Your savings are much more than just money. They are all the sacrifices that you have made and all the long hours that you have toiled at work. They are also the dreams that you have nurtured for so long. For instance, sending your child to college or buying a condo in a peaceful neighborhood.

These aspects make your savings all the more special. Would you sleep peacefully at night if you knew your savings weren’t safe? No, right? The current state of markets and the economic downturn has made the stock markets a risky proposition. Here are the other places to place your money and yet make decent returns.

Savings Account

If you want the most convenient and simplest way to save your money, this is it. Besides, it offers liquidity that you can use during your emergencies. If you are worried about the annual fees, you can shop around for an account with minimal or no fees. It is important to notice that a savings account gives fewer returns as compared to other modes of investments. Due to this reason, it is a good option if you want to save for a short-term goal or your emergency fund.

Money Market Accounts

If you are looking for something as simple as a savings account but with higher returns, you can consider money market accounts. You can open these accounts at banks and credit unions at a small annual fee. However, these accounts come with certain restrictions like you can withdraw only a limited number of times. Secondly, they demand a minimum balance to be maintained at all times. The biggest advantage is that they are insured by the Federal Reserve Insurance Corporation

Certificate of Deposit

Almost all financial institutions offer a certificate of deposit. These instruments offer a good rate of return in exchange for locking your money for a predetermined amount of time. There are different schemes that will lock your money for different amounts of time at different interest rates. They are considered to be safe and non-volatile as compared to stocks. In addition to this, you can exit early and withdraw your money. However, in this case, you may have to pay some penalty.

U.S Savings Bond

If safety is your number one priority, you may consider this option. These bonds are sold by the government and keep your money locked down from a year to five years. They offer decent returns as compared to other options in the market. The fact that they offer tax exemptions is the cherry on top.

Real Estate

If buying a house has been on your mind, you can very well think of doing it now. It will save you from the trouble of crunching numbers and negotiating for good rates. It is an asset that always appreciates in the long term. You can either use it for your personal use or rent it out. After retirement, you can even sell it off for a smaller place and enjoy your earnings.

Workplace Retirement Program

There is nothing better than saving in 401(k) and IRA if your employer allows for it. Contribute to the maximum limit and it will be like extra income as your employer will have to match it. Secondly, it will reduce your taxable income which is an added benefit. This is perhaps the best option to save for your retirement fund.

Educational Savings Account

This one is for the parents who want to save for their children. Not only this, you can open it for your nephews, nieces and the children of your friends. The interest earned on this account is tax-free. You can save up to $2000 in this account and prepare to send your bright child to the Ivy League.

Treasury Bills and Notes

These are yet another trustable options backed by the government. Apart from being safe, they are also tax-free. Both bills and notes are available at a discount and you can sell them at maturity. The difference between the face value and the purchase price makes up for your earnings. Bills mature after between 4 four weeks to one year. Notes mature at different periods between two to ten years. Bonds, on the other hand, have a maturity period of 30 years and give interest every six months.