So, you've just come into a little bit of money -- a dearly departed aunt loved you very much, say -- and you want to tuck it away. The question is, where do you stash your cash, so that it makes you money before you need to use it? To know that, you need to know how you plan to use that that money.
Pop-up expenses or to pay bills
Of course, a checking account is where this money needs to be so you can make transactions on the account, but who says that checking doesn't earn interest? Let's say you deposit $5,000. A checking account with a 1.46% interest rate earns you $37 over six months and $74 over 12. That pays for a few fees! And to make sure you get the very BEST rate, head to Bankrate.com or Interest.com to scout which banks are paying the most to park your cash
In case of emergency
Now, let's say you have no immediate use for the money. At the same time, you'd like for it to be liquid, that is, easy to grab in case of emergency. Try either a high-yield savings account or money market account. That $5,000 in a money market account, at 3%, will net you an extra $150 after a year. When shopping around, try to avoid minimum balance requirements so you don't pay fees.
Maybe you are going to use that money for some long-term goals -- to build up enough money for the down payment on a house. Or to pay for a wedding. Or for college. If that's the case, then your best bet is a certificate of deposit (CD). And if that is the case, then you're also in luck. Banks are deposit-crazy right now, and many of them are offering higher interest rates than in the recent past for you to park your money. Again, Bankrate.comis your friend in this matter. Head there to find which banks are offering the best rates on 6-month and 1-year CDs. For instance, $5,000 in just a six-month CD at a 2.96% interest rate will net you an extra $75. Make it a year at 3.45% interest. And that's an extra $176 in your pocket.