Are you saving more money than you did last year?
Recent statistics show that the amount of money Americans have in basic savings accounts at banks and thrifts rose to a record $5.06 trillion at the end of May, a jump of $215 billion just since the start of the year. This is actually a good thing for our country and is motivation for all of us.
As we try to address our credit and debt issues it is equally important to be putting aside a certain percentage of your wages into liquid savings vehicles. A simple savings or passbook account is a great example even though the yields on interest is very low, they are actually quite safe. You money is easily accessed and will not be exposed to potential loss because of stock market forces that impact the mutual fund and stock investments. We are still in the midst of economic uncertainly so it is wise to build up easy to access reserves.
A good rule of thumb is to set aside 10% of your paycheck into the savings account. Many ask when you should stop. I suggest once you get reserves equal to three months’ worth of salary in the account you are in a wonderful place. At that point it is time to move more money into a retirement fund or other such investment vehicle like certificates of deposit.
No matter the case we all need to get back into the habit of saving money vs. spending money!
Nearly every day we receive offers in our email for signing-up for an online banking. And with most all-major banks bidding for your business, now is the time to begin online banking. You can easily take control of your money 24 hours a day! If you have been considering becoming one of the millions of people already banking online you may want to consider the following things when you choose your bank.
When looking for features for online banking, we prefer to choose those banks that have easy to use web interfaces. It should all be accessed from within web browser or even smart phone device. This makes it less confusing and more user friendly. You shouldn’t have to take a class in order to manage your account online and must be intuitive! Besides this basic requirement, make sure your bank has the minimums listed below:
• Have a reasonable initial deposit ($100)
• Allow Direct Deposit of Payroll Checks
• Issue ATM/Visa Check Card, with national access and at least 10 free transactions a month
• E-Payment of Bills (At least 10 free per month)
• Prompt Crediting of your deposits (your snail mail deposits)
• Free- Personal Checks and no check writing fees
• 24 hour 1-800 customer service (when you just feel like talking to a human)
• Online images of cancelled checks (this is an awesome feature)
• Account data exportable into your personal finance software
No matter your financial situation, now is the time to take control of your money and choose to move and stay online with your banking.