If you don’t like compound interest, then you don’t like cold drinks on hot days, making yellow lights, or putting on clothes straight from the dryer – in other words, the finer things in life.
But compound interest are two magic words that can help build your wealth. You don’t want to retire with no savings, do you?
One of the best ways to have your money work for you is knowing where to keep it. Many people put their money in…how can we put it kindly – very dumb spots.
From under mattresses to fool’s gold, we’ll tell you the common places people keep money, where they really shouldn’t.
Credit Card Rewards & Stagnant Gift Cards
If there’s one industry that banks on consumer confusion and carelessness, it’s the gift card trade.
People lose thousands of dollars collectively in merchandise or service perks by not using them, or simply forgetting they had them. A past survey found between the years 2005-11, $41 billion in gift card value across the U.S. went down the drain to expiry dates and misplacement.
We call this form of financial bleed ‘breakage’. Rather than collecting those sweet ‘perks’, you’re just enabling gift card & reward entities to accrue interest on the money you ‘loaned’ them – for free.
Don’t be fooled by PayPal’s inclusion in this list – we like PayPal. We think it’s great, when used correctly.
We find many people consider their PayPal accounts to be ‘slush funds’, or extra assets reserved for lucrative purchases. Wants rather than needs, if you will. And if there’s nothing to be splurged on, PayPalers will let their money sit until they see something worth blowing that luxury cash on.
Hopefully, the weakness with this system is obvious: the money sitting in your PayPal account isn’t garnering any interest like the rest of the ‘real’ money in your bank account is. Since these are luxury funds, sizable PayPal stashes are not uncommon, meaning you could really be losing out.
Transfer your PayPal earnings to your regular account, or open a free savings account. Even a bit of interest is better than nothing.
Under the Mattress
A survey conducted by American Express Spending and Savings Tracker indicates 43% of Americans keep their savings in cash.
Further, the same survey says 53% of these pro-cash consumers keep their fortunes at home.
Entrusting your life’s savings to the four walls of your home is madness, for two reasons:
- You’re gaining no interest. Would you rather make a crummy 0.6% interest on all your money, or have your money covered in cookie crumbs from the jar you hide your cash in?
- Your money isn’t safe. Where to we start? You could be robbed (by strangers, or even family). Your house could flood. Your house could burn down. Your house could be swept away by a tornado. Silverfish insects, a common pest problem in homes, thrive on paper – money is paper. You get the idea.
Have you ever been lectured by someone that’s insistent on North America returning to the gold standard?
We know many people invest their money in gold, believing it’s a safe, ‘disaster currency’, in case the value of the dollar plummets – the gold standard is aptly named for a reason, after all.
Here’s why this thinking is flawed:
- Conflating the gold standard, which is a fixed value for the dollar, and buying gold as an investment are two different, independent things.
- If you look at inflation rates over the past 40 years, you’ll know buying gold isn’t hedging against anything.
- Looking back at history, countries that were the first to ditch the gold standard during the Great Depression, recovered their economies first.
- Gold has no utility. Therefore, the value is based solely on the currency in which its priced – not supply and demand.
- And here’s a quote from some rich guy named Warren Buffet: "If you put your money into gold or other non-income-producing assets that are dependent on someone else's values in the future, you're in speculation. You're not into investing."
Don’t let your money sit and do nothing, while it waits to be spent. Put your money to work, and garner some interest by putting your funds in your bank account, or set up a free savings account. Remember, even minimal interest gains are better than zero interest.
If you’re having a hard time saving money, our short term, bad credit loans are direct-deposited into your account, so your money is where it should be from the get-go. From there, you can move and manage your money as you see fit – just avoid stuffing it under the mattress.