How Many Savings Accounts Should I Have?

By Julia Califano · May 20, 2024 · 8 minute read

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How Many Savings Accounts Should I Have?

How many savings accounts you should have will depend on your savings goals and money management style. You may prefer the simplicity of having just one savings account. Or, you might find it helpful to have different savings accounts for different savings goals, such as an “emergency fund” and a “travel fund.”

There’s no ideal number of savings accounts to have, nor is there a limit to how many savings accounts you can open. So what’s the right number?

Read on to learn why you may want to have more than one savings account, the pros and cons of having multiple savings accounts, types of savings accounts to consider, and how to manage your savings accounts so you reach your financial goals.

Key Points

•   Multiple savings accounts can help separate and manage funds for different financial goals effectively.

•   An emergency fund should ideally be kept in a distinct account to avoid accidental use.

•   Using different accounts facilitates easier tracking of progress towards individual savings goals.

•   There are benefits to having multiple accounts, such as better organization and potentially earning more interest.

•   Managing multiple accounts might involve additional fees and requires careful monitoring to avoid errors.

How Many Savings Accounts Should You Have?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The number of savings accounts you should have depends on your financial goals and personal preferences. Some people find it helpful to have multiple accounts to separate their savings for different purposes, such as an emergency fund, a vacation fund, or a down payment on a house. Others prefer to keep all their savings in a single account for simplicity.

You might aim to have at least two savings accounts, one for your emergency fund (since you don’t want to accidentally deplete that for another purpose) and one for other savings goals. Or, you might want to further subdivide your savings. For example, you might have savings accounts for:

•   A vacation

•   A home improvement project

•   A down payment for a car or home

•   Holiday shopping

•   A wedding or other event

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Reasons to Have Multiple Savings Accounts

Here’s a look at some reasons why you may find it helpful to have more than one savings account.

Separating Your Goals

Having multiple accounts allows you to separate your savings for different goals. This can make it easier to track your progress toward each goal and avoid the temptation to dip into funds earmarked for a specific purpose.

Emergency Fund

Many financial experts recommend having enough money set aside in an emergency fund to cover at least three to six month’s worth of living expenses. This helps ensure you can pay for a sudden expense like a car repair or medical bill without having to run up expensive debt. By keeping your emergency fund in a separate account, you’re less likely to touch it until it’s truly needed.

Tracking Your Progress

If all of your savings are lumped into one account, it can be hard to tell how much you have saved up for different goals, and how much farther you have to go. For example, if your goals include building up your emergency fund, saving for a vacation next year, and making a down payment on a home within three years, it can be unclear how much you’ve put away for each purpose. If you have multiple accounts, on the other hand, you’ll have different balances attached to different goals.

Advantages of Having Multiple Savings Accounts

There are both pros and cons to having more than one savings account. Here’s a look at some of the benefits.

•   Organization: Multiple accounts can help you keep your savings organized and easily accessible for different purposes.

•   Goal tracking: Separating your savings into different accounts makes it easier to track your progress toward each goal.

•   Earning more bonuses: If you set up savings accounts at several financial institutions, you might reap an account-opening bonus (which is usually cash) from each bank or credit union.

•   Get a higher interest rate: Opening savings accounts at different banks could help you take advantage of higher interest rates. For example, your brick-and-mortar bank may pay a lower annual percentage yield (APY) for a regular savings account compared to a high-yield savings account at an online bank.

Disadvantages to Having Multiple Savings Accounts

There are also some downsides to having multiple savings accounts. Here are some to consider.

•   It may trigger fees: Some savings accounts may be fee-free, while others might charge fees if your account dips below a certain balance. If you can’t meet the minimum balance required for each account, you could end up racking up fees by having multiple savings accounts.

•   More difficult to keep track of: Managing multiple accounts can be more time-consuming and require more effort than managing a single account. You may find that monitoring multiple accounts is too much of a juggling act.

