3 So, what do we do with the money we earn? We put our money in banks, because the alternative...well, there really isn’t a good alternative. Banks, however, are not all the same, which is why it’s important to understand how banks operate, and why they want you as a customer. Which bank should you choose? You may want to put your money in the bank your family uses, but if you are looking for a bank, do some comparison shopping. Visit different banks online and in person to compare their products, services, and fees. Just be sure to choose a bank that's convenient for use and one that offers free "in network" ATM machines. (You might also want to check out credit unions—they’re like banks, with similar services and products.) Which type of bank account is best? Banks offer a variety of accounts where you can keep and access your money. These include checking accounts, savings accounts, and Certifi- cates of Deposit. Let's start with the one most commonly used—checking accounts. Checking Accounts If you receive a paycheck and want to use the money you earn to make purchases, pay bills, and make ATM withdrawals, you need to have a checking account. Once you open a checking account and make a deposit, the bank will provide you with some checks to get you started. You can also get a debit card or an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) card to go with your checking account. You can then write checks and use your debit card for purchases. You can also use your ATM or debit card to withdraw money from an ATM. Just make sure that you have enough money in your checking account to cover the transactions. Money in the Bank