Where To Invest Your Money Right Now

If you have money invested in traditional bank savings accounts, you’re doing yourself a major disservice, because the average APY (Annual Percentage Yield) is currently at 0.23% according to CNET’s sister site Bankrate. In startk contrast, high yield online savings accounts from sites such as CIT Bank offer APY’s over 4% (CIT Bank’s current rate is 4.85% APY for balances of $5,000 or more). I have parked emergency funds and other savings into high yield savings accounts for about 8 years now, and would never consider putting my money into the paltry savings vehicles which traditional banks offer.

Let’s take the APY rates of 0.23% and 4.85% to provide a comparison between traditional savings accounts and high yield onling savings accounts. If $1,000 is invested in an account earning 0.23% APY, the account balance after 12 months will be $1,002.30, while $1,000 invested in an account earning 4.85% APY will have a balance after 12 months of $1,048.54. I’m sure anyone would be happier with having an additional $48 at the end of the year as opposed to $2!

Another investment alternative which actually has slightly higher yields than high yield savings accounts is a certificate of deposit (CD), but the downside is that the funds are locked up for a designated period of time. If you have money which you are willing to set aside into a CD, you might want to consider this investment vehicle. At least with a high yield savings account, you can withdraw funds rather quickly without penalty should the need arise. Some individuals who are accustomed to brick and mortar banks and traditional ATM machines won’t like this option, but I am sure that eventually, physical bank locations will go the way of the dinosaur, so it makes sense to get used to performing transactions online.

The other thing to consider is that the APY at online banks which offer high yield savings options can and does frequently fluctuate. However, accounts at such institutions are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, a comforting fact when trying to figure out how to protect one’s savings in these tumultuous financial times. At the very least, high yield savings accounts provide a means by which one’s money can keep pace with inflation.

Establishing A Car Fund

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Since getting a car, whether new or used, is a major purchase, it makes sense to anticipate the financial outlay well in advance by setting funds aside. If you have a plan of attack, you can either put away enough money for a down payment on a vehicle, or even amass enough cash to purchase a car outright with no financing. I was so determined to pay cash for my next set of wheels that when I purchased my current car in April of 2017 after the 24-month lease ended, I began saving up for the next car by earmarking contributions in a specially designated car fund. I now have enough set aside to purchase a moderately priced new or gently used vehicle when the time comes. Granted, I was extremely aggressive and determined when I began saving up, but I now know that it is indeed possible to self-finance a car purchase.

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Even if you can’t save up enough money for a cash purchase, a chunk of change could nicely cover a down payment, thus lowering the total amount which ends up being financed. I ended up intuitively setting up a high yield savings account and have been making monthly investments for the past five years, a technique which is actually recommended by financial experts. The other thing I kept in mind when figuring out how much to set aside each month was the value of the vehicle which I would most likely purchase in the future. When I got any additional small windfalls, I would add those monies to the fund. Lastly, another thing which I made sure to do was to set up a car repairs fund in high yield savings so that I would be prepared if I ran into any unexpected repair bills on my current ride.

For more detailed information on whether to buy new or used, or to buy versus lease (though I NEVER advise anyone to lease a vehicle), you can check out this article: