Got a quiz in my email this morning and thought we’d have some fun with it :)
We’ve used checking account balance data to develop a quiz that ranks your checking account balance relative to your peers in the US. We also tell you know how much banks are earning from you. Check it out:
I thought your readers would find this interesting.
I checked it out, and by jove it was interesting! And you don’t even have to enter your email at the end to see the results – imagine that? You just answer two simple questions and you’re good to go…. (both of which you should know by heart, though I’ll give you a pass on the 2nd one so long as you get the first one right ;)):
- What is your age?
- What is your household’s checking balance?
Then hit submit, and voila!
Here’s what it shot back after putting in my own info:
And here’s what I plugged in, since you know – we’re all about transparency ;)
- My age: 38
- Our household checking account: $2,091.66
Of course, on its own these stats don’t mean much since people stash their $$$ in all kinds of different places (you could have $5.00 in checking but $5 Million in savings! Or $0 in savings and checking, but $500,000 in investments!), but still kinda neat to see I suppose…
As for the 2nd promise of the quiz on how much banks are *earning off of us*, clicking the “next” button will get you to that screen next.
(Though FYI you have to look closely down towards the bottom or else you’ll miss it like I did the first time around… Also be sure you’re only entering dollar amounts and not the change in your checking account or its liable to inflate your #’s which is also something I goofed on the first go at it ;))
Here’s again what it showed for me:
So apparently USAA makes $150 off me each year :) Hope you’re enjoying it, guys! Haha… But honestly, that’s great news. They SHOULD be making money off me so I can continue enjoying all their free services! I’d even PAY them $150 a year if I had to to keep my accounts, haha… I absolutely love them!
Obviously not everyone feels the same way about their bank, so perhaps if this number pisses you off it’ll force you to act and move it elsewhere :) Though spoiler alert – this is how banks make their money: by using YOUR money while it’s just sitting there doing nothing.
So I won’t be changing up my game plan anytime soon, however I will say it’s INCREDIBLY fascinating seeing how much *others* keep in their checking accounts from all their data this company’s collected.
Check out this clip from that same quiz post:
We studied data on individual checking account balances and, unsurprisingly, there is wide variation in how much money people keep in checking accounts. On one hand, there are the 30 million households that have balances of less than $1,000 dollars. And on the other extreme are the 200 households who keep more than $20,000,000 in their checking account.
$20 MILLION DOLLARS!!!! IN A CHECKING ACCOUNT! Can you imagine?
Good for them for amassing so much, but wow… That’s a looooot of money being parked making verrrrrrrry little in return, man… At least move some of that money over and get it invested, right? Or maybe they are, and $20,000,000 is comparatively the same to our checking accounts because they have $200,000,000 parked elsewhere? Wouldn’t that be something?! ;)
Unfortunately we’ll never know the real reasoning behind it, but just to keep me sane I’m going to assume that’s the case because if you’ve managed to get $20 mil banked you’re probably smart enough to know what to do with it :) Or perhaps they finally realized they have enough and are now perfectly fine living off the interest? Because any % of $20 Mil would be more than enough to live off for decades/ generations to come!
But outside of gawking, there is another reason for me posting this up today. While I am curious to see how much you guys are keeping in your checking accounts, I’m more interested in knowing the “whys” behind it. Similar to our millionaire friends above.
- Do you keep a lot in there because it makes you feel comfortable?
- Do you keep a little in there because you prefer maximizing your returns instead?
- Or are you somewhere in the middle – like me – who probably has more padding than needed, but still devotes a bulk of their money elsewhere like with investments?
We typically always keep between $1,000-$2,000 in our checking just for padding, which I don’t think is too much, but on the flip side we have wayyyyyyy more than we “should” in our savings account right now ($90,000+). Mainly because it’s a nice change for us to see (I always recommend holding onto cash when you come into a large amount, just to let it all soak in!), but also because I’m self-employed and now have like a billion babies to feed ;)
I know others though that have maybe $100 in their checking and $200 in their savings, but every other dollar maxed to its gills because they can’t stand their money not working for them!
No right or wrong paths here, but only if it’s all being done by design and not out of laziness or lack of thought :)
And I have to re-share my post here on how you DON’T need every last dollar maximized in order to “be good” with your money, btw. In a perfect world that would be nice, but we don’t live in perfect worlds and we’re all different creatures with all different emotions. So again, it’s a matter of lining up what best works for YOU, and not necessarily doing things just because others say it’s “better.”
If you’re not happy with your situation though, or curious to see how others are managing their money, then keep your minds open and hopefully the comments today will help you put things in better perspective!
Which is my ask of everyone reading this today: Will you share with us how you manage your money when it comes to banking and systems? How much is in your main checking account right now, and is it by design or default?
Quizzes are fun, but they’re even better when there’s a point attached :) So share your juicy #’s with us today and help us learn from them!! Especially if any of you are sitting on $20 MILLION!!
PS: For more quizzes with and without points, see below:
- What Kind of Saver Are You?
- Could You Pass This $$$ Quiz?
- How Serious Are You About Early Retirement?
- QUIZ: How Broke Are You?
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!