Investment Apps and Websites

5 Major Types Of Bank Accounts To Choose From

There are different types of bank accounts out there to choose from. Each offers features that match the needs and preferences of certain customers.

different types of bank accounts to choose from

If you haven’t known yet, as a potential bank customer or a bank customer (if you are at the moment), it is important that you are fully aware of the various types of bank accounts. This way, you get to choose the one that fits best based on your needs.

Knowing the different bank account types will also help you maximize the product to its full potential.

For instance, knowing your options will help you find out which bank account has the highest interest rate.


In an article published by GO Banking Rates, it says that unfortunately, “one-third of Americans do not know what type of bank account usually has the highest interest rate,” which we find is the very reason why you need to know not just what these bank accounts are all about, but also what you can get out of each of them.

So, having said that, we are going to particularly talk about the following types of bank accounts, and the important things you need to know about each type:

  • Savings accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Retirement accounts or Individual retirement arrangement (IRA)


Before we look into each of the accounts mentioned above, here’s a quick glance about each of them for your reference:

Type of Account Why Choose It
Savings accounts You do not need to access the money frequently. You can leave it securely, at the same time, you get to earn nominal interest from it.
Checking accounts It’s ideal for people who want unlimited access to their money. It’s also good for those who do not mind not earning interest.
Money market accounts This one’s ideal for people who want a blend between savings and checking accounts. This allows limited access to your funds in a month.
Certificates of deposit (CDs) This type of bank account is best for those who want a secure way to invest their money for a particular period of time.
Retirement accounts This one’s a tax-deductible or tax-deferred way to invest money for your retirement in the future.

If you want to know the different types of bank accounts to choose from, here’s an informative video resource from Joyful Investor. Click the play button to watch the whole thing:

So, now that you already have an idea about each of the five major types of bank accounts available in banks today, let’s proceed to get to know more about each bank account type.


Savings accounts are popular with those who want to earn a certain amount of interest from their money in the bank. More so, most consumers use this particular type of bank account to save money up for future use.

What we like about savings accounts is the fact that your money is secured, (as mentioned earlier) you do not need to access it regularly, and of course, it earns. Your money grows over time.

Normally, savings accounts are the first official bank account that people get for themselves — which is not surprising because ultimately, apart from keeping our money safe in the bank, we wanted to grow our money as well (no matter how small or big the APY is).

Opening a savings account is not only ideal for adults but for children as well. Usually, the bank allows kids to open a savings account with a parent. Doing so helps the child establish a pattern of saving — and also it’s a good way to teach children the value of money.

Just the same teens can also open accounts to stash cash from their first job or household chores, and eventually, manage money while in school or in college.

Opening a savings account also marks the start of your relationship with a bank just like when joining a credit union wherein your “share” establishes your membership in the organization.

As mentioned earlier, having a savings account is an excellent way to park cash for financial goals or for emergency purposes. It’s one way to keep money separated from the funds you use on your day-to-day expenses.


Generally, opening a savings account should take less than an hour. Once the accounts are opened, it will serve you for many years to come.

While you can go visit a branch of the bank of your choice, you can also open an account online using either your mobile device or your laptop.

To formally open an account, the bank will require you to fill up certain bank forms, and you will need to provide personal information like your name, address, contact number, as well as your Social Security number and identification cards will also be requested to confirm your identity.

Furthermore, the account holder must be 18 years old and above, otherwise, a parent or guardian needs to open an account with you.


When opening a savings account, make sure to do the following first:

  • Compare banks based on fees, interest rates, minimum balance requirements, minimum opening deposit requirements, and more.
  • Check the requirements set by the bank when opening a savings account.
  • Choose the bank that meets your personal needs as a consumer. Opt for an account that is easy to use, and that you will get to put money into easily.
  • Gather all the information and documents you need to open a savings account.
  • Go to the bank open an account, or you may opt to open an account online if the bank you are eyeing for permits it.
  • Fund the account with an initial deposit if the bank requires it (though even if now, we highly recommend you put money in there as soon as you open one).

WHAT TO LIKE: Savings account is ideal for kids, teens, and/or adults who are looking for a place to keep their money, at the same time, earn interest over time. It’s ideal for those who want to stay away from getting tempted to using their money.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE: Generally speaking, savings accounts yield a lower interest rate as compared to CDs and money markets. Also, unlike checking accounts, they do not normally come with a debit card that can be used to make purchases. Furthermore, banks have limited consumers to no more than six withdrawals a month for this particular bank account type.


Among all the types of bank accounts in our list, checking accounts is the only type of account that does not provide your money a place to grow.

What do we mean by that? Here —

Checking accounts are designed to use for everyday spending. It comes with a linked debit card that you can use for making purchases, for ATM withdrawals, as well as for check-writing abilities.

Moreover, checking accounts let you deposit cash and/or checks, and it also allows you to pay bills. In recent years, more and more banks offer online bill-pay services. Thanks to technological advancement and the internet.

Unlike savings accounts, checking accounts normally do not earn interest. Although there are banks that offer interest-bearing checking accounts wherein you can get extra interest on top of what you get from your savings account.

Having a checking account is ideal for keeping cash for short-term use. It is also ideal to help manage your monthly cash flow.


Just like when opening a savings account, you can either go to the branch of the bank you are eyeing for, or you can opt to open an account online.

You will also need to provide identifying information such as:

  • A government-issued ID with your picture
  • The second form of ID like a birth certificate
  • An identification number, which normally is your Social Security number or passport number

An initial deposit is also usually required. The amount usually goes between $25 and $100. Unlike savings accounts, most banks do not open checking accounts for minors, which means you need to be 18 years old and above to be able to open a checking account.

Opening a checking account does not take long, too. It usually lasts for just a couple of minutes when opening online, or less than an hour when opening in person.


When opening a checking account, make sure to do the following first:

  • Compare banks based on fees, interest rates (if available), minimum balance requirements, minimum opening deposit requirements, and others.
  • Check the requirements set by the bank for checking accounts.
  • Choose the bank that meets your personal needs and preferences.
  • Gather all the information and documents you need to open a checking account.
  • Go to the bank open an account in person, or you may opt to open an account online if available.
  • Fund the account with an initial deposit as required.

Furthermore, also keep in mind the following:

  • Make sure to balance your checking account regularly — ideally every month or every banking statement. This helps you manage your cash inflows and outflows, and avoid fees and errors, and allows you to spot fraudulent acts (if there’s any).
  • Set up a direct deposit of your wages into your checking account.

WHAT TO LIKE: It’s ideal for anyone who needs a place to deposit cash or paycheck, as well as make payments. It’s also a good option for those who keep a relatively small balance, and those who enjoy using a debit card for purchases.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE: It does not offer interest rate, and are usually subject to a lot of fees and restrictions like maintenance fees as well as minimum balance requirements, which can get quite pricey.


As stated earlier, money market accounts are a combination of features provided by both savings and checking accounts. It’s like enjoying the best of both worlds.

Anyway, unlike checking accounts, money market accounts offer limited check-writing privileges. It collects interest at higher rates as compared to savings and interest-bearing checking accounts.

With these features, it makes money market accounts useful for both short-term and long-term needs.

To put it simply, money market accounts are ideal for those who tend to carry big balances in their checking accounts, at the same time, enjoy the ability to earn more interest and write checks.


The process varies depending on where you open your money market account, but here are some of the common processes:

  • You will need to submit an application wherein you will need to provide personal information like your name, date of birth, taxpayer identification number/Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, address, employment status, and income.
  • You will be asked to decide whether you want to add a joint owner or not, add a beneficiary or not, receive checks to use with your account, and how much you want to deposit or transfer into your money market account.
  • You will be asked to complete any verification requirements like submitting or uploading copies of your identification or income-related documents. This is to confirm the validity of the information you provided during the application.
  • You will have to fund your money market account based on the minimum funding requirement of the bank.


