Being able to handle an unexpected financial expense is an important component of financial wellbeing. A car repair, furnace break down, family health emergency, or sudden job loss can cause serious financial damage if we are not prepared for it. Being able to save for life’s unexpected events is important because while we don’t know what will happen, we can be sure that something will.

These are lots of ways to create an emergency or rainy day fund. Here are just a few ideas:

• High Yield Savings Accounts are a great place to park your cash. It’s easy to access your money but pays much better rates of return than regular savings accounts. The current national average for regular savings accounts is just .09% while high yield savings accounts are paying up to 2.4%.

• A Digital Savings App may be a perfect solution for you, if you are comfortable using app technology. You can use this type of account even if you are only able to save very small amounts at a time. Some apps will let you round up your debit card purchases and deposit the difference into a savings account, others move a few dollars a week into an account. Balances grow slowly but you may not even notice it’s happening.

• If you are deployed to an eligible combat zone and serve there for more than 30 consecutive days or at least one day a month for three consecutive months, you are eligible to participate in the Savings Deposit Program. You can save up to $10,000 with a guaranteed rate of return of 10%! Interest continues to accrue while you are in a combat zone and for 90 days after you leave.

How much should you put into a savings account? If you currently have no savings, start with a small goal, like $500, then move up to $1000. Over time, accumulating 3-6 months worth of expenses is ideal. If you need to use some of your money, replenish it so that it is there for the next time you need it.

If you are interested in any of these options, check out the links at: or call Susan Kelley-Outten at 802-318-2507 or email at



Vermont Veterans Outreach Personal Financial Counselor provides financial services to Vermont’s Veterans, Service Members and their families. These services include budgeting, debt reduction, retirement planning, and much more. Our Family Program Personal Financial Counselor can assist you in your efforts to become financially stable and independent. The Personal Financial Services integrates within the military life-cycle; from pre-deployment financial preparation activities through transitioning from the military to civilian life. These services are free, confidential and available to Veterans and families residing in Vermont.

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