Did you know that there are three accounts that you really should have if you want to make the most of your finances? These three accounts are as follows:

  1. An online checking or savings account with a high interest rate
  2. A regular checking or savings account with easy access
  3. Rewards credit card

Online checking/savings

Now there is no hard and fast rule that says you must have these accounts but they will make managing your money so much easier. Let’s start with the online savings account. I have a checking and savings account online with ING, which gives a higher rate of interest than my brick and mortar bank. I use the Electric checking from ING to do almost all of my bill paying because I can adjust the date and amount and I have an automated system to double check my accounting when I am done. I download (for free!!!) my transactions into Money and everything gets reconciled daily. Most of the payments are accepted as electronic checks which means the payment gets to the creditor faster and I do not have to worry about checks getting lost in the mail. Since the payments are automated I am also able to quit worrying about whether or not I actually put the check in the mail or if I just thought I did. If you are looking for an ING account then just hit me up in the comments and I will send you the link where you can make a $25 bonus just for setting up a new account.

Regular checking/savings

I love my online accounts but I still appreciate the convenience of having a physical store where I can walk in if I wanted to. This comes in handy when I need to get quarters for laundry or when I need to deposit a check that someone has written to me. I do not use this account much but you may find it handy for those times when you have a situation (like with my rent) where the only form of payment available to you is to write a paper check.

Rewards credit cards

Rewards from credit cards can come in the form of 0% or very low interest rates. It can also take the form of cash back or point accumulation that can later be redeemed. My credit cards are a combination of both types of rewards and just depend on what I qualified for at the time. I love the 0% cards because they relieve the burden of my credit card debt for a little while. When the zero percent promotion ends then the rates on these cards are low and I have managed to save money by transferring balances from cards that have a higher interest rate. I like cards that give you cash back, although it sometimes takes a long time to build up enough to redeem. These types of cards are essentially offering you a discount on every purchase so that will also help you to save some money. The thing you need to remember when using credit cards is that if you do not pay off the balance then you will end up paying interest charges and that could wipe out the benefits of the cash back. So remember to purchase (as much as possible) only when you have the cash to pay for it. Then pay off the amount, using your online account from ING, to avoid interest charges.

Those are my three must have accounts. What do you think?