Checking vs Savings


Oct 30 2023 • 12 mins

Checking versus a savings account. Do you really know the difference? How many people are still actually writing checks these days? When should you open these accounts? We answer and discuss these questions and more in season 2 episode 3 of the Cash Kid Podcast. Join us as we dig deeper into building super financial literacy skills in this episode. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Checking vs Savings Account

What’s up Cash Kids! First, every week we are watching the number of new listeners and we can’t thank you enough for joining us on this journey. Right now, you are listening to season 2 episode 3 of the Cash Kid Podcast where we are focused on learning super financial skills. So, let’s get started!

First a riddle for  you.

I love riddles. What kind of book can make money? The answer,coming up.

The Cash Kid Podcast is underway!

Intro tease:

So you’ve got some cash. Maybe from an allowance, or that money your grandma gave you for your 7th birthday. Here you go, sweetie. Thanks, Grandma.

Whatever it is, what are you going to do with it? Spend it, hide it away… or maybe invest it? Let’s start learning how to make that money grow.

Time to learn how to be a cash kid.

Checking vs a Savings Account. Do you really know the difference? When do you need one, or both? And are writing checks the ancient past. Hahaha! Joining me today to break it all down is Mrs. Amy Greer with Cadence Bank.

She is the Director of Digital Transformation where she works to make sure customers have a great experience online or in banking apps, including all types of money movement that we will talk about today.

Thank you, Mrs. Greer, for joining us on the show.

Amy Greer: You're welcome. I'm so glad to be here.

Cash Kid: First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Amy Greer: So, my name is Amy Greer, and I have been in banking for over 18 years. And I was with Region’s Bank for a while. And now I've just started a new journey with Cadence Bank here in Birmingham and have always been very passionate about financial literacy and in making sure that the banks can provide tools and technology to help users learn how to manage their financial life.

Cash Kid: All right. We've brought you on to help educate our audience about the difference between a checking and a savings account. Let's start with checking. Tell us basically what that is. Please.

Amy Greer: So a checking account is basically a place for you to store your money at at a bank that can be opened for you by a parent. Really, at any age, they can set it up and they can be joint on your account. But until you're 18. Typically in most states you can't have one on your own.

So if you have if you earn money from chores or different projects you worked on or jobs as you get older and you start to get jobs, anything like that that you earn or even money that you get as a gift for Christmas or various birthdays. It can all be deposited here in the bank. And the good thing at any bank and a checking account is that it's safe there and it's guaranteed.

You can add on other tools to it, like a debit card that allows you to use money in it, like a mobile app that allows you to have access to the funds that sit to the funds that sit in your checking account.

You can then leverage a lot of different ways to send money to people, whether it's through other payment apps like Venmo or PayPal that we all know so much about. Or within the bank account, you can move money out of your checking account for that. You can also use it to buy goods. So there's something that that you need, whether it's food your parents have given you money or you've saved your allowance or something beyond just food it’s something you’ve worked for and you’re ready to purchase it. It’s many different purposes and it’s just a great practice to start learning early on in life.

Cash Kid: What would be some reasons for a kid to open a checking account?

Amy Greer: Well, I think the main reason would be to really get you introduced to learning how to manage money. Until you can have your own account and really see that money that you got, that you earned or that you got as a gift is sitting right here in this bank in this account and it’s safe. And if I go use some of that money for something fun or something, I need to do something I want to donate.

Then you can see what it does to the balance and it triggers it starts in your brain early at an early and important age for you to start realizing what you have left, what you've earned. And the concept of sharing money when needed. And it just helps. It helps develop responsible behaviors.

Cash Kid: Are there fees to consider with a checking account?

Amy Greer: Yes, there can be fees. Actually, that is a very important thing to look into when you're choosing between different checking accounts. So some checking accounts require you to have a certain balance, which means you have to have maybe, let's say, at least $100 in the checking account. And if you go below that, then there will be a fee.

And that's really because it costs the banks money to hold the checking account. However, most of the time, and especially for kids for minor accounts or those that you're on with, with a parent, there are many things that you can do.

Many ways you can avoid a fee. Sometimes it's as simple is just enrolling in online statements and then the bank will what they will do, what they call waive the fee. So they'll just pretend that you don't get it that month or again, if you make a certain number of transactions, then the fee can be waived. So there are a lot of different options and opportunities out there for you to choose from.

Cash Kid: Just curious, my mom talks about when she got a checking account. She was taught to actually write down each transaction in her checkbook. I understand that that's ancient now mostly, but would you agree and talk how people balance a checking account now?

Amy Greer: Yes, actually, I do. While I do agree that it's an older practice, I will tell you, I know personally it is a very valuable one. And strangely enough, I used to enjoy it very much. I loved keeping a perfect check register. I would. I was color coordinated, and I loved writing everything down. And I miss those days.

I now, like most people, rely on the digital platforms to write down where they've spent money. I’m sorry to track where they spent money in lieu of writing it down. So when you log into online banking now for people that don't keep a checking, a check register, when you log into your mobile or online banking, you can see a history of everything that's come in and out of your account.

So that's primarily what people use today to track their funds, money in and money out. But there's also the occasional need for writing a check. And so when you do that, you still, there's nothing there's nothing wrong with writing it down and actually keeping a check register, because it can certainly also be helpful for you in the future.

Cash Kid: And maybe a follow up to the ancient practice question. How do people still write physical checks?

Amy Greer: Well, that, I will say, is decreasing by the day. So even the the pandemic, the COVID pandemic in 2020 kind of started even a more more of a downward trend in usage of checks than we were seeing before. And that was because people weren't around to write checks and hand checks to each other. We were quarantined for a while and then, you know, everyone had those a little bit of angst and nervousness about passing and sharing cash and checks.

So with that, I think most Americans I read that 57% have not written a check in the past month. And there was an even larger an even more material number than that that had not written one in in a year. So I think it just about now, it's an average of about 4% of all of our transactions in America.

Only 4% are written checks.

(music break)

Cash Kid: All right. Let's turn to the savings account now. What is a savings account?

Amy Greer: So a savings account is also something a tool that is offered by banks or financial institutions that give you a safe place to put your funds for that you might be saving for any particular reason. You name it. It could be set aside some money for an emergency fund or to reach certain goals, trips, sports equipment, things such as that.

But it's a way that you can know instead of keeping cash under your mattress or cash in one of your drawer hoping your siblings don’t find it like mine do here sometimes. It is a good place to store your money to save. And the good news is, is that you get paid interest. So the banks, the way banks operate is they actually depend on having your money in savings accounts and even in checking account.

So a certain degree, because they are able to then use that to give out loans to other people. So it's still your money and it's still safe. But. But because of that, because it's so valuable to a banking system, you get paid interest. So it's a really good way to watch your money just grow automatically.

Cash Kid: At what age can someone open a savings account?

Amy Greer: So the good news is parents can open one for you at any age. You can open one at birth and they can start contributing to it and grandparents can start contributing to it for the for a child individually to open one on their own. It actually goes in accordance with state laws and federal laws. That is typically around 18.

Cash Kid: What would be a reason to start a savings account as a kid?

Amy Greer: Well, there's so many reasons to choose from for that. Like I mentioned earlier, it can help you learn responsibility by setting aside some percentage of all the money that you make. If you just start the habit of moving some of that into your savings every time you get money, whether it's paid for a service you provided or paid for a good you made or an allowance, just set aside some of that in a savings.

And there's also many big, big future events that you can start saving for and help your parents out like cars and college and maybe one day weddings.

Many things that you can start saving for in the future. It's never too early to start saving.

Cash Kid: Is there anything we haven't asked you that you would like to share with our audience?

Amy Greer: And everyone just remember even the quarters and pennies and all of that you have laying around all add up. So start collecting it and get out and get your account and get your your behaviors for spending and saving better under control so that you'll be best set for the future.

(music starts)

Thank you Mrs. Greer. That’s exactly what we are seeking to achieve with this podcast. Setting ourselves up young for financial success.

Cash Kids, we are just getting started with diving deeper into building our super financial literacy skills. Be sure to tune in next week where we discuss if you really know the difference between debit and credit. Do you? We’ll see.

Oh, and to answer our riddle.  What kind of book can make money? The answer is a checkbook. But I called that an ancient practice today… hahaha…. so not so much anymore.

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