Laura covers ten products that everyone needs in order to create financial security, make more money, and manage your money the best way possible.
Having a healthy financial life means that you manage money wisely in the present and are also prepared for the future.
Our goal should be to create a rock solid financial foundation, so we’re comfortable and less stressed when something unexpected happens, like losing a job or business income, getting sick, or losing someone you love.
There are many different types of products designed to help you manage your personal finances. In this article I’ll review 10 products that everyone needs in order to create financial security, make more money, and manage your money the best way possible.
Free Resource: Laura's Recommended Tools—use them to earn more, save more, and accomplish more with your money!
10 Products to Make Money and Create Financial Security
Make sure you use these products to create a strong financial foundation for you and your family:
1. Checking account
While having a checking account might seem basic, according to the FDIC, almost 8% of American households don’t have one. That’s close to 10 million households that are “unbanked.”
People who don’t use a checking account tend to keep and carry large amounts of cash, which isn’t safe. If your cash is stolen or destroyed in a natural disaster, you can’t get it back.
Everyone needs a checking account with a bank or credit union to manage income and expenses. It’s really difficult to create and stick to a spending plan if you don’t have a centralized place to monitor your cash flow.
You can link up your checking account to money management software or apps like Quicken, Mint, or Personal Capital and manage your money from there. Having your everyday transactions online gives you an easy way to track them. Otherwise, you’re stuck with a manual system that can be difficult and time-consuming.
Additionally, a paper or online bank statement gives you a permanent record of your deposits and payments. Having proof of payment allows you to take advantage of tax deductions more easily, such as medical expenses, charitable donations, job hunting, moving, and unreimbursed business expenses.
Using a checking account is incredibly convenient and most are free. The best accounts—such as the 360 Checking from Capital One—pay interest and offer a wide variety of free online and mobile services such as:
- direct deposit
- online bill pay
- debit cards
- automatic teller machines (ATMs)
- overdraft protection
- unlimited transactions
Free Resource: Online Bank Comparison Chart (PDF download)
2. High-yield savings account
While checking accounts come with unlimited transactions, that’s not the case with a savings account. You can make as many deposits as you like into a savings account, but you’re typically limited to 6 withdrawals per month.
A savings account is the best place for your emergency fund, which is a financial safety net that everyone should have.
The benefit of a high-yield savings account is that they pay more interest than a checking account. So it’s the perfect place to save money for your short term goals like holiday spending, taking a vacation, or buying a car. You can even have multiple savings accounts for different purposes.
A savings account is also the best place for your emergency fund, which is a financial safety net that everyone should have. Think about your emergency money as insurance against life’s unexpected expenses, such as a big car repair bill, a last-minute plane ticket, or being suddenly out of work.
Figure out how much you spend each month on necessities and bills, then multiply that amount by 3 months. That’s the minimum amount you need to keep on hand and never touch--except in the case of a dire emergency.
Keeping your emergency funds in savings separates it from the rest of your money and earns more interest than you could with a checking account. While it can be tempting to invest your emergency money for higher returns, don’t do it. Keep that bucket of money completely safe from risk so the full amount is there when you need it.
You can open up a savings account at the same company where you have a checking account, or use a different institution. Some great high-yield choices include Discover Savings, American Express Personal Savings, and 360 Savings.