Best Places to Store Your Savings
Congratulations on taking a huge step to secure your financial future – saving! Even tiny amounts add up if you save regularly. But where is the best place to stash it? Sure, it’s tempting to stick your money under the mattress and forget about it, but it’s not the safest place—not to mention it’s not earning anything. So, where’s the best place? With so many options, it can be hard to decide.
Each one functions about the same—store your money at a financial institution, and in return, the money earns dividends or interest. Not to mention, the money you deposit in a federally insured bank or credit union is protected up to $250,000—that’s a lot better than the mattress idea. But each type of account has different benefits. Let’s explore these three basic types of accounts.
|Type of Account
|Traditional Savings Account
|No limits on deposits or withdrawals. Usually, no minimum balance to maintain
|Lowest returns (APY)
|Easy money access. Earning rates are a bit higher than traditional savings
|Higher account balance requirements
|Highest earning rates
|Limited access to funds. Penalty for early withdrawal
Traditional Savings Accounts
This type of account is probably what your first think of when you consider where to store your money. If you simply want to save money and have it separate from your day-to-day spending, this is a great option, especially if you’re not sure when you’ll need your savings and don’t have much to put away. These accounts typically have the lowest minimum deposit requirements and the fewest withdrawal restrictions, but they usually have a lower rate of return.
Money Market Accounts
A money market account is a nice middle-of-the-road savings account. It’s similar to a savings account in that it’s a place to store your funds while earning dividends safely, but unlike a traditional savings account, a money market account typically requires a larger minimum balance. But with that higher balance comes a higher rate of return.
In fact, many financial institutions also offer rate tiers, which means maintaining a higher balance will earn you a more favorable APY. Plus, you still have access to your funds anytime you want.
A certificate account is a great savings tool if you don’t need quick access to your money. They tend to have the highest return rates out of any savings account, but you must agree not to access your money until the end of your deposit’s term, which is usually anywhere from six months to five years. Withdrawing your funds early from a certificate is possible, but it comes with hefty early withdrawal penalties.
The Bottom Line
Having a savings account is always a great idea, but which type of account depends entirely on your unique financial goals and situation. Once you have a solid foundation for saving, you might want to look into investing.