The complete guide to saving and investing

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You know saving and investing are important and, to be honest, you could do better. April is Financial Literacy Month, making it a great time to get on the right track.

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One of the five key principles of financial literacy, according to the Financial Literacy and Education Commission – along with earning, spending, borrowing and protecting – saving and investing is a process that takes time. Essential to achieving your short- and long-term financial goals, these key activities have several components.

In the short term, you need to put money aside in an emergency fund. It can literally save your finances if you are faced with an unexpected large expense or suddenly lose your job.

Knowing that you want to make a big purchase in the future, either in a few months or in a few years, is another important reason to save. Whether you’re planning to buy a house, go on vacation, or go back to school, putting a little money aside at a time can help you reach an ambitious financial goal.

Plus, even if retirement is decades away, it’s important to start saving now to enjoy financial stability in your golden years. If you’re like a lot of people, you’ll invest a certain percentage of your monthly income in a 401(k) or IRA, and be proud to watch it grow.

You feel a little overwhelmed with all of your savings and investment options. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Take a look at GOBankingRates’ guide to getting started with saving and investing.

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