Make your money work harder for you

An easy way to earn more money is to make the money you already have work harder for you. Here in Flanders most people keep their savings in savings accounts or other financial products from one of the three largest banks but in most cases you’re leaving a lot of money on the table if you do this.

Savings accounts at the big banks give you a return of about 2% to 2.5% per year if you leave your money untouched and that’s a lot less than inflation these days. There are many ways to get a higher return on your money, you can take more risk by investing a percentage of your savings into the stock market, invest in real estate, put money in a CD account for one or more years and the list goes on and on.

An easy way to get a higher return on your money without taking more risk is to shop around for a high interest savings account. Many of the smaller banks in Flanders like Rabobank, Keytrade, Deutsche Bank, Kaupthing and others have high interest savings accounts that offer you much more interest than the big banks (but don’t forget to read the fine print!).

For instance, a big bank like Dexia gives you 2% if you let your money rest in one of their savings accounts for one year while Deutsche Bank gives 5%. If you don’t have a lot of money it may not be worth the hassle but if you have 25 000EUR sitting in a savings account the difference will be pretty big, a bank that gives 2% will give you just 500EUR while a bank that gives 5% intrest will give you 1250EUR – that’s a 750EUR gain the first year and the years thereafter it will be even more due to compound intrest!

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