Can you have multiple bank accounts?

I'm 16 and going to get a job and I was wondering if you can have bank accounts with multiple banks. I want to do this so I can put money in each account for seperater things such as saving for a car, and spending money, ect. Can I do this?

Best Answer:

megan: FYI to the Americans who didn't notice, this is a British question. Banking works differently here – there is never any trouble with fees unless you actually go into overdraft, and at 16, you're not allowed to do that.

Now to the question. No problem. Many people do this. You can have as many as you like.

And usually people have at least two. You'll want a current account (or as you're under 18, a young person's account) to be paid into and spend from, and on that you'll have a debit card to spend with and get cash out with. And then there are savings accounts and the point of those is to just leave money there so it earns interest. Interest tends not to be much these days (it's been pretty bad since the financial crisis of 2008) but it's free money! No debit card, you can only put money in or take it out at the bank or move money online, but this kind of account isn't meant for regular use.

I have my current account but I also have several savings accounts for varying reasons, usually that I was given a big lump sum and there are savings accounts sometimes called "bonds" where you can lock a lump sum away for a certain number of years. The point of that is because I can't touch it until the time is up, I get more interest. Knowing that my money is locked up for that long, the bank can do more lucrative things with it and I get some of the reward for that. I can't put any more away into one of those! – so I HAVE to have more than one. Of course don't do that unless you KNOW you won't need the money for that long.

So in total I have five accounts, with two banks and two building societies. That's one current account, one instant access ISA, one instant access savings account, and two bonds. Plus some money in unit trusts.

So there you go – start with a young person's debit card account (the kind of current account you can have because you aren't 18 yet) to have wages paid into and for spending money from. That'll be your spending money account. Then when you have some to put away, you can open savings accounts, and if it helps you to have more than one for different things you want to save for, you can have them.

One last idea you might like to think about. Something I've always done is save by standing order. What you can do on a current account is make a standing order, which says "put £X into this account on the same day every week/month/year". So when you've worked out how much you normally have left over each time you get paid, you could set up a standing order to say, maybe, "pay £20 on the 1st of every month into the account with sort code 12-34-56 and account number 12345678". That sort code and account number could be the numbers of your car savings account, your house savings account, your holiday fund, whatever. And the bank will continue to do that every month until you tell it to stop, which you always can at any time. There's no charge for doing this.

I like this because it MAKES you save, and it will get done even if you forget. The bank won't forget.

Other answer:

yeah, you may have as numerous accounts as you want… the only thing to consider is you need to make sure that the accounts do not have a service fee or a minimum monthly balance requirement… most local banks and credit unions have savings accounts that have very small minimum balance requirement, and most large banks offer free checking accounts that do not have minimum balance requirement… make sure that you keep watch on the statements of the accounts 'cause a bank shall not notify you of a service fee gradually decreasing your balance… they also shall not reverse those fees in most cases… don't link accounts used for savings to any type of a plastic card… the odds of you having an accidental overdraft, even on a savings account, multiply exponentially if you have a card… overdraft fees are what keeps the banks in business, and more and more banks are assuming the policy that they shall not reverse overdraft fees for any reason other than bank error…
Yeah, I've done that. It didn't really work, though. I still spent.
yes you can have multiple account unless you have a heavy transaction on those accounts.
at 16 you won't have even one without a cosigner, you cannot have any bank account on your own
I have four accounts at two different banks in different states.
Hmm! Indeed, the bank is only responsible for a part of your money, the more the better
You can have as many as you like. It's an extreme method to discipline yourself in my opinion. If they all have low balances the monthly fees would quickly add up. It is easier to just put it in one savings account and track goals within it. There are tools with many of the larger banks which allow you to set goals for savings so you can see your progress to a new car or such.

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