How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

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dustinst22
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by dustinst22 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:13 pm

i keep about 20 K in CCU checking, 4.6% rate. I also have a good amount of cash tied up into my business.

mikeyzito22
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by mikeyzito22 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:24 pm

Ron wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:35 pm
I keep more than I should in both my checking accounts and my wallet.

It's physiological; when I left home at the age of 19 (over a half-century ago) I had just a few dollars to my name. No bank account nor credit cards in those days. Even over the following years as a young married with a child, we were just scraping by and really never had much in cash reserves.

Today, I use charge cards and rarely need the cash; however I still feel better knowing that I have much more than just a few bucks in my wallet, along with being backed up by reserves in my local bank, credit union, and a FIDO taxable MM account.

And if somebody robs me of my wallet? c'est la vie...

- Ron
Plus one. Also, if you only have 40,000 to your name, shouldn't 25,000 of it be safe, as in not invested aggresively (say 85/15) ? That's a real question.

Glockenspiel
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:12 pm

Too much and I need to do something about it. Typically $30-$40k across 3 accounts.

mpsz
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by mpsz » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:29 pm

I use Mint to track my spending. I usually keep about $2,000-$3,000 above what is currently owed on my credit cards, which are auto paid in full each month. That extra amount covers my non-credit card bills plus a bit of cushion.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:35 pm

Just enough to avoid monthly service charges and to be able to pay expected bills. $1500 minimum in each of two accounts.

yogesh
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by yogesh » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:54 pm

$100K
Bills, expenses, credit card payments, mortgage and 1year worth expenses as emergency fund all in one.
Everything else goes in VT (taxable) + VFORX (401k)
Just 3 accounts so we are minimalist.
Emergency: FDIC | Taxable: VT | Retirement: TR2040

VAslim16
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by VAslim16 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:39 am

$1000 to $1500.

bac
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by bac » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:27 am

My checking account pays 1.41 APY on up to $15,000, so I've tended to stay near that level. In years past, when Vanguard MMF was paying significantly less, it wasn't a bad place to keep a chunk of cash.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:38 am

I intentionally run my checking account balance down to zero at the end of each month and then start afresh with new money on the first of the following month. I also keep very little cash in my wallet.
Last edited by UpperNwGuy on Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Retiree with a pension and a 60/40 taxable portfolio: Total Stock + Total Int'l + Total Bond + Interm Term Tax Exempt.

student
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by student » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:46 am

Just a data point, usually between $1000 and $5000.

Dandy
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by Dandy » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:28 am

Used to have a free checking account at a big brick bank and since it didn't earn interest it was a pain to make sure it was properly funded to account for monthly variations in bills. Opened an online interest bearing checking account (no monthly swipes required!!) and it has a savings account that pays a competitive rate (vs the brick bank that pays almost nothing on Savings). You can transfer money between savings and checking instantly. So, I have a few thousand in checking but don't worry if I have too much cause it is earning something or too little because I can fund it instantly 24/7.

RickBoglehead
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:34 am

I keep $100 in my local checking account and $1 in its savings account. I keep $100 in my Ally checking account. Each month around the 20th or so I sit down and look over my bills which are entered into Quicken as they come in. I figure out the 3 or 4 transfers that need to take place each month and I set them up from savings to checking a day prior to each group of bills.

I just moved funds from Ally savings to Vanguard Prime Money Market as the return had climbed enough to make it worth doing, so now I may have to do one transfer each month back to Ally for bills.

livesoft
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by livesoft » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:20 am

mikeyzito22 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:04 pm
So you aren't buy and hold then?
Of course not. II'm retired. But no one should be buy-and-hold. They could be buy-hold-and-rebalance though.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

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Leif
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by Leif » Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:39 am

I target about $10k in checking. With that I don't need to monitor it too closely or constantly move funds from other accounts. When I get low I have some additional cash in a separate high yield account that takes about 1 week to ACH over. Most of my typical expenses are on autopilot so I can go off on vacation with few worries.

