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The Economy’s in a Rough Spot, but Doing This With Your Savings Can Make It Easier

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That penny you earned in interest last month? Let’s multiply it by 200.


Key points

  • You can earn a lot more interest with a high-yield savings account versus a typical savings account.
  • Opening a high-yield savings account is easy.
  • Most high-yield savings accounts are available through online banks.

Inflation affects us all. Dollars just don’t go as far as they did a short time ago. When you need to stretch your budget, you’ve got two options: more in or less out. A high-yield savings account brings more in, and it can be a practically effortless way to maximize growth on the money you’ve got in the bank.

Open a high-yield savings account

A high-yield savings account is one that pays more interest than typical savings accounts. A lot more The big bank on the corner down the street from your house probably pays a hundredth of one percent (0.01%). True, that’s not zero. But it’s so close it might as well be.

The best high-yield savings accounts, however, pay a lot more. Some pay more than 200 times what the big banks pay. When you earn that much interest, you’ll probably notice it.

How much can you earn with a high-yield savings account?

The more money you have in savings, the more interest you will earn. But you don’t need to be wealthy to benefit from using a high-yield savings account.

Let’s say you have a $1,000 emergency fund. If you leave it in a typical savings account for one year, you will earn $0.10.

If you put your $1,000 in a high-yield savings account earning 2.20%, you’ll earn $22.22 in the same amount of time.

Are you a saver with even more money set aside? In this example, a balance of $10,000 earns $222 in a high-yield savings account, compared with $1 in a traditional account. Yes, that’s one dollar. Not a typo.

How to open a high-yield savings account

Opening a new bank account is easy. High-yield savings accounts are almost always opened online (and some banks that offer them don’t have physical branches anyway). You’ll apply and provide information that allows the bank to verify your identity. Then you will need to link your existing bank account so you can make an electronic transfer to fund the account. You’ll do this either by logging into your current bank online, or by providing the routing number and account number.

That’s it. You now have a high-yield savings account.

More smart moves to make

To get the most out of your money, keep a few best practices in mind:

Limit your transactions. Savings accounts are not good for everyday use. Federal law limits the number of withdrawals you can take from a savings account each month (six), and high-yield accounts are subject to this law. If you have too many withdrawals, the bank might convert your account to checking, and then you will lose out on the high interest rate.

Avoid monthly maintenance fees. Most savings accounts are free, but you don’t have to pay for a checking account either. Find an account that has no monthly maintenance fee (or one where you can easily meet the requirements to have the fee waived). Many free checking accounts are available, delivering convenient banking at no cost.

Stay under FDIC limits. Once your savings account balance gets close to $250,000 (hey, we can all dream, can’t we?), start looking for a second bank with high-interest savings accounts. The federal government insures the money in your account against the possibility that the institution will fail. But the coverage is limited to the first $250,000 in combined deposits you hold at that institution.

When your money earns zero or almost zero, you’re actually losing money. Inflation is real. The $20 in your pocket today will buy less in the future. If your savings isn’t earning measurable interest, it’s going down in value over time.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and could earn you up to 19x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts can earn you more than 19x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class picks that landed a spot on our shortlist of the best savings accounts for 2022.

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