What is Barren Money?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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Just about everyone has some barren money in his or her possession. Essentially, barren money is any cash reserves that are not earning any type of interest income for the owner. There are several examples of money that is not earning interest to be found with just about every household. Here are some examples of barren money, and what you can do to change the situation.

The single most common type of barren money is found in your checking account. While there are a number of interest bearing checking accounts offered today, many people continue to maintain the same checking account they established years ago. In some cases, this is done because there is no requirement to maintain a minimum balance. For people who do have enough income to build up a small nest egg in the household checking account, it is a good idea to shop around and find a bank that offers an interest bearing checking account. In many cases, the required minimum daily balance may not be as high as you think. Plus, you will earn a small amount off your balance each month.


Another example of household money not earning interest is found with cash reserves that are kept around the home. Often, this is the emergency fund that the household keeps on hand, so there is need to have to run to the bank in the event of some sort of unanticipated financial crisis. In times past, when banks were closed on weekends and there was no such thing as an automated teller machine with twenty-four hour coverage, this approach made a great deal of sense. However, there is not any real reason to keep a large amount of money around the home these days. Set up an interest bearing account, deposit those cash reserves that used to reside under the mattress, and start earning a little bit of interest while you wait for that emergency.

One last example of barren money has to do with funds that are kept around for general spending money. This type of barren money is usually found in a wallet or purse. Once again, the advent of the ATM has made this method somewhat unnecessary. Very few businesses these days do not take debit cards for payment. This includes many fast food restaurants, most movie theaters, and just about all retail stores. In short, the odds of needing cash to make a purchase are quite slim. Instead of keeping money in your wallet, put it in your interest bearing account at the bank and then use your debit card when needed. Remember there is almost always an ATM machine nearby if you need quick cash.


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