What are you saving for? A dream wedding, a grand adventure, a new car? Or are your goals more down to earth -- enough saved to pay for unexpected car repairs or a health emergency?
Whatever your goal, there is a savings option to help you get there. Keep in mind that not all accounts are alike, and you may want to consider implementing a layered savings approach.
A healthy savings portfolio features a blend of solutions, each with its own attributes that help you reach your ultimate goal. Today we’re going to explore a range of options that will help you launch your savings plan in a secure way.
A savings account allows you to store cash securely, access it at any time, and earn dividends or dividends. Unlike investment accounts, savings accounts are federally or NCUA insured. A savings account is a very secure way to save your money. While other kinds of accounts may offer higher rates of return, savings accounts provide easy access to your funds. You can also set up savings accounts for a specific purpose to psychologically help you not touch the funds for other reasons. SAFE provides accounts that allow you to name them with your goal in mind, such as “Property Taxes,” “New car,” “Vacation.”
Bottom Line: A savings account creates some distance between the everyday spending money in your checking account while still being accessible and providing dividends.
Best for: Short-term goals or daily needs
Like a savings account, a money market account is federally or NCUA insured. Money market accounts’ rates are usually higher than savings accounts’ rates. In return for those higher rates, you might have higher minimum balance requirements and somewhat restricted access to the funds. Money market accounts usually allow you to write a limited number of checks. There is more accessibility to the account when withdrawals are made with a teller or when withdrawing from an ATM. Many financial institutions offer some sort of ATM accessibility for money market accounts.
Bottom Line: A money market account is worth considering if you’re looking for a safe place to deposit large sums and want to earn competitive dividend rates. It also encourages you to be disciplined about not touching the money unless it’s to fund your goal.
Best for: Saving for mid-term goals and to earn higher rates on larger sums than in regular savings accounts.
When you put your money into a certificate, you agree to deposit your money for a fixed period and your financial institution will pay you higher dividends than on savings or money market accounts. Certificates require you to invest from periods from a few months to several years, depending on the term of the certificate. Usually, you receive a higher dividend the longer you leave your money in the certificate.
Bottom Line: When you put your money into a certificate, you agree to deposit your money for a fixed period and your financial institution will pay you a fixed rate that is generally higher than rates on savings or money market accounts. Certificates require you to leave your money in the account for a set amount of time. During this set time, you can’t access the funds without paying a penalty. Usually, the longer your term, the more you may earn.
Best for: Long-term goals and to earn the highest rates of return on larger sums.
When choosing the right blend of savings options for your goals, it’s a good idea to talk with a financial adviser or banking professional. Our helpful, experienced representatives at SAFE can also provide additional information on what accounts will work best for your plans and dreams.
Anca Green is a senior communications specialist at SAFE Credit Union within the marketing department and has focused on writing for much of her career. She’s passionate about the creative process and seeing a big picture vision come to fruition. After hours, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband.
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