Checking AccountsPersonal Finance
A checking operates primarily as a financial transfer account. This account exists almost purely to hold money until it is ready to be withdrawn or spent. You withdraw, charge, or write checks against the balance of the account. Virtually all checking accounts come with a debit card and written checks. The debit card functions as a direct charge for in store transactions or a card which can withdraw money from any Automated Teller Machine. ATM machines have their own fees. Some goes to the bank itself as a servicing fee; the rest goes to the ATM’s owner or operator. The amount withdrawn is also subtracted from your checking account, encouraging you to find a bank with free ATM fees.
Opening an Account
Opening a checking account is simple. Visit any bank location, any credit union, or most online banks and simply apply. Most banks only allow you to open an account after age 18.
Your checking account usually comes with substantial fees and expenses. Checking accounts can have fees for checks, overdrafts, statements, tellers, and occasionally monthly maintenance. The lower the fees are, the more of your own money you get to keep. It’s important to compare fees before you create a checking account and chain direct deposits.
Since checking accounts are primarily for transactions, keeping track of spending is absolutely essential. When a low checking account balance has a withdrawal beyond the remaining amount, you will overdraft the account and create debts. Overdraft charges will be charged against your account, increasing the amount of money owed. A bounced check can cost you even more, and possibly create legal problems.
Linking your checking account to a savings account may help. An automatic transfer might occur when your account incurs an overdraft. Ask your bank if savings to checking transfers automatically occur on overdrafts. Overdrafts charges will reduce our emergency fund, but will avoid fees. As a result, keeping track of your checking account balance is absolutely essential. Most checking accounts let you review your balance online. You can easily request mailed or text messaged bank statements.
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