Let us help you Build a Personalized Financial Plan


How To Pick a Bank

How-To A bank relationship is usually long-term.  So pick a bank that offers the services you want tomorrow, as well as today, most reasonably.  


Know what you want

Figure out what’s important – today and tomorrow

  • Security.  Deposit insurance and secure computer systems are a must.
  • Access.  What do you need in the way of branches, ATMs, and on-line banking?
  • Services.  What do you need in the way of multiple accounts, bill paying, cashier’s checks/money orders and transfers, loan options, and customer service?

Fees & Rates

Know the fees you’ll pay for the features you want

  • Fees vary widely.  A checking account that meets your needs could be free at one bank and cost $10 a month at another.  Bounced checks could cost $10 at one bank and $35 at another.  These differences add up.  So know your needs and habits, and their cost at different banks.
  • Interest rates also vary, though much less than fees.  If you plan to deposit a lot or borrow a lot at this particular bank, these differences can also be quite significant.

Find the Best Deal

You can quickly compare bank fees, rates, & services online

You can print out and use the worksheet below to help identify your needs and the best way to meet them.

Bank Score CardImportance todayImportance tomorrowBank Score
Deposit insurance   
Online banking   
Direct deposit of paycheck   
Branch location and hours   
Loan options   
Bill paying   
Cashier’s checks/money orders/ Wire transfers   
Free linked accounts   
Quality of customer service   
Bank Score 



Open an Account

Visit your local bank during business hours. Bring along:

  • Your drivers license or government ID.
  • Your Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number.
  • A utility bill or lease that was sent to your home address.
  • A check, cash, or money order for an initial deposit.

To open an account on-line, go to the online bank of your choice and follow their directions!

Get it done

Nothing Happens Unless You Make it Happen

Print out this How-To and put  reminders in your calendar to help you move from How-To to Done!



Related Programs


Money in your pocket gets spent.  So set up a system that moves it where it should go before it gets spent.  

How To Move Money From Spending To Savings

Learn More

401(k)s and 403(b)s are retirement savings plans with special tax benefits set up by employers, IRAs by individuals.

Learn About IRAs, 401(k)s, & 403(b)s


It’s often hard to know how much you’re spending – until you overspend.  So set up a system that puts you in control.

How To Manage Everyday Spending


If trust and expertise is what you want, here's how to find a planner that fits the bill.

How To Pick a Financial Planner