Did you just get your first real job and need a way to start managing your finances? If so, your first step should be to get a checking account. A checking account is something that you will need for your paychecks, and it will help you manage your money. If you never had a checking account before, here are some tips to help you use it properly.
1. Choose the Right Bank and Account
With all the options you can choose from for checking accounts, there is no reason you should pay for one. You can find banks that offer free accounts, and some free accounts come with many perks. You may want to stick with a local bank to have access to a branch, or you can choose an online bank. If you select an online bank, make sure it offers services that make your banking activities convenient for you. You might want to compare a few banks and their accounts before selecting one.
2. Set Up Direct Deposits
Next, you should ask your employer if you can set up direct deposits. If so, set them up with your new checking account. The benefit of this is that you will get your paychecks on time every time. You will never have to wait for your money to arrive, and you will not have to go to the bank to make deposits. Your money will be available for use immediately with direct deposit services.
3. Use a Check Register
While check registers are not popular today, many people still use them. Using a check register provides a way to manage your funds and avoid overdrafts. It also provides a log for you to use to keep an eye on where you spend your money. Your bank might provide free check registers if you ask for them, or you can order them with checks.
4. Track Every Transaction
When you have a checking account and a check register, you can track every transaction that goes into and out of the checking account. Using the register to track these things will help you know how much money you have in the account, even when specific transactions have not posted.
5. Save Some Money
If you use your bank's online app services, you can use it to pay your bills and save money. You should aim to save a portion of each paycheck by transferring some of the money from your checking account into a separate savings account.
If you have questions about bank accounts, contact a local or online bank to determine if they offer free ones.