What Does a Bank Account's Standard Balance Mean?

What Does a Bank Account's Standard Balance Mean?

Cash that you want to spend shortly should be kept at your bank. Since you can easily access the money when you need it, it’s also a wise choice for emergency savings. But when it comes to how much money you keep in the bank, it’s crucial to be wise.

A huge cash balance prevents you from investing it to increase your fortune. Additionally, there is a chance of losing money as a result of identity theft or other issues. 

Knowing what other people do with their money can be useful, especially if you go into the specifics, even though comparisons can often encourage harmful behavior. 

What Is the Typical Balance in a Bank Account?

Every three years, the Federal Reserve collects data on income, debt, assets, and other financial aspects for the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). 

The most recent SCF, from 2019, counts the assets held in prepaid debit cards, savings accounts, money market accounts, and checking accounts. 

The average bank account balance in the United States is $40,000, with $5,300 serving as the median balance. Approximately 98 percent of families had balances to report in the 2019 study, as opposed to 93 percent in the 2013 analysis. 

The main cause of that increase is prepaid debit cards being included as a “transaction account” alongside conventional checking and savings accounts.

As you can see, the average in this data is much greater than the median. This is because households with very large account balances make the average higher, but the median is probably more important for most Americans.

The median is the average of all survey responses.

The data can be messed up by a small number of people who have saved a lot, but the average takes into account all of the answers.

Average income and average bank balance

It should come as no surprise that your household’s income affects how much money you keep in the bank. Households with higher incomes typically have greater checks and savings. 

Only 36.5% of households in the 20th percentile at the bottom, according to the 2019 SCF, saved money. However, more than 85% of families in the top 20th percentile saved money.

The median bank balance for various income brackets is shown below:

  • With an average salary of $14,400, the bottom 20%: $800
  • With an average salary of $31,800, the subsequent 20th percentile is $2,100.
  • With an average salary of $53,400, the next 20th percentile is $4,300.
  • With an average salary of $87,400, the next 20th percentile is $10,000.
  • With an average salary of $138,700, the following 10% is $20,000.
  • With an average salary of $514,700, the top 10% earn $70,000.

Again, due to a limited percentage of households with sizable savings, the average bank account amount for each group is larger. 

For example, the average amount in the bank accounts of the poorest 20% of households is $4,700, while the richest 10% have about $228,000 in the bank.

Occupation and holdings in bank accounts.

It seems obvious that the type of role you complete affects your bank account because your employment directly affects your revenue. The median bank account balances for the following worker types are shown in the SCF:

  • Professional or managerial: $13,000, with an average salary of $71,700.
  • average of $3,200 in technical, sales, or service, with a $20,600 average
  • $3,200 with an average salary of $11,000 for all other occupations.
  • $3,700 for those who are retired or unemployed, on average $39,800

Balances in Bank Accounts by Race

The number of bank accounts that people of different races own varies significantly as well. Using the categories below, the SCF displays the median account balances:

  • White people who are not Hispanic: $8,200, on average $51,400.
  • Non-Hispanic Black or African-American: $1,500, with an average salary of $8,600.
  • Latino or Hispanic: $2,000, on average $16,700.
  • with an average of $33,900 for other races or many races.

The Financial Impact of Family Structure

Those who have kids might be curious about how other families manage, and childless couples might not recognize the advantages of the dual-income-no-kids (DINK) situation. The median transaction account holdings for families of various categories are as follows:

  • For single parents with kids; the average household income is $15,900.
  • Single, without children, and younger than 55: $3,000; on average, $13,100.
  • Over 55, single, without children: $3,200; on average, $27,500.
  • $7,500 for a couple with children, on average $48,500
  • Couple without children: $11,000, or $68,200 on average

Higher Account Balances and Education

Higher bank account balances and more education appear to go hand in hand. Your income will undoubtedly grow with a college degree and additional coursework. 

But it’s important to know the problems that come with high student debt and how socioeconomic status affects both education and personal finances in general.

Based on the head of household’s level of education, the SCF shows that the median account balance goes up as education goes up.

  • $1,000 for those without a high school diploma; the average is $9,200.
  • $2,500 for a high school diploma, with a typical value of $20,100
  • $3,900 for a little college, on average $23,500
  • $15,400 for a college degree, with an average of $78,900

The SCF classifies the following account types as “transaction accounts”:

Checking accounts are frequently utilized for daily spending and direct deposit.

Savings accounts are slightly less liquid than checking accounts, but they typically pay a return on savings.

Money market accounts with the possibility of a checkbook or payment cards that pay interest

Prepaid debit cards, which can serve as an account alternative.

Notably, certificates of deposit are not included in the list (CDs). The average household’s $75,600 in CDs (with a median of $25,000) is affected by the same demographic factors as the median household’s $25,000 in CDs.

Prepaid cards were introduced following the 2013 survey, which was a significant move that increased the number of households with savings to one in 20. 

These households may be referred to as “underbanked,” as they either opt not to have a bank account or are unable to acquire one. Even though prepaid cards offer useful financial services, it’s still good to be able to use local bank and credit union services.


How can I figure out my bank account’s average monthly balance?

Divide the amount by the number of days in the month to get your end-of-day balances for every day of the month. If your daily balances built up to $96,000 and there were 30 days in a month, your average balance would be $3,200.

Does the average balance in my bank account impact my credit score?

No, The information can’t damage your credit score because banks don’t share information about your account with the credit bureaus. 

If you overdraw your account or accrue other fees that you don’t pay, and the bank transfers your account over to a collection agency, there is an exception. These organizations do submit credit bureau reports.

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