Many financial institutions offer their customers a savings account option. Rather than leaving their earnings in a personal safe or somewhere else in their home, customers are able to set aside a portion of their liquid assets in a savings account for safekeeping. In this simple way the customer’s money is unaffected by potential disasters, natural or otherwise and it can also begin to increase due to interest. In short, savings accounts both protect and help grow your money.
Unlike checking accounts, the money in a high interest savings account is not available for immediate transactions. For instance, you cannot use money from your savings to when using your debit card or writing a check. Money from a savings can either be withdrawn from the savings directly, or transferred into a checking account for use later.
There are a handful of different types of savings to choose from. A basic savings account does not require a minimum balance, and can be withdrawn completely whenever the account holder chooses. A money market account allows holders to access their funds at any time. Financial institutions may even allow customers to write a limited number of checks. However, account holders usually have to maintain a certain amount of money within the account in order for it to remain open. A certificate of deposit, also known as a CD, does not allow the account holder to withdraw the money until it reaches its maturity. Using a CD before it reaches maturity could result in early withdrawal fees. Another kind of savings is the individual development account, or IDA. This type of account is held by non-profit organizations for lower income families. IDAs are generally opened for the purpose of helping these families reach a financial goal, such as paying for a college education or a home.
Unlike keeping your money at home, savings cannot be damaged by floodwaters, destroyed by fires, or stolen by burglars. Customers are also protected from potential money mismanagement by their chosen financial institution by the United States government.
In 1934 the United States government established the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). This agency oversees and regulates the operations of commercial banks. As of January 2012, the FDIC insures customers with savings accounts up to $250,000. This way if a financial institution has somehow lost their clients savings, the account holder is able to recover their holdings.
Savings accounts are also protected from any fluctuations in the stock market. While your savings may not be making you rich, they will not be affected by financial downturns in the stock market. Money in a savings account stays exactly where it is until the account holder decides to withdraw it, regardless of economic downturns.
Savings accounts may be an effective way to protect your money. By using a high interest savings account, account holders could also potentially increase their return rate.