Is your piggy bank overflowing? Fantastic! Now is the time to start thinking about opening a bank account. Learn more about the different types of banking with these helpful tips.

The Basics:

  • So why should you keep your money in a bank account? There are plenty of good reasons but security is at the top of the list. Bank accounts hold your money for you and help you to increase your savings by paying interest. A bank account also enables you to pay your bills online, by cheque, or at the bank itself.
  • It's important to compare the different options available to you. The types of bank accounts include savings, chequing and mixed:
    • Savings accounts, as you can probably guess, help you save money! You can withdraw money when you want but they are really designed to help you hold on to your money and earn interest on it.
    • Chequing accounts are designed for transactions. They usually offer lower interest rates and transaction fees, but allow you to write cheques, which can be a handy way to make payments.
    • Mixed accounts are part savings and part chequing. You can do chequing account transactions in addition to getting a certain interest rate.
  • Before you choose a bank account, shop around to see what service fees each institution charges and the rates of interest that they pay. Some banks charge you for taking out money with your bank card, writing cheques, paying bills or getting service from a teller at a bank branch.
  • Save time by banking online. E-banking is becoming more and more popular and it's not hard to see why. You can do almost all of your transactions online, from opening a new account and paying bills to investing in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
  • Have money to invest? Talk to a professional financial planner. He or she can work with you to develop an investment plan that can help you save money and get ready for retirement (it might be a long way away, but the earlier you start, the more money you'll have in the end). A financial planner will explain the different types of investments available to you and help you define your financial priorities.
  • Do you have valuables that need protection, such as jewellery or financial documents? Most banks offer safety deposit boxes where, for a fee, you can store your valuables in a secure space for which only you and the bank have a key.

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