Personal Bank Account
Having a personal bank account is essential for anyone in today's technology-centered society. Anyone who has a job, or has bills that need to be paid, will find that having one makes life much easier. Opening an account is relatively easy and provides the holder with a wide variety of bonuses that will make planning finances simpler. Online banking, automatic bill pay, and ATM debit cards that can be used as credit cards are just a few of the ways that having an account helps someone with spending and keeping track of money. There are different options, ranging from free, basic accounts, to more sophisticated ones that charge a nominal fee; regardless of a person's needs, he can find an option that is right for him.
Why does everyone need to have a personal bank account? There are many different reasons; for those with a job, having one means that a paycheck can be directly deposited each payday. This eliminates the need to go and have a check cashed, and it creates a certain predictability that many find comforting when scheduling bill payments and automatic drafts. Having a personal bank account also means that a person no longer has to pay all his bills with cash. By using checks or a debit card, a paper trail is created, and an individual has a record in case a payment is ever not received or if a company denies receiving payment.
Before going to open a personal bank account for the first time, a person needs to be aware of what may be required from him. Many have a minimum deposit that must be made in order to make the account active. This amount will vary depending on what banking institution a person goes to, but they usually all require the deposit to be made with cash. A person also needs to know what forms of identification to take with him; banks will almost also require a driver's license, or if one is unavailable, then a picture I.D. Generally, a social security card is also needed in order to process the paperwork.
Nearly every adult has a wide variety of bills they have to pay every month. Mortgage, or rent, payments need to be made in order to ensure a person has a roof over his head. Power, water, and telephone must also be paid in order to keep those utilities current. Keeping up with the various due dates and amounts that need to be paid can be a taxing chore. One of the perks of having a personal bank account is that one is able to schedule payments to automatically draft out. Once these provisions are set up, a person does not even have to think about them anymore. Unless a due date changes, or an amount changes, the bills will be paid every month without having to worry about them. This also ensures that late fees are not incurred because the payments will be made automatically on time.
As any parent will tell a child, having a personal bank account is a big responsibility. A person needs to be wise and cautious to make sure that his information is protected. With advances in technology and the increasing deviousness of criminals, protecting one's financial and personal information has become a bit more difficult, but it is not impossible. A person is wise to heed the advice of professionals in regards to ways to protect his account. While some of the tips may be obvious, like not giving one's ATM card code out, there are other helpful hints, such as making sure to shred statements and any other financial correspondence after reading. Even if a person would rather not waste time safeguarding his information, making the wise decision to do so is vitally important because "There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up" (Proverbs 21:20).
Another important thing to remember when maintaining a personal bank account is that the balance should be carefully watched. When a great deal of money is being spent, it is easy to lose track of how much one has withdrawn and what is left in the bank. When a person over spends the balance that he has available, overdrafts can occur. While each bank is different, all charge a fee for each check or debit that overdrafts the account. If this happens, the best case scenario is that the bank will go ahead and pay the individual whom the check was written to, but the fee will still be charged. In the worst case, the check will be returned to the person who tried to cash it, marked as having "insufficient funds." In this situation, a person will have to pay the overdraft charge and will have to pay a fee to whatever business received the returned check. All these fees can add up, especially if several transactions "bounce," and a person can quickly find himself in financial trouble.
By making wise decisions, and staying aware of one's personal finances, a person will find that he can reap many benefits from having a personal bank account. He will have stability in regards to being able to pay bills, on time and without much hassle. He will also be able to deposit money for safe keeping. An individual can also open a savings account in addition to his checking, allowing for the potential to save money for big purchases. And considering how easy it is to begin one, and the many benefits that go along with having one, there is no reason a person should miss out on such an opportunity.
Free Business Checking AccountsMost banks offer free business checking accounts that business owners and entrepreneurs can open, which give them the freedom to not have to worry about hidden fees. Opening one of these accounts is generally hassle-free, and most consider the benefits to be worth any minor inconvenience they may encounter. When a person owns a business, it is expected that money will be continually changing hands. Deposits need to be made once a client or customer pays for a service or product, and a company has to pay bills for inventory, overhead, and payroll. In truth, with so much money constantly being either deposited or withdrawn, having a specialized account is vital.
There are a people who, even though they own a business, refuse to open a separate account in order to handle affairs directly related to their company. Unfortunately, making such a decision is not always wise. By mixing both personal and professional monies, the likelihood of making mistakes in balancing increases. Not only can a person have difficulty figuring out his personal balance versus his company's balance when the two are combined, when tax time comes, people who only use a personal account for all their daily transactions and corporate dealings may also have trouble finding deductions and other pertinent information. If transactions that were the company's are buried in the day-to-day activity, they can be difficult to distinguish from each another. This can cost the taxpayer thousands of dollars if he is not careful. Signing up for one of the free business checking accounts is a great way to make sure that corporate and personal finances are kept separate, yet still easily accessible.
When comparing various banks' offers of free business checking accounts, understanding the standard perks that are offered is important. Some banks may differ slightly in the amount of transactions a person can use per month without being charged a fee, and others may have a differing policy on whether a minimum balance must be maintained, but there are standard perks that are generally uniform for all banks. For example, almost all banks, regardless of whether they are credit unions or national chains, offer free online checking. This is a useful tool for any entrepreneur; by having the ability to pay bills and transfer funds over the Internet, a person does not have to waste valuable time that he may not be able to spare by running back and forth to the bank. Another benefit to online banking is that a person is able to check his balance anytime of the day; he even has the ability to search for specific transactions and see a history of recent activity, even before or after normal banking hours.
Something that a person must consider when deciding between differing banks and their varying free business checking accounts is whether there is a maximum allowable amount of transactions per month. Some banking institutions only allow a hundred and fifty transactions per month; this means that every check that is deposited, or every check that is written and withdrawn by another individual counts against the maximum allowed. Others set the limit at two hundred; of course, a person needs to be aware of the fact that some may allow for even more, and others may have even lower limits. After the limits are reached, a service charge is incurred every time a deposit or withdrawal takes place. Once again, the amount of this nominal fee will vary, but they are usually around the fifty cent mark.
What does this mean to a person when he is deciding between free business checking accounts? Well, if a person has a booming business, meaning that money is frequently having to be put into the account or if many different bills need to be paid within a month, foregoing a free account for one that charges a small fee might be advisable. This will mean that the strictures that apply to free business checking accounts do not apply. Limits will either be much higher, or nonexistent. However, if a person's business does not have to handle the frequency of a much larger operation, there is no reason why a free account will not suffice.
Another thing to consider when looking into an account is whether the bank requires that the business owner maintain a minimum monthly balance. Some banks do not have such a requirement, so the owner has the freedom to let the balance fluctuate without having to worry about incurring extra charges. Others may impose a minimum that can range up to ten thousand dollars. A person would be wise, when looking at free business checking accounts, to bypass those who have minimum monthly balance clauses. Considering the fact that many banks do not have such a policy, a person should not have much difficulty finding a bank that meets the rest of his needs without demanding a certain minimum in the bank each month.
Small business owners and owners of large companies have to have a way of conducting their dealings in an efficient and cost-effective manner. One of the first steps to doing this is signing up for one the free business checking accounts that are offered by nearly every bank in the country. Being wise with one's money is a guaranteed key to financial success for companies. "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich" (Proverbs 10:4). And considering the many different perks a person becomes eligible for, such as a free ATM debit card, coupled with the ability to effectively organize one's money, there is no reason that any company should not take advantage of one of these offers.