saving for a housesaving for a house
Do you have a large but short-term savings goal? Perhaps, like me, you want to save at least 20% of a future home as a down payment. Maybe you want to purchase another vehicle or recreational toy in cash versus going into debt, or you just want to finally finish a much-needed home improvement project. No matter the reason, one thing these diverse savings goals have in common is that they’re short-term – you’ll want to be able to use the money in say, one to four years.

If you don’t know how much you’ll need to set aside every month to reach your goal or what interest rate you might need to reach it in a certain time frame, use an online amortization table to help you calculate that number. Knowing what you need before looking at your options will allow you to quickly locate the one that best meets your needs.

So what are your options? You could just deposit cash into a savings account at your bank, but brick-and-mortar accounts aren’t going to yield much more than you put into them even though interest rates have shot up rapidly in the past few months. On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t necessarily want to invest any funds earmarked for the short term in risky stocks or long-term bonds either.

For short-term savings goals, there are three main features you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Security (possibly FDIC-insured)
  • Minimal risk (not subject to market volatility)
  • Liquidity (easy, fast withdrawal without penalties)

For short-term savings, it’s more about the return of the money versus return on the money. But while you’re at it, there are several options that can accomplish…

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