15 Savings Account Myths That Are Stopping You From Earning Easy Money

Learn how to supercharge your savings by dispelling these 15 myths.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Savings accounts are a cornerstone of personal finance, but misconceptions can hinder your wealth-building efforts. 

We debunk common myths about savings accounts to help you make informed financial decisions and choose the best one to help you earn passive income month after month.

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All savings accounts are the same

wutzkoh/Adobe happy couple analyzing budget together

Assuming that all savings accounts are equal is a costly mistake. These accounts come in various forms, offering differing interest rates, fees, and accessibility. 

Some are high-earning savings accounts, while others offer minimal returns. To maximize your savings and wealth growth, compare options and choose one tailored to your financial needs and goals.

They're only for emergency funds

maew/Adobe banknotes with emergency funds note

While savings accounts are excellent for emergency funds due to their liquidity, they shouldn't be pigeonholed for this sole purpose. 

Your savings account can be a versatile tool for achieving multiple financial goals, such as saving for vacations, home down payments, or long-term wealth growth.

By recognizing this, you can optimize your savings account to work for various objectives, enhancing your overall financial well-being beyond emergencies.

They don't yield much interest

LALAKA/Adobe businessman with percentage symbol and up arrow

It's true that savings account interest rates are generally lower than other investment options, but dismissing them as insignificant is a mistake. These accounts provide a safe and secure way to grow your money, even if the returns are modest.

Over time, compounded interest can make a substantial difference, especially when you maintain a healthy balance. Also, some online banks offer over 4.00% APY.

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You need a large balance to open an account

Romolo Tavani/Adobe plant growing in savings coins

Many people wrongly believe they need a substantial sum to open a savings account. However, most banks and credit unions offer accounts with low or even zero minimum balance requirements.

You can start saving with as little as $10 or less. These accessible options allow anyone to begin their savings journey regardless of their financial situation. Small beginnings can lead to significant wealth over time.

Your money is locked up in a savings account

DanteVeiil/Adobe stressed young woman reviewing her bills

Some people fear that once they deposit money into a savings account, it becomes inaccessible. However, savings accounts offer liquidity, so you can withdraw funds whenever needed.

Unlike certain long-term investments or CDs, savings accounts don't penalize you for accessing your money. While they may have some withdrawal limitations, they're often flexible, allowing you to tap into your savings without difficulty.

They're completely risk-free

Katleho Seisa/peopleimages.com/Adobe planning budget for tax

While savings accounts are generally considered safe, they aren't entirely risk-free. The primary risk here is inflation. If your savings account interest rate is lower than the inflation rate, your money's real value may decrease over time.

To mitigate this risk, consider diversifying your investments to include options with the potential for higher returns, such as stocks or bonds.

You don't need to monitor your account

A. Frank/peopleimages.com/Adobe couple financial planning in a kitchen

It's a common misconception that once you open a savings account, you can forget about it. But monitoring your account is crucial.

Interest rates can change, and some banks offer promotional rates that expire after a certain period. 

Keeping an eye on your account ensures you're getting the best possible interest rate. You can also track your progress toward your financial goals and make adjustments as needed.

One savings account is enough

Poca Wander Stock/Adobe woman sitting on table using laptop and calculator to calculate interest rate

While having one savings account is a start, it may not be sufficient to optimize your financial strategy. Different savings goals, such as emergencies, vacations, or retirement, benefit from separate accounts.

This separation keeps your goals distinct and allows you to allocate funds more effectively. It can also help you take advantage of different account types, like high-yield or tax-advantaged accounts.

You should only save when you have extra money

Donson/peopleimages.com/Adobe couple with list in notebook budget and finance

Waiting for a surplus before saving is a common misconception. Paying yourself first by automating savings ensures you prioritize your financial future. Even small, regular contributions accumulate over time.

It's not about how much you save but the consistency that counts. By budgeting and setting up automatic transfers, you make saving a habit, ultimately building wealth.

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You can't touch your savings

Jadon B/peopleimages.com/Adobe father and son

Contrary to this myth, savings accounts provide accessibility to your funds. While they're designed to deter impulse spending, they offer the flexibility to withdraw when needed.

However, discipline is essential. You should resist unnecessary withdrawals to maintain your financial goals. 

Modern banking even allows online transfers and mobile app access, making it easier than ever to manage your savings. The key is finding a balance between accessibility and self-control.

Saving small amounts doesn't make a difference

fizkez/Adobe serious woman calculating domestic bills

It's a misconception that only substantial contributions can grow your wealth. Consistency is key, and every penny saved counts. Regularly saving small amounts can accumulate into a significant amount over time, especially when compounded.

Small contributions lay the foundation for financial security and future investments. The habit of saving can lead to increased financial awareness and discipline, which are invaluable in your journey toward building wealth.

High-yield savings accounts are only for the rich

Drazen/Adobe couple communicating with insurance agent

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be wealthy to benefit from the top high-yield savings accounts. They're accessible to everyone and offer competitive interest rates typically higher than traditional savings accounts.

Many banks have low or no minimum balance requirements for high-yield accounts. They can be a smart choice for anyone looking to maximize their savings' growth, regardless of income.

Savings accounts are just for adults

Lumos sp /Adobe A grandparent teaching his grandkids how to save

While it's true that minors can't open savings accounts on their own, they can be joint account holders with a parent or guardian. This provides an excellent opportunity to teach kids about financial responsibility from a young age.

Many banks offer specialized savings accounts for children and teenagers, complete with educational tools. Encouraging early savings habits can set the stage for a financially responsible adulthood.

Online savings banks are risky

momius/Adobe FDIC insurance

Online banks have gained popularity for good reason. They often offer higher interest rates and lower fees than traditional brick-and-mortar banks.

Most reputable online banks are FDIC-insured, meaning your deposits are protected up to $250,000. Plus, they employ the latest encryption and security measures to safeguard your financial information. Embracing online banking can be a smart move.

Savings accounts are passive investments

lordn/Adobe woman working on a computer

Savings accounts are often seen as a safe but passive way to store money. However, they can be more dynamic than you might think.

Some savings accounts offer features like automatic round-up of purchases to save spare change or the ability to set up regular transfers from your checking account. You can also use the interest earned to boost your savings, making your money work for you.

Bottom line

Drazen/Adobe Financial advisor having consultations

Savings accounts are valuable tools to help grow your wealth, but it's essential to separate fact from fiction. By dispelling these common myths, you can make more informed financial choices. 

Remember that while savings accounts offer safety and liquidity, diversifying your investments is key to combating inflation and achieving long-term financial goals.

Take the first step to financial success by reevaluating your approach to savings and considering how it fits into your broader financial plan.

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Author Details

Adam Palasciano Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to hash out content on all things saving money. He specializes in writing millennial-friendly personal finance content, covering topics ranging from trending financial news, debt, credit cards, cryptocurrency, and more.

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