July 20, 2012
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communication Manager
Saving money can seem like an impossible task to many new savers. About 25% of Americans have no savings at all and simply do not know where to start, or what to save for. The simplest and most effective way to get started is by making a budget, starting small automatic deposits into a savings account, and deciding what you need to start saving for. Opening a savings account is a crucial way to start saving to pay down debt or simply provide money for emergencies. When looking to open a saving account here are 6 things to look for:
1) FDIC/NCUA Insured: Look for a savings account that is safe because it is FDIC or NCUA insured.
2) NO Fees: Shop around for a savings account with no regular fees.
3) Low Minimum Balance: Usually $25-100 but make certain monthly fees are not charged for small balances.
4) Convenience: Look for a bank or credit union that is convenient for you.
5) Interest: Interest is a small amount of extra money the bank or credit union gives you just for keeping your money there, so take advantage and look for an account that earns interest. Interest rates on savings accounts are lower than they were a few years ago but still shop around for the best rate or ask your financial institution if they have any specials.
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