(WXIN/WTTV) — Any financial expert will tell you that the best way to get ahead is to make your money work for you.
But what does that look like, and what’s the best strategy depending on your goals and how much money you have to work with? Say you have your retirement savings going and you don’t want to touch that, now you’re looking for ways to save and grow some money in the shorter term.
“The good thing is there are a lot of options to do with that pile of savings you have,” said Forum Credit Union COO Andy Mattingly. “You’ve probably just put it in there, and you’ve forgotten about it. But there are a lot of options you can do.”
If you have been able to save up somewhere between $1000, and $10,000, Mattingly suggests looking into a high-rate savings account, which many banks and institutions are offering these days.
“These high-rate savings accounts are typically for people who plan to keep the money a little bit longer,” Mattingly said. “And that’s why institutions offer those because it’s not going to be coming in and out all the time.”
Right now you can expect to get about 3.9% to 4.3% APY on one of these accounts. Mattingly says virtually anyone can get one, and there is no real downside to them. However, there might be some restrictions and fees you would want to avoid.
“Maybe there’s a limit on how much you can put in each month or maybe there’s a limit on how much you can take out,” he added. “Or maybe there are certain things you have to do to get it.”
With about the same amount of money to invest, Mattingly also suggests looking into CDs, or Certificates of Deposit.
“People forget about these or think these are only for their grandparents, but certificates are actually a good tool,” Mattingly said. “Basically, they’re just saying you’re going to leave the money on deposit for a certain period of time, and that’s where you can get some of your highest rates.”
Terms on CDs can range between a few months to five or six years. Right now, Mattingly said you can get about 5% interest on your money with a term between five and 20 months. People often have several overlapping CDs going at one time, so you always have money growing and ready to withdraw when the terms are up.
If you have more money to invest, say $25,000 or more, it might be time to look at a money market. Mattingly said that usually needs to be with the same institution that has your checking account.
“A lot of those times that’s where you’re going to need to talk to your financial institution because those are things that they’re going to be offering to you based on the relationships you have,” he added.
Money market accounts tend to pay higher interest than other types of savings accounts, but they also work better with larger amounts of money to invest.
All of these FDIC-insured options could work well, depending on your specific financial goals. However, Mattingly said the best option is to make use of several options.
“Not to just pick one, but try to take multiple strategies depending on how much money you have because that’s the best way to protect yourself,” he added.