I’m a big fan of Series I Savings Bonds. They’re not sexy, but they provide a degree of inflation protection and some tax advantages.
It should thus come as no surprise that my wife and I typically buy our limit — currently $10k — via TreasuryDirect each year.
As you may recall, the option to buy paper savings bonds went away at the end of 2011, with one small exception for up to $5k in paper savings bonds as part of your tax return.
Anyway, one tidbit that you may (or may not) be aware of is that, no matter when during the month you buy your savings bonds, you get credited for owning them for the full month. Thus, you might want to wait until the end of the month to buy.
The reason I say this is that you can squeeze out some extra interest by leaving your money in the bank until the last minute and then snatching up your I-Bonds. Sure, the payoff is pretty small in the current interest rate environment, but hey…
Money is money. You might as well grab it if it’s there for the taking. Amirite?
Another minor benefit is that you’ll be able to break your I-Bonds 11 months and a day after purchase vs. a full 12 months if you buy at the end of the month. I don’t recommend breaking your bonds on a whim, but why not take advantage?
Note that you don’t have to wait until the last minute to set up the transaction. Rather, you can schedule the transaction by clicking the “Buy Direct” link in your TreasuryDirect account instead of using the “Purchase Express” option.