Saving and Earning Money with WaMu!

During the last Monetizer entry, the topic of "paying yourself" first was discussed. This included investing as well as putting money into interest-earning bank accounts. Today I want to discuss Savings Accounts and CD's which are available at WaMu. A savings account is a great idea for things like putting aside money for a rainy day, or to save for a fixed amount you need, say for a car or house downpayment. A Certificate of Deposit or CD is an even better way to save that money, with a few caveats.

The Monetizer browsed WaMu's banking site, which helps you decide on the proper account to open. It costs just $1 to start a Savings account at WaMu. Applications can be done online and your account can be managed via the internet as well. There's plenty of choices for ATM's you can use, should you need to pull out money in the "real world". The Monetizer tends to enjoy online banking as you can actually make sure your bills get payed the way you want them to. Sending a check in the mail isn't always the best way to pay a bill on time, so the extra control is nice. WaMu offers online electronic statements as well to help reduce paper and save some trees. The great part of these accounts is also that they pay you interest to save your money there. Depending on where you live, a savings account may offer 3.25% interest earned on your account. This rate will go up and down as the economy improves or declines. So in essence, it pays to save your money at WaMu.

At WaMu they not only offer savings accounts, but also higher-interest earning Certificates of Deposit. Among the choices are Traditional, Online and Liquid CD's. These can be a great place to sock your extra money and let it continually to earn interest for you. With CD's you usually can't get at your money as quickly as with a savings or checking account. A CD typically has a life of several months or years (12 to 60 months), after which you can take all your money out, or roll it over into another CD to keep earning money until you need it. The advantage is that the longer the length of your CD, the more interest it tends to earn for you. For example the 12 month CD earns you about 3% interest, while a 60 month (5 year) earns you 4% interest. WaMu offers a "Liquid CD" as well, which allows you to get your money out for certain transactions, but you'll need $5,000 to start one and the interest you can earn is considerably lower (1.25 to 2.15%). Many people use CD's to gradually save up the money to put down as a deposit on a home.

Keep in mind you will need at least $1,000 to start a CD, while you'll only need $1 to start a savings account at the site. But both options will earn interest on your money, giving you legitimate ways to make your money work for you at WaMu.

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