SAN ANTONIO — About half of consumers stash their cash in checking accounts.
“We did find the number one reason people kept their money in a checking account was out of convenience,” said Sarah Berger with MagnifyMoney.
She said you are missing out on making more money if you keep your savings in a checking account.
“Checking accounts are famous for not only offering minimal interest, but sometimes no interest at all,” Berger said. “So if you’re just keeping your cash in a checking account, your money is losing purchasing power. It’s not keeping up with inflation.”
“You’re checking account is sure easy to get to," added USAA financial planner J.J. Montanaro.
Money in checking is easy for crooks to steal if they get into your account, but it also makes it easier for you use without realizing it.
“That savings that you worked hard to accumulate or set aside can just kind of seep away without any really meaningful difference in terms of what you’re trying to accomplish,” Montanaro said.
Consider moving your money. Your goals will determine where it goes. A savings account is great for money you will want to use soon. Interest rates are currently low, so you will need to search for the best rate. You might not find it at traditional bank. Berger said to look here:
“High-yield savings accounts from online banks,” she said. “There’s not really a downside to moving your money from a traditional savings account at a major brick and mortar bank to an online savings account where it does earn a higher yield. You can do it from the comfort of your couch.”
Also, try to find an account that offers compound interest. It allows your money to make you more money.
“It is the concept that you actually earn interest on your interest,” Montanaro said. “So if I invest $100 that first year, I’m going to earn interest on that $100. The next year, if I earned 1% and I had $100, I would earn interest on $101.”
Look at retirement accounts if you don't need the money for a long while.
“Definitely want to recommend to younger people to contribute to those retirement accounts,” said Berger. “Invest your money. You’re the ones that will benefits the most because you have the longest time horizon and you have more time to let that money grow.”
There are plenty of other savings options. Talk with your bank to find out what is available.