Cash, Loans, Debts, and Promises

Young Adults & Banking: Lesson 2

Having a checking account

  • To help you open the best bank account for you, you need to ask some questions.
  • Are there bank branches or Automatic Teller Machines I can easily get to?
  • Is there a minimum balance required on this account?
    • If you don’t keep the minimum amount of money in the account, the bank can close it.
  • Can I earn interest on this account?
    • The bank will add a tiny bit of money to your account if it earns interest.
  • Are there fees that will take money out of my account every month?
    • Be careful! Fees can bring your balance to below the minimum required, or can cause checks to bounce!
  • Are there fees to use the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)?
  • Are canceled checks (checks you wrote on the account that were cashed by the person you wrote it to) returned to me, or kept at the bank?
  • Does the bank have online banking? ARE THERE FEES?

ATM Cards

  • ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) cards are used to do banking without seeing a teller at a bank.
    • Insert the card into the machine, enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN), and follow the instruction on the screen to do your banking. It is easy.
    • You can transfer money between accounts, withdraw cash, deposit cash or checks, check your balance, and do other business.
    • Be sure to get a paper or electronic receipt for proof of your transaction
  • Be careful to block the view from others while you enter you PIN and do business.
    • An ATM can be a dangerous place, especially considering the time of day or night.
    • Be aware of happenings around you.
  • All activity at an ATM is video recorded.

Debit Cards

  • You can use a debit card to electronically transfer funds from your account to pay for something.
  • A debit card can be issued by a bank, or may be a prepaid cash card.
  • If your bank issued your debit card, it is also most likely your ATM card.
  • Frequently, merchants will allow the card to make the purchase AND will allow “cash back” withdrawals.
    • “Handy” cash back can quickly move to “out of hand” and overdrafts!
    • Make sure you keep track of the amount of money you started with, and the amounts you spend.
    • You don’t want to end up with a ChexSystems report!
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