For people who bank, checking accounts are often a necessity. They provide a safe place for your money and give you quick access to cash via ATM. Both checking and savings accounts are important, but how much of your money should be in one versus the other? Would it have to be higher to avoid monthly fees?

At Sikorsky Credit Union, our checking accounts are all free to have and use, with a starting deposit of just $25 to open. After that, you can maintain any balance you wish, though there are perks associated with having a higher balance in some instances. Our Kasasa free checking accounts offer you rewards when you qualify. Our Kasasa Cash account gives you 3.00% APY on your balance up to $10,000 while Kasasa Cash Back gives you 3.00% cash back on purchases up to $300 per month. You can qualify by doing things you may already be doing, like being actively enrolled in eStatements,  swiping your debit card 12 times in a qualification cycle, and checking your online banking account.

To answer your question of how much you should keep in a checking account, it’s dependent on a few factors. While you should have a minimum in there to qualify if you had to deal with fees if you don’t maintain a certain balance (which isn’t the case with any of Sikorsky Credit Union’s free checking accounts), the number is also dependent on how much you use your debit card on a regular basis.

Ideally, your minimum in checking should be one month of your take-home pay. This is to help you have peace of mind for at least a month to continue to paying expenses when they come forth.  While this is the ideal to ensure you get the most out of your money, it may not always make the most sense. For example, if you have a Kasasa Cash account that gives 3.00% on the first $10,000, you’ll want to take advantage of that great rate and put more money into that account than just one month of your take-home pay.

If you aren’t keeping all of your money in a  checking account, what should you do with the rest of it? While you have a few options, putting your money into Certificates or high yield savings accounts can help you gain more interest on your money and have it work for you.

Certificates are a great way to invest in yourself. They’re a guaranteed return on your investment and by doing a Certificate ladder, you can ensure that you’re getting a high interest rate on your money, while having access to that money at frequent intervals. An easy example would be if you had $5,000 to invest, you would put $1,000 into a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-year certificate. Once the one year comes up, you reinvest it into another 5-year certificate and continue this process each year until you have all 5-year Certificates. One Certificate would mature each year and you can move those proceeds into your checking account or continue reinvesting the money.

At Sikorsky Credit Union, we have a lot of services that can help you with your financial future. Put your money in one of our Kasasa free checking accounts and you can earn a great reward.