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Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth

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Chapter 7. Banking for Fun and Profit

"A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Benjamin Franklin

Banking is the cornerstone of our financial lives, yet few people give it much thought. If you’re like most folks, you’ll shop around for a good deal on toilet paper, but you pick a bank simply because it’s close to you, your parents banked there, or they’re giving out free coffee mugs. But choosing the right bank and the right accounts can make your life easier and help you save (and possibly earn) some moolah.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to find a bank and accounts that match your lifestyle. You’ll also get tips for reducing fees and making the most of your accounts.

Choosing a Bank

Finding ways to increase your income can be exciting (see Chapter 6). You can even have fun looking for ways to cut your everyday expenses (Chapter 5), especially when you see the results in your bank account. But selecting the bank account itself? Boring, boring, boring. At least that’s the conventional view. Actually, you can have fun banking.

Consider two things when choosing a financial institution: the bank itself and the accounts it offers. Banks are tools for building positive cash flow, and bank accounts can help guide you toward your financial goals (some are better suited for the job than others). This section covers the different types of banks out there, and the next section (Finding Accounts That Meet Your Needs) explains the various kinds of accounts you can choose from.

Types of Banks

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