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Saving Money

How to save for short-term goals Add to ...

A quick look at different short-term investment options.

If you have a smaller amount to invest

Consider these five common options:

  1. Chequing account
  2. Savings account
  3. High-interest savings account
  4. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
  5. Canada Savings Bond

To learn more, read Comparing short-term investments​.

More Related to this Story

If you have a larger amount to invest

Consider these five options:

  1. Treasury bills (T-bills)
  2. Money market funds
  3. Commercial paper
  4. Government bonds
  5. Corporate bonds

Deciding where to invest

Compare different products and decide which one gives you the features you need. Think about when you will need your money, for example, and what fees you will have to pay.

Also compare the interest rate each investment pays. For example, cash and cash-equivalents give you low risk and easy access to your money, but they also have a lower return than other short-term investments. And they may not keep pace with inflation.

When you’re shopping around, you may want to start by talking to your bank about the products they offer. Then talk to other financial institutions.

  1. What interest rate will you get?
  2. Do you qualify for any special rates? Can you get a higher interest rate if you invest more money? If you have other products with this financial institution?
  3. Is there another safe option that pays a bit more?
  4. Are there service fees and how much are they?
  5. Are there any other costs?
  6. Can you get your money when you want it — quickly, easily and without penalty?
  7. Is there any risk you could lose any of your money?
  8. Could the interest rate change?
  9. Do you have to make a minimum deposit?
  10. Is your money insured by the government?

Four reasons to hold cash equivalents

  1. To pay for unexpected bills and expenses
  2. To have a small, steady and safe income stream if you need it
  3. To invest in the stock market if there is a change in the stock market that creates new opportunities
  4. To help hold up the value of your portfolio if some of your other investments lose value


If you get a bonus at work: Instead of spending a bonus, consider using it to top up your savings. Read Raymond’s story to learn more.


Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeInvestor

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