Savings bonds used to be all the rage. Well, back in the 40s when it was “in” to be patriotic, everyone was buying up bonds. Since the U.S. Treasury decided to stop the production and selling of paper bonds, it seems as if that patriotic, yet outdated, investment has left the minds of everyone. Or, had we forgotten about them way before that?
I remember getting bonds from my grandparents when I was little. Actually, I remember my Mother telling me about the bonds as she tucked them away someplace. To this day, I still don’t recollect if we cashed those in or if they are still hidden in a tomb somewhere. At this point, would it really make a difference? Savings bonds are still available to purchase electronically on the Treasury Direct website, thus putting even more of our finances online. Luckily any paper bonds that we still have can be cashed in, so if I happen to have a few laying around in my parents’ home, I won’t miss out. But, even with them being available online, the return on investment has decreased dramatically.
In the past 6 years, bonds have gone from an interest rate of 3.7% to a meager 0.6%. Also, with online savings resources such as ING direct, Smarty Pig and my personal favorite, ImpulseSave, why would we restrict ourselves to a bond that can’t be cashed in for years? Buy placing a dollar a day or a week, into an online savings account, we can create a small savings to pass onto our kids, or grandchildren, when they reach legal age. Or, in our case, we’ll be passing on the savings when they graduate college or trade school. If we decide to give it to them earlier, there is no penalty to do so. I call that a win-win in savings.
Did any of you receive paper Savings Bonds as a child or teen? Did you cash them in or have you lost track of them?