Using your checking account

AlexChecking accounts are for money you spend day-to-day, and banks provide checks so you can use your money without using cash.

When you open a checking account, your bank will probably offer you the opportunity to apply for an ATM card and/or a debit card. Both are safe, convenient ways to get cash, make deposits, and transfer funds.

CheckbookYou may be able to use your debit card to make purchases if the merchant accepts it. Every time you make a transaction using an ATM card, debit card, or check, save the receipt you receive and record the information in your register.

AlexA check is a piece of paper that formally asks the bank to pay someone some money from your account. People use checks to pay for groceries, rent, and other bills.

But be careful — checks should only be written if you’re sure you have the money in your account! If you don’t have the money, the bank will charge you an expensive fee — and the company you wrote the check to might charge you another fee. Ouch! All in all, it costs you a lot to write a check for money you don’t have. Plus, it’s against the law.

Click the Next button to learn about the parts of a check.