It all depends on your cash flow and how comfortable you are living on the edge. I feel more comfort in having a buffer. Right now I don't have much cash coming in except for occasional dividends, interest, and capital gains from my taxable accounts. When I get to the point of having pension and social security coming in I expect my cash cushion can be greatly decreased and still feel comfortable.

boglefannyc
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by boglefannyc » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:22 am

I keep the minimum amount possible in my checking account because it doesn't pay interest. Each month I anticipate at least $1,100 in credit card payments, $38 in monthly life insurance, and I'll keep extra when other scheduled payments are due. My minimum is probably $1500 and when I have incoming deposits I transfer as much as I can into high yield savings accounts, CD's, money market, etc. according to interest rates.

basspond
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by basspond » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:50 am

Ours fluctuates between 5-20 thousand. It all depends if it is before or after contributions, taxes, insurance or tuition. But when we were younger it was between 3-6 months of basic living expenses.

HZ49
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by HZ49 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:56 am

In Checking minimum $1000, maximum $5000 depend on what time of month.

mega317
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by mega317 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:55 pm

For those who strive to keep the absolute minimum necessary in checking at all times, and move money in at a regular schedule, have you calculated your benefit of doing this? Many people didn't say where they are stashing the next month or few months of expenses, but many said high-yield savings or money market fund.

Assuming a 2% savings account and keeping an average daily balance of around 1.5 months expense, I am giving up about 300 taxable dollars a year. That's not nothing, but at least right now with two little kids and going for a promotion at work I don't want to spend the mental energy to keep it that strict.

Livesoft is probably doing better with every spare dime in VTSAX and paying no taxes on gains.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:37 pm

mega317: I'm retired. I don't mind spending the time and mental energy to manage my checking account balance down to zero each month. Not only does the money earn more in other accounts, but it's easier for me to keep my living expenses within a strict budget by limiting how much money is in checking. if the money isn't in checking, it doesn't get spent.
Retiree with a pension and a 60/40 taxable portfolio: Total Stock + Total Int'l + Total Bond + Interm Term Tax Exempt.

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Clever_Username
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by Clever_Username » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:59 pm

mega317 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:55 pm
For those who strive to keep the absolute minimum necessary in checking at all times, and move money in at a regular schedule, have you calculated your benefit of doing this? Many people didn't say where they are stashing the next month or few months of expenses, but many said high-yield savings or money market fund.

Assuming a 2% savings account and keeping an average daily balance of around 1.5 months expense, I am giving up about 300 taxable dollars a year. That's not nothing, but at least right now with two little kids and going for a promotion at work I don't want to spend the mental energy to keep it that strict.
The amount I keep isn't quite the absolute minimum, but I pay all my bills in a 2-3 day span every month and get my only paycheck of the month (not including muni bond and MM distributions, which are maybe 1% of my post-tax income for the month, essentially negligible) during that period. So it's usually log in at banking, pay the bills, come back in two days, confirm bills got paid, calculate how much excess to send to Vanguard, do so. So it isn't a ton of mental energy.

I wonder if, in a few years, when the muni fund distributions might be as much as 5% of my monthly income (due to more money in that fund, not due to pay cut), if I'll still view it as such a small task. I will likely just decrease slightly how much I aim to keep in the account for the next month.
mega317 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:55 pm
Livesoft is probably doing better with every spare dime in VTSAX and paying no taxes on gains.
I'll ask him about this when I visit his island. I don't have VTSAX in taxable so I can't emulate this behavior yet anyway.
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_

mikeyzito22
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by mikeyzito22 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:01 am

livesoft wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:20 am
mikeyzito22 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:04 pm
So you aren't buy and hold then?
Of course not. II'm retired. But no one should be buy-and-hold. They could be buy-hold-and-rebalance though.
I think that's what I'm doing. Still navigating the waters with caution, albeit an aggresive stance.

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John151
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by John151 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:25 pm

About three months’ worth of expenses. If I need more, I can draw on my Vanguard money market fund.

arf30
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by arf30 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:50 pm

I try to stay under 10k in checking with another 20k in Vanguard Prime Money Market (~1.8%). It would probably take 2-3 days to move the money from Vanguard to checking if I needed it. I wish there was an "all in one" account that could act like a checking with the interest rate of a money market or savings account so I didn't have to constantly manage balances.

SDLinguist
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by SDLinguist » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:07 pm

About 3-8k depending on pay period deposit dates, bill due dates, and when automatic transfers to savings hit.

The wife freaks out when we go under 3k, but since we do all our spending on one CC every month we know exactly when that bill is due.

Normal month's statement is 4 pay deposits, two bill pays (rent and CC) and 2 automatic transfers to savings.

gliderpilot567
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by gliderpilot567 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:18 pm

My brother had $0.01 in his for a couple years, ha ha. He's probably richer than I am now.

I usually aim to bottom out each month around 2k. I use USAA, and their website lets you see a "future view" line graph of the predicted balance in your accounts for the upcoming 30 days, based on known deposits, auto bill pays, and recurring transactions that you can program in. It lets me see when and how low the next month's "bottom out" point will be, then I pull out everything that bottoms out above that 2k and send it to savings/investment. I sometimes wish that it would show more than 30 days forward, but I realized that as long as the "right side" of the line (today+30) is higher than the "left side" (today), then the next 30 days will be cash flow positive. It's kind of cool.

Why 2k? It leaves enough slush for the utilities which vary somewhat, and leaves peace of mind for mistakes. For example, like the time I accidentally overpaid our mortgage by $2500. And then accidentally did it again the next month :oops: The first one was cushioned by pulling some out of savings, but I was able to reverse the second mistake in time before it posted.

I am considering increasing the cushion amount to about 3500 since that is closer to the monthly outgo and will cover an extra month of autobillpays if there is a paycheck snafu.

We have a separate checking account that we use exclusively for ATM card use and occasional paper check writing. It gets an automatic shot of $50 per week from the "big account" and usually hovers around $200-$300 total. We don't use much actual paper cash.

tl24
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by tl24 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:14 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:07 am
How did you find a checking account with 3%. . . ???

aloha,
j :D
I use LMCU to get 3% on up to 15k. It does have a few requirements to get that rate, which are similar to some other accounts mentioned in this thread.

In addition to the above amount (really as a part of my EF), I keep a minimum of $2500 (min. required to have access to all ATMs for no fees) plus 2-3k for spending money. I have another checking account that does all of the monthly direct debits (mortgage, auto loan, utilities, etc.) which I deposit just the right amount with every bi-weekly paycheck. The rest of my EF is in a Marcus account. Yes, I know it’s complicated lol

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WestUniversity
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by WestUniversity » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:50 am

Depending upon the month, 1-2 months expenses...

yogesh
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by yogesh » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:01 am

arf30 wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:50 pm
I wish there was an "all in one" account that could act like a checking with the interest rate of a money market or savings account so I didn't have to constantly manage balances.
I do this with Fidelity Cash Management account which acts as our checking, saving, EF account combo.
FDIC: Cash
MF: MoneyMarket
MF: Muni
Emergency: FDIC | Taxable: VT | Retirement: TR2040

arf30
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by arf30 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:17 pm

yogesh wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:01 am
I do this with Fidelity Cash Management account which acts as our checking, saving, EF account combo.
FDIC: Cash
MF: MoneyMarket
MF: Muni
I've been using Schwab, but just opened a Fidelity CMA and it looks interesting. It looks like you can keep your cash in a brokerage account which uses a money market fund as the core position. The CMA can then stay empty and will pull cash from the brokerage account to pay bills, checks, and ATM. It's a little more complicated than everything in a single account, but all of your money is earning interest.

yogesh
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by yogesh » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:36 pm

Fidelity Brokerage Account:
- Core: Money Market
- ATM Cards
- Bill Pay
- Check Writing
- Trade Stocks/ETF/MF

Fidelity Cash Management Account:
- Core: FDIC Bank
- ATM Cards
- Bill Pay
- Check Writing
- Trade Stocks/ETF/MF
Emergency: FDIC | Taxable: VT | Retirement: TR2040

arf30
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by arf30 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:40 pm

yogesh wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:36 pm
Fidelity Brokerage Account:
- Core: Money Market
- ATM Cards
- Bill Pay
- Check Writing
- Trade Stocks/ETF/MF

Fidelity Cash Management Account:
- Core: FDIC Bank
- ATM Cards
- Bill Pay
- Check Writing
- Trade Stocks/ETF/MF
The brokerage ATM doesn't refund fees unfortunately

yogesh
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by yogesh » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:47 pm

I very much like CMA as combination of checking, savings, ATM, checks, bill pay, money market, mutual funds, credit card and brokerage.
Emergency: FDIC | Taxable: VT | Retirement: TR2040

drk
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by drk » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:48 pm

Just enough for my monthly expenses. I have low usage on high credit lines, a high savings rate, and accumulated vacation time, so there's really no need to keep more than that in cash on hand.

treypar
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Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

Post by treypar » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:55 pm

I keep two months expenses in my checking account which pays very little interest.

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