RESPONSIBILITIES OF HAVING A
CHECKING ACCOUNT.You have responsibili-
ties when you have a checking account. You must
maintain your check register with exactness to avoid
checks being returned for insufficient funds. This is
known as bouncing a check. For example, if you write
out a check and there isnt enough money in your
account to cover the check, the check will bounce. The
check will usually be sent back to the payee with
Non-sufficient Funds stamped on it. The bank and the
payee will charge you more money because you wrote a
bad check. To avoid bouncing a check, always balance
Here are some tips you can use to avoid bouncing a
1. Each month, your bank will send a statement of
your transactions. Check it for accuracy and
balance your checkbook each month (fig. 17-4).
2. Always record transactions in your check
register as they occur.
3. Be aware of any service fees and deduct them
Its unlawful to knowingly write a check when you
dont have the necessary funds in your account. In fact,
UCMJ, article 123a, prohibits this action. Also, its a
federal offense in civilian courts. Further, writing
checks without having sufficient funds can do the
Ruin your credit history
Destroy your reputation
Land you in jail (civilian and/or military)
Convenience cards are available from your
financial institution. These cards make it easier to get
money and to make purchases from your bank account.
Two types of convenience cards are covered in this
section. If you have a convenience card, you will have a
personal identification number (PIN). A PIN is a secret
access code that you must provide to use your
convenience card. Do not tell your PIN to anyone.
Do not make purchases that will exceed the
balance in your checking account.
One thing to remember, make sure that you update
your check register each time you make a transaction
using a convenience card. Updating your check register
will prevent you from overdrawing your checking
Finally, a record of all your convenience card
transactions will appear on your monthly bank
AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (ATM)
CARDS.ATM cards are available from your
financial institution. ATM cards can be used to make
deposits or withdrawals; to make inquiries about
account balances; or to move money among your
accounts. ATM cards can also be used 24 hours a day, 7
days a week.
CHECK (DEBIT) CARDS.You can use a debit
card instead of writing a check. When used to pay for
merchandise or services, the amount is automatically
deducted from your checking account. You can use your
1. Is there a minimum balance required?
2. Does the account pay interest?
3. Is there a monthly service fee? Are there other service charges?
4. Is there a limit on how many checks per month I can write?
5. What is the cost to order checks?
6. Are canceled checks returned or photocopied?
7. Is overdraft protection available?