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

  • You own a computer with online access. (If you're reading this, there's a good chance that you do.)
  • 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. Sometimes you can also find better interest rates for various bank accounts online.

Drop by our Fool Banking center for more tips and guidance.

And learn more about banking prudently in these articles:

Intuit and Microsoft are both Motley Fool Inside Value picks.