Before you even sign an application for a money market account, you may also consider the checking the following first:

  • The account’s annual percentage yield of APY, which refers to the interest you will earn on your savings.
  • The minimum balance requirement, and the fees that come with it in the event of failure to meet the required balance.
  • Your withdrawal options — if the funds can be accessed through ATM, debit card, or check.
  • Account fees, which include not meeting the minimum balance requirement, withdrawing money at affiliated ATMs, check writing, and excessive withdrawals. It may also include fees for bank checks, stop payments and wire transfers.

WHAT TO LIKE: Money market accounts are ideal for those who want to hold high balances in their account, at the same time want to enjoy higher interest rates.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE: Generally, money market accounts tend to have higher minimum balance requirements as compared to other types of bank accounts. Also, interest rates tend to be low sometimes. Needless to say, you need to watch out for fees. Withdrawals are also permitted six times a month only for savings accounts.


Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are comparable to savings accounts except that CDs hold your money for a fixed term, which usually lasts from three months up to five or more years depending on the financial institution.

Unlike the other types of bank accounts, CDs let you earn more interest-wise. However, you will need to commit to keeping your money for the full term or you will get penalized for early withdrawal of funds.

CDs are ideal for people who want to save for financial goals with a particular end date. For instance, if you are aiming to buy a property in a year, then a CD would be ideal so you get to keep your money and let it grow until the time you already need it.

Definitely, CDs are not ideal for emergency funding.


To start using CDs, all you need to do is to get in touch with your bank or credit union. Generally, banks explain your options and even allow you to make CD investments online.

If talking to a banker in person is not feasible, you may also consider calling the bank’s customer service.

When talking to a bank representative, make sure to explain how much you’d like to invest, and also, ask about penalties and other alternative CD products they offer. Who knows, they might have a better CD option for you. The bank may also offer higher rates, more flexibility, and/or other beneficial features.

When staring a CD, make sure to only stick with those insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the National Credit Union Administration for safety purposes.


When considering opening CDs, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Consider setting up a CD ladder especially if you are concerned about locking up all your money. A CD ladder makes a portion of your savings available periodically.
  • Look for banks that offer flexible CD terms. Ideally, a bank that gives you the option to withdraw money early sans charging a fee.

WHAT TO LIKE: Lets the money that you do not need to spend right away grow. It gives you the option to either keep the money on CD accounts for a short-term or long-term period.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE: Withdrawing your money early comes with a penalty, which may cost a lot.


Last but not the least type of bank account are the retirement accounts or popularly known as the Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

Obviously, this particular account is intended for people saving up for their retirement.

One day we are all going to retire, and we’ll need money to spend on our needs (wants) by then. So, the best time to prepare for retirement is not later than now.

Just to be clear, although IRAs are the most common ones, there are also other retirement accounts out there, which include 401(k) accounts and other retirement accounts for small businesses.

Most of these accounts offer tax advantages. For instance, both IRAs and 401(k) plans keep you from paying income tax on the growth of your contributions each year. However, you will have to pay taxes at certain points depending on the type of account you have.

While traditional IRA and 401(k) contributions reduce your taxes now, once you withdraw, later on, you will have to pay taxes. Meanwhile, contributions to a Roth IRA do not reduce your taxes at the moment, but you will not have to worry about paying taxes on withdrawals later on.

You see, it’s just about picking the right choice for you.

The different retirement accounts we mentioned are the best types for saving for retirement as they allow you to invest your money in the stock market creating the potential to earn greater returns.


Opening a retirement account vary depending on the financial institution where you will open one, and of course, the type of account.

Generally speaking, however, opening an account is pretty easy. All you need to do is head on to the financial institution’s website, choose the type of retirement account you want to open, and then fill in some personal details, which include your Social Security number, name, date of birth, contact information, as well as your employment information.

In addition, make sure to keep your money handy because you will need to fund the account once you open one.


When opening a retirement account, make sure to:

  • Speak to a financial advisor and get help with regards to planning how much to save for your retirement account, and also the type of account and investments that are ideal for you.
  • Check if your company is offering 401(k). If yes, consider contributing enough to get the match before you start putting money into your retirement account.

