Savings accounts are a good way to do what their name suggests, save money. Growing a habit of putting a set amount of money from every paycheck is a good way to save. Saving money a small amount at a time can add up. Here are some things you should know when opening your savings account.
The most important feature of a savings account is the interest rate the bank pays on your savings. After all the goal of a savings account is to save money and while your money is sitting in the bank account it should also grow through the accumulation of interest paid on it by the bank. If the bank would not pay any interest on that money you would actually be losing money due to inflation.
Another thing to consider is the minimum deposit needed to open a savings account. You should make sure that you do have enough money to top that amount. This is usually not a problem though since many banks let you open a savings account with just a dollar deposited while some other require larger sums but still manageable in the tens of dollars.
Having your savings account with the same bank where you keep your checking account and maybe other business is a good idea but it is not necessary. Although convenient if it results in getting a lower interest rate than it might not be worth it. If your bank where your checking account is managed offers a lower interest rate on savings account than you can find somewhere else try to negotiate with your bank to raise their interest rate. You will be surprised at home often that can work and if not just walk away and go to the highest one. Make sure though that the bank you are going to save your money at is FDIC insured otherwise you are risking your money and the extra interest rate you might get from a non FDIC bank might cost you much more if things go bad for that bank.
Having easy access to your savings account is important too. If depositing money is hard you might end up not doing so. Make sure that you can easily deposit funds. Most banks today provide online access and will let you deposit money online directly from your checking account sometimes linking to checking accounts at other banks. If not you should be able to write a check and mail it for deposit.
Set an achievable target. Try not to withdraw money from your savings account even though it is the easiest solution for a temporary cash need.
Some banks would provide you with a debit card linked to your savings account. It is better to refuse that card as it will just serve as temptation for using the money in your savings account instead of saving it.
Savings account are a great way to save small amounts of money. If you accumulate larger sums you should look at other savings instruments like certificate deposits (CDs), mutual funds and more. You can get higher interest rate with CDs for larger sums of money that you can put lock aside for a predetermined period of time and you can get even more if you are willing to take a risk and invest some of your money in mutual funds and stocks.
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