Checking and savings accounts have the same pitiful returns. In order to be successful, in my opinion, you're going to have to get into the market.
That means doing a certain amount of self-study. Read the financial sections of your local newspapers, read magazines, etc.
Not every day, but get familiar with what's going on. Finally, approach a broker or two and explain to them that you want to start on a plan for your future.
Tell them you have a modest amount of money now, but you will be saving religiously as your income increases.
The only place I know of where you will get a decent return for your money is in the market.
Other than that, you are treading water or even losing ground.