Join Early Retirement Today
View Poll Results: If you don't reconcile your checking account but rather rely on having a "cushion" in your
Less than a quarter of my monthly checking account spending 13 15.48%
Less than half but more than a quarter of my monthly checking account spending 8 9.52%
Less than once but more than half of my monthly checking account spending 13 15.48%
More than my monthly checking account spending 24 28.57%
I reconcile and/or don't keep a cushion. 26 30.95%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 12:41 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
free4now's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,225
How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Following on the heels of the poll http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=9311.0 about whether people reconcile their checkbook, this poll seeks to find out how much cushion people use if they don't reconcile.*
__________________

__________________
free4now is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 12:47 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

My checking account is liked to my main taxable brokerage account and backed up with an overdraft line. I'd probably have everything stopped by the fraud detectors before I even got close to bouncing a check.
__________________

__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 12:47 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,408
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Ballpark - maybe 3 to 6 months, sometimes a years worth if I anticipate some fun money needs on the horizon. I don't try to squeak out the last dollar of extra interest before transferring from MM.

heh heh heh heh - yep - could run a tighter ship.
__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 12:50 PM   #4
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 19
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Wifey and I are trying to stick to about 200.00 cushion. Stick every last thing onto credit cards, or do without until we can ach some money out.
__________________
GangnamStyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 12:57 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 184
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Has anyone "abandoned" their local bank ?

Only reason I have a local bank account is for no-fee ATM access around town. I never go to the bank.

Etrade and some other on-line brokerages now have "no ATM fee" accounts - where you can use their card at other bank ATMs - and they reimburse for any fees (up to some number of transactions per month).

If I did this, I'd have one less account - and drawing monthly cash from MM account at Etrade (which I suppose would earn a little more intest than local checking account.

Seems like a good idea. I hate the proliferation of "community bank branches" springing up all around me.........
__________________
Delawaredave is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 01:05 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delawaredave
Has anyone "abandoned" their local bank ?
In 1989 we were required to establish an account with a "local" bank by our escrow company in order to close on our home. Apparently the Hawaii branches of the Navy Federal Credit Union do not qualify as a local bank because it's a Virginia-chartered credit union.

Once we'd closed on the home we no longer needed the bank account. As soon as Bank of Hawaii hit us with their first fee increase we closed the account. Of course the following month there were a few pennies of leftover interest which resulted in a comedy of errors of minimum-balance charges, overdraft charges, and the real meaning of the expression "closing an account". None of this experience made us a fan of local banking.

We belatedly realized that not all title companies required local banks. Other people must have realized this too, because shortly afterward the "local bank" requirement went away.

Today I do all our banking via ATM and the Internet. NFCU has learned that if I have to visit their offices then there's gonna be trouble...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 01:06 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 16,391
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Dave, that's what *have done. *When I moved a few years ago I had a natural break from my old local bank, so I started up a "bankerage" account. *But I still maintain an account with a local bank so I have a place to cash checks, get change, deposit currency, etc. *Its peanuts, though.
__________________
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."



- Will Rogers
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,457
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

I always know within a few days the exact balance of my checking - I download the recent checks and credit card charges into Quicken at least twice a week, and my "scheduled transactions" in Quicken know any anticipated monthly/semi-annual charges like what has been set up for bill paying.

Having said that, I tend to maintain a minimum balance of at least $1500 (after all anticipated bills). Actually, I think my current bank only requires a minimum balance of $800 to avoid any charges, but I was "trained" by my previous bank and prefer to keep the higher amount.

Audrey
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 01:21 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

My "local" bank is the largest bank in the US. I keep 2 months worth of expenses in the account which is more than I probably should.

I'm just worried I might miss that whopping .75% interest they pay me
__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 02:05 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,487
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

i generally have about 2k extra in the checking account ... just in case ...
__________________
d is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 02:06 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,077
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

We keep less than 25% of monthly spending as a cushion, plus another 25-50% (pays only 2% or so) in a savings account at the same bank. Money from savings can be immediately electronically transferred to checking if needed.

I've had my checking account at the same bank (USAA) for 36 years. They have only one brick & mortar location, so all banking was done by mail before Al gave us the internet. We've lived in other cities and not having local branches was never a problem since they reimburse for all ATM fees up to $15 per month.

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 02:29 PM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
I've had my checking account at the same bank (USAA) for 36 years.* They have only one brick & mortar location, so all banking was done by mail before Al gave us the internet.* We've lived in other cities and not having local branches was never a problem since they reimburse for all ATM fees up to $15 per month.
Hunh, I didn't know that they reimbursed ATM fees. I'm going to have to give them another look.

