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  • Richa Sinha

Savings vs. Investing: Why Just Saving Isn't Enough

piggy bank & money tree on a balancing scale

Rita, a 28-year-old IT professional from Pune, received her first paycheck and, like most of us, was filled with excitement. She decided to stash a good chunk of her salary in her savings account, feeling proud every time she saw her account balance rise.

But as years passed, Rita noticed that even though her savings grew, her purchasing power didn't seem to keep up.

What she didn't account for was the role of inflation and the power of investing.

Understanding Savings

What is Saving? Saving is about setting aside a part of your income today to use it in the future. It’s the money you decide not to spend immediately, hoping it will serve a purpose later on.

Benefits of Saving:

  1. Liquidity: Easy access. If an emergency crops up, your savings are there to help.

  2. Safety: Especially if it's in reputable banks, it's protected from market fluctuations.

But, here lies the issue...

Inflation: Think of inflation as a small hole in a water bucket. While the bucket (your savings) may seem full, the water level (its value) drops slowly. Even if you earn a minor interest, if it doesn't outpace inflation, you're losing the real value of your money.

Venturing into Investing

What is Investing? Investing means allocating money into assets (like stocks, real estate, or mutual funds) hoping they'll grow or generate income over time.

Benefits of Investing:

  1. Potential Higher Returns: Investments can offer returns that dwarf traditional savings.

  2. Beat Inflation: Proper investments grow faster than inflation, preserving the value of your money.

  3. Build Wealth: The power of compound interest can significantly increase your wealth over time.

However, it comes with risks

Unlike savings, investments can fluctuate. While they can grow, they can also decrease in value. Successful investing requires informed decisions and understanding one's risk tolerance.

Why Saving Alone Isn't the Magic Bullet

  1. Reduced Purchasing Power: Inflation eats into the value of your savings over time.

  2. Missed Opportunities: The potential returns from investments often outstrip savings interest.

  3. Long-Term Goals: Investments can offer the growth needed for big future expenses.

Now, let's return to Rita. After a few financial literacy workshops, she decided to diversify. She continued to save but also began investing. She started with small mutual fund SIPs. A decade later, her investments, despite market fluctuations, had grown significantly, surpassing her savings in terms of overall returns. When she wanted to buy her dream home, it wasn't just her savings but her investments that made it possible.

Balancing Act

Both saving and investing play crucial roles, hence it is not really a battle of saving vs investing. Think of savings as a secure vault for short-term needs and emergencies. Investing, on the other hand, is like planting seeds for future trees. Some might not grow, but others could turn into tall, fruit-bearing trees, given the right conditions and care.

In Conclusion

To all the multitasking, ambitious Indian women reading this - every rupee you earn has potential. While it's comforting to see a filled savings account, true financial growth often requires the courage to invest. By understanding the difference between savings and investing, and by harnessing the power of both, you can pave the way for a financially secure and empowered future. It's not about choosing one over the other but understanding how both can coexist in harmony to help you achieve your dreams.

"How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case." — Robert G. Allen


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