Q. I took your advice from a radio broadcast last year and completed our first budget plan, we now find that we can actually save € 450 every month. Can you now tell us where is the best place to invest these funds ? We have two children aged 5 and 3 with both of us working. We also have separate bank current accounts – worth our while amalgamating ? Thanks Gerry – Limerick

A. Well done Gerry on doing the budget. Just 10% of us bother doing one at this time of year. Your monthly income no doubt is being sent to your respective bank current accounts. It is certainly worth having a joint account if you are both being charged fees on your single accounts. Some of the banks waive fees if you keep a certain balance in the account at all times or lodge a minimum amount every month. PTSB seem to have the best deals on the market at the moment. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission have a good current account comparison page on their website https://www.ccpc.ie/consumers/money-tools/current-account-comparison/ You should save however in either a Regular Saver account or Regular Stock market Saver account with surplus funds. So that € 450 should be saved every month. Rates for the regular saver accounts are 2.5% & 2% (AIB Bank, Bank of Ireland ) while average annual growth in the stock market from 1991 to 2020 at 10.72% makes the Stock Market regular saver accounts that bit more interesting.. All other institutions offer these Regular Saver deposit accounts but at lower rates. Ideally the Regular Saver deposit account ( you are not allowed to invest lump sums only amounts between € 100 and € 1000 per month for a maximum 12 months and then you start all over again ) should be separate to your current account location… makes it that little more difficult to access. With €42,000 required to send one child through 3rd level, it makes sense to plan and save now

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