More than half of Americans either don't have a savings account, don't have any money in their account or only have the minimum balance in it, a survey by GOBankingRates found . Another 13 percent have less than $1,000 in their savings account.
This is a trend millennials would do well to reject. Having a savings account has many advantages, with very few disadvantages.
One of the best aspects about savings accounts is how fast you can have access to it when you need money. No matter how well you budget your money, there is always a chance that your financial plan might not work out. A job loss or a sudden medical emergency could leave you wondering how you're going to pay the bills next month. The best way to protect yourself from these situations is to have an emergency fund stocked away.
Having some extra money - three to six months worth of your income is a good start - will help to manage unforeseen circumstances, without going into debt. A savings account is a great tool to use for this because you can access your money right away. Other investment strategies don't allow this as readily. If you take money out of a certificate of deposit or a 401(k) before the time is right, you will be subject to fines.
Safe and Easy to Start
As Get Rich Slowly pointed out, it's very easy to start a savings account . All it takes is filling out a form or even taking a few minutes online, and supplying your first deposit. This deposit doesn't have to amount to much, either. Bankrate explained the typical minimum amount for a savings account is between $1 and $25 . The minimum will be different for different banks, so be sure to find out what this amount is before opening a new account. Also, make sure you ask and understand if there are any restrictions for accounts below the minimum balance.
Get Rich Slowly said some people may want to start saving and investing, but don't know where to start. This is the advantage of a savings account; it's a step in the right direction. Since they're so easy to set up, you can do it right away. Once you determine what other ways you want to invest, you can take your money out of savings and immediately place it where you want. This strategy will keep your money safe as you research all the ways you can invest, from a 401(k) to the stock market.
Not only are savings accounts easy to open, but they are one of the most secure ways to invest your money. They are insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. There is no risk to putting your money in a savings account.
Interest that Works for You
The interest you earn by keeping money in a savings account will add up over time. Right now, rates are relatively low, but a low interest rate is better than none. Seeing your money grow in a savings account will encourage you to continue to save. Plus, the longer you have your savings account open, and the more money that is in it, the more interest you will accumulate. This means that, after several years of steadily adding money to it, you will see a larger amount of it come from interest.
Rates vary from bank to bank, so when you are deciding which bank to open an account with, be sure to compare this aspect. A higher rate will bring you more money, faster.
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