Make Goals for a Savings Account
Before you open a savings account you need to have a savings plan. A savings account will help you manage your money better and also be a secure, convenient, safe place to secure the money you save.
First you want have a goal and keep that goal in mind. Saving your money with goals in mind makes it easier not to dip into the savings account for other reasons. In fact you may want to open more than one savings account when you have more than one goal. SmartyPig and ING Direct allow you to create specific goals so you can money for each goal separated. Savings accounts can give you a sense of security. One of the best reasons for having a savings account is the sense of security you have knowing you have put some money away for something you want or even emergencies.
Of course you could sock money away in drawers or under you mattress, but banks are better. Banks have safes, guards, alarms, and cameras to help keep your money safe. Plus your money is earning interest while it sits and waits for you.
In times like these we are all glad these savings accounts are FDIC insured.
Make a budget
Lets talk about budgets. Budgets are what tell you how much you spend in comparison to what you earn. Before you open a savings account, it is a good idea to take inventory of your spending. Write down, for one month, all your expenses. Include all the bills, groceries, insurance premiums, misc spending, mortgages, and all facets of your spending including those non-monthly bills. When you do this you will know where you can take the money from to save. You may be able see where you can cut out those 3 soft drinks a day, use coupons, or eat out less and put this money into your savings account.
Using a budget shows you exactly where your money is going, thus allowing you to allocate it to better uses. When you know how much you spend each month you can decide how much you can save and how long it will take you to save the amount you need.
Lets say you have found you can save $15.00 each week or $60.00 a month. Now divide your goal by $60 and you will know how many months you will need to save that much to reach your goal.
Requirements for opening a savings account
You have decided to open a savings account. Here is how you go about it.
Take your ID, social security number, and of course the money to put in your savings account with you to the bank. However, if you are under 18 and want to open a savings account you will need to have your parents or guardian go with you to open the savings account. You or your parents will then fill out the papers and sign them and voila! You have your account.
Features and Fees
A savings account is a sure and safe method of saving money. A savings account lets you deposit and withdraw money and pays you to keep it there. Interest is what makes a savings account worthwhile.
You can shop around, either online or by going to the banks in your city, and find the highest going interest rate for a savings account. This is the amount the bank pays you on your money in your savings account. Online banking accounts are still FDIC insured and usually offer higher interest rates than local banks. To see a list of the highest savings account interest rates from across the nation, check out the best savings account rates chart and select any one of the banks listed in the chart. You will need to learn not to withdraw much from your savings or you will defeat your purpose. The more you have in your savings account the more interest you will earn.
This interest is calculated by the rate the bank is giving on the savings account. If the rate is 5% you would have earned $5.00. Since interest rates vary with each bank and account you would be wise to look around and compare interest rates of a few banks both online and offline.
Interest rates are not fixed rates. Rates vary and change all the time depending on the market. You may open your account with a different rate that can change up or down, maybe more than once. While you want to get the highest interest there is on the market, it is not practical to switch companies. Just pick the best one you can find.
Typically there are no restrictions or penalties on savings accounts for frequent withdrawals. About 65% of customers use a savings account even though they pay the lowest rates because the money is always accessible.