how to: invest your money

Saving money and learning about investing is always a smart plan. Even if you’re newly hitched, it’s never too soon to start planning for those golden years. Think about it: Do you imagine yourselves lying on a beach or working behind a desk? If you picked the beach (or travel, or golf, or anything other than the 9-to-5 grind), you’ve come to the right place. We have all kinds of investment advice, including the basics of how to invest wisely and what all those financial terms really mean. Not sure where to begin? Start with our five easy steps to invest your money. We also have investing advice and Q&A on all kinds of financial basics about investing -- learn the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, how to invest your savings, and your options if you can only invest a small amount. Our basic investing advice will help you get ready. But before you invest your money, you should be sure you’re out of debt: Use our debt calculator to help plan your payments, and follow our simple steps to go from credit card misery to debt free. And if your problem is a lack of cash, we’ve got tips for you, too. Learn the habits of spending-savvy couples, and find easy ways to save more of each month’s paycheck and stick to your budget. Don’t want to go it alone? Check out our local pages to find a financial planner in your area for some in-person investment advice.

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Money Q&A: Savings Account Interest Rates?

Q.

The Nest Q&A

What kind of interest rates can we expect from a good savings account?

A.

When you're evaluating savings options, consider the interest rate and whether or not you'll be able to withdraw your money when you need it (and at what cost). If the focus is on getting the best interest rate, go to Bankrate.com to compare rates on one- to five-year CDs. Banks are eager to attract deposits to shore up their balance sheets, so there are more high-yield CDs available than ever. The average overnight rate on a one-year CD stands at almost two-and-a-half percent and climbs to almost three percent for a five-year commitment. Just be aware that if you go with a CD, you'll pay a penalty if you have to pull out your money before the certificate comes due. 
If you’d rather not have your money locked in, consider a money market deposit account (which is different from a money market fund). There are some high-yield options available, especially from online banks, and Bankrate.com ranks those as well. 

Nestpert Pam Krueger, cohost of MoneyTrack on PBS and author of The MoneyTrack Method

 

-- The Nest Editors

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