I have not always been a good saver. There were times in my life when I viewed saving money as last on my list.
For the longest time, I felt I didn’t have enough money to save because I could barely pay for what I needed each month. Then in the seasons where I had enough to pay for the things I needed, I was also purchasing all the things I wanted, as if my money flow would stop tomorrow.
The wise action would have been saving money like my money flow would stop tomorrow. Even better would have been to find the best high yield savings account rates so my money would grow!
Money has always been inconsistent in my life. Between my two destructive marriages and my unstable life, I haven’t had many years of consistent income where I could build wealth.
Save What You Can Now, Don’t Worry About the Past
I am now 44 years old (yikes!), is it too late for me to start? NO! I am working on it currently and will continue with each financial decision I make.
I work professionally as a financial counselor, and I regularly tell my clients, “life will happen, and it can tend to derail all our plans. The only thing you can do is look at your financial wellness right now and make wise decisions today and in the future.”
It doesn’t help to feel sad or cry over what you should or shouldn’t have done with money in the past. Learn from those things and move forward, one day, one dollar at a time.
I am working to build my savings right now. As a single mom, I don’t have a lot of extra money to save. I am, however, working hard to keep my expenses as low as possible and saving what I can. I split my savings between my 401K, my Health Savings Account (HSA), my emergency fund, and my home/travel fund.
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What are Current High Yield Savings Account Rates?
My 401K and my HSA are making interest according to the stock market and risk level I chose. There was a time that my emergency fund was sitting stagnant at the going rate of 0.01% interest, so of course, I didn’t see any growth.
I was able to increase that to over 2%, just by shopping around for a better savings account!
If you are not making at least that, keep reading! If you don’t know how much you are making, it is time to check.
In the last couple of years, the interest rates have been on the rise for loans and purchases. Historically, when loan rates are high, so are savings rates. Some banks, especially most of the big ones, are not keeping up with this trend. They are charging us lots of interest to borrow from them, but when we are filling their storehouses with our money, we seem to get nothing in return.
I often work with military members, and the top military-friendly banks have been resting at 0.01% for savings earnings, as well as many of the other large brick and mortar banks.
With Coronavirus wreaking havoc, rates have fluctuated, and many of the high yield accounts have dropped back down to around 1%, but that is still 100x more interest than some of the leading banks!
Check What Your Current Savings Account Rates Are
When is the last time you checked how much interest your savings account was earning? Have you ever thought of shopping around for a larger rate? Now is the perfect time to do it! Any time is the time to do it!
Some of you may be thinking, ‘I have been banking with ABC Bank for years. I like my bank and don’t see a reason to change, not even for 2%.’
That is a perfectly normal response. However, I never said you needed to move all your money and banking to a different institution! Who said you need to have only one bank? Many people use multiple banking institutions, using the products at each that offer the best deal, rate, or option to suit their needs.
You Can Have Money In More Than One Bank
Yes, you can have your bank and make interest too! If I were holding more than a couple thousand dollars in my savings at a bank that was offering under 1% interest, I would start to shop around for a new savings account, immediately!
How to Shop Around For the Best High Yield Savings Account Rates
One of my favorite resources for this type of comparison shopping is Bankrate.com. They are a great place to browse for your banking needs. They help you to see what the going rates are for various types of savings accounts and loans.
When you first go to the website, choose the drop-down menu for Banking. Then choose Savings Accounts. Set the search criteria by entering an amount you might want to deposit; you can even set it as $1 to find the products with little to no requirements for opening an account. Set your zip code, because Bankrate will search for banks that you are eligible to use in your state.
On the deposit type drop-down, I like to search for Money Market and Savings Accounts and leave the Money Market IRA blank when searching for a savings account. I order my search results by APY (Annual Percentage Yield) because let’s face it, I am trying to find the banks that pay me the most!
Once I have my search results, I switch to all products at the top, so it is not filtering out the sponsored banks. Then I have a clear picture of banking products available with the top percentage yields at the top of my list. Start scrolling down the list to see what you can find.
What Are the Top Banks With the Best High Yield Savings Account Rates Currently?
The list of top banks will vary because offers at banks change regularly.
At the time of writing this, the top three are PNC Bank, Vio Bank, and Citi Bank. Have you ever heard of any of these banks? Maybe Citi Bank, but most of us haven’t heard of the others as they are either new or very uncommon.
Is It Safe to Move Your Savings to a Bank You Have Never Heard of Before?
Some of you are shaking your head emphatically, no, right now. How can you be sure it is safe?
You will want to check that it is a member of the FDIC. If it is a credit union, you want to make sure it is a member of the NCUA. FDIC stands for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and NCUA stands for National Credit Union Association.
These organizations provide insurance for their member institutions. If anything happened to the institution and it closed its doors, you would be refunded. Your money is insured up to $250,000 in each account you have.
What Else Should You Evaluate Before Moving Your Money?
Now that you know if the bank you are considering is safe to deposit your money into, the other things you want to evaluate are ease of use, the strength of customer service, and if it can transfer to your checking account.
The easiest way to do this is to check on the bank’s website for the features you would like. Does it have an app with good ratings? Are there reviews about the bank that tell you if customer service is good? I would want a bank with good customer service because if I need my money quickly or call for help with something, I want it to be an easy process.
You may also want to check with your current bank to see if you can link another account to transfer. This way, if you’re going to move your money from your savings bank to your checking or vice versa, you will know if you can do it quickly.
Check if Any of the Banks You Already Work With Have High Yield Savings Accounts
You can continue scrolling down the list of possibilities on Bankrate to view more options. A lot of credit card companies have high-interest savings accounts these days. Maybe a company you already do business with has a savings account that you can use.
You can research the account and what is offered by clicking the offer details link for each bank on the right side of the list; this will open a window with more information.
It will tell if there are fees and if the offer is a limited time offer. I suggest looking for one that is not limited. A limited offer usually means the high interest will only last for a limited time, and then it will drop.
Also watch for monthly fees. Some of the banks will charge one if your account drops below a specific limit, so only choose a bank like this if you always plan to keep more than their minimum limit in your account.
How Do You Move Your Money to the High Yield Savings Account You Choose?
When you have decided on an account you wish to pursue, you can follow the links on Bankrate to get to the Bank’s website, or you can call the institution on your own. Follow the instructions to open the account and then transfer your money.
Now watch your savings grow!
Depending on how much you put in, you should start seeing a little bit of interest accumulate each month, and boy does that feel good!
It is an incredible feeling to see yourself earning $Dollars each month rather than pennies!
Let us know in the comments below what account you chose or if you found anything interesting during your shopping around for high yield savings account rates.