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Choosing Your Bank Account

November 29, 2018

 

As a young adult, you will receive important guidance on how to plan for the future. You will get lots of advice to make plans for future work and future education. Success for these plans will be driven by your ability to make informed financial decisions.

 

One powerful tool to begin managing your money will be your choice of a bank or credit union. How will you choose? Before you decide to use the bank your family uses or the bank with the best-advertised deals, consider these services.

 

STUDENT CHECKING

Most banks partner with students to provide low cost checking/savings accounts with ATM debit cards. This allows you to track your spending with a low minimum deposit and lower fees than most other accounts.

 

Your checking account will be more than just a tool for check writing. Keeping a checkbook ledger gives you a place to enter money spent as well as money earned. Whether you use the ledger provided with your checks or use an electronic format such as an app on your phone, the key is to make entries routinely. Tracking spending gives you the power to make purchases without overdrawing your account.

 

BANK STATEMENTS

Depending on the bank, student accounts will provide you with electronic monthly statements. These statements will be one more way you can accurately manage your spending and saving.

 

ONLINE BANKING FEATURES

Online banking allows you to deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money to and from savings with your computer or phone. If this is important to you, make it part of your search criteria when choosing a bank.

 

ATM LOCATIONS

Where will you be living?  If you plan to continue living where you are now, consider a local bank to provide you with local branches and ATM locations. Not sure where you will be living? A major bank with branches and ATM locations nationally available are a better option for you.  ATM machines not provided by your financial institution will cost you a hefty fee with each withdrawal.

 

RESOURCES

 

Ellen Mooney is a retired principal and teacher with more than 45 years of experience in K-12 education.

 

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