Making It Work For You......When You Know the Value of Money!

When is the best time to start to acquire wealth? The answer is now! You have many options available to you to start on the road to financial security. In this lesson you will explore numerous options. Complete the following activities.

Choosing a Checking Account

You have landed your first job and received your first paycheck of $345.87 which you will receive bi-weekly. You also have $300 which you have been saving for the past few months. You decided that the time has come to open a checking account at a local bank.

After completing this lesson you should:
  • Know what to look for in a bank that you want to do business with.
  • Understand the difference between different types of checking accounts banks offer to their customers.
  • Be able to make a comparison of checking account services and fees.
  • Be able to choose a bank and checking account that will best suit your needs.

Choosing the Right Bank

Just drive down the street in your town and you will probably see a bank or two on your way. How do you know which one to choose as your bank?
dollar_sign.jpgView the video.

1. Opening A Checking Account

Once you start earning money you will need to open a checking account at a local bank. By placing your money in a checking account you will be able to:

  • Establish a relationship with a bank.
  • Place your money in a safe location.
  • Have a convenient way to pay bills either by mail or online.

What to Look For In A Checking Account

At the bank you went to the counter and told the teller that you wanted to open a checking account. The teller asked, "Which type of checking account would you like to open? We have many to choose from." She handed you a brochure that listed all the accounts that bank offers. You decided that this was something you needed to think about and went home to do a little homework before you make your final choice.

At home, you fired up the computer and went to the Internet get help in determining how to choose the right checking account and to visit the area banks' web pages to get some information.

dollar_sign.jpg(View the video before continuing.)

Part A: Getting Advice from Others About Choosing a Checking Account

Listen to what others say about choosing a checking account. You will need this information later.
dollar_sign.jpgView the following videos.

What types of Checking Accounts Are There?

Since you never had a checking account before, you decided to find out what makes the difference between a:
  • Regular checking account
  • Checking account that earns interest, and
  • a Money Market Account.

Regular checking accounts are the most basic. But you need more information about checking accounts with interest and Money Market Accounts.

dollar_sign.jpgWatch the following videos to learn more about these account types.

Checking with Interest

Money Market

dollar_sign.jpgPart A Assignment

Now that you have watched the videos, send an email to: with "Types of Accounts" in the subject line and give five important bits of information or advice that you heard in the above videos.

Part B: Comparing Banks and Services

Part of deciding which bank and services to choose is to make a comparison between banks in your area.

dollar_sign.jpgPart B Assignment

For this activity you will need to:
  1. Gather information about checking accounts from local banks in our area from the web sites below.
  2. Use this spreadsheet to list information about a regular checking, checking with interest and Money Market accounts from each bank. You will need to make a copy of this file in Google Docs so that you can enter information. Make sure to rename the file so that it has your name on it.
  3. Share your spreadsheet with Mrs. Kennedy buy clicking in the box next to your file to place a check mark. Drag the file into your "Personal Finance" collections folder.

dollar_sign.jpgPart C Assignment

  1. Choose the right checking account for you. Now look at the information you gathered and decide which account will be the best for you. Send me an email at: with "Checking Account" in the subject line. In the email, tell me the bank you chose and the type and name of the checking you will open. Explain in detail why you chose that bank and that account type. Be specific. Make sure you refer to the information gathered from your spreadsheet. Make sure you refer to the introduction of this lesson. The amount of money you earn and have on hand will have influence on the account type you choose.


Visit the web sites for each bank below. Next choose three to use for your above activity. Make sure the bank provides enough information for you to do your comparison and an informed decision.

1st Summit Bank

First National Bank

Penncrest Bank

AmeriServ Financial

First Commonwealth

Pittsburgh National Bank