I'll never forget the first time I heard about online savings accounts and the higher interest rates these accounts yield as compared to a traditional savings account at your hometown bank. I was skeptical of the whole idea - there is comfort in being able to know where you go to find your money rather than a www address. But, after some research and talking to some co-workers, I pulled the trigger and opened my first account with an online bank (who shall remain nameless - just a weird privacy thing with me but I hope you understand). I didn't have much to start with but figured that earning 5-10 times the interest I was earning on my traditional savings account was still more than I was getting today. As the hubs and I have continued to save in order to meet our financial goals and "forever home" goals the difference has really started to add up and in my eyes its free money. There is a slight sacrifice in convenience as transfers from my online account into my checking account generally take about one business day but with careful planning this has never been an issue. But, if you want to set-up a portion of your paycheck to deposit directly into this account you can totally do that which, means you never miss the money because you really don't see it (this always helps me:)) As far as risk is concerned, our account is FDIC insured, just as it would be in our primary bank - so no worries there! Oh...and it too links into my mint account so its all there for me to see our complete financial picture.
I've found some great sites that also talk about the differences between the various financial institutions and the products they offer as well as different ways to save and thought it might be helpful to share those here too:
* Know the Different Types of Financial Institutions - a great synopsis of the options available to you with a little background on the "hows" and "whys" of the products offered
*Online Savings Account - a great summary of ways to rapidly build up your savings account
*Savings Advice - a great blog dedicated to finding ways to help you save
There are tons of great online banks out there offering higher interest savings than traditional banks and this is just ONE super-easy way to earn a little more on your money without really doing anything!!