Choose Your Checking Account Based on Your Lifestyle

We all have different ways we live life and manage our daily, weekly, and monthly expenses.

Depending on your lifestyle and what stage of life you're in, your banking needs will be different. Students, business owners, newlyweds and retirees all have diverse lifestyle preferences when it comes to money. Anyone thinking about opening a new checking account should look at one that caters toward their needs. Balancing your finances could be a lot easier when you start to use the right kind of checking account.

Enrolling in a checking account designed for the way you live can prove rewarding. For instance, a student checking account could provide free enrollment until graduation. Every little bit adds up when you're in school, and saving money on monthly fees can help divert funds toward other expenses related to your education.

Explore the following types of checking accounts based on four specific lifestyles.

1. Student or Young Adult Accounts

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Two types of accounts can be appealing for young adults. The first type is one that is designed for college students. The second is an account made for adults, not currently enrolled in school.

Students enrolled in school can open a checking account with most banks for free.

Notable features:

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly service fee
  • Free checks
  • Mobile banking

The only type of fees to watch out for are charges for using an out-of-network ATM. However, there are certain banks that offer this for free, such as Citibank.

Checking accounts that allow easy waiver options and mobile banking can be perfect for young adults not enrolled in school. Accounts like the Way2Save Checking from Wells Fargo has easy monthly waivers if your debit card is used at least 10 times a month, have $750 or more in direct deposits a month, or maintain no less than a $2,000 balance.

2. Retiree Checking Accounts

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An ideal checking account for a retired individual has the following benefits:

  • Earns interest
  • Free checks, cashier's checks, travelers checks, and money orders
  • Discounted or free safe deposit box

A senior account that waives the monthly fee for being 65 or older is perfect for people that don't want to worry about paying a fee for keeping money in an account.

U.S. Bank offers all of these features and more with its Premium Checking Account for Seniors. Other banks like West End has a prescription drug savings card that may appeal to seniors.

3. Joint Accounts for Newlyweds

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A newly married couple may consider opening a joint checking account, as it may help them work as one unit. Couples that start a life together can maintain balances easier when each person has a clear understanding of their financial situation.

An account such as Advantage with Tiered Interest Checking Account from Bank of America might be something newlyweds want to consider. The account comes with interest, a free safe deposit box, online bill pay, and payment reminders. An advanced checking account can provide newlyweds with a variety of options to make life easier.

4. Small Business Owners

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The new year is around the corner and many people are considering pursuing independent endeavors. Small business owners may want to open an account specifically to manage the funds for their business, as opposed to mixing normal living expenses with business funds.

Chase offers their Chase Total Business Checking that allows 200 transactions a month, $7,500 in cash deposits a month with no fee, $50,000 in cash deposits a month, and incoming and outgoing domestic wires.

Small business accounts can help a business owner break down profits made throughout the year and makes it easier to file taxes.

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  • Report this Comment On December 21, 2013, at 4:38 PM, vivyip wrote:

    The article was a good attempt, but did not do a great job in suggesting checking accounts for such types, though perhaps the author wanted to keep it to a major nationwide banks

    The suggestions for the students are okay, but perhaps the same could be applied to the senior citizens..many banks do have checking account aimed at students and retirees, but the students' might benefit more to a plain account that has a low to near zero minimum balance requirement. Students these days usually don't want to carry cash or use checks, preferrng to use online bill pay and reliable cards.

    For those who appreciate a safe deposit box and has not qualified for the retiree group, M&T Bank, where available, is great for the one of the cheapest safe-deposit box option...a minimum balance of 2500 in their mychoice plus(?) checking provides a "free" safe deposit box. otherwise, one would need to get on a waiting list at bank of america with $5k minimum balance in advantage checkng to get the "free" box. (other options include going after local banks...who often offer deeply discounted boxes in a relationship checkng with them)

    One of the main reasons I'm commentng is because I STRONGLY disagree with the newlywed account suggestion. The offering from BoA is an "advantage" account, which requires a high minimum balance. I believe that unless the account is to discourage a couple from spending the money inside, get a very no-frills account (no interest, preferably no min balance) because the new couple will probably need to use the money constantly. (interest is usually 0.01 APY for most places, so it's not really worth opening such an account....and 5k=> 50 cents for the ENTIRE YEAR (suggestion -- credit union...or if one must, free checking from a major bank...or even better..try going with an online bank)

    if one must choose amongst the "endorsed" banks (BoA, WF) then I would say go with BoA since BoA seems to have a reliable setup (I don't own a business so I'm not confident in suggesting any bank)

    Overall, the attempt is good, but perhaps the lifestyle suggestions might better be structured into a "saver, homeowner, student/retiree, daily use, and business"

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