They say you should keep 3 month's expenses tucked away in case of emergencies, and I figure that it's good advice. I got tired of seeing that money stagnate in my checking account, devaluing slowly with inflation, so I did some research into savings accounts with the following criteria_
1) It had to have a high interest rate. The idea here is to make as much money as I can.
2) My money had to be accessible in case of emergencies. As a grad student, I'm not exactly rolling in the dough, so locking up cash in a CD was not an option.
After some research, it turns out that the online sites like HSBC and ING Direct have pretty nice online savings accounts. I signed up with ING Direct a few months ago, and found it fairly simple to set up and use. You just link the account to your existing checking account, then do transfers through the web portal. The best part is that I'm making 4.5% interest on my (meager) savings. I won't be retiring on that money anytime soon, but hey - it's enough for a few beers.
If you're interested in checking it out for yourself, I can send you a referral link that will net you 25 bucks just for signing up. (It will also get me a ten dollar referral fee). I don't want to sound like a corporate whore, but I figure if you're going to sign up anyway, we might as well both make a little cash off of the deal. You also might want to check out the other sites before signing up with ING. I hear that they run special offers from time to time that might get you even better interest rates for the first year or so.