Emily Pandise has covered business, tech and media for NBC News since 2017. In her early 20s, she realized she had no idea how to manage her money, so she set out to change her financial habits and learned a lot along the way. Now, she wants to help others do the same with this column, “Ask a Finance Whiz.” You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @emilypandise.

Have a question for Emily? Email us at [email protected]

Hi Emily,

Here’s a big Q I have — how am I supposed to maximize my savings these days? Interest rates are low, market is volatile, we’re in an economic recession, pending election makes any investment risky, the list goes on. I hate to have my savings sitting in a traditional savings account without any growth, but it feels like now is not the time to move money.

Would love to know what the experts recommend for someone trying to plan for some shorter term (5 year) goals.

Thanks in advance!!!!




I totally understand your concerns when it comes to moving money around, especially right now. One important thing you’re already thinking about is your time horizon — aka, when you need that money. For a short-term goal, you’ll want to keep it low risk. Fortunately, there are easy solutions here: a high-yield savings account, a CD or both.

High-yield savings accounts, or HYSAs, will give you a much higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. The latter averages around .05%, whereas HYSA can go much higher, sometimes up to 2%. Right now, that interest rate may be a little lower than usual because of the Fed’s recent rate cuts, but it will come back up in good time. And .6% is still a step up from