What should I do with $1200 in gifts?
May 29, 2007 11:38 AM   Subscribe

What should I do with $1200, keeping in mind that I may need it in the short term?

For graduation, I received a total of $1200 in gifts. This was presented as money towards a trip to Paris (I'd been saying for awhile that upon graduation I wanted to go back to Paris). However, there's more pressing issues on the horizon. My fiance and I are moving to a higher-rent area within the next month, and I'm currently unemployed. We might need the money for a security deposit. Then again, I have several job interviews lined up, so we may not need it if I become employed right away. The trip to Paris won't be until the fall at the earliest.

I am decent about not impulsively spending money, but I am pretty clueless about investing. What should I do with this money so I'll get a decent return, but I'm still able to access it in case of emergency?
posted by desjardins to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to need it in the short term, just put it in your savings account. If you can't afford to lose it, there aren't many short term investments that will do much for you.
posted by electroboy at 11:51 AM on May 29, 2007

High-yield savings account. You can get around 5% from places like HSBC or ING, and have access to the money in a couple of days. It's the only way of assuring a high(ish) rate of return without locking your money away.
posted by one_bean at 11:52 AM on May 29, 2007

I would just stick it in my bank account and wait. If you don't need it for a security deposit soon, you'll need it soon to buy a ticket to Paris. I don't think $1200 is going to accrue much in three months, and I am not sure there are any good investment options that will let you get it back that quick in any case.
posted by bluenausea at 11:52 AM on May 29, 2007

The HSBC savings account comes with an ATM card in case you need to draw from it.

You really can't beat 5.05% too easily unless you're locking your money up in some kind of fund that'll have a minimum time limit on cashing out...
posted by twiggy at 12:02 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

You wont really get any interest over the course of a couple months.. you'll be better off opening an account for the cash benefit..

Ie.. Citibank gives $50-$100 for new accounts, ING gives $25 or $50.. 5% v 4.5%+$25.

I drop all my money into an ING account personally (4.5%, but their interface isnt horrid to use like HSBC's).

There are some 5.3% APY accounts out there as well.
posted by SirStan at 12:18 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ditto for ING, love it, great bank, plus the cash bonus is a plus. I use them for my short term CDs and rainy day savings.
posted by wonderwisdom at 12:31 PM on May 29, 2007

I second the HSBC online savings account. 5.05% means you'll make around $8 for each month as long as it's in there. it's at least something.
posted by krautland at 3:11 PM on May 29, 2007

EverBank's offering 5.84% (6.01% APY) for the first three months, if you want to maximize the actual interest you receive.
posted by kindall at 6:27 PM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

Aaaand FNBO Direct has 6% guaranteed through the end of September.
posted by kindall at 8:42 PM on June 5, 2007

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