Paper money seems like it is slowly losing traction in today’s market. With debit and credit cards becoming the most common ways to pay for goods and services, it’s important to understand your options.
What Is A Checking Account?
Simply put, it is an account provided by a bank that allows you to deposit and access your cash easily. Checking accounts allow you to physically withdraw cash, write checks, and use a debit card to pay for services. This gives you a wide flexibility with your money, and allows you to control how you spend your money, and in what form. With the onset of digitization, debit cards have quickly become the most common form of payment; however, for larger purchases some people still rely on paper checks.
What Are The Benefits of Checking Accounts?
Whether you already have a checking account, or are considering opening one, there are many benefits that you might not realize are available.
- Security. As mentioned above, even with the common use of debit card, many people prefer to use checks for major purchases. This is because paper checks leave a physical trace of your purchase. This proof can help dissuade theft, and makes it harder for people to steal or misuse your financial information. Cash can easily become lost or misplaced, but checks are only able to be cashed by whom they are written to. This also adds an extra level of security if you are sending money through the mail. Did your grandma ever send you a birthday card with a check in it? Now you know why!
- Proof Of Purchase. Checks and debit cards both allow you to track and reference your records. When a check you’ve written is cashed you will be able to easily see when it hit the account. Debit cards, likewise, have online records that can be accessed in real time. This allows you to see what is being spent, and when. An added bonus of having this option is that any unusual activity can be caught quickly and stopped before it becomes a bigger issue.
Additionally, when tax time rolls around, you can easily bring up records of any deductible donations you’ve made during the year. If you’re someone who gives to many different causes, this can be a huge help when it comes to rounding everything up.
- Easy Payments, And Paydays. While many employers still issue paper checks, more and more they are pushing for direct deposits. This not only has the benefit of being more eco-friendly, as less paper is being used, but it also allows employers to easily pay all of their employees at the same time. Additionally, even if your employer does use paper checks, checking accounts allow you to easily deposit these without having to go through a 3rd party institution. Places that cash checks this way often take a percentage as a fee, and depending on how large the check is, this can be substantial.
Debit cards can likewise allow you to easily pay bills either online or over the phone. This means you can easily knock out bill payments without worry or additional hassle.
- Real Time Banking. An added benefit of checking accounts is their online banking capabilities. While you can still keep your checkbook written out, you can also see all of your purchases easily online. Whenever you use your debit card, or write a check, your online account with automatically reflect this. With this feature you never have to wonder how much money you have left in your budget, as it’s always easily accessible. Additionally, each month you will also have the option to view your complete bank statement online. These statements can be saved or printed, if you’re someone who likes having physical records on hand.
Opening a checking account has become a standard thing in this day and age. While some people still prefer using cash, a checking account can give you additional benefits that are worth taking into account.