Checking Out: The Basics (+ Convenience) of Checking Accounts
If you’re someone who has money stashed under your mattress—we’re kidding—it’s time you opened up an easy-to-use checking account.
Who carries around cash these days? Even Uncle Bill has switched over to a checking account. Most individuals rely on their checking account and a handy debit card to take care of everyday transactions like grocery bills, movie tickets, and dining out for dinner on those special occasions.
Checking Account Basics
Checking accounts are like boxes to hold all of your money, but we’re not talking about the kind of boxes that cereal comes in. No. Think of it this way: checking accounts help keep your money (and you) safer than safe. How realistic is it to carry around wads of cash in your everyday life? Not very likely.
Checking accounts have features which make life easy. They have convenient and safe properties when it comes to money that your mattress may not share. When you deposit money into your checking account, you’re insured up to certain limits by the FDIC, which is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. FDIC insurance covers you dollar-for-dollar at insured banks, so if the bank ever closes, your money is still your money.
The big question—if you haven’t opened up a checking account already—is, will your banking institution nickel and dime you? Many banks these days have certain fees they charge for various aspects. Even for the most basic of checking accounts, these fees can certainly add up over time.
Finding the Right Bank Account for You
Are there ways to find checking accounts that don’t have so many fees? Are there ways for you to hold onto your hard-earned money instead of paying it back to your financial institution?
Let’s take a look.
Banks are working hard to appeal to you as a customer, so if you’re satisfied with where you’re banking now, then, congratulations! You’ve found a good fit! If you aren’t satisfied, but would like to be, then it may be time for you to start shopping around to see what your options are.
Checking accounts give you access to ATMs (though, keep in mind there may be out-of-network fees that may or may not be reimbursed to you at the end of each month), in-person bank branches (depending, banking is becoming more and more digital these days), debit cards, and banking options (like direct deposit or depositing a check through the use of a smart phone).
When you sign up for a checking account, you’ll be linked to your bank’s online features too, so you’ll be able to transfer money to other accounts and pay bills from your checking account, all without ever having to write a check.
Banking is becoming more and more prevalent on the digital platform and in the digital realm. It’s not uncommon to see recent college graduates depositing checks from their grandparents with the use of their smartphones and through their financial institution's banking app or seeing bank buildings transition to empty buildings and even emptier parking lots. But don’t worry, money will never go out of style!
Find Your Best Checking Account
In this day and age, it can be increasingly difficult to find low-fee or cost-free checking accounts, but don’t lose hope just yet. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.