FEATURES

Savings accounts are wonderful places to keep money that is very liquid or easy to get to if you need it. Money in these accounts earns a small rate of return with very little risk. That makes them great places to store emergency funds, which is a fundamental part of any personal finance strategy. An emergency fund is a buffer or fall back in the event of a personal crisis, such as an injury, loss of customers, buying a new furnace for the home, etc.

Savings accounts have advantages. You can get to your money at your convenience. Your money — in the right account with the right bank — can give you a nice return at very little risk, as the accounts are insured for up to $100,000 per person by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC).

Your savings account should have enough emergency funds to cover 2 to 4 months worth of your expenses. This should be enough of a buffer to cover most any personal crisis.

Once your savings account reaches a point where it holds more than what you would need for personal emergencies, you should be looking for a place to put your money for the long term. There are a lot of options for investing such as bonds, corporate funds, stocks, etc. However, a few simple options worth considering are high-yield savings accounts, investment accounts, certificate accounts, money market accounts and retirement accounts.

>>Read more from the Saving The Smart Way series