Where is the best place to put extra cash? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Mark Gould, COO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, on Quora:

I think the answer to where you should stash extra cash depends entirely on when you might need it and what your tolerance is for risk.

If you're thinking about a place to stash some extra cash before you need to pay the rent or tuition, it would be wise to keep it in a very safe and accessible place, such as a federally-insured account with a bank or credit union. The downside with these ultra-safe accounts is that they won't earn very much in interest at today's low interest rates, but your money will be safe. It's also always a good idea to keep an emergency fund in a safe place like this, just in case you run into an unanticipated expense in-between paychecks.

If you're thinking about longer-term investments that might someday pay for a house, retirement, or other long-term goal, there are many options to consider across the risk spectrum. There are lots of on-line resources and calculators to help you figure out how much you might need to save on a monthly basis to achieve these objectives. And, it's often a good idea to consult with an adviser on topics like this, to make sure you're on track over time to achieve your goals.

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