By Jennifer Baeza
Have you ever dreamt of going to California? Do you dream of being able to go to the beaches, having the sun in your face all day long, or trying new food? I was fortunate enough to visit California before starting my summer job this year. I knew since February that I was going to go, so I started saving every penny. I saved about $30 every week and that increased over time. It’s a good habit to start saving now for a ‘rainy day’ fund in case of an emergency.
According to a 2017 article by CNBC, on average 34% of Americans have zero dollars in their savings account. Suze Orman, a financial expert, says that you should have at least saved up for twelve months of basic living expenses in your emergency fund just in case of any emergency or lay off. “We live in the craziest world I've ever seen in my life right now. And the only way you can take craziness out of that is for you to make yourself secure." (Orman, 2017).
Many people don’t know it, but they can easily open a savings or checking account at a bank nearby for FREE. Having a bank account encourages you to save more often. Stephanie Valencia, a banker from TCF, mentions that, “It’s important to save because we never know what path life has in store for us. Saving up means having somewhere to get funds from whenever you are down to your last penny. In an emergency, you don’t want to [have to] depend on others, instead you can go into your savings fund and spend from there. It is also important to start saving money as early as possible for your children’s education. It’s important to have a savings account because at most banks you can earn interest on your money without even having to do anything. Many people attempt to save their money but keep their cash at home. While that is still a form a saving, putting your money in a savings account is much more beneficial. As mentioned, you can make money from your money and it is truly safe, unlike keeping it at home where it can get robbed or it can be destroyed by natural disasters.”
Here are some tips of what to look for when opening a bank account:
1. FDIC insured - If the bank goes bankrupt, your money will be 100% safe.
2. Has a good interest rate - the bank will give you money just for saving every year!
3. No monthly fee - You should not have to pay to keep your money at the bank.
4. Look for no minimum deposit or a low minimum deposit. Sometimes, you can open a bank account with as little as $0.
5. Close to your house - No more than a 10-minute walk from your house.
6. Mobile banking - Download your bank’s mobile app to keep track of your financial transactions.
The chart below shows that 34% of people currently do not have anything saved.