Tara Porter

I want you to brace yourself because you’re about to hear variations of the word “easy” several times as I talk about why you need a checking account. But this post is littered with that word for good reason: you’d make your life much easier if you’d open a checking account. If you’re leery of banks and think you manage money well without a checking account, sit tight and hear me out.

Makes It Easier to Receive Money

One of the biggest benefits of having a checking account is to have a location for you to pay and get paid. Cashing a check can become a tedious process for someone without a checking account. They would either have to go to the branch that the check was written from or go to a check cashing center, both of which may result in additional fees.

If, on the other hand, you have a checking account, you can either set up direct deposits with an employer or even use the bank’s mobile app to deposit a check without stepping foot in a bank.

Many lenders also require that you have a checking account so that they have a place to transfer the loaned money. There are some lenders of small loans who make exceptions on this policy; however, it often means that they charge higher interest rates.

Makes it Easier to Make Payments

Not only does having a checking account make it easier for you to receive money, it also makes it easier for you to give money. If you don’t pay with a checking account, then you either need to do a money order, which comes with additional fees, or pay in cash.

One major risk of paying with cash is that it lacks a paper trail. For example, if a person claimed they never received the payment, you could use your bank transaction history to indicate that the payment was received and cashed.

Sending cash in the mail poses another risk, as it might get lost or stolen. A checking account easily remedies this since a lost or stolen check could be voided.

Provides You with Easy Access to Your Money

Checking account also allow you easy access to your money. ATMs are usually available 24/7 for you to withdraw cash. Most checking accounts also come with a debit card, which allows you to swipe your card to pay at various retailers, as well as using it for online purchases.

Record Your Expenses Easily

I’ve mentioned before that one of the perks of having a checking account is that you have a paper trail of your transaction history. Let’s take a second to talk about that in a little more detail.

Checking accounts allow you to review the history of your transactions going back several months, and sometimes even back to the very day your account opened. Banks can also provide you with a copy of your check image (a feature that I’ve used often as I’ve forgotten what a particular check was for). The history is also useful for when it comes time to filing taxes and you need information certain tax write-offs.

Some checking accounts also come with a useful budgeting or analytics feature which allows you to see (or plan) where your money is going by category. You can also sync your checking account with budgeting tools such as Mint.com or YNAB.com.

Keeps Money Safe

Some people feel worried about placing their money in the hands of someone else. What if a bank closes? Where would your money go? The FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) was created in 1933 after the Great Depression in order to help insure account holders’ money in the event of a bank closure. The FDIC insures your checking account by up to $250,000. The National Credit Union provides similar insurance for those with accounts at Credit Unions.

This insurance is good news for you--you don’t need to hide your money in an old shoe box for fear of a bank losing your money.


Hopefully I’ve convinced you that having a checking account will simplify your money management. But I have one final perk to throw your way: many banks actually pay you to open up a checking account. Banks offer cash bonuses anywhere from $50 to $750 to encourage you to open up an account with them. So it’s like you are making money to make your life...easier (I promise, that’s my last time).



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