From savings rates to budget programs, WalletPop experts answer personal finance questions


With experts predicting that unemployment figures haven't bottomed out, it's no surprise that Americans continue to hold tight to their wallets. To help, WalletPop wants to answer your questions about security, investing and other financial matters. Here's this month's sample:

Question: What is the best savings interest rates right now? The INGdirect account is a good deal, everyone knows that. But if you have a MMA(money market account) linked to your checking it's easier to get your money in and out fast as you need it -- the downside is that the interest rate is lower and banks also have weird minimums sometimes for the better rates. Which banks are doing comparable rates to ingdirect and which ones have better deals as far as no minimum/low minimum?

-- Craig Pavia, 38, publisher, Long Island City

Answer from Gregory Karp, author of The 1-2-3 Money Plan and Living Rich by Spending Smart:

Great question. Everybody is looking to earn a little more on savings. But the fact is, interest rates are low right now. So, it's not like you'll find double-digit savings rates.