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Opening a checking account can seem like a basic financial decision, right? Just go to the bank, ask to open a checking account and then that’s it!

Well, unfortunately, many people don’t realize that although having a checking account is vital in order for you to manage your expenditures. It can also save you lots of money when you utilize it the right way.

Whether it’s saving for the holidays, a major purchase or for emergencies, use this simple guide to help you capitalize on these savings and keep more money in your pocket.

Set Up Automatic Transfers To Your Savings From Your Checking Account

When you are intentional with your money, you plan for “rainy days.” Setting up a regular, automatic transfer is one of the most effective “Way2Save.”

For example, if you were to have $100 automatically transferred into your savings account every two weeks, after 12 months, you would have saved at least $2,400 (not including any interest incurred). After some time, those transferred funds add up and if emergencies arise, you’re able to take care of them without having to get into debt.

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Opt In For Direct Deposit

It’s a great feeling to receive your check on payday and you want to enjoy the fruits of your labor by receiving all of the money allocated to you. With direct deposit, you avoid the astronomical check cashing fees that are as high as $50. Direct deposit is a free option that employers offer to those with active checking accounts. With direct deposit, you are able to wake up on payday with the monies available in your account as early as 6 AM.

Enroll In Automatic Bill Pay

With most banks understanding the importance of online presence, they began offering FREE online bill pay that allows you, the consumer, to pay your bills through your checking account. How are you able to save by doing that? You save time and money by not having to purchase stamps, envelopes, checks and you spend less money on fuel. You may even avoid fees that some creditors charge to make direct payments to them.

In addition to saving time and money, you can make a bill payment to anyone with a name and address. Whether it’s the babysitter down the street or your mortgage company in a completely different state, you may find that it’s a more convenient and secure way of paying your bills.

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Implement Overdraft Protection

Having overdraft protection adds a sense of peace and can save you money from bank overdraft fees. There are times where you may have written checks or swiped your debit card and you completely forgot to balance your checkbook. Those kinds of mistakes can cost you at least $35 per occurrence.

By having the overdraft protection, they will transfer the money from your protection account to your checking account and only charge a minimal fee.

Safeguard Your Money

Having a checking account provides security for your money. Just like any FDIC insured bank account, placing your money in a checking account allows your money to be protected from theft, fire or other unforeseen dangers. The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor per insured bank.

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Integrate Budgeting Apps Into Your Habits

Chances are you’re on your phone most of the day. Why not make great use of your phone and save money while doing it?

A great way to save money is to download a free budget/expense tracker app like Mint, Spendee or Toshl Finance, just to name a few. These apps will integrate with your checking account. Once you download the app, it does all of the work for you as far as categorizing your expenses. That way, you know how much you’re spending at all times.

This will cause you to be more conscientiousness of your spending which will ultimately save you many dollars in the long run.

Having a checking account has many benefits that will ultimately save you money and time. With that being said, remember that YOU play a major role in making sure that you utilize the features and benefits of having a checking account. It’s always a great Way2Save!

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