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>> this is terribly heavyweight and overkill when I don't need a full blown VM

The entire concept you're aiming to set up is terribly heavyweight and overkill. If you're knowledgeable enough to be discussing VMs and chroots, you must realize that what you are proposing is being careful to the point of paranoia à la tinfoil hat. Those of us who know how to stay as safe as possible via "basic" methods of security should be sleeping soundly knowing we're already in the top 5-10% of consumers. Install OS security updates, use a virus scanner and firewall, don't install pirated software (more likely to contain malware), and you're better off than most people by a significant margin.

You're talking about barely making a dent in the chances of your credentials or sessions being compromised. Private browsing, a separate browser instance, a VM, or chroot makes no difference if you have malware with a keylogger on the host system. Give yourself a break, realize that there is no such thing as "perfect security", and stop worrying so much. The amount of energy you're pouring into "banking safely" is not a sane endeavor. It serves no useful purpose. You could be investing this time and energy into something far more likely to improve your quality of life (eg: family, friends, health, etc.).

I've seen so many people stress about getting their credit card stolen or bank accounts hacked. It's rather ridiculous considering you don't bear the liability of a hack. If you didn't access or approve a usage of your accounts, the banks just give it back. I have had money stolen more than once from skimmers and I have never had any trouble getting it all back.

tl;dr relax, go for a walk

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