How to: Automate Your Emergency Fund Using High Yield Savings

In today's fast-paced world, having a financial safety net is crucial. Whether it's an unexpected medical expense, a sudden car repair, or a job loss, having an emergency fund can provide peace of mind when you need it most. High-yield savings accounts (HYSA) are a great option for folks looking to grow their savings while keeping their money accessible.

First things first, what even is a High Yield Savings Account?

High-yield savings accounts (HYSA) are a type of savings account that earns a higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Higher interest rates: Generally, a HYSA's interest rate is 15 to 20 times higher than a traditional savings account.  This means that you can earn more money on your savings over time. Calculate how much you could earn!
  • No monthly fees: Many HYSAs do not charge monthly fees. This means that you can keep more of the interest that you earn on your savings.
  • Easy to access your money: HYSAs are typically FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) insured, which means that your money is protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, in case of bank failure. You can also usually access your money easily through online banking or mobile banking.This means that you can earn more money on your savings over time!

So why aren’t all savings accounts HYSA?

Banks offer a variety of savings accounts with different features and benefits. Some banks offer savings accounts with sign-up bonuses or no monthly fees. Other banks offer savings accounts that are designed for specific purposes, such as a college savings account or a retirement savings account. A HYSA is just another alternative!


Banks offer HYSAs to attract new customers and to keep existing customers. The more customers, the more deposits, the more they can lend out, the more money they make!

Sold! How do I use it to build an emergency fund?

An emergency fund is a bucket of savings that you can use to cover unexpected expenses, such as a job loss, medical emergency, or car repair. It is recommended that you have at least three to six months of living expenses saved in your emergency fund.

Step 1: Pick Your Preferred Account

Here are some of our top picks:

Step 2: Set Your Monthly Savings Goal

You can start by setting a goal for how much money you want to save. Make sure you create a budget that leaves some room for savings - the best is to automate your savings by taking it directly out of your paycheck. By stashing your emergency fund in a HYSA, it can earn interest all by itself, helping you achieve that end goal quicker!

Step 3: How to route your paycheck to a HYSA

Option 1: Set up an auto-transfer from your bank

To set up an auto-transfer from your bank to a HYSA, you will need to:

  1. Log in to your online banking account.
  2. Find the section for transferring money.
  3. Select the option to transfer money between accounts.
  4. Enter the amount of money you want to transfer and the frequency of the transfers (e.g., weekly, biweekly, monthly).
  5. Select the account you want to transfer the money from (your checking account) and the account you want to transfer the money to (your HYSA).
  6. Enter the account number and routing number for your HYSA.
  7. Review the transfer details and click "Submit."

Once you have set up the auto-transfer, the money will be transferred from your checking account to your HYSA automatically on the schedule you specified.

Option 2: Set up direct deposit from your payroll (preferred)

Each payroll portal may vary slightly, but these are the general steps you should take:

  • Log in to your payroll portal
  • Find the payment information section
  • Click “Add a new bank account” and fill out with your HYSA’s information
  • Find the paycheck distribution section, and select your preferences.

If you can’t do it directly in the portal, you can contact your employer directly and request a change to your direct deposit information. You will need to provide your bank's routing number and your account number. Once you have submitted this information, your employer will start depositing your paycheck into your HYSA!

The Bottom Line

HYSAs are a great way to save money for your goals. They offer higher interest rates and no monthly fees, which means that you can keep more of the interest that you earn on your savings. If you are looking for a safe and convenient place to save your money, consider opening an HYSA today. To upgrade your money mindset and earn-cash back rewards while doing it, check out Debbie!

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