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4 Money-Saving Hacks Every French Resident Needs to Know
When Tori Dunlap created Her First $100K, she had no idea that it would grow to be what it is today.
At age 23, she had the idea to try and save $100,000 by the age of 25, and she wanted to document the whole process on a blog. While working a demanding 9 to 5 job in corporate America, Tori was moonlighting as a personal finance content creator, sharing her personal experience, tips, and tricks with a steadily growing audience.
Fast forward to 2020 and not only had Tori reached her initial savings goal, but she had quit her desk job, transitioned her side hustle into a full time business, and had even hired a handful of employees when a few of her TikTok videos went viral, and the company’s online presence skyrocketed.
Now the blog that once documented her personal journey to saving her first $100K is an internationally acclaimed personal finance resource with a top-ranking podcast, book deal with Harper Collins, features in the New York Times and Good Morning America, a team of 13, and a combined online audience of nearly 3 million – an audience that extends far beyond the United States.
As our business and audience has grown, so has the demand for financial resources for our international community members, and we are eager to meet that demand. At the core of Her First $100K is a dedication to financial feminism – equipping women everywhere with the information, tools, resources, and opportunities to improve their financial literacy, prepare for their financial future, and advocate for the marginalized within their communities – and we know that our dedication to this mission does not and cannot stop in the United States.
We want to continue to provide relevant, actionable, and accessible financial information and resources for our female audience across all corners of the globe. So today we are excited to share some content specifically for our incredible audience in France! Here are four valuable, money-saving hacks for French residents so that you can increase your financial confidence, reach your financial goals, and discover what it truly means to be financially independent.
Open up a Livret A. Simple savings account
A Livret A savings account offers a premium rate of interest on funds (currently paying 2% interest) which allows your contributions to grow, free of French income tax and social charges, significantly faster than in a traditional savings account. The account’s rate of interest typically tracks (though is not equal to) inflation, so a Livret A savings account will continue to offer meaningful growth and financial benefit with the highs and lows of the market.
Another advantage of a Livret A account is that it is open to both adults and children, so a hypothetical family of five could hold five different accounts. This will allow you to prepare for each individual member of your family’s future in one of the most effective and tax-advantaged ways available in France.
It’s important to note that the maximum amount that can be held in the account is limited to 22 950 euros per person (plus accrued interest), so this account shouldn’t be the only savings account you have throughout your life. But, the premium interest rate and tax advantages make it a valuable account to have in addition to other saving and investment options, and the accessibility of the account makes it especially appealing to those who are just starting on their personal finance journey.
Open up a Cashbee HYSA
A high yield savings account is a valuable financial resource that everyone should have. Similar to a Livret A savings account, a HYSA offers a premium rate of interest on your contributions. But what makes a HYSA particularly advantageous is that there is no limit on contributions and the interest rate can even exceed that of the Livret A. In other words, a HYSA allows your money to grow as much and as quickly as possible, all while simply sitting in a savings account.
A HYSA is the perfect savings account for general savings, specific savings goals, and emergency funds alike. Whether you are saving for a vacation, a wedding, or a down payment on a home, by allowing your savings to sit in a HYSA, you are allowing your money to work as hard for you as possible, all without extending any additional time, effort, or mental energy to do so.
While large banks currently offer just 0.1% interest on all savings, by opening a HYSA with Cashbee your savings will immediately start earning 3% interest for the first three months (this 3% applies up to a maximum of 75K€), followed by 0.7% for the rest of your patronage. There is no minimum or maximum contribution and your funds are instantly and easily accessible.
Speaking of accessibility, opening a Cashbee account is easier than ever as the entire process can be completed on your smartphone via a 100% mobile user experience. To streamline the process, Cashbee even allows your HYSA to be linked to your current [French] bank account, and all transfers between the two are totally free of charge.
A note: this account is not available to US passport holders (and US passport holders may find it challenging to open up bank accounts more generally, as French financial institutions are reluctant to deal with US imposed FATCA regulations and reporting).
Use an app for any forex operations you may wish to undertake
Whether you are trading, shopping, or traveling, traditional banks charge a number of fees for simple forex transactions. While these fees may seem insignificant at first, over time they can add up to a very high cost.
Fortunately, there are a number of apps available that allow you to reduce these forex fees. These apps not only simplify the forex process and offer many helpful money management tools, but can also help you save a significant amount of forex transaction costs or other fees.
Advanced tip: saving a fortune thanks to your preferred forex app? Take some of the money that you are saving and invest it into your HYSA – your future self will thank you!
Open up a life insurance contract
Life insurance in France looks quite different than it does in the US. Rather than providing coverage in the case of death, a French life insurance contract is commonly used as a fiscally attractive wrapper or envelope, in which you can invest for retirement.
These investments can be made in multiple forms, such as funds, ETFs, single stocks and bonds, as well as SCPI (the French equivalent of REITs). The advantage of this is that you are in total control of your portfolio; rather than putting your investments in the hands of an unknown advisor or robot, you can hand select your investments and aim for the highest possible return, all while benefiting from certain tax advantages.
Strategic use of a life insurance contract will allow your retirement funds to grow as quickly as possible, while also freeing up additional capital through these unique tax advantages.