Checking and savings accounts

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Updated: 3/27/2003 1:08 pm
You have probably already opened a savings or checking account, or even both, at some point in your life. However, by doing a bit of research you can make sure you are saving money and earning the highest interest rates available from your financial institution. An important first step is to get an idea of your monthly budget, how your cash flow fluctuates each month, and how much money you can comfortably put into savings. If you can keep a smaller balance in your checking account, try to move as much money as possible into savings accounts, which generally pay higher interest. You can shop between banks for the highest interest rates and compare fees charged on accounts by each one. Find out what options are available with each account. For instance, many banks give you the direct deposit option with a checking account. Direct deposit allows money from your regular paycheck, social security, pension fund, or other sources to be automatically deposited into your account on a regular basis. Also, when you open either a checking or savings account, most banks will issue you an automated teller machine card. With this card, you can make deposits, withdrawals, and check your balance at various automated teller locations. Finally, you will want to verify that each separate account you have with a bank is insured by the FDIC, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This will protect your money in case of theft or bank closure. For more information on checking and savings accounts, contact a financial institution.

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