WHAT TO LIKE: This particular account is ideal for those who want to save money for their future. More so, retirement accounts might result in larger account balances over time.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE: For whatever tax benefit you get comes to a string attached. That is why it’s best to consult with experts first before opening one.


You see, there are a lot of bank account choices – and choosing one will definitely depend on your financial goals.

To be able to determine the right bank account type for you, the best way to do it is to consult with a bank representative or if you have a financial advisor, then you may check with him or her as well.

So, have you found the best type of bank account for you yet?

Remember that while there are many types of bank accounts out there to choose from, it all boils down to your needs and preferences as a consumer. That’s definitely a big deciding factor.

Investment Apps and Websites

How To Balance Your Bank Accounts Each Month And Why You Must Do So

To be able to achieve a good financial state, you have to learn how to balance your bank accounts each month.

ways on how to balance your bank accounts each month

When you have multiple bank accounts, it is sometimes tempting to just let things be and not mind how your funds are going. But in reality, you actually need to.

If you want a good financial picture, it is important to learn how to balance your bank accounts on a monthly basis.

Balancing your bank accounts is as important as tracking your expenses every month. Tracking expenses is about knowing where your money goes, where you spent it, and how much is left. Knowing all this will make things easier for you especially when you find yourself overspending. You’d know which ones to adjust when it comes to your spending habits.


As with balancing your account, specifically your checking account and credit cards, to the bank statement on a month-to-month basis, it allows you to see any spot problems in your account that you need to deal with, which can lead to preventing overdrawing.

So, it does not matter if you are tracking your bank accounts with a pen and paper or you are using financial software. The thing is — you should not neglect this process.

To help you understand better what we mean by that, we are sharing with you a few reasons why you need to allot time to balance your bank accounts.

But first, let’s talk about how to balance your bank accounts each month.

So, it does not matter if you are tracking your bank accounts with a pen and paper or you are using financial software. The thing is — you should not neglect this process.

To help you understand better what we mean by that, we are sharing with you a few reasons why you need to allot time to balance your bank accounts and how to balance your bank accounts each month.

But first, let’s talk about the following first:

  • What balancing a bank account means?
  • How balancing accounts help you?
  • When to balance bank accounts?


Whether it be your checking account or credit card account, balancing is essential. Doing so helps ensure that the funds you think should be in your accounts is actually in there when you need it. It’s ensuring everything is intact.

Balancing a bank account simply means taking stock of the money that’s going into your account, and then going out of the account. It also includes ensuring that the bank account balance is what you expect it to be.

Basically, the goals or aims of balancing a bank account include:

  • Being able to match your records with the bank’s records
  • Catching mistakes early on — mistakes that can lead to bank charges or worse, identity theft
  • Figuring out how much funds you have left

By the way, we thought it’s important to note especially to those who prefer to use their bank’s online app in checking balance that according to an article published by Forbes, what you see in it is not necessarily the actual or real-time available balance as there are moving parts (like checks issued that were not deposited yet). That is why it is always best to counter-check with the regular bank statement.


Another thing that helps you understand better the importance of balancing your bank accounts is knowing the reasons why you need to do it. Once you know the reasons, it’s easier for you to get convinced that indeed, you need to work on balancing your bank accounts monthly.

With that said, allow us to share with you how balancing bank accounts help you.

First, it helps in setting a budget for any upcoming expenses.

Second, balancing helps prevent checks from bouncing and getting charged for overdraft fees.

Third, it helps you identify any mistakes that either you or the bank has made.

Fourth, it helps you from becoming a victim of identity theft.

Lastly, you get to check how much interest you are earning. This way you can compare between banks — which one gives a higher interest rate, or which one is better when it comes to interest rates.

Know more about balancing your bank account in this informative video by Great Lakes:


Now that you already know the importance of balancing bank accounts, and also the reasons why you should do so, this time around, let’s talk about when is the best time to balance your bank accounts.

Balancing your bank accounts has to be done on a regular basis, thus, the reason why we kept saying do balance your bank accounts on a monthly basis. The more frequent you check, the better.

The least you can do it once per statement period. Never let a statement period pass without checking or balancing your bank accounts.

Also, to avoid bouncing checks, make sure to check your balance first before spending anything from the account. You do not want to get into any hassle, right?


So, before learning how to balance your bank accounts each month, let us first understand why you have to balance your bank accounts in the first place.

Here are some of the common reasons why:

1. It helps catch mistakes you made.

We mentioned this earlier. Balancing bank accounts on a regular basis or on a monthly basis helps you get rid immediately of any mistakes done by either yourself.

Perhaps this one is the very reason or one of the biggest reasons why you have to balance your bank accounts.

Imagine if something’s wrong and you catch it late? Do you think the process will be easier? We do not think so — unlike when you catch a mistake immediately, the process of solving the mistake or the problem would be a lot bearable. A lot easier — for sure.

Mistakes are common, but then, since we are talking about money,  as they say, every centavo counts, right?

No matter how little the impact of the mistake is, at the end of the day, it still made an impact on your account.

To put it simply, balancing your bank accounts will help you catch mistakes in your account, at the same time, help prevent you from accidentally overdrawing.

2. It helps you see mistakes made by the bank.

Just like you, banks are imperfect, too. They make mistakes, too. Well, generally, making mistakes is inevitable, right?

However, you won’t be able to notice these mistakes if you are not frequently balancing your bank accounts.

In order for you to catch a mistake, you need to check your bank account regularly. Who knows? You may not realize that there’s a deposit missing or that there was an unauthorized withdrawal.

The good thing with banks is that there is a paper trail that they use, and you, as a customer should be able to work with your bank in correcting mistakes or errors.

Again, that will only be possible if you catch the mistake soonest. As we have said, the earlier you catch a mistake or an error, the better.

3. It helps you track your spending.

Of all the reasons why balancing bank accounts is important, this probably is what really catches our attention.

By balancing your bank accounts, you get to see you spending habit. You get to track where your money went — what things did you buy, bills you paid, etc.

Tracking your expenses is easy by using a personal finance software that provides a running balance. There are a lot of them to choose from online — some are free, some you need to pay to avail such services and tools.

Once you enter a certain transaction into the app or the finance software, it will automatically track your spending. This way you will know when it’s time to stop. At the same time, you’ll know how much money left in your account.

Furthermore, by using such software, it will help you plan for the annual expenses because you can look back over your spending for the whole year. It will allow you to see things that may have slipped your mind to include in your budget.

4. It helps you see where you are financially.

Unless you have so much, then tracking your spending won’t probably be a big deal.

However, if you are living from paycheck to paycheck and that money is tight, then we highly recommend you carefully track your spending to ensure you do not overdraw your account.

Overdrawing can easily happen especially when you are married and both of you are accessing the account.

Balancing your bank account is so important to know where you are financially, and how much money you have left before your next paycheck.

This also helps you adjust your spending — if you think some of your expenses are worth giving up, then do so to ensure you have enough in the bank.

5. It helps you unnecessary fees.

When you regularly balance your account, it’s easier for you to catch any small fees or mistakes that may not seem like a lot on the surface.

For example, in an instance, you may have remembered being charged for an ATM withdrawal you made, but upon checking you see an additional fee being charged by your bank for using a different bank’s ATM.

While these fees may be small, not accounting them in your balance may end up overdrawing your account, and in turn incur even higher fees, which is something you do not want to happen, right?

6. It helps you catch any fraudulent acts.

In this day and age, with technological advancements and the internet in place, identity theft is becoming more common.

There have been a lot of cases when hackers hack banks’ systems, or in some cases, the debit card information is stolen elsewhere.

Unfortunately, once the thieves have your information, they will use your card to make online purchases and of course, the bank will charge you for that.

However, when you regularly balance your bank accounts, such fraudulent acts can be immediately resolved.

Today, banks and credit card companies provide a certain period of time which lets you report fraudulent charges. The period of time usually runs between 30 and 90 days from the statement date.

