home, without these accounts. That's why it's so important to make informed decisions about your savings and checking needs and ensure the financial institution you partner with offers a high degree of customer service, security and effective banking tools. Let's look at some key considerations for these foundational accounts.

Checking accounts

Writing checks isn't the primary reason why most people use checking accounts anymore. Financial news sites like NerdWallet have taken to publishing articles describing exactly what personal checks are, in part due to their decreasing use. Checks are only used for about 18% of transactions above $100, and are used less in purchases for lower amounts, as the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco pointed out. Suffice to say, checks aren't a particularly common payment method for the average American.

However, there are a few very important considerations to make when it comes to your checking account. While you might not write many checks, you'll still need to deposit them. Your employer likely offers a direct deposit option for your paycheck, which is often faster and easier than receiving a physical check. Tax refund checks, returns of deposits on utility accounts and rental properties and other situations all also involve a check or direct deposit. You may also need to occasionally pay with a check, whether for rent, organizational dues, some government services or at an old-fashioned small business that doesn't accept credit or debit cards.

Much of the value of modern checking accounts comes from the unlimited withdrawals and deposits they offer - which aren't usually available with savings accounts - as well as the associated debit card and easy access to cash at ATMs. Additionally, digital functions like bill payment and self-service transfers to other accounts make this account even more useful. The ability to quickly, easily and safely receive, access and move your money is vital.

While a checking account isn't particularly exciting on the surface, it's also an indispensable element of an effective personal banking strategy. TAB Bank offers a personal checking account with mobile and online banking options, secure transactions and the opportunity to earn significant interest when all the relevant qualifications are met. To learn more, check out our Kasasa Cash Checking and 365 Checking Accounts today.

Savings accounts

Savings accounts are similarly foundational for addressing personal banking needs. At the same time, they have a reputation as being not particularly exciting. When an account's singular purpose is to provide a safe place to store money and, ideally, earn some interest on it, it may not seem like the most thrilling concept. But good personal banking isn't focused on thrills - it centers on making sound financial decisions.

Savings accounts are simply vital for long-term planning. While individual goals can vary significantly from one person to the next, especially when income, age, geographic location and other factors come into play. However, everyone needs to save some money if at all possible. There are short-term needs to consider, like an emergency fund that can help pay an unexpected medical or car repair bill or provide a cushion in the case of an unexpected layoff. Keeping this money in a savings account keeps it separate from the everyday spending of a checking account, but also makes it readily accessible.  From there, savings needs can stretch from retirement savings to a down payment for a home and vacations and other recreational purchases. No matter what your individual goals are, you need a savings account as a place to keep that money safe.

A great savings account allows you to earn interest and protect your earnings, while also allowing you to access and transfer those funds when needed. Check out our High Yield Savings and Money Market Accounts. All these options make it easier find the account that offers the best features for your needs.

About the Author

Michael Palmer

As TAB Bank’s Chief Operating Officer, Mike oversees the operational and customer support teams that assist TAB’s clients with their deposit relationships with the bank. Additionally, his teams securely process all the bank’s electronic funds transfers, apply for invoice specific payments across the factoring portfolio, and process thousands of lockbox and other checks per week.

Mike is a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager. Prior to his experience at TAB Bank, he spent 13 years at Wells Fargo, the last ten being spent in regulatory compliance roles focusing on international BSA/AML compliance as well as mortgage and consumer lending regulations. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degrees in Finance and Marketing from Utah State University and a Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University. He is a graduate from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin –Madison where he completed courses necessary to achieve the Executive Leadership Certificate from the Wisconsin School of Business.

Follow on Linkedin More Content by Michael Palmer
Previous Article
How to make a savings plan for vacations, big purchases and more
How to make a savings plan for vacations, big purchases and more

Most people don't equate saving money with having fun. Long-term savings for retirement, building an emerge...

Next Article
Stay smart: Don't fall victim to these types of bank-related fraud
Stay smart: Don't fall victim to these types of bank-related fraud

Bank-related fraud is an unfortunately common issue in the U.S. and around the world. Because scams general...