For almost a century, Navy Federal Credit Union members have enjoyed the benefits of their membership, including great rates on their savings accounts and helpful guides on putting away money for the future. Having a well-funded savings account to draw on when times get tough can be the deciding line between a temporary setback and a major lifestyle downgrade for a lot of families. Savvy members who have compared rates across major financial institutions also know that Navy Federal offers competitive rates that provide increased growth while keeping it available for emergency purposes.

For our long-time members, it’s been no secret that NFCU offers great rates, but newer members of the family may be surprised to hear that they could get started with a basic savings account and earn a whopping 0.25% Annual Percentage Yield (APY), with the flexibility to withdraw funds when needed, at any time.

Unexpected emergencies are often cited as one of the major reasons families are unable to escape the debt cycle, living paycheck-to-paycheck as they deal with one issue after another. Being prepared for the unexpected issues life throws at you allows your finances to take a hit while continuing to remain funded and generate future wealth. Our experts suggest working toward a small goal first, like having $500 set aside, which according to the 2020 vehicle health index from CarMD is the average cost of an auto repair. Basic savings accounts require just a $5 minimum balance to start earning dividends.

Once you’ve made setting money aside a regular occurrence, and you know your budget can handle it, kick your goal up a notch, and try to have 3-6 months of living expenses set aside in case of a catastrophic accident, company layoffs, or other unforeseen event. When you’ve managed to set aside at least $2,500 you can put that minimum balance into a money market savings account, where the APY is as high as 1.50%, rewarding you even more for hitting that major financial milestone!

Unemployment and disability will help pad your finances, but with a healthy savings account, your standard of living won’t have to suffer while you get your affairs back on track.

New to the financial game? No worries! The Navy Federal Savings Learning Center offers a library of educational resources as an invaluable addition to your intellectual kit bag, like a Savings Goal calculator, which shows you how much you’ll need to set aside each month to hit your financial target. There’s also an Emergency Savings Calculator that will help you understand what amount you need to reach, and tips for building an emergency fund to help protect you from unexpected costs.

When you’re ready to expand your portfolio, the Savings Learning Center also offers Introductions to Money Market Savings Accounts, Certificate basics, and understanding your IRA options.

So what are you waiting for? Get started by checking out Navy Federal’s MakingCents article center, which covers topics ranging from how to use your tax refund, to building a child’s educational nest egg and putting those hard-earned dollars to work!

This article was sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union. Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA. Image used for representational purposes only; does not imply government endorsement.