Most households in France have a bank account. According to the National Consumer Institute (INC), this is an “accounting instrument on which are recorded all the transactions carried out between the bank and its client”. In other words, this is where you receive your salaries, pensions, allowances; and it is thanks to him that you can pay for your purchases (by card, check, or by withdrawing cash). Your financial life therefore revolves, essentially, around your bank account, and today, it would seem difficult to do without it.
Especially since in addition to the current booklet, some savings accounts offer advantageous solutions to earn a few pennies thanks to interest rates.
But not only: bank accounts are also a great way to organize your budget and learn how to save, in addition to making your money grow.
The INC notes that “99% of French people are banked. Some are even multi-banked, that is to say they have several accounts in the same bank or in different banks.”
The most essential account, and which generally goes hand in hand with registration in a bank, is the current account. It is in this booklet that your cash inflows will be paid, and you will be able to use its funds at will – or, at least, according to the conditions set out by your bank.
In France, the “right to an account” is also provided for by law. According to Article L. 312-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code, “any natural or legal person domiciled in France, any natural person of French nationality residing outside France, and any natural person legally residing in the territory of a Member State of the European Union and not acting for professional purposes, and without a deposit account, is entitled to open such an account in the credit institution of his choice.”
But your banking institution certainly allows you to open more than one account, and you should not deprive yourself of it.
To best manage your budget, it is important to know, first of all, how to separate your expenses over time.
Having several bank accounts can be a solution to help you see things more clearly.
For example, every month, you pay certain current and essential expenses: rent, credit, food shopping, monthly bills, etc. These expenses can be deducted directly from your current account.
But on the other hand, for annual expenses (bills, taxes, etc.) it is better to transfer the money needed each month to a specific account. This way, you won’t be taken aback when it’s time to pay the bill: everything will already be provided for in your specific bank account.
Having a “leisure and gift” or “travel” expense account can also be a good idea: each month, transfer a few euros from your current account into this special booklet. When you need to draw from it, it will be filled and you will no longer need to crunch into your current account.
Your bank certainly allows you to also open savings and investment books. Do not hesitate to take advantage of it! These, depending on their interest rate, can make your money grow from month to month. Above all, they will also allow you to see more clearly in your projects.
Also, if you want to reserve part of your salary or pension each month for a specific investment project, consider creating a special account for it (for example “Real estate purchase”, “Cryptocurrencies”…).
Also essential: the “emergency” savings account, where you can deposit around one to three months’ wages. It will help you to overcome any unforeseen events.
There are therefore no real rules as to the number of bank accounts you should or should not have: it all depends on your situation, your needs, your projects. Note that a current account and an “emergency” savings account are however essential.
By having several accounts, you will however be able to distribute your budget, anticipate and calmly plan your financial future.
But this system can have some drawbacks, and in particular, its cost. Some banks will charge you an additional credit card for each account opened, or will require payment of specific bank charges.
Then, if you are the type to scatter, avoid opening dozens of accounts: you need to be able to find your way around, and keep an overview of your assets and expenses at all times…