The Smart Way to Open a Savings Account
Opening a savings account is a great action step for your financial well being.
Having a savings account is a great way to start down the road towards financial freedom and investing in your future. However, too often people open a savings account as a kind of footnote to their checking account and don’t put too much thought into it.
With a little homework and some due diligence, you can reap the rewards of watching your savings grow in the way that is best suited for your financial situation and lifestyle.
Do your Homework.
Most savings accounts come with their own set of rules, requirements, and rewards. Take a moment to really assess your financial situation and be honest! Is a higher interest rate more important to you than no set minimum balance? Are you going to be able to consistently keep money in the account or are you going to have such a large sum piling up in savings that a different investment platform might be smarter? Do you need a plan that helps you save by rounding money up on purchases?
Once you’ve decided the best way to get your money to perform for you, spend some time shopping for the best savings plan. Here are a couple of great options to get you started:
For great interest rates and set up fees that come out to less than five bucks, check out Synchrony Bank, Barclays Bank Delaware, iGOBanking, and FNBO Direct. For banks that let your inner techie shine, check out AloStarr and Ally—which both have awesome online and mobile friendly account features and let you do pretty much all your banking remotely. If you need help with your savings, talk to banks that have robust direct deposit and transfer options with no maximums or find out if they have a round up to the nearest dollar option on your debit card purchases. There are a ton of great options out there, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect fit for you and your savings personality.
Get your documents in order
For most banks, all you will need is your valid Social Security number, U.S. government-issued ID, and a U.S. checking or savings account to fund your account. Check with the bank you want to save with to make sure they don’t have further requirements.
Come up with an action plan
The best savings account in the world won’t do you any good without a decent savings plan that you will actually follow through with. Take some time to really decide how you want to save. Do you need your money to be withheld before you get your hands on it or do you like to manually handle all of your accounts? Will you only save if you have something you’re saving for, like a college fund or special vacation?
Get real with your own priorities and motivations and make a commitment to follow through.