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View Poll Results: What is the typical balance in your checking account?
< $250 8 4.44%
$250 - $500 6 3.33%
$500 - $1,000 20 11.11%
$1,000 - $2,000 43 23.89%
$2,000 - $5,000 39 21.67%
>$5,000 64 35.56%
Voters: 180. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:44 AM   #41
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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seriously? well my paychecks go directly to savings, then the day before bills go out (the 1st) enough goes in to cover them including all my transfers to sinking funds accounts, and then on the 1st it all goes out.
So all but two days of the month it's at $0.00!

If I need money in a hurry, I can call in a transfer from savings to checking and withdraw it at any bank/atm. I also keep some cash at home at all times.

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:47 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by MyOwnTime View Post
My landlord routinely cashes my rent checks three weeks after I've handed them over, so my checking account generally has a balance at least equal to a month's rent. I'd leave the balance smaller for the first few weeks, but once every six months or so he remembers to cash them on time. Since it's not really "my" money once I've handed the check over, I don't feel all that bad about the lost interest.
You could always get a Cashier's Check or a Money Order instead. If you talk to your branch manager, you could probably explain the situation and get the fee, if any, waived for consistent customer courtesy.

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:52 AM   #43
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I'm also amazed at the low balances that people keep here. I add more money to my checking account whenever it goes below about $5000... that's a bit more than a month's spending. Yeah, I lose a hundred or so dollars in interest a year over what I could save if I were more careful. But I've never paid any overdraw fees for my bank, and I like knowing I've got a month's flexibility where the bills will get paid even if I were in the hospital or otherwise tied up for a few weeks.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #44
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I try to manage my main checking account to where it has less than $1 in it, but depending on the vagaries of ACH transfers to and from savings, when the bills actually hit, and when checks get cashed, it generally ranges from +$3K to -$1K. I have an overdraft line set up to my debit card at the same bank which runs at 6.75%, so I try to avoid overdrafting but I don't sweat it when I do because the interest cost is only a small amount.

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Old 06-24-2008, 12:56 PM   #45
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This is a really interesting thread, I use Schwab for my checking account... it has overdraft line of credit so if you ever need to go over, which I haven't, it should cover your needs (at a lower interest rate than most credit cards I may add)
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:05 PM   #46
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My average $500 balance refers to our local bank's checking account. We keep it just to have the option of local face-to-face banking stuff and a safe deposit box. We write just a few checks, and use the debit card at CostCo. Interest about .5%.

We also have VanguardAdvantage (recommended) for any other bills that can't easily be charged to the credit card.

When I decided on a $500 balance, the difference in interest rate was about 4.5% between the bank and the MM, so I figured that for every $1,000 I didn't have in the checking account, I'd save $45 per year. That's worth a little hassle. Now that the MM yield is only 2.2%, maybe I'll allow more in the checking.

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