For our last email on personal finance, I just wanted to clean up some loose ends and questions that have come up over the last few days. I have already received a few emails from people who have opened Roth IRAs or looked into their employer match on the 401K which is amazing. If this helps 1 or 2 people, then I am happy. I never had someone sit down and explain this stuff (even as a Finance major) and I wish I had learned about it earlier, so hopefully this has helped someone out.
For your personal bank accounts, you should have 2 accounts. A simple checking and savings account is all you need. The checking account is where you will deposit and withdraw money and the savings account can act as your emergency fund. For this setup, Capital One and Schwab have easy to open and use accounts with no account fees. The Schwab account makes sense if you are going to use them for your Roth IRA account as well. Schwab also will reimburse any ATM fees you pay so if you are someone who needs to take out money constantly especially around the world, this could be a helpful feature.
If you decide to go with the buckets personal spending plan then you need to find a bank account with no minimums. I use Republic Bank for my business accounts because they have no minimums and account fees on the accounts and it is easy to walk in and open accounts when I need them.
Everyone should have a credit card but make sure you are only spending money you already have in your account. You want to use a credit card for 2 main reasons. First, it allows you to collect rewards on your purchases for free (as long as you are paying it off each month). Second, it gives you more protection than using a debit card. If you see an incorrect charge, the credit card company will give the money back immediately and require the merchant to prove it was a proper charge. If it is on your debit card, it is treated like cash so it is basically gone unless they can recover it. Credit cards are constantly changing so it is hard to make a suggestion. There are tons of sites that do a better job at laying out what the best credit card is for you. Look for either a travel card or cash back card (1.5% or more back), for most people the cash back card makes the most sense. You also want to look for a card that doesn’t have a yearly fee (or see if you can get it waived).
And that’s it! I hope this week has helped some of you to start thinking about your finances in 2020!