When it comes time to contribute money to your savings account, you take one of the following steps:
- Deposit cash: A traditional way to make deposits is to bring cash to a bank or credit union branch. You also can make deposits at some ATMs, allowing you to deposit cash outside of banking hours or at a location that’s more convenient for you.
- Deposit checks: You can deposit checks directly into a savings account. When you make the deposit, just put your savings account number on the deposit slip. With most banks, it’s also possible to deposit checks with your mobile device—so you don’t need to go anywhere near a branch or ATM. Funds will be available in a day or longer, depending on your bank’s policies.
- Transfer from checking (internal): If you have a checking account, moving money from checking to savings within the same bank is easy, and it’s often instant. Just use your bank’s app, website, or customer service line to make the move. Get that money out of checking so that you know that it’s reserved for something else.
- Electronic transfer (bank to bank): You also can make electronic deposits to a savings account from another bank. For example, link your local brick-and-mortar account to an online account that pays more or allows you to set up subaccounts to help you save for goals.
- Direct deposit: If your employer pays by direct deposit, ask if you can have your payments split so that some of it goes directly to a savings account. That money will never hit your checking account, so you’ll save without even trying.