The Pros and Cons of Passbook Savings

A passbook savings account may sometimes be only marginally better than putting your money in a jar.
... Hemera Technologies/ Images

It’s always a good time to save money. Benjamin Franklin’s oft-quoted proverb states that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Putting a penny, or a dollar, in the bank is like working for that money and then receiving a paycheck. It is a sure thing. Traditionally, passbook savings accounts have been used to save pennies and dollars, but they are in popularity flux. The passbook savings account has both advantages and disadvantages.

1 The Ins and Outs

A passbook savings account is a simple savings account that enables consumers to save money on a regular basis. Traditionally, the account holder was given a booklet to keep track of deposits and withdrawals. A small minimum balance usually is required to open the account and keep it open. Fees may be assessed for low balances or too many transactions.

2 The Pros of Passbook Savings

Passbook savings accounts excel in making saving money simple. Their minimal and uncomplicated rules allow anyone to save. Individuals looking to save funds for short-term goals such as a down payment for a home or buying a car can benefit from such an account. They need only shop around for the best interest rate at a safe financial institution. Passbook savings accounts also help to develop good savings habits due to the lack of complexity.

3 The Cons of Passbook Savings

As simple as passbook savings accounts are, their rate of return is among the lowest available. These accounts help savers to park their funds in a safe account. Driving is another matter. Fees for excessive withdrawals can often overshadow the interest gained. Account holders should make sure they understand all of the rules before opening an account.

4 Making a Decision

A few considerations will help you determine whether a passbook savings account is beneficial for you or if another type of account is better. The amount of money you have to deposit, your savings goals, the amount of money you can and how frequently, and when you might require access are all important factors to weigh.

Brian Stankich began working in banking and insurance after obtaining a Bachelor of Science in economics from Purdue University. He later directed an international NGO in southern Europe and has certifications in skills and development training and coaching.