By M Katie Helle, CPA

As you we grow into adulthood, the need for having a checking account becomes greater, especially when you start working.  A checking account allows you easy access to your money when you do not want to carry large sums of cash.  Once you have deposited the money into your checking account, it’s easy to gain access: you can write a check, set up transfers (i.e. use online banking) or use a debit card.

When opening your checking account, you will discover there are many options available.  Between the number of banks and the perks offered with each of the accounts, you will have to decide which option is best for your needs.  It’s important to pay attention to minimum balance requirements and limits on the number of transactions you can have.  Not meeting these requirements may result in the bank charging you a monthly fee.

Once you have established your bank account, it’s important to keep accurate records of your balance. Failing to do so can become costly with the bank charging overdraft fees.  An overdraft fee is assessed when you spend more money then what you have in the account.  Depending on the bank, overdraft fees typically start at $30 per occurrence and go up.  For example, if you have a bank balance of $25.37 and use your debit card to make a purchase for $26.08, this would overdraw your account by $0.71 which would result in an overdraft charge.  Keeping accurate records will prevent you from having to incur these large bank fees.

If you are thinking about opening a checking account, here are some banks that I have found to have great options for checking accounts.  Click the links below to learn more about what each bank offers.

Chase Bank

Bank of America

Wells Fargo

Midfirst Bank

Desert Financial Credit Union

You can also talk to family and friends and see if they have any recommendations.