Here at DepositAccounts, we understand that becoming proficient in money management doesn’t always come easily. If you already have a savings account, you may not realize that there are other savings options out there like money market accounts or CDs. You can also find new and better ways to save even more money, like opening an interest-earning checking account which can easily add to your monthly savings. Everyone — including our own experts! — has to start somewhere when learning a new skill, and learning how to maximize your savings is no small feat.
That’s why we’ve created our Basic Banking series. It’s designed to help those who are new to banking get their bearings. We’ll cover a variety of topics each week like how to write a check and where you can send money online. Each article will have a “Banking 101” tag added to the beginning of each title so that you can easily identify which articles belong to this series. We want to offer the starting knowledge that can help new savers save smarter, with the eventual goal of becoming like our regular readers who know the ins and outs of banking like the backs of their hands.
For those well-versed readers, this series offers you a chance to tell us about other elements you think might be crucial to banking successfully. Leave us a note in the comments and let us know what type of basic banking topics we should include in this series - we’d like to hear from you!
Articles in our Basic Banking series currently includes:
When you apply for a new savings or checking account, it’s common for the financial institution to check your history with a consumer reporting agency, such as ChexSystems. If the bank finds any negative reports, such as accounts that were closed due to unpaid balances or fees, or accounts with fraudulent activity, they may deny your application. Read more
With digital banking and peer-to-peer payment services on the rise, it can come as a surprise that people still pay each other using paper checks. For many, receiving a check may be an unusual experience, leading to the inevitable question: What to do with the thing? Read more
A routing number is a nine-digit number that is used as identification for banks and credit unions in the U.S. This digital address allows money to be processed and transferred from bank to bank. It also denotes the location where an account was opened. This number is also proof that the bank or credit union has an account with the Federal Reserve. Read more
APR and APY can be confusing financial concepts, but knowing the difference between the two ways to calculate annual interest can help you make more informed decisions when saving and investing. Both APR and APY affect how much you earn or owe when applied to account balances. Read more
If you’ve ever parked your money in a savings account, you may have learned the hard way that you can’t just withdraw money any time you want. Financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, generally limit the number of times per month that you can easily pull money from your account. If you exceed your monthly withdrawal limit, your bank might charge you a fee — or it could even deny your transaction altogether. Read more
As more and more banks enhance their mobile applications and customers increasingly bank online, there is growing scrutiny on the safety of these transactions. Many of us are asking the following questions: Is mobile banking safe? Is it better to stick to teller windows, paper checks and ATMs? Can we confidently use the digital resources that are making money management easier than ever? Read more
Money orders are like prepaid checks. You provide the funds upfront and fill out an order that, like a personal check, is endorsed to a specific recipient. Say you need to pay your utility bill, but the company doesn’t accept personal checks — and sending an envelope full of cash isn’t a safe option. Money orders are an alternative and secure form of payment to consider. Read more
When you carry a substantial amount of debt but also need to grow your savings, it can be tough to figure out whether you should pay off debt or save money. Should you focus on shrinking your debt so that you pay as little interest as possible? Or, should you fund your savings so that you have enough liquid cash to deal with sudden expenses? Read more
Everyone needs a safe place to store their money, but deciding which type of bank account to open can be confusing. Should you open a checking account with a debit card that you can use for everyday purchases? Or is it better to consider a savings account, where you can build a rainy day fund? Read more
Every once in a while, you need to send money online to someone — perhaps to your daughter for her broken-down car or to your friend who loaned you money for concert merchandise. There are many options available, and each one comes with its own format and fee schedule. Read more