For most children, the first lessons in handling money probably occurred when their parents marched them down to the local bank and had them open up a savings account and instructed them to deposit a portion of their allowance in the bank. If you were one of those children, then chances are that you were probably told that this was how you saved for a rainy day.
Over the years, you learned the value of having a savings account and how those that have one usually find themselves on a stronger financial footing than those who do not. However, now that you're older, perhaps you have a job of your own and a lot more cash is flowing through your fingers, you're told that a checking account is also essential. You might be wondering what are the differences between a checking account and a savings account. Here are a just a few to consider.
Probably the most important reason to have a checking account is for the convenience. Holders of personal checking accounts get ready access to their funds in a variety of ways. Unlike in the past, checking account holders do not have to go into the bank or write a check when they need cash. In fact, they could actually go for years and never see the inside of a bank. Today, they can have their paycheck automatically deposited directly into their accounts, check their bank statements online, and even make purchases with the use of a debit card. These advantages not only save time but also money in the long run.
Still, personal checking accounts have their downsides as well. While they are quite convenient, they are not always free. You may be assessed a number of different fees for each service that you use. Many charge fees for the use of ATMs from nonaffiliated banks, monthly maintenance fees, transactions for customer service, and you may have a limit on how much cash you can withdraw per day. Many banks will waive those fees for those who maintain a minimum balance in their account.
These are quite different from the usual ease of a savings account. However, the purpose of a checking account is different from a savings where the customer's goal is to save money while earning a modest interest rate. But when you have a checking account, your purpose is primarily to manage your money as you pay bills and make purchases. They are safer than carrying around large sums of cash and are federally insured against loss in many ways.
Personal checking accounts also work very well for the traveler. No longer is it necessary to have to carry around traveler's checks or cash when you're going to be away from home. There are many reasons why you might want to consider adding a checking account to help you manage your funds properly. It will provide you with much more financial security while making sure that you have continuous access to your money in a wide number of ways.