I learned recently that USAA's credit cards don't charge a fee for cash advances. They already provide CDW insurance for rental cars. I wonder if they reimburse currency-conversion fees?
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 03:50 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
BOBOT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 415
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

I reconcile every month or two with online balkance (EVERYTHING done online thru QUicken or occaisionally on bank website).
Keep the bare minimum to cover monthly expenses.
The neat thing is we have an overdraft line which is occaisionally nicked at the end of the month - few 100 max - & we pay it off on payday. Have never been charged a penny in interest.
__________________
I still don't get it...
BOBOT is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 04:18 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 802
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

We bank with TD Canada Trust. As long as you carried a $1000 balance all fees were waived. So we always kept at least that amount in the account.

When I turned 60 in 2003 I was automatically enrolled in Plan 60. No fees period!* I drained that $1000 pretty quickly.

Most of my banking is on the net and I get cash at ATM's. I might let the balance go below $10. We've never had a problem.

__________________
Zipper is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 04:44 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,487
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Quote:
I might let the balance go below $10
much too close to the edge for my comfort level, but if it works for you!
__________________
d is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 04:50 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
SteveR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,803
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

We use a Credit Union and do mostly on-line banking so I see my balance frequently during the month and can adjust it by moving money from a the savings account or the MM accounts as needed. We do a lot of moving around of $$ because some things are deposited directly into the savings account while others go directly into checking. The MM is used as a large fund for long term (6-10 months) of expenses while the savings account is the primary slush fund for transfering into checking because it has a slightly better interest rate.

We keep about $1000 extra in checking just because we sometimes forget to write down a handwritten check sometimes and I don't want a $20 bounced check fee. The CU has no overdraft protection usually, but since we have several accounts with them they have reversed the only charge we received a couple of months ago.

I hate banks and refuse to use one.
__________________
Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
SteveR is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 05:50 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

We keep about $500 total in our local checking account. Since we pay everything via credit card, we rarely need the money in it. Elec bill is the only one that gets paid automatically from checking rather than from the CC.

We don't use the ATM much, because I get the small amount of cash that I need from cash-paying gigs.

I'd keep more in the account, but I'm insulted by the .5% interest rate.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 08:53 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 417
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Have balanced our checking account to the penny for the last 30+ years, and with free checking have never paid any fees. Keep an extra $1000 (bank requires $500) in the account but don't show it in case I lose checkbook (I know-it's stupid, but it's always worked for me). It's just extra $ kept around for emergencies even though we keep $20k in a money market for emergencies-go figure-I'm just a conservative hill-billy when it comes to money, but not politics.
__________________
Payin-the-Toll is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-05-2006, 09:41 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 2,947
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Ok, its not an either-or thing cause I dont reconcile and I dont keep a cushion either. I never worry what my balance is day-to-day, I only care if checks get paid, so I have overdraft protection linked to a savings account and a credit card. If it gets to the credit card its a $10 cash advance fee. If I get too many of those, I guess I gotta make a change. I do as much as possible online and xfer funds to maximize my MM account at GMAC which pays 6%. That account pays all the big bills, like mortgage anyway.
__________________
...with no reasonable expectation for ER, I'm just here auditing the AP class.Retired 8/1/15.
jazz4cash is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account
Old 09-06-2006, 04:54 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ladelfina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,713
Re: How much cushion do you leave in your checking account

Have an attached overdraft account of $2500.. why $2500? I dunno, that's what they offered. Only went into the red on it once for a couple hundred bucks and had to go through a couple of tries to get it back down to $0, given that I paid off what appeared at the ATM to be outstanding, but then the interest charges got charged later to the OD acc't., which then accumulated interest themselves.. etc.! Kinda like Whack-A-Mole... No matter.. I'm unlikely to ever run up interest fees even equivalent to one bounced-check fee.

Had a similar instance to Nords where I closed a brokerage acc't. but they decided to deposit the MM interest ($0.32) and so I got statements for over a year with that figure (maybe by the end it was up to $0.34??) before they wised up and sent me a check for $0.34!!*

Very crafty, Payin-the-Toll.. writing in a lower balance!
__________________

__________________
ladelfina is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A different twist on emptying your checking account Nords FIRE and Money 9 05-05-2007 06:58 PM
ING offers checking: "Electric Orange" account free4now FIRE and Money 16 01-26-2007 02:38 PM
Anyone keep a lot of money in their checking account? daverph FIRE and Money 29 12-16-2006 02:24 PM
VanguardAdvantage Checking Account TromboneAl FIRE and Money 6 10-26-2006 01:42 PM
Checking Account mickeyd FIRE and Money 9 09-09-2006 05:13 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:11 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.