Saving

Saving is income not spent, or deferred consumption. Methods of saving include putting money aside in a bank or pension plan. Saving also includes reducing expenditures, such as recurring costs. In terms of personal finance, saving specifies low-risk preservation of money, as in a deposit account, versus investment, wherein risk is higher.

There is some disagreement about what counts as saving. For example, the part of a person's income that is spent on mortgage loan repayments is not spent on present consumption and is therefore saving by the above definition, even though people do not always think of repaying a loan as saving. However, in the U.S. measurement of the numbers behind its gross national product (i.e., the National Income and Product Accounts), personal interest payments are not treated as "saving" unless the institutions and people who receive them save them.

"Saving" differs from "savings." The former refers to an increase in one's assets, an increase in net worth, whereas the latter refers to one part of one's assets, usually deposits in savings accounts, or to all of one's assets. Saving refers to an activity occurring over time, a flow variable, whereas savings refers to something that exists at any one time, a stock variable.

Saving is closely related to investment. By not using income to buy consumer goods and services, it is possible for resources to instead be invested by being used to produce fixed capital, such as factories and machinery. Saving can therefore be vital to increase the amount of fixed capital available, which contributes to economic growth.

However, increased saving does not always correspond to increased investment. If savings are stashed in or under a mattress, or otherwise not deposited into a financial intermediary such as a bank, there is no chance for those savings to be recycled as investment by business. This means that saving may increase without increasing investment, possibly causing a short-fall of demand (a pile-up of inventories, a cut-back of production, employment, and income, and thus a recession) rather than to economic growth. In the short term, if saving falls below investment, it can lead to a growth of aggregate demand and an economic boom. In the long term if saving falls below investment it eventually reduces investment and detracts from future growth. Future growth is made possible by foregoing present consumption to increase investment. However savings kept in a mattress amount to an (interest-free) loan to the government or central bank, who can recycle this loan.

In a primitive agricultural economy savings might take the form of holding back the best of the corn harvest as seed corn for the next planting season. If the whole crop were consumed the economy would deteriorate to hunting and gathering the next season.

Read more about Saving:  Interest Rates, Saving in Personal Finance

Other articles related to "saving, savings":

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Famous quotes containing the word saving:

    Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls his age with the milder business of saving it.
    Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

    We black women must forgive black men for not protecting us against slavery, racism, white men, our confusion, their doubts. And black men must forgive black women for our own sometimes dubious choices, divided loyalties, and lack of belief in their possibilities. Only when our sons and our daughters know that forgiveness is real, existent, and that those who love them practice it, can they form bonds as men and women that really can save and change our community.
    Marita Golden, educator, author. Saving Our Sons, p. 188, Doubleday (1995)

    A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)