Start Investing Without Breaking The Bank
If you long for the financial stability of an investment account but believe you don’t have enough to get started, this guide can help you. If you have fifty dollars to spare, treat it like a seed that will one day grow into a giant tree. All giant trees start out as tiny sprouts, so here’s where your investment journey begins.
Sprouts need food
First, develop a habit of tucking money away; this will serve as fertilizer to grow your seedling. You might not be in the habit of putting money aside, or you live paycheck to paycheck and believe you don’t have anything to spare. Even if you only scrape together loose change each month, it’ll be an important mindset change toward a better lifestyle.
Strive to become a saver rather than a spender whenever possible. If your goal is to save five dollars weekly, find coupons for items you normally pay full price for, and you’ve likely hit your goal. Build the habit by removing that money from your checking account and putting it aside either in a savings account, or even just a jar.
Protect your tree
Once saving becomes common practice, you might find you can save a bit more than you realized. Use the additional money to pay down high interest debt while you invest. Think of the money you pay in high-interest accounts like credit cards, rent-to-own items, and car loans as a nest of termites eating away at your savings tree — hampering its growth.
Make a list of balances, interest rates, and monthly payments of all your debt. Some experts insist that you should pay off the highest interest rate first, but another option is to start with the lowest balance which you can pay off the quickest. Once you’ve paid that debt off, take the dollar amount you were paying toward that debt and put it toward paying off the next debt. You might also decide to siphon off a small amount for your investment savings account as well.
From seed to sprout
Once you have fifty dollars to invest, you can safely start while building up additional savings and getting rid of debt. A good low-risk option is a twelve-month Certificate of Deposit (CD). Take note of the maturity date, then give yourself three months to save up an additional fifty dollars (or more) for a six-month CD.
Set one more three-month goal to get a third CD with a three-month maturity. Each time your CDs mature, if you have time before your 12-month CD matures, you can roll the others into more CDs or put them into a savings account. The goal is for all CDs to mature at the same time and potentially have a few hundred dollars ready for a new investment vehicle.
From sprout to sapling
Once you collect five hundred dollars, start shopping for low-fee, low-minimum investment accounts to begin growing your money potentially more quickly than with CDs. This will also be the time to start reading up on investments with reduced tax liability such as certain retirement funds.
As you pay off debt and continue contributing savings to your investment account, you’ll be able to diversify your investments. You can maintain a few low-risk CDs for peace of mind, and you can start trading ETFs in your investment account, for example. You might be ready for higher-risk but higher-reward types of investments, so research trading penny stocks for beginners to get in on the ground floor of new stocks coming to market.
Everyone has the power to build financial security. Creating a habit of savings and reducing debt will help you turn a handful of dollar bills into a major resource with time and patience.