If you are unable to catch the act soonest, this may lead to a bigger problem. Well, you may end up paying for something you did not purchase, which is really painful.

7. It helps your discover missed automatic payments.

For instance, you set up automatic payment for medical bills, insurance, and others. Ideally, it should go through smoothly. However, there are times a system glitch happens especially when a company switches over to a new system.

When this happens, there are instances when payments are not processed.

While it may not be a big deal for some, problems may arise though is for example your insurance is being canceled for payment failures or that you are charged for certain fees.

This type of scenario, however, can be avoided if you regularly balance your bank accounts.


So, we have already tackled the whys. This time, let’s talk about how to balance your bank accounts each month?

When balancing your bank accounts, you may opt to either use a pen and a paper or you can do it electronically by either building a spreadsheet or using basic accounting software or finance management apps (there are a lot of them these days).

Now, when you using a pen and paper, you will basically need the following items:

  • Your most recent bank statement (The easiest way to access your bank statement is by logging in to your bank account online.)
  • Your check register
  • A calculator (or you may opt to use your mobile phone calculator app or use your computer)
  • A note pad intended for this purpose
  • …and of course, a pen!

When balancing manually, you can either make your own template, or you may opt to follow templates that are available online. Yes, there are several templates available online. You just have to search them over Google.

Meanwhile, if you are opting to do them electronically by using a spreadsheet, you will basically need the following:

  • Your computer or tablet (or mobile phone)
  • Your most recent bank statement
  • Your check register

The things you need are basically the same when using an app. Although normally, it’s easier to use an app. You basically just have to create an account and create your bank accounts, and then use the tools provided by the app — these are financial management tools that are easy to use and understand.

Now, apart from these things you need, balancing your bank accounts would be successfully done if you:

  • Assess Your Account Balance – Once you started balancing your bank accounts, make sure to take note of your month-end account balance from the statement or if you are using an app or online system, you can easily access it through by logging in to your account online, or you may check through an ATM or via SMS.
  • Look For Outstanding Transactions – Make sure to look through your check register for transactions that do not have a checkmark next to them. These are transactions that did not appear on your bank statement. Most often than not, these are outstanding checks, which are checks you have issues or written but have not been deposited yet by the recipient.

Make sure to add all of the outstanding deposits, and write the numbers on your note pad or take note of it in your phone or laptop. When writing, place it next to the word “Deposit”.

After, add up all outstanding withdrawals as well. These transactions must be written next to the word “Withdrawals” if you are taking everything down on a piece of paper.

  • Compare Your Check Register to Your Bank Statement – Comparing what you have in your check register versus what’s on your bank statement is actually one of the best ways to find mistakes or errors. Make sure to place a checkmark next to items that match.

Should there be items missing from your check register, add them — unless of course, you think these are bank mistakes, then you have to contest them. Items may include ATM fees, interest earned, as well as overdraft fees.

  • Add the Numbers – Once you are done doing everything, the last thing to do is to do the math. You basically just have to add “Bank Balance,” add “Deposits,” and then, subtract “Withdrawals.” The result of this computation should be the very same amount your check register shows. If there are discrepancies, then go check with your bank immediately.

That’s basically it. If you come to think of it, the process is simple. In fact, it won’t take much of your time. You can do it once a month, and for just an hour or two – even shorter if you are using an app or a finance system.


Financial management is very important – that is if you want to keep track of your funds or your hard-earned money. Tracking your expenses is one of the common ways to manage your money. Just the same though, balancing your bank accounts regularly is also essential.

By doing so, you get to address any immediate concerns regarding your account. If there are mistakes or errors in your account, you can report it soonest to the bank and have it fixed. But more than anything balancing your bank accounts is ensuring that your funds are intact, and also it allows you to avoid overdrawing.

So, having said all that, do you now find balancing your bank accounts regularly essential?

Just keep in mind that as long as you know and you understand how to balance your bank accounts each month, then, everything should be smooth-sailing. Needless to say, your funds are surely secured.