How to grow your savings with a checking and savings account

Teenage girl pushing friend in wheelchair with sunglasses on along the sunny beach sidewalk
« Return to Learn

Every hero needs an ally — someone who complements their strengths and balances out their weaknesses. Imagine Iron Man without J.A.R.V.I.S. or Batman without Alfred. They might still do some good in the world, but neither would have reached their full potential without help. 

Your money is no different. If you want to maximize your financial wellness, you need more than just a checking or a savings account. You need a dynamic duo: checking and savings accounts that work together to help your money reach its full potential. 

Although each type of account has its own separate function, using them together creates a synergy that helps you grow your savings while keeping your day-to-day finances fluid and accessible. If you’re only using one or the other, you’re operating at only half of your financial capacity.  

Why you need both a checking and savings account 

At first glance, checking and savings accounts might not seem all that different. You put your money in and take it out when you need it. But because each type of account is designed for a different role, you lose efficiency when you have just one account that doubles for both your checking and savings needs. 

So, what’s the key difference between checking and savings? 

Your checking account serves as a clearinghouse for your spending money. Think of it as your personal home base for your money. This is where you put the funds that will pay your bills and monthly expenses. Your money typically doesn’t stay in this account for long — and it’s not meant to. It’s normal to have a lot of money movement in there! A checking account is designed to keep your funds instantly accessible while making it easy to track both deposits coming in and payments going out. 

A savings account, on the other hand, serves as a place for the money you want to store. It keeps your savings safe and separate from your spending money, allowing you to easily build up your cash. While you might occasionally dip into it, your funds generally remain in savings for a longer amount of time, earning interest and growing on its own with minimal supervision.  

Opening a checking account is a great first step when you’re just starting out in life, but too many people stop there or park their cash when it could be doing more. If you want to level up financially, a savings account can help you move beyond getting the bills paid and create a game plan to increase your saving power. 

How to maximize the synergy between checking and savings accounts  

Like running water, your money is constantly in motion. Your job is to manage and direct its flow. As money pours into your checking account, it’s up to you to decide how much needs to remain fluid each month to cover your immediate expenses and how much to set aside for your future goals. 

When you have both a checking and a savings account at the same financial institution, directing the flow of your money is easy. For example, you can: 

  • Seamlessly move money between your accounts, ensuring your funds always get to the right place. 

  • Automate your savings with automatic transfers and deposits so you can keep growing your money with minimal effort. 

  • Use your savings account as a buffer against accidental overdrafts. 

  • Set up alerts that notify you when you reach your spending limit or achieve a savings goal. 

Choosing the right dynamic duo 

If you’re serious about leveling up your savings, it’s important to choose your checking and savings accounts wisely. While any account can get the basic job done, they’re not all created equal. 

When choosing a checking account, for instance, look for one with no monthly service fees or minimum balance — like OCCU’s high yield checking account, Remarkable Checking.* Unlike most checking accounts, this one allows you to earn interest on your balance. Over time, that adds up to extra money you can use to accelerate your savings or make guilt-free purchases. 

When selecting a place to stash your savings, bypass the standard savings account and go straight for a high-yield savings account. OCCU’s Ignite Savings account has a significantly higher interest rate than a typical savings account, which helps your money grow even faster. With Ignite Savings, you earn 5.25% APY on the first $500 you deposit, plus competitive rates on the rest of your balance.** 

We’ve designed our Remarkable Checking and Ignite Savings accounts to work together in perfect harmony. You can maximize your money’s growth while minimizing barriers to move funds from one account to the other. Here are three easy steps to get started with both accounts: 

  1. Start by depositing your money into your checking account.  

  1. Consider moving at least $500 into your savings account to take full advantage of both top-of-market interest rates.  

  1. Decide how much you can afford to save each month and set up an automatic monthly transfer. 

Congratulations, you’ve now powered up your savings with the dynamic duo: Remarkable Checking and Ignite Savings.  

Now sit back and watch your money grow! 

 

*1.00% annual percentage yield offered on Remarkable Checking applies to the first $20,000 and 1.00% - .20% APY on balances greater than $20,000, subject to the qualifying factors (the “Qualifying Factors”) being met during each statement cycle: i) 12 debit card transactions must clear through your account during the cycle; ii) one direct deposit or other ACH credit or withdrawal must clear through your account during the cycle; and iii) maintain active enrollment in eStatements during the cycle. If one or more of the Qualifying Factors are not met, you will receive default interest of .05% APY for that statement cycle. Automatic payment is defined as a payment pulled from a Remarkable Checking account by an outside source and excludes OCCU’s Bill Pay service. APY effective 6/01/2022 and subject to change. 

**Ignite Savings account annual percentage yield (APY) and rate may change. Fees could reduce earnings. 5.25% APY on balances up to $500, 5.25%-3.45% APY on balances $500.01-$2,500, 3.45%-2.23% APY on balances $2,500.01-$5,000, 2.23%-0.85% APY on balances $5,000.01-$25,000, and 0.85%-0.15% APY on balances of more than $25,000.01. First-year earnings are based on a 12-month average.