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Rather than purchasing on credit, consider planning ahead and paying for the item outright. There are numerous ways to save. A good place to start is with a basic savings account.

Open a Savings Account

A savings account is a great place to put your money. You have many options to choose from.

Learn More About Navy Federal's Savings Accounts.

Direct Deposit Gets You There Faster

One tried-and-true way to save money is to use Direct Deposit to send a portion of your pay directly into a savings account. This out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach helps keep you from feeling tempted to spend the money. And if the budget's tight, it's okay to start small. Even $5 each week is a perfect start. The point is to start saving—now!

But at some point, you're probably going to want to get a better return on your savings. You'll want to start thinking about certificates and IRA's, which provide advantages that a savings account doesn't.


  • Generally pays higher interest or dividend rates than regular savings accounts.
  • Requires you to open or "purchase" a certificate for a specific amount of time. You cannot withdraw the money during that time without paying a fee.
  • Often requires a minimum deposit to open.
  • Money is able to be withdrawn or moved into another certificate once it matures.

Learn More About Navy Federal's Certificates


  • Generally provides tax advantages.
  • Does not require a minimum deposit to open.
  • Excellent approach for retirement, as you cannot withdraw money until age 59½

Learn More About Navy Federal's IRAs

Emergency Funds

Experts recommend establishing an emergency fund that equals a minimum of three months' salary. This fund can be used for unexpected auto repairs, medical expenses, or living expenses should there be a disruption in your regular income. (Just remember to replenish the fund if you ever borrow from it!) And remember, if you come into a large sum of money like a bonus or tax return, consider saving the majority rather than spending it.

10 Ways to Get Into the Savings Habit

  • Establish goals: Need to set up an emergency fund (a minimum of three months' pay)? Pay off debt? Save for a new car? Pay cash for all holiday gifts? Retire at 50? It's easier to get somewhere when you know where you're going.
  • Pay yourself first: Determine what you can put in savings, then budget to live on what's left.
  • Direct Deposit: Use Direct Deposit to save systematically by assigning a portion of your net pay to your savings account. Many find this "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" method to be pretty painless. 
  • Separate Your Accounts: Always keep your savings a little out of reach in a separate account from your checking.
  • Save Your Change: Don't spend the coins you receive as change from a purchase. Collect them over a period of time, then deposit in your savings.
  • Coupons: Likewise, set aside the money you save with cents-off coupons.
  • 401(k) and Thrift Savings Plans: Contribute as much as you can to your 401(k) or Thrift Savings Plan. At a minimum, save enough to get your employer's full match—it's like free money!
  • Earn More Interest: Upgrade to a higher interest-earning account. Certificates generally pay higher dividend rates than regular savings accounts. Some have minimums as low as $100. Earnings are guaranteed and insured up to $250,000 against loss by the federal government at most financial institutions.
  • Stocks and Bonds: Consider stocks and bonds (start with mutual funds) to earn greater, but not risk-free, returns.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.