Here's my situation. Not sure if this question has been asked, I think my situation is pretty unique. I am a 22 year old college student living in Tennessee, about to graduate soon with my Bachelor degree. Still live with my parents (dorms are too expensive!) until I graduate, then I will move to Florida to be completely on my own (the way things are going, I predict I will be single then as well), so I am sure I'm in the lowest tax bracket.
Anyway, I have a sum total of about $400 as of now. I currently have US Bank as my bank checking account, I only use my debit card (Visa) and cash on hand. I don't have any student loan or credit card debt or any other kind of debt whatsoever, fortunately. I will soon be getting a part-time job at Target that pays around $200 a week, so I should have at least a couple of thousands saved up in a month or two.
I am looking for a non-retirement investment (I will start retirement investments in a little over a year when I start my career and have more cash coming in). I am not into studying individual stocks and am not an expert. I just want to be putting my money somewhere reliable where I know it will grow and where I can take it out in the relatively short term (for a house, car, and just living comfortably in my 20s, 30s, etc).
I am just lost as to where to go or how to do it. The first thought that came to mind was to just set up a savings account with my bank (I guess a standard savings account). But that's my problem.. That's probably good but I don't know if that's the best thing for me to do. Would a CD with the the bank be better? Or should I even go to a different bank? Or mutual fund or treasury bond, T-bill, money-market mutual fund? Or is there something else that I'm totally unaware of? So, I am not an expert but I would hate for my cash to go down the drain because I chose the wrong thing to invest in.
Like I said, my goals are just to have a reliable, relatively safe (of course I don't want to lose any money) investment for the short term that makes me some good cash to have or save. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know and anyone else in a scenario like mine.