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- In my process of saving to buy a house, opening a high-yield savings account both made my money earn more and motivated me to save.
- I’ve earned $230 in interest over the past year simply by moving my down payment savings from a traditional savings account to a high-yield savings account.
- And while interest rates have gone down, I’ve been more motivated to save by an accessible app and easy-to-manage automatic deposits.
- See Business Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »
Before I started looking into buying a house, I was coasting along with a traditional savings account that earned .01%. Then, I found out about high-yield savings accounts, and it forever changed the game for me.
High-yield savings accounts aren’t much different than traditional savings accounts. They’re simply savings accounts that earn a higher interest rate. Mostly, they’re available through online banks and can be opened easily online.
Experts agree that high-yield savings accounts are the best place to save if you’re planning on buying a house in the near future. In my personal experience, that’s certainly been true. As I started to slowly save up for a down payment on a future house, my high-yield savings account didn’t just make my money earn more interest; it also motivated me to save more.
I’m earning much more than I was in my old account
Let’s face it: A down payment for a house is a big chunk of change. Even if you’re not making a full 20% down payment, you’re still probably looking at tens of thousands of dollars.
So, it’s not surprising to find out that just like your mortgage interest rate, .5% more interest really adds up on a large balance. On my down payment savings account, I’ve earned about $230 since I started saving.
The interest rate has gone down since I started saving last year (interest rates are variable, and the past months have seen decreases across all banks), but I’m still earning much more than I would in a traditional savings account. It took hardly any effort to switch from my old, traditional savings account, and probably took a total of 10 minutes to set up my account.
So far, that’s been the most important 10 minutes of my whole savings journey. Not only did it make my money work harder, but it also prompted me to think more about my saving.
Setting up a new account spurred my saving
When I started savings to buy a house, opening a new account made it feel like a fresh start. Looking back on it, the simple action of starting new made me all the more excited to fill that account.
In part, it was because my new high-yield savings account’s online interface was simply better. The new bank’s better-designed platform made it easier to set up direct deposits and save automatically — it was a pain with my old savings account, and I’m excited to finally have a way to do it easily.
An easy-to-use phone app made a world of difference. I’ve managed most of my savings process on my phone, and the easy access always allowed me to see my exact progress whenever I was curious, and made it simple to make deposits whenever I had free cash.
Though my interest rate went down over the past few months, my savings actually went up, simply because I was more motivated to do it. Setting up a new high-yield savings account made saving feel like a clean slate.
Of course, as long as you’re not using a traditional savings account, there’s really no need to start with a new one. In my experience, one of the most important feature of a high-yield savings account isn’t the interest rate — it’s having a platform you like and actually want to use. If you haven’t found it yet, it might be time to switch savings accounts. But, if you’ve already found one you like, stick with it — the answer might be to use savings buckets or the like to help make it easier to see where all of your goals are.
For me, a high-yield savings account has been my biggest asset in my journey towards buying my first home.
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