I was reading the Wall Street Journal this morning, and guess who was featured? It was our own Sunny Sarkar explaining how he keeps banking costs low. This is the part about Sunny:
Alternatives to Banks
Bhaskar Sarkar, a software engineer in Flower Mound, Texas, has stopped using banks altogether. Instead, he parks his cash in a brokerage account at Fidelity, where he is using a municipal money-market mutual fund as his core account. While most brokerage accounts have cash-management features, such as check writing and bill paying, Fidelity's checking-account equivalent, dubbed "mySmart Cash," also offers ATM-fee reimbursements and a no-fee overdraft policy.
By linking the two accounts, Mr. Sarkar is able to withdraw cash from any ATM and have the money pulled from his brokerage account -- all without fees. He aims to keep all of his cash in the money-market fund, where he's earning more interest, and a zero balance in his my Smart Cash account.
Compared to a traditional bank checking account, says the 38-year-old Mr. Sarkar, this arrangement is "more like a no-strings-attached account where I could keep as little or as much as I wanted in it."
Congratulations and best wishes.