Do you have a checking account? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t. Checking accounts are the forgotten stepchild of personal finance. Even though they are essential in helping your money stay organized and accessible any time of the day or night, many people shy away from them as they feel there is no need to have one. 

However, it can be much more costly than necessary if you’re not using your checking account wisely. But what’s so good about having a checking account? The answer is simple: you can access different financial products that allow you to grow your savings and manage your debts simultaneously. 

These accounts come in different forms and are offered by different financial institutions. Read on to learn more about them and see if any of them might be right for you.

What is a Checking Account?

A checking account is merely an account that allows you to write checks and make deposits to your own (or someone else’s) account. For example, if you have a $10,000 income and want to deposit $2,000 each month into your savings account, you could write a check for $2,000 and then deposit the remaining $8,000 into your savings account. 

Many people use checking accounts to manage a small portion of their finances. Some people use checking accounts as a place to store cash while they focus on other expenses, like paying the mortgage, bills, and grocery shopping. Others use checking accounts to park their savings while focusing on other expenses, like paying the mortgage and bills.

What’s the difference between a Savings Account and a Checking Account?

One of the main reasons why people don’t use checking accounts is that they think it’s the same as having a savings account. However, there are some main differences between these two types of accounts. First, a savings account provides only a limited amount of flexibility. 

Your money is yours to do as you please, but you can’t write checks from it or transfer them to other people. You can only withdraw the money and pay certain types of taxes when you make an ordinary or Roth IRA contribution.

Types of Checking Accounts

Different checking accounts also vary in terms of their benefits and privileges. The following are the most common types of checking accounts: 

Savings Account

A savings account is similar to a savings account at a bank. You can only make withdrawals, but you are not allowed to write checks from it. Some banks provide bill-pay and online bill-pay services to help you manage your bills easily. In addition, you can also choose between electronic and paperless banking. 

Checking Account: 

A checking account allows you to make deposits, write checks, and make electronic transfers. Most banks charge a fee of $10 per month or less for using a checking account. 

Money Market Account 

A money market account allows you to make extremely small daily or weekly deposits. However, most banks will not provide you with a fee break. 

Certificate of Deposit: 

A certificate of deposit is similar to a savings account. However, you must put money aside for a certain amount of time. In addition, you can get a high-interest rate on a certain amount of money for a fixed time.

What Confers Special Privileges to a Checking Account?

Checking accounts come with the ability to make special privileges, or they wouldn’t be called a checking account. One of these privileges is gaining access to a debit card. Most people do not have debit cards, but they do have checking accounts. 

Using this card, you can easily pay for anything that is not cash, such as groceries, gas, or even your monthly bills. In addition, you can also get access to check cashers such as cash for checks and cash for bills. These are businesses that will exchange your paper checks for cash.

Pros of Using a Checking Account

There is lot of benefits of using a checking account. Here are some them are discussed.

Flexibility

A checking account gives you flexibility, which means that you can keep your budget on track while also having the ability to access other financial products. You can access these products with your debit card, and you can also use these products with a credit card. It’s a great way to balance the budget. 

Less Paperwork: 

Unlike a savings account, a checking account does not require paperwork. It’s a shame that many people still use a savings account. 

Easy Access: 

A checking account is easy to access, as you can usually access it at any time of the day or night. You can also use your debit card at most places and pay for things without worrying about cash or debit cards. 

No Need to Open a New Account: 

Many people prefer to use a checking account over a savings account because there is no need to open a new account or even change accounts. 

Lower Fees: 

For some people, the fees associated with a savings account are too high. You can easily switch back and forth between a checking account and a savings account without incurring any fees.

Cons of Having a Checking Account

High Fees 

Some banks charge high fees for using a checking account. It’s important to find the right one that has low fees. 

Paperwork

A checking account requires paperwork, which can be difficult for some people to manage. 

Limited Flexibility: 

A checking account only gives you a small amount of flexibility. 

Higher Risk: 

Like any type of account, a checking account has a risk. You need to keep your funds in a bank account that is FDIC insured to have your money protected. 

Low Funds Availability: 

If you leave your funds in a checking account, you could lose them. If you don’t use them, they could be lost.

Summary

A checking account is like a debit card that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals and check your balance at any time. It also comes with a debit card and access to check cashers. A virtual debit card makes it easy to pay for things without having cash, like groceries and gas. A checking account also comes with some cons, like high fees, paperwork, and a lower amount of flexibility.