Saving and investing money are two completely different things. They each have a different purpose and play different roles in your life. You should make sure that you are clear on the concept before deciding which step to take on your financial journey to avoid stress and help towards meeting your financial goals.
It may seem like a simple question, but wondering whether you should save or invest will completely depend on your financial situation and what you want in life. So perhaps the best way to start is to work out the difference between saving and investing for, defining both concepts.
Saving involves you putting money into an account and adding to it regularly. Your capital will not be at risk and you have the chance to grow your money by earning interest on it. But there is a risk that the rate of interest paid on your money may not be higher than the rate of inflation and your money may not increase in value.
Savings are great to have as they are always available to access and can be used for many things such as emergencies or a down payment on a house. You can also set up savings accounts for major life events such as retirement and death. With the rising costs of funerals, for example, saving money for it now will help loved ones find a funeral director and pay for it without any stress or worry.
Pros: A savings account is easily accessible when you need money you can go to your bank and withdraw what you want. When you set aside money into a savings account, you’re not putting your funds at risk – a savings account is stable.
Cons: With low risk, comes low returns. Interest rates on savings accounts are lower than any other account. If you are planning on leaving the money in there for a long period of times, you may want to consider a different type of account with a higher interest rate.
Investing involves you allocating money for a long period of time into an investment, in the hope of making more money on it. When it comes to investing, there is no guarantee you’ll get your initial capital back, or make a profit. But you could end up growing your money, depending on how your investment performs.
Pros: When buying stock or another investment, you do so hoping that your investment will appreciate over time and earn you some money back. Stocks typically have the highest average return. However, they come higher risks. When looking to invest your money you have lots of choices too, from a classic car to a house.
Cons: Investing involves you allocating money for a long period of time into something that should gain in value, in the hope of making money on it. When it comes to investing there is no guarantee you’ll get your initial capital back, or make a profit. But you could end up growing your money, depending on how your investment performs.
Taking money from an investment is not as easy as withdrawing it from a savings account. While it’s best to invest for the long term, if you need the money and want to sell what you’ve invested in you need to wait for the funds to become available.
So whether you put the bulk of your money into a savings account or into an investment, it will depend on various factors and what suits your situation best. Both of them are important for overall financial security.