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Saving, Banking, and Investing
Cash Course also has a variety of articles on Banking Your Money.
Holding Your Money
There are three main ways to save your money through a bank; checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificate of deposits.
Checking Accounts can be charged using Checks, Debit Cards, or ATMs and is a good place to store money you plan to spend.
While not all checking accounts will earn interest, savings accounts almost always do. Savings accounts are a good place for money you intend to hang on to for a little bit.
A Certificate of Deposit is an agreement between you and your bank that states that you have given them a specific sum of money for a specific length of time, and in return at the end of that time you will get your money back with higher interest than you can get in a savings account, and the longer you keep it in, and the larger the sum of money you deposit is, the higher your interest rate will be.
The money you give to banks or credit unions is the same money they use to invest in the form of loans. That is how they are able to pay you interest on your accounts.
Banks vs. Credit Unions
Banks are corporations who store and loan money in order to make a profit and benefit stock holders. They usually have many branches throughout the United States and even internationally. They also feature several online services.
In contrast to banks, Credit Unions are owned and run by their members. Because it is not a company they are able to offer higher interest rates, and convenient checking accounts. Credit Unions may not have as many branches and often do not have many online options.
Saving vs. Investing
Try Cash Course's article Understanding Saving Versus Investing for more info.