App version: 0.1.0

Split Direct Deposit: A Guide to Split Deposits

Split Direct Deposit: A Guide to Split Deposits
Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated June 2, 2023
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
Have trouble remembering to set money aside in your savings account each month? You may want to set up a split direct deposit so you don’t have to think about saving money.In this article, we’ll look at what a split deposit is as well as how to split your paycheck between your checking and savings account.

What Is a Split Deposit?

To cut to the chase, a split deposit is a direct deposit to two accounts. You can automate sending a percentage of each paycheck to your savings account to help you meet your savings goal, and the rest goes into your checking account. Most employers who pay via direct deposit are willing to help you with a split deposit.

How to Split Up Direct Deposit

The first step is to look at whether you receive your paycheck as a physical check or a direct deposit. If you get a physical check, you won’t be able to do a split deposit. In this case, you would deposit the check into your checking account and then transfer funds to your savings, which is not automatic. You could, however, set up an automated transfer of a certain amount from your checking to savings each month. Just be sure that you will have enough to cover the transfer or you risk overdrafting your account.If you do get a direct deposit for your paycheck, ask your human resources contact:  can you split direct deposit between banks? Likely the answer will be yes.You may be given a form to fill out to designate the two accounts you want to split your deposit to. You’ll need to provide your account number and routing number. Review these carefully or you might end up sending your money to another bank customer!You may be able to choose between splitting a dollar amount or a percentage of each check. The good thing about a percentage is that when you receive a bump in pay, you’ll automatically be putting even more in savings. If you want to change your split contribution at any time, contact human resources again to reallocate your amounts.

 How Much Should You Be Saving?

When it comes to savings, there’s no concrete number for how much you should set aside, so start with what you can afford after paying all your monthly expenses. Also consider what you’re saving for.The first goal you should save money for is an emergency fund. Budget how much you would need to cover an unexpected car repair, replacing a computer or phone, or anything else that could come up.After you reach that savings goal, you might want to save for:
  • A vacation
  • A renovation
  • Buying a house
  • Purchasing a car
  • A wedding
Not sure where to start? Begin by setting aside 10% of your paycheck. If you can afford more, increase this amount. If you want to be aggressive in your saving approach (maybe you want to take a vacation sooner rather than later), consider what expenses you could cut out to save for that vacation.

 Saving Into Savings Account

The biggest perk of splitting your deposit and putting money into a savings account is that your money earns interest, unlike in a checking account. And because this money is out of sight, you won’t be as tempted to spend it as you would the money in your checking account.If you’re planning on opening a bank account in 2023, consider adding a savings account to your application. 

Saving Into Checking Account

Technically, you can also save money in your checking account, though it won’t earn interest. There is the option of having a money market account, which is kind of like a cross between a checking and a savings account: your money earns interest but you aren’t penalized for withdrawing funds, and you can use a debit card for purchases from your account.Recommended: How Much Does the Average American Have in Savings

Pros of Split Deposits

So why should you split your paycheck deposits? There are a few reasons to consider it.

You Can Save Without Thinking About It

For many people, manually transferring money to a savings account is hard to remember to do, and before they know it, they’ve spent their entire paycheck without setting any aside. But if you automate your savings by splitting part of your paycheck into your savings account, your savings will grow without you giving it a single thought.

You Learn to Stick to a Budget

When all extra money is being funneled into savings, you don’t have the luxury of blowing your budget with the surplus in your savings account. You’ll have to pay close attention to what you’re spending, and in which categories, which is a good financial habit.

Your Money Earns Interest

Because you aren’t dumping all your money in your checking account, what you’re setting aside will earn interest. Over time, this can add up and help you reach your savings goals faster!

It’s Free and Easy

If your company offers a split direct deposit, it’s simple to do in a matter of minutes, and there is no charge to set it up.

 Cons of Split Deposits

All that being said, there are a few things to consider with split direct deposits.

Paper Checks Won’t Have This Option

If your company is old-school and pays you with a physical check, you won’t be able to do a split deposit. You’ll have to manually transfer money to savings, or you can automate this.

You’ll Have Less Discretionary Cash

If you’re used to having more money in your checking account, it may take some getting used to when you’ve got less because part of your paycheck is being funneled into your savings account. Keep a close eye on your budget and your account balance to avoid overdrafts and fees.

Split Deposits and Your Taxes

While we’re talking about split deposits, if you’re expecting a tax refund, did you know you can also have the IRS split the deposit into up to three different accounts? Since a tax refund is, in a way, “extra” money, by setting up a split deposit, you can put the money where you need it, whether that’s in a savings account for an emergency fund, a different account for your vacation fund, and a little in your checking account to buy something fun to celebrate your tax refund.

The Takeaway

Saving money doesn’t have to be a headache. When you set up a split direct deposit, you don’t have to think about setting money aside, and it’ll earn interest while you sleep.Get started with a savings account

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you split your paycheck?
How do I deposit one check into two accounts?
What is full or partial direct deposit?
Photo credit: iStock/FreshSplash

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Su Guillory is a freelance business writer and expat coach. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi. She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards.
Share this article: