A bank gives us a secure place to hold our cash. It allows us to keep track of the growth of our most important assets, the product of all of our work, and gives us a means to make this asset grow. Bank use also contributes to our credit history, and may open up many financial opportunities, from the ability to seek advice, to managing our retirement plans, to helping us secure a loan for a significant purchase like a house or car. Banks also give us the means to write checks against our cash in the form of a checking account, so that we may easily make purchases without the need to carry cash. And banks pay interest on our deposits, both in our savings accounts and certain types of checking and money market accounts, and certificates of deposits, as well.