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Open a Bank Account

Editor's Note:
Prevent costly mistakes. As you get started, try keeping some extra money in your checking account, $50 or $100 that you don’t spend. If you spend too much before your next paycheck, you can avoid costly bank service charges, known as overdraft fees.

Do you dread the idea of standing in another long line this Friday afternoon and paying high fees to cash your check?

It's better to open a bank account. You get a safe, convenient place to put your money where you can have free access to it. You can also keep track of your spending online, by phone or at the ATM.

Save money

If you are using a check casher regularly for your paycheck or government checks, you could be costing yourself hundreds of dollars a year. Find a bank or credit union with extended hours where you can cash your checks for free. Ask how you can open and maintain an account that works for you.

Get paid faster

Direct deposit puts your paycheck into your bank account automatically. You can get your money a day earlier, and you avoid the line and the fees at the check casher. Also, have your account numbers available during your income tax preparation and get your refund deposited automatically into your account 1 to 2 weeks faster than getting a paper check.  

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