When is the best time to open a checking account and what features should you look for? If you’re one of the seven million U.S. households without a bank account, you’re not alone. Whether you are opening your first checking account or considering a new one, there are several signs that may show you’re ready.
“For many consumers, a checking account is fundamental to managing finances,” said Nicole Pecorelli, SVP and Regional Branch Manager at Middlesex Savings Bank. “It’s often the vehicle by which you pay important bills like housing, insurance and utilities, as well as regular expenses such as groceries and gas. Maintaining a checking account can enable you to effectively budget your income and expenses through the use of services like online or mobile banking, debit cards and even person-to-person (P2P) payment.”
Explore the following five reasons that may indicate you need to open a checking account.
1. When you first begin making money.
There’s nothing like the sense of pride from earning your first paycheck or pocketing cash from a regular babysitting gig. Depositing those funds into an FDIC-insured checking account allows you to protect and access your money with a debit card, while establishing good spending habits from a young age.
With free account features like online and mobile banking, you can begin managing and tracking your money to establish a monthly budget. You can even set up custom account and security alerts while benefitting from features like continuous fraud monitoring to keep your earnings safe. Consider a free checking account with these features and no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement, like a Freedom Blue® Checking account.
2. When you need regular access to funds for everyday expenses.
From everyday purchases to paying important bills, a checking account is essential when you need frequent access to your money. There are many convenient features that a checking account provides when it comes to managing your expenses and it can even be a vehicle to save for the future.
A checking account can be used to automatically pay bills, which avoids the hassle of mailing a payment or dealing with late fees. “Checkless” checking accounts allow you to make purchases with your debit card while benefitting from the guarantee and protection of an FDIC-insured account. When you set up direct deposit of a paycheck into your checking account, you can simultaneously save for your future by delegating a portion directly into a linked savings account.
With free tools like online and mobile banking, you can manage your money whenever you need to. With a mobile banking app, you can deposit checks on the go and send funds through P2P. Setting up a digital wallet by linking a debit card directly to your smartphone is a safe, easy and contactless way to pay at checkout.
With a Middlesex personal checking account, you’ll get the flexibility to bank your way with access to online and mobile banking, thousands of fee-free ATMs worldwide, a local Massachusetts-based Information Center, and over 30 branches for in-person support from knowledgeable bankers.
3. When you want to merge finances with a partner.Communication is key when it comes to merging finances with a significant other. It’s crucial to understand each other’s financial position, including savings and debt like student loans if applicable. You’ll want to review each person’s monthly income and use it to create and stick to a budget. You and your partner should discuss individual contributions and if you’d like to open a joint checking account or maintain separate ones. Read more on the different ways to approach merging your finances with a significant other.
4. When you go through a divorce or separation.When going through a divorce or separation, you may want to consider opening a separate checking account. While it is best to consult legal or other guidance, having a separate checking account in your name may be helpful for access to funds during the process.
5. When you’re ready to switch or upgrade an existing checking account.If you have a combined account balance above $10,000 and are looking to get more out of your checking relationship, you may want to consider an account that offers additional benefits like free ATM reimbursements and access to high-yield savings accounts. Combined balances are average monthly balances in all deposit accounts plus all outstanding portfolio loan balances.
A checking account with extra benefits, like a Freedom Gold® Checking account, is a fit for those who maintain a $10,000 combined balance - including Middlesex loans. Freedom Gold Checking offers more convenience and better rates on money funds. Your outstanding loan balances also count toward waiving the monthly fee, so it’s easier to get more for less.
Looking for something more? Freedom Platinum® Checking gives you the best Middlesex Savings Bank has to offer, with higher deposit account rates, reduced fees, and other premium benefits. This account is a fit for those who maintain a $50,000 combined balance, who will also receive unlimited reimbursements for ATM surcharge fees when using a non-Middlesex machine.
If you're ready to open a checking account, Middlesex Savings Bank is here to help. Compare Middlesex checking accounts and see which may be a fit for you or talk with our team of community bankers to guide you in the right direction. To get started, you may apply for an account online, call our Information Center at 1-877-463-6287 or stop by one of our Massachusetts branches to speak with an experienced team member.