If you're starting a job....You will need a checking account.
If you want a to get a debit card...You will need a checking account.
If you are ready to make purchases...You will need a checking account.
The question is....WHAT CHECKING ACCOUNT SHOULD YOU GET?
You may have heard special offers for student checking accounts, high-interest earning checking accounts, checking accounts with monthly transaction fees, etc.
All of the options make the decision process confusing, and I think we're oftentimes tempted to "open an account where our parents have an account." Sometimes, that is the easiest option, and sometimes we think that checking accounts are all the same. That is not the case. Checking accounts are not all the same, and sometimes choosing based on convenience is not the best choice for your money. You could be losing out on earning cash rewards, or you could be paying unnecessary fees. Look for key characteristics in choosing your ideal checking account. This may help make your decision-making process simple.
SAY 'YES!' TO A CHECKING ACCOUNT IF...
- It offers rewards in the form of cash back for using the account
- It has NO fees associated with the account
- There is no minimum balance
- There are perks or incentives for using the account
- It is FREE!
To the contrary, there is such a thing as a bad checking account. Some checking accounts require a high minimum balance, or have monthly transaction fees. Just know that you do NOT have to be charged a fee. Why would you want to be charged a fee when you could be earning money instead?
STAY AWAY FROM...
- Checking accounts with "monthly transaction fees"
- Checking accounts where you have to keep in a high minimum balance (this just means that you can't touch a certain amount of money in the account)
- Checking accounts that do not offer any rewards, perks, or incentive
- Checking accounts with an annual cost
My recommendation is to ask about two types of checking accounts: