Bank Accounts 101
Debit cards, savings accounts and interest - oh my! If you've got yourself a job, or just a lot of birthday money, you should start looking into a bank account ASAP! You'll be rollin' in mucho moolah before ya know it.
Savings: This account usually gains more interest, but can be harder to take money out if you end up needing it. Try this out for long term money like big holiday and bday checks.
Checking: A checking account is perfect If you babysit or have another job with a frequent check. You'll get a nifty debit card or check book that you can use to stop at the ATM and put money in or take it out at any time of the day. Even though you won't gain as much interest as a savings account, it's much simpler to deal with if you withdraw and deposit a lot.
Interest: The cash the bank gives you for simply having money with them!
Debit Card: A card that's attached to your checking account. You can use it at the ATM to take money out of your account or put it in. You can also use it at stores, like a credit card, except the money comes straight out of your account.
Credit Card: A card with a line of I-Owe-You money. You use it to buy items and then get billed. Be careful not to get carried away - with a credit card it's easy to forget that you have to pony-up the cash at the end of the month!
Checks: Like a debit card, these are attached to your checking account and are just a different way to take out money. Remember to fill them out fully, signing your name and giving a reason why you are giving this money.
1. Sign up for online banking so you can check in at any hour and see how much cash you've got.
2. If you have to choose a pin number for your debit card, pick something that isn't your age or address or anything someone can guess.
3. Don't give your credit, debit, or check numbers to anyone except a parent!
4. It's totally OK to shop around for banks and ask for a student account - many banks offer student accounts that don't charge you if you go over your limit and give you free checks and a cute checkbook.
5. Save your pennies! At the bank you can get free coin rollers to package all that loose change up and stick it in your account. You'd be surprised how all those li'l coins add up.
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