What’s the Difference Between Saving and Investing?

Daniel Penzing
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Saving 101

Let’s start with the basics. When most people talk about saving money, they’re usually referring to something general and very basic. Saving isn’t the only way to accumulate wealth, but it’s important because it’s a good way to get a solid foundation under your finances.

A lot of people have a difficult time with this concept, and it’s because they don’t have an accurate picture of what saving is. We know what saving means, but as defined above, it’s pretty ambiguous. It’s not just a general term; it’s a way of life.

People say they save, when they really mean that they make extra efforts at living frugally. Although frugality is a huge part of saving, it’s not all of it. If you’re simply being frugal, you’re just going to dip into your savings if you need money for something.

Savings is setting aside money and keeping it for a rainy day.

Investing 101

What’s the Difference Between Saving and Investing?

We are conditioned from a young age to be frugal with our money and to save for a rainy day. Many people, even those who have decent incomes, tend to trudge through life living paycheck to paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with being frugal and saving money, but saving is not the same as investing.

We are getting ready to start our financial second careers and we wanted to know what the difference is between investing and saving before we get started so we thought we would share it with everyone.

While it’s true that saving and investing are different ways to view your money, they are related. The best place to start making the distinction between saving and investing is to define both terms.

Saving is simply accumulating money, no matter what purpose it will serve. Putting money away for a trip, for a new home, for retirement, for an emergency or some other worthy goal is saving.

Investing is any activity that puts money to work for you to make more money. This can be anything from putting money in your bank account or a retirement account to investing in the stock market or in a business.

Alternative Investments

When you have money in the bank and you don’t have any specific plans for it, you are saving it. You are preserving your income and setting it aside for the things you know will be important in the foreseeable future.

This way, you will have money available when you need it and you will have avoided the need to work more hours, postpone retirement, or borrow the money.

If you invest your money, you are committing to doing something that will increase its value. This often involves risk because the value may decrease as well. As an investor, you will have a higher tolerance for risk than a saver does. You accept the possibility that you might lose money with the hope that it increases in value.

So what’s the difference? Savers tend to be conservative and investors tend to be aggressive. It’s a lot like maters and CEOs. Mature workers save by paying into the company pension scheme and deferring a significant chunk of their income into the company’s investment plan, which is sometimes called a 401k plan.

Savers typically put their money in a low-risk savings account. They tend to be older, with a stable financial situation and a relatively low tolerance for risk … they want cash to be there when they need it.

Most Important Types of Savings

Savings accounts are one of the most popular ways to save money in the United States. There are many reasons for that, not-least of which is the convenience of accessibility, the affordable requirements for opening an account, and the well-developed set of services that many savings accounts offer.

Unlike other assets, if you decide to save money, you cannot simply buy it and store it away. You need a place to store your money.

The most commonly used savings account in the United States is the bank deposit account, also known as a checking account. This type of savings account is essentially a checking account without the option of writing checks.

While some financial institutions do not offer checking accounts, almost all institutions allow you to open a savings account. Savings accounts are offered in a variety of ways. Of course, the level of interest that you receive varies by institution. It’s important to do a little research into the accounts that you’re considering to determine which offers the best rates. Most common of all savings account offerings is the certificate of deposit, or CD. With this type of account, you promise the financial institution that you will leave your money in the account for a set amount of time. You will also receive a higher interest rate than with a traditional savings account, but you cannot withdraw your funds until the maturity date.

Most Important Types of Investments

Saving and investing are both great ways to accumulate money.

They can make you feel secure, and they can even help your children pay for college or your grandchildren pay for retire.

However, there is a difference between them. If you’re prone to confusion, we’re going make this easy for you to understand.

Saving and investing each produce a return, though their time and risk factors vary. Saving is about putting your money in a safe place that doesn’t have any significant ups and downs.

However, while this minimizes volatility, it doesn’t minimize return.

Investing is all about the return. Because of the volatility, there is a good chance that you will lose some money at some point. However, even though there is a risk of losing money, if that risk is managed properly, you have a good chance of making more money.

Investing also helps you build wealth over a period of time so that you can take that wealth and make it grow by earning even more over time.

Investing is all about the return. Because of the volatility, there is a good chance that you will lose some money at some point. However, even though there is a risk of losing money, if that risk is managed properly, you have a good chance of making more money.

Make Investing and Saving a Focus With Your Money

If you don’t know the difference between saving and investing, you could have a hard time reaching financial security. The two go hand-in-hand, as you need a financial goal and a long-term plan to reach that goal. Saving gives you a way to get to your destination, while investing ensures you reach your destination.


When you save, you’re putting money away for a future need. For instance, you may save for your retirement or to pay for a college education. You’re not putting the money away indefinitely, though. You’re doing something with it. You’re saving for a tangible, clearly defined reason, and if there’s any money left over in your savings account, you’re making the right decision to use it for something else.


Investing is a longer-term way of looking at your finances. You put your money into an opportunity that will give you a solid return. For instance, if you invest in the stock market, your goal is steady growth through a solid investment. Investing doesn’t include an immediate return, though. You’ll most likely see results over the long term.