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Should I Open a Savings Account?

Nov 22, 2007
Opening up a savings account can be a great idea for some consumers but it may not be the right choice for all consumers. This articles examines what a savings account is and for whom it might be advantageous to have one.

For those new to banking, a savings account is not the same as a checking account. They share some similarities, but at the core they are different.

In general terms, a savings account is a type of account that you can open at a bank or credit union. With this type of account, you deposit money into the account and leave it there in order for it to earn interest. You can, of course, take the money out of the account, but that defeats the purpose.

A savings account is a great way for some people to save money and to earn some interest off of that money. It is especially useful for those individuals who have limited amounts of cash to put away. Young people, especially younger married couples, often find that opening a savings account is the best way for them to save money. The reason for this is simple. Unlike some other types of investments which demand a certain amount of money be deposited or maintained at all times, a simple savings account allows you to deposit whatever you like, whenever you like.

Another reason a savings account is handy for those with limited funds is that the money you deposit into the account can be withdrawn immediately if you need to get it. Again, some other types of savings or investments instruments are not this fluid. Most savings accounts allow you to use the ATM as well, which offers even greater access to your money should an emergency arise. This is simply not the case with other types of accounts such as certificates of deposit or money market accounts.

Savings accounts are also safe for your money in two ways. No one should keep large amounts of cash at home; that is simply dangerous to do. The money could be stolen or if there were a fire, the cash could be destroyed. In both cases, you would completely lose your money with (probably) no way of getting it back.

The second safety feature that savings accounts have is that money that is deposited into a bank is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $100,000. If the bank is robbed or the bank burns down, you will still have your money. Even if the bank files bankruptcy, your money is safe.

When you are ready to open a savings account do some homework first. You want to find out which banks are offering the best interest rates and deal with those banks. If you belong to a credit union, you may want to ask them what their rates are. Credit unions are more competitive today with their savings account rates than they were some years ago, so it is worth asking as they may offer a higher rate than the bank. You should also look into the minimum amount of deposit required to open a saving accounts. Some banks and credit unions require a certain amount be deposited the first time in order to set up the account.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Reclaim Bank Charges and Loan Consolidation
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