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Savings accounts are safe, convenient, and make your money easily available. Is a savings account right for you?
Extremely low. Insured by the FDIC up to $100,000
You probably remember your first savings account. Mom or Dad may have helped you make your initial deposit with that first, hard-earned dollar from mowing the neighbor's lawn or babysitting the kids down the street. As you can imagine, things have changed since those days of Passbook Savings Accounts.
Today, many banks offer a range of savings accounts for their customers. Savings accounts can usually be opened with as little as $50.00, and often do not require a minimum monthly balance, as do some other types of accounts.
The primary advantages of a traditional savings account include safety and convenience. However, compared to other investment opportunities, they generally pay a much lower rate of interest; therefore, your investment will grow slowly. In fact, you may want to compare your annual percentage yield (shown on your statement) against the annual rate of inflation to make sure your savings account is generating some growth for you.
Sometimes savings accounts can be tied directly to checking accounts as a means of overdraft protection. This means that, should you overdraw your checking account, funds from your savings account can be pulled automatically into your checking account to pay any checks that may overdraw your account. Check with your bank to see if this is an option for you.
You may also (depending on your bank's regulations) have access to your savings account via an ATM card. Many times, your savings account and checking account information are accessible through the same ATM card, giving you ease of use by only needing to carry one card for both accounts.
Is a savings account right for you? Maybe. A savings account may be just the right vehicle when you first begin your savings strategy. If you have a non-interest bearing checking account, you may want to use your savings account to hold your funds, and then make transfers to your checking account in time to fund your checks. It's also a good place to keep an emergency fund, because your money is readily available. Remember, even though your interest growth in a savings account is very slow, any amount of savings is better than no savings at all. See the Better Business Bureau's BBBTips on Saving and Investing article.
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