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Savings accounts: get ready for the next rainy day

Savings accounts: get ready for the next rainy day

Category: Savings

Updated: 27/08/2010
First Published: 27/08/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Although the rains of the past few days appear to have passed in time for the bank holiday, you never really know whether another downpour is just around the corner.

While we're used to altering plans at short notice to accommodate the weather, many of us are less prepared for a financial storm that might break at any time.

Putting money aside for a 'rainy day' makes sense in so many ways.

Do you get prior warning that the car is about to break down? Does anyone tell you that the roof will start to leak? Why has the washing machine suddenly stopped working?

If you've got no savings, then paying for such everyday problems has to come out of the money that you might rely on to live.

New research suggests Brits have recently been letting their let savings levels dip, preferring instead to pay down debts.

However, if you're in a position to just save just a little, no matter how small the amount may be, you're certain to thank the heavens for your nest egg at some point in the future.

With interest rates remaining historically low, it's vital to find a savings account in which your money is working the hardest that it can for you.

Short term savings accounts are ideal for rainy day saving, as the money will be there for you, easy to lay your hands on, at precisely the time you need it most.

A savings account such as the ING Direct Savings Account guarantees to pay 2.75% for the first year and pays your interest monthly.

After 12 months, the rate reverts to the ING Direct Savings Account variable rate, which currently pays 0.50%.

If you prefer to bank online, Post Office Online Saver pays the same rate of 2.75% for the first year and allows you access to your money 24/7 for 365 days of the year.

The rate includes a 1.25% bonus for the first 12 months, while opening the account takes less than 10 minutes.

If you're over 50 and happy to bank online, the SAGA Internet Saver also pays 2.75% for the first year, a rate which includes a bonus of 1% during the first 12 months.

All of these savings accounts require just £1 to get started and allow free and unlimited withdrawals of your money.

It is also worth considering that higher rates of interest are available if you're willing and able to put your money away for a certain length of time.

Such savings accounts might not be ideal if you want instant access to your money, but they will help you to build up a bigger savings pot in a faster amount of time.

A regular savings account such as the Barclays Regular Saver One Year Bond pays a rate of 3.25% but requires that you leave your money invested for a period of at least one year.

You must also promise to make a payment of at least £20 each month in order to secure the rate, but such a commitment will get you into good savings habits.

If you think committing to make regular payments is a step too far, then the ICICI One Year Bond pays 3.10%.

A minimum initial investment of £1K might be a bit steep for some, but if you can live without the money for a year, it is a good option to have.

Find the best savings rates for you - Compare savings accounts

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.