•   Potential for errors: With multiple accounts, there is a risk of forgetting about or neglecting some accounts, which could lead to missed savings opportunities.

•   You could lose out on higher interest rates: Some banks have a tiered interest rate structure for savings accounts, meaning you only earn the highest rates once your balance reaches a certain amount. If your money is spread out, you may find it hard to reach the threshold for the best rate.

Types of Savings Accounts to Consider

There are different types of savings accounts you can open, and which one is best will depend on your goals and needs. Here’s a brief look at how they compare.

•   Traditional savings accounts: These accounts are offered by brick-and-mortar banks and credit unions and are designed to be a basic savings option. They typically pay a low interest rate, and may come with a monthly or minimum balance fee.

•   High-yield savings accounts: These accounts offer a higher interest rate than the average for savings accounts. You’re more likely to find high-yield savings accounts at online banks, though some traditional banks and credit unions offer them. In addition to providing higher average APYs, online banks usually charge lower (or no) fees due to their reduced overhead costs.

•   Money market accounts: These accounts are a hybrid of a checking account and a savings account. They pay interest on your deposits and also allow you to write checks or make withdrawals and purchases using a debit card. Money market accounts typically offer higher interest rates than basic savings accounts but may have higher minimum balance requirements.

•   Certificate of Deposit (CD): Certificates of deposit, or CDs, usually pay a higher yield than traditional savings accounts because you agree to let the bank keep your money locked up for a specific term that could range from three months to five years or longer. Should you need to withdraw your money before the CD has matured, you’ll incur an early withdrawal penalty.

Tips on Managing Multiple Savings Accounts

While having more than one savings account may sound confusing, it doesn’t have to be. Here are six tips for making the most of multiple savings accounts.

1.   Use account nicknames. If your bank allows it, consider giving each saving account a title, such as “Hawaii Fund” or “New Furniture Fund.” This makes it easy to identify the account and track your progress.

2.   Look for the best rates. If you’re looking to open a new savings account, see what online banks are offering (thanks to lower overhead, online-only banks often offer the most competitive APYs).

3.   Automate your savings. Setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings accounts will ensure that you’re consistently saving toward your goals.

4.   Use technology to track your accounts. Many banks offer online or mobile banking apps that make it easy to track your savings goals and account balances all in one place.

5.   Resist the urge to dip into different accounts for different needs. For example, try not to touch your emergency fund to come up with cash for a home improvement project.

6.   Stay on top of your financial goals. If your goals change, you might want to adjust how much money is going into each account – and how often.

Recommended: How Much Money Should I Save a Month?

The Takeaway

Ultimately, the decision of how many savings accounts to have is an individual one. While having multiple accounts can offer benefits such as goal separation and organization, it’s important to weigh these benefits against the potential drawbacks, such as fees and complexity.

By carefully considering your financial situation and goals, you can make an informed decision about how many savings accounts are right for you.

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Is it a good idea to have multiple savings accounts?

Having multiple savings accounts can be a good idea for several reasons. It can help you organize your finances by separating your savings goals, such as an emergency fund, a vacation fund, or a down payment for a house. Being able to clearly see individual goals and track progress can help you stay committed and motivated to save.

However, having multiple accounts can also mean more fees (if your bank charges them) and more effort to manage them, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons based on your individual financial situation and goals.

Can you have multiple savings accounts at the same bank?

Yes. Many banks allow customers to open multiple accounts, each with its own account number and possibly different features or benefits. This can be useful for organizing your savings for different purposes or for taking advantage of different interest rates or account types offered by the bank.

What is the cost of having multiple savings accounts?

The cost of having multiple savings accounts can vary depending on the bank and the specific accounts you have. Some banks don’t charge any fees for savings accounts. Others may charge monthly maintenance fees or only charge fees if your account dips below a certain minimum balance. Before you open multiple savings accounts, you’ll want to make sure you understand what fees (if any) may be involved.

SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at

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