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Saving vs Investing: Which Path Fits Your Wallet Best?

Saving or Investing? Your Guide through Financial Options

saving vs investing


Making money over the years has gotten easier, all thanks to a wide range of potential revenue sources. The real issue, however, is preserving what you earn. Money today vanishes as swiftly as sand, thus giving rise to understanding the importance of saving and investing. If you’re someone looking for advice on saving or investing your hard-earned money, you’ve reached the perfect spot!

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However, before knowing how to save or invest money, one needs to know how saving and investing differs.  This article dwells into the fundamentals, similarities and differences between saving and investment, and serves as a starting point for your financial journey.

What does it mean to save money? 

Saving vs. investing money is very different. Saving money is like holding onto cash that hasn’t been spent. It is the process of setting aside money for certain goals, like being more financially secure in case of an emergency or saving for a large purchase that cannot be paid for all at once. Example- saving up for your family. 

People save for both planned and unplanned expenses. Saving is an effective approach to meet short-term financial targets and prepare for future costs. When you save money regularly, you create a safety net to assist you get through difficult times. Savings is always a low-risk option, meaning your money is safe even if the interest rates are not particularly high. It’s basic yet a powerful strategy for managing your money effectively.

Also read: How to grow your family’s wealth with smart budgeting and investing strategies

What does it mean by investing money? 

Investing is the process of purchasing items that will increase the value of your money. It involves growing your money and generating higher returns.  It’s a process of putting your money to work for you by purchasing stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. It’s a means to achieve significant financial goals like buying a property, saving for education, or retiring. 

However, when you invest, you are taking a risk in the hopes of receiving a favourable return on investment. Hence, while investing money, it’s critical to choose investments that align with your objectives, risk tolerance, and time horizon.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that there are no assurances when it comes to investing, and you can lose money at any moment. 

The difference between savings and investment

When people talk about saving vs investing, many, around 90%, tend to view them as identical words that can be used interchangeably. However, recognizing the true distinction between the two is incredibly important. Despite a few similarities, saving and investing differ significantly. This dissimilarity starts with the types of assets held in each account. Let’s delve into the detailed differences between savings and investing.

Account typeBank Account Brokerage/ Demat Account
ReturnVery low compared to investing. Usually around 3-4%Higher or lower, depending on the market. Usually around 10-15%. 
RiskNo risks attachedHigh risk. It also varies by investment, with the possibility of loss
Typical productsSavings accounts, CDs, FD’s money-market accountsStocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, and ETFs
GoalTo fulfil short-term goalsTo fulfil long-term goals
Time horizonShort or long depending on saving instrument chosen, eg- Fixed depositLong, typically 5 years or more
DifficultyRelatively easyHarder
Protection against inflationOnly a littlePotentially significant over the long term
CostNoneDepends on fund expense ratios; taxes on realised gains; brokerage account costs
LiquidityHigh unless CDsHigh, though the exact amount may vary upon cashing in

Apart from the prevailing saving and investment difference, they have their own similarities. They are as follows-

  1. Shared goal- Both saving and investing aim to secure a financial future, emphasising the importance of planning for long-term financial stability.
  1. Future planning- Both strategies involve putting money aside for future needs, whether it be for short-term goals or long-term financial objectives.
  1. Specialised accounts- When we save and invest money, we utilise specialised accounts offered by financial institutions to accumulate funds. Savers typically open accounts at banks, while investors often open accounts with independent brokers or bank brokers.
  1. Emergency fund- Savers and investors alike recognize the significance of having an emergency fund. Before allocating a substantial sum to long-term investments, investors understand the need for sufficient funds in a bank account to cover unexpected expenses.

How to save and invest money? 

After understanding how saving vs. investments differ and are related to each other, it’s time to understand how to save and invest your money. Below are certain saving and investment tips you can follow:

Saving money

  1. Create a budget- Making a detailed budget that includes income and expenses and setting aside a portion of your income for savings, ensures a regular commitment towards saving money.
  1. Automated savings- Enabling automatic transfers to a savings account assures a consistent and effortless process, making saving a habit for everyone.
  1. Emergency fund building- Prioritising the creation of an emergency reserve in a savings account with the aim of three to six months’ worth of living expenditures, ensures financial stability for future mishaps.
  1. Cut unnecessary spending- Identifying and reducing non-essential spending redirects the saved funds to a savings account for future objectives.

Investing money

  1. Understand risk tolerance- Assessing your risk level before investing helps you select appropriate investments properly.
  1. Research investment options- Before investing, thoroughly investigating your alternative choices and understanding the market by evaluating stocks and bonds, helps you in making sound investment decisions. 
  1. Long-term perspective- Approaching investing from a long-term standpoint allows your money to expand gradually, avoiding rash judgements based on short-term market changes.

Also read: Risk tolerance and investment strategy


Finally, saving vs. investing are important financial strategies with distinct characteristics and goals. Saving is the process of putting money aside for short-term objectives or emergencies, usually in minimal-risk accounts, whereas investing seeks long-term growth by investing in assets such as stocks, bonds, or real estate. The key difference between saving and investing is in the time horizon, risk, and possible profits associated with each method.

Saving and investing money helps you achieve your long-term goals. By taking a disciplined approach to both, one can easily lay the foundation for a financially secure future. To learn more, subscribe to StockGro!

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