To figure out whether you're a candidate for online banking, see whether any of the following apply:

  • You're "wired" -- meaning you own a computer and have online access. (If you're reading this, there's a good chance that you're wired.)

  • You pay a lot of bills each month. Online banking can save you not only the stamp you'd stick on each envelope but also the trouble of writing your account number on each check, the cost of envelopes, and more. (No paper cuts, either!)

  • You use software such as Intuit's (NASDAQ:INTU) Quicken or Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Money. Using either of these means you've got half the work done. You've likely already entered information on your usual expenses, and you may be able to have your bank automatically update your check register online.

Online banking isn't for everyone -- yet. But it might be for you. Take some time to research it a bit. Ask your bank about the online banking features it offers. Chances are, you'll be able to check on your account balances from home any time you want and see when various checks have cleared.

Learn more at the Fool's banking area.

Also of interest should be our Savings Center, which is helpful if you're thinking about how to best deploy your short-term moolah (it offers Fools some special deals on interest rates). And you can learn all about brokerages and find one that's right for you in our Broker Center.