From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
Are you a saver or a spender? "A penny saved is a penny earned." This old saying calls attention to the wisdom of saving money. "Putting money away for a rainy day" is another recognized saying.
In the US, people who want to start a savings account have several choices. These include banks and credit unions. Credit unions are cooperatives for people who have some kind of connection. For example, the members might work for a university or a government agency. Most credit unions are nonprofit organizations.
Credit unions, banks and other financial organizations pay interest on savings accounts. But the interest rate are generally low. Certificate of deposit, or CDs, pay higher returns. With a CD, a person agrees not to withdraw the money for a certain period of time.
This term could be anywhere from a few months to several years. longer terms, and larger amounts, pay higher interest. But, early withdrawal means CD holders must pay a penalty. Another way to save is through a money market fund. This is a kind of mutual fund. Mutual funds invest money from many people. Money market funds, however, may not be federally guaranteed like other kinds of savings. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guarantees savings up to $250,000.
In a number of countries, people have been saving less over the years. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a group of 34 countries. The OECD says Americans saved about four point five percent of their household income last year, down from six percent four years ago.