Diving into the choppy waters of financial planning can feel intimidating, especially when you realize just how many types of accounts there are. Thankfully, many experts agree there are a few accounts everybody should consider holding to keep your money organized, set you up for the future, and even help grow your wealth.
We all have monthly expenses, and there are numerous reasons why separating the money you expect to spend from the rest of your funds can be advantageous. To start, it helps you keep better track of how much of your income is devoted to expenses — both essential and recreational. A checking account also gives you a centralized place from which to draw funds for everything from rent, to car repairs, to subscription services.
By compartmentalizing your so-called “spending money” from the rest of your finances, you can see which behaviors will benefit you in the long run, and which will hurt.
Any money you don’t need to apply directly to rent, utilities, or any other living expenses should be placed in a savings account. A portion of whatever income doesn’t go to your checking account should go directly to savings. Eric Rosenberg of Business Insider says the separation of savings from spending money can stop you from being tempted to spend frivolously. As a bonus, you can use saved funds as a way to accrue even more wealth thanks to interest rates.
Emergencies tend to pop up when we’re least prepared for them. As such, it’s a good idea to put some of your money aside for unexpected incidents. If this account is separate from your central accounts, you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to spend for vehicle repairs, home maintenance and health issues without pulling funds — and potential income — away from the place where they grow in value.
Mic.com’s Christy Rakoczy encourages you to keep this money in an account that’s easy to access – like a separate checking account. It puts up a barrier between this fund and your spending money, but still makes it available when desperately needed, without a trip to a financial institution.
It’s never too early to start preparing for your retirement. In fact, the sooner you start saving for your later years, the better. Intuit’s MintLife blog states there are numerous ways to put away money, including 401(k)s and IRAs.
According to Investopedia’s Julia Kagan, 401(k)s are traditionally sponsored by employers, and you send a portion of each paycheck to the account. Some businesses may even make matching contributions, adding to your overall balance. However, if you’re self-employed or your company doesn’t match contributions, it may be better to opt for an IRA — or an Individual Retirement Account. Nerdwallet’s Dayana Yochim and Andrea Coombes assert the most significant advantage of choosing an IRA as the range of investment opportunities the plan affords you.
Ultimately, the financial accounts you choose depend on your needs and personal situation. For more information, contact a trusted expert.