Spending can provide a temporary rush. True contentment, however, may come from knowing you have money socked away for a rainy day. A savings account can be a good tool for accumulating wealth. You can typically open one with a minimal deposit, and many financial institutions offer various types of savings accounts from which you can choose. This way, you can select the account that meets your needs and unique savings goals. Depending on the financial institution you choose, you can even open an account online.
Discuss the purpose of investing in a savings account with your spouse or significant other. You won't meet your savings goals if you are not on the same page. Everyone knows saving money is important, but you may be more likely to stick with it if you have a clear-cut goal in mind. For example, you may save to purchase a home, start a business or even take a dream vacation. In addition, sock away some dollars for a rainy day. Keeping three months' worth of living expenses in your account may help you to rest easier.
Decide whether you want online banking, prefer face-to-face banking or both. You can find attractive interest rates and terms online, but a bank with a nearby brick-and-mortar location can be convenient. If you do opt for an online bank, find out how much it will charge for ATM use, how deposits are accepted and how quickly you will be able to access your money.
Determine whether you want a basic savings account or a high-yield account. A basic savings account is a good way to start building a nest egg but may not pay much interest. A high-yield savings account may offer more bang for your buck but may not offer conveniences like ATM privileges.
Choose a bank that offers the type of savings account you want as well as the best possible rates and terms. Some banks charge hefty fees if your account drops below the minimum balance requirement. Avoid them, as you never know when you will have to dip into your savings to meet an expense. Watch out for those that offer only a couple of free withdrawals per month as well. If you need to pass the free withdrawal limit from time to time, those fees may really add up.
Open your savings account. These days, you can open a savings account online, even if you choose a bank with a brick-and-mortar presence. To open an account, you and your spouse or significant other will typically have to provide a Social Security number as well as other identifying information and then mail or fax copies of your identification to the bank. You can then fund your account via a transfer from another bank or by mailing a check. If you prefer to apply in person, take your identification, Social Security numbers and cash, a check or money order for your opening deposit to the bank you choose.
- Don't choose an account in which your money will not be federally insured or the insurance will amount to less than you have in the bank. If you do, the uninsured amount will be at risk.
Jordan Meyers has been a writer for 13 years, specializing in businesses, educational and health topics. Meyers holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Maryland and once survived writing 500 health product descriptions in just 24 hours.