The Times West Virginian

Community News Network

July 29, 2013

Online banks may help you boost your savings plan

Putting money away for a rainy day appears to be one of those quaint notions of the past, like Sunday dinner with the family or a hot meal on an airline flight. Currently a growing number of people live paycheck to paycheck. An unexpected expense can be catastrophic.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, in 1970 Americans saved around 10 percent of their disposable income – disposable incoming being what is left after paying taxes, mortgage, insurance and other fixed expenses. In January 2013 the savings rate was down to 2.2 percent.

Data compiled by financial website NextAdvisor.com shows the average U.S. household has only $3,800 in savings. More distressing, 25 percent of households have no savings at all.

Saving money, of course, starts with a budget. You have to track your income and expenses and end up with a positive balance at the end of the budget period. Cutting expenses and increasing income will increase the amount of money that can go into savings.

Where to put your money

But where do you put your savings? Banks now have minimum deposit requirements and a host of fees that have discouraged some from opening savings accounts. The paltry interest paid is not much of an incentive either.

Polina Polishchuk, an editor at NextAdvisor, suggests looking at opening a savings account in an online bank. Unlike a traditional bank, she says online banks are more consumer-friendly.

“That's why we were for online savings accounts,” Polishchuk said. “They don't have fees. There's no minimum balance requirement, or requirements for how much money you have to deposit into the account every month. And the interest rates they pay are much higher than regular banks.”

They do pay a higher interest rate – though it can be considered high only in comparison to what traditional banks pay. The annual percentage yield (APY) is still under 1 percent. Still, it beats what the big banks are paying.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads