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    Difference Between Short Term vs Long Term Savings

    Difference Between Short-Term vs Long-term Savings

    Last Updated On 25-09-2023

    Efficient financial planning requires every individual to categorize their finances to meet specific goals. Typically, these categories are split into short-term and long-term investments. Let’s understand the difference between long-term vs short-term savings so you can plan your saving strategies and appropriately secure your retirement years.

    Difference Between Short-term vs Long-term Savings

    The difference between long-term vs short-term investing is more than the timeframe (as suggested in their titles). When one observes short-term and long-term investment examples, they quickly realize that the primary distinction lies in their objectives.

    Saving in the short term is concerned with setting aside money for imminent needs and unforeseen expenses like car repairs, urgent medical bills, etc. Therefore, short-term savings must be money that is easily accessible through savings or checking accounts.

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    Long-term savings, on the other hand, are designed to meet financial milestones in the future and typically span years or even decades. For example, purchasing a home, planning for your retirement, etc.

    Another key difference in long-term vs short-term investing is that when one saves for the long term, the financial tools have the potential to yield greater returns over time.

    Saving Strategies for Short-Term and Long-Term Investment

    Following these short- and long-term investment examples can help an individual get started on their journey to saving:

    • Short-Term Saving Strategies:

      Here is a short-term investment example plan comprising financial tools that can help you save for contingencies:
      • Emergency Fund: Perhaps the most important short-term investment example is to build an emergency fund which is equivalent to 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses. This is an essential financial safety net that keeps your finances on track despite unexpected events.
      • High-Interest Savings Account: Research and find out which would be a high-interest account for you to invest in while also earning decent returns. Also, check the liquidity features of the account you are opting for.
      • Recurring Deposits (RD): RDs enable saving a fixed amount each month for a specific tenure at a predetermined interest rate. It is a great short-term investment example for individuals seeking low-risk investments.
      • Fixed Deposits (FD): Generally, FDs are considered for long-term investments. However, some financial institutions also offer short-term fixed deposits with attractive interest rates. These can be useful if you have a slightly longer horizon for your savings.
      • Liquid Mutual Funds: If you are seeking better returns than savings accounts, investing in short-term debt instruments is a great alternative to park your surplus funds. This is also a great short-term investment example if you want to further amplify your returns and would like to invest for 1-3 years.
    • Long-Term Saving Strategies:

      Here are some long-term investment examples to bolster your financial planning:
      • Public Provident Fund (PPF): PPF is a tax-saving, long-term investment option with a lock-in period of 15 years. It is one of the best long-term investment examples for building a retirement fund.
      • National Pension Scheme (NPS): This government-sponsored pension scheme enables you to build a saving discipline by regularly contributing to building a retirement corpus.
      • Mutual Funds (SIPs): Compared to other traditional long-term investment examples, SIPs provide higher returns in the long run.
      • Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS): These are equity mutual funds that provide tax benefits and come with a lock-in period of three years to encourage saving for the long term.
      • Term Insurance and Health Insurance: To secure your family's financial future in your absence, you must invest in term and life insurance plans. These insurance plans can be customized for long-term vs short-term goals.
      • Retirement Plans and Annuities: Several financial institutions develop plans specifically catered to meet your financial objectives. There are several plans dedicated to helping individuals build a corpus for a comfortable retirement.
      • Gold Bonds and Sovereign Gold Bonds: If you are looking for a hedge against inflation and a safe investment alternative, then you cannot go wrong with gold investments.

    Now that we have explored short-term and long-term investment examples, it is important to build a holistic financial plan that includes both short-term and long-term objectives. You can also check out PNB MetLife’s Long Term Savings plans to get started on your savings journey.


    Separating long-term vs short-term investments is crucial for focused financial planning. Knowing the difference between short-term and long-term investment can help you gain control of your financial future and meet your goals.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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    What is the difference between short-term vs long-term savings?

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    Short-term savings are for immediate needs and emergencies, while long-term savings focus on goals like retirement or major purchases, benefiting from compounding growth over time.

    What are the best financial tools for short-term saving?

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    Fixed deposits, recurring deposits, and liquid mutual funds are popular choices for short-term savings. They provide liquidity, safety, and potential returns.

    What are the best financial tools for long-term saving?

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    For long-term savings, consider investing in Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Pension System (NPS), and diversified equity mutual funds. You can also choose to increase your share (employee contribution) in EPF to boost your long-term savings.


    The aforesaid article presents the view of an independent writer who is an expert on financial and insurance matters. PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd. doesn’t influence or support views of the writer of the article in any way. The article is informative in nature and PNB MetLife and/ or the writer of the article shall not be responsible for any direct/ indirect loss or liability or medical complications incurred by the reader for taking any decisions based on the contents and information given in article. Please consult your financial advisor/ insurance advisor/ health advisor before making any decision.

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