How Many Savings Accounts Should I Have?

Family saving money to piggy bank.
Rawpixel / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The number of savings accounts someone should have depends on a person’s financial situation. Most people will benefit from having an emergency fund and at least one other savings account. However, there are good reasons to have multiple savings accounts, depending on your personal savings goals.

If you’ve been wondering how many savings accounts you should have, here is a look at some savings goals that might benefit from a dedicated account, reasons for considering multiple accounts and the types of accounts that are best for different savings goals.

Why Should You Have Multiple Savings Accounts?

To determine how many savings accounts you should have, you should first determine your savings goals, evaluate how well you manage money and understand the benefits that come with having multiple accounts.

Some Funds Might Need a Separate Savings Account

Here are three types of savings that might benefit from being in a dedicated savings account.

Grow Your Savings Today

Emergency Funds

An emergency fund is savings set aside expressly for financial emergencies or unexpected expenses. Common examples include unemployment, home or auto repairs and medical expenses. Financial experts recommend having three to six months of monthly expenses in an emergency fund.

Sinking Funds

Whereas an emergency fund is for unplanned expenses, a sinking fund is for planned significant expenditures that are not part of the regular monthly budget. Examples include property taxes, insurance premiums and holiday gifts. The idea of a sinking fund is to put a small amount of money away each month for these future expenses so you have the money when the bill is due and you can avoid incurring debt to pay it.

Other Savings Goals

Any time you set a new savings goal — especially a significant one — you might want to consider keeping it in a dedicated account. Savings goals may include anything for which you might want to save, such as a home or auto down payment, vacations, college or home improvements.

Protect Your Savings From Your Spending

One of the primary reasons to have multiple savings accounts is to protect your savings from your spending. Using an online bank account or opening a savings account at a different bank than your checking account makes it more difficult to access your money since it can take multiple days to transfer money back to your checking account. This can help reduce impulse spending or the temptation to use the funds for a purpose other than your goal while still giving you access when needed.

Grow Your Savings Today

Keep Your Finances Separate

While it might be easier to set up an automatic transfer to just one account each month, your savings goals might be challenging to track when the money is all in the same account. Having separate accounts — such as one for an emergency fund and another for a down payment on a home — makes tracking your goals easier and keeps your other funds safe should an emergency arise.

Also, it might make sense to keep short-term savings in one type of account (such as a high-yield savings account) and long-term savings in another (such as a certificate of deposit).

Take Advantage of FDIC Insurance

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will cover up to $250,000 in combined account totals in the same ownership category for the same depositor. If you have more than that in a CD, savings account or a money market account at the same bank, you should move some of that money to another bank to ensure that it’s protected.

How Many Savings Accounts Should I Have?

It’s best to keep your savings in fee-free, high-interest accounts whenever possible. Once you have an idea of your financial goals, you should consider whether you’d benefit from any (or all) of the following savings account types.

Grow Your Savings Today

High-Yield Savings Account

A high-yield savings account has a higher interest rate than what you would find for a traditional savings account. High-yield savings accounts are ideal for short-term savings goals since you can easily access the money when necessary.

Money Market Account

A money market account may feature a higher interest rate than most traditional savings accounts, but it also may require a larger minimum balance. However, if you do find a money market account with a minimum balance requirement you can meet, it might be another good option for short-term savings. 

Certificate of Deposit

A CD typically offers a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. Still, you lock the money into the account for a set period and generally face a penalty for early withdrawal. A CD is a good option for long-term savings that you know you will not need immediately, such as a home down payment or emergency fund savings beyond the initial three months’ worth.

Takeaway

Having multiple savings accounts requires more work, but it could be a helpful way to limit spending and stay on track to save for various financial goals simultaneously. You’ll have a better idea of how much you’ve saved for each goal, and you can often take advantage of higher interest rates.

If you decide that having multiple savings accounts makes sense for your finances, consider fees, APYs and balance requirements before selecting a financial institution and an account.

FAQ

Here are quick answers to common questions about savings accounts.
  • Is it a good idea to have multiple savings accounts?
    • Having multiple savings accounts has many benefits. If you don't always stay on top of your budget, keeping savings for individual financial goals — especially emergency savings — in separate accounts can help ensure you don't use the money for other purposes.
  • Is there a downside to having multiple savings accounts?
    • Managing multiple savings accounts can be trickier than managing one account since it takes time to monitor each individually and watch for inaccuracies, fraudulent transactions and fees.
  • How much in savings does the average person have?
    • The 2022 Planning & Progress Study by Northwestern Mutual puts the average personal savings at $62,000, down 15% from its 2021 study.
  • Should I keep all of my money in one bank?
    • Anyone whose qualifying account balances exceed the FDIC's $250,000 per ownership category, per institution insurance limits might wish to utilize more than one bank to ensure complete FDIC protection.

Barri Segal contributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

Share This Article:

Grow Your Savings Today

About the Author

Andrea Norris has been in the web publishing business for the past 15 years both as a content contributor and a copy editor specializing in personal finance, frugal living, home and auto topics. She writes both short and long-form content and is well-practiced in SEO keyword research and writing.
Learn More

Best Bank Accounts for September 2022

Untitled design (1)
Close popup The GBR Closer icon

Sending you timely financial stories that you can bank on.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.