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saving vs investing

Women are savers. According to experts with Fidelity Investments, women save about 8% of their income compared to men, who save about 7%, on average. But, while we save more on a percentage basis, the gender pay gap means, in some cases, we are saving less than our male counterparts.

Here’s how to make the most of the money you’re saving – and investing.

1.  Save (or invest) for specific things

My husband invests more of his paycheck in long-term goals. I’m good with that, because I like to see my money working for us quicker. So, my investments and savings choices are geared more toward our next vacation or buying a new house (don’t worry, I’m also saving for retirement, but I save for that in slower-growing funds).

My favorite savings-specific plan is the $1/week plan: I number each week of the year (1-52), and for each week, I put that much money in a savings account. So, for the first week of the year, I put in $1 and for the 52nd week of the year, I put in $52 – at the end of every year, I’ve saved about $3,000. That savings account is used for vacations, home improvement project, and fun money.

2.  Start investing even if you’re not in a long-term relationship

Many women wait to invest until they are ‘settled’ – married, with kids, and a mortgage. The thing is, by waiting until marriage, kids, and mortgage you may waste 5 or even 10 years of investment potential. That is thousands of dollars that aren’t working for your future.

Another problem: kids and mortgages are expensive, and if you’re not already saving and investing, it will be harder to find the money to start once you’re already paying for piano lessons and that pool in the backyard.

3.  Take advantage of the investment plan at your work

Look at the kind of matching program offered by your workplace. Some will match dollar for dollar, some with match up to a certain percentage. Understand what they will match, and go for the max amount – that is free money in your retirement pocket.

Also, if your workplace offers investment seminars or one-on-one appointments, take advantage of those so that you understand all of your investment options.

4.  Take the lessons you teach to your children (or nieces and nephews) about saving to heart

No child wants to put all their money in a piggy bank, but if you start a child saving even a quarter of an allowance, and allowing them to keep – and spend – the other 75%, they can see how quickly a couple of quarters becomes a significant amount of cash – and so can you.

Another thing to remember: we aren’t just investing for ourselves, but for our children. Our kids look at how we interact with money, and that helps to solidify how they look at money and investing. So, let’s make investing not only work for us, but create a better relationship between our kids and their money.

{Editor’s Note: This blog post references an opinion and is for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be savings or investment advice.  Seek a duly licensed professional for savings or investment advice.}

Featured image via Stocksnap


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Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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