Investing can easily seem intimidating and overwhelming. We’ve all heard the horror stories of people losing everything they own through “bad investments” or swindlers that sweet talk people out of their life savings with get rich quick schemes. It doesn’t have to be this way though!
Investing is a wonderful way to make your money make more money. Don’t we all want more money? Don’t we all want a more secure future?
Millennials are starting to develop a financial reputation. We’re more conservative with our money than previous generations, making large purchases (like buying a home) and commitments (like marriage) later in life. And, we aren’t into big risk, big reward schemes. We want our money to be secure and accessible.
Having lived through the Great Recession at a young age, we’ve seen and felt what having no savings can do to a life. We’ve watched people have to push their retirement plans back due to lack of money. Personally, we really struggled with finding jobs, and we’re more interested in getting out from under the student loan debt that most of us have.
Trust me when I say I share some of those concerns. I have school debt myself, and I don’t feel comfortable taking big risks with my very hard earned money. The idea of making my money work for me though; that’s something I can definitely get behind. Investing is something that is worth every penny. Literally! You’re taking money you’ve already earned and making it earn more for you. Win-win. Investing doesn’t have to be scary. Here are a few easy ways to make it fit into your budget each month.
- Try the classic coin jar method. Start saving all your coins today. As an extra challenge, stop spending your one dollar bills and add those to the coin jar. (This helps that jar grow much faster.) Every six months, empty the coin jar and invest all that cash. I do this and every six months it’s between $75-$100. (I don’t usually use cash- if you do it could be even more!) It’s money you won’t even miss and a great amount to be depositing into your investments twice a year.
- Set up an automatic deduction into an investment account. Start small, with $25 or $50 each month. Those amounts are small enough that they probably won’t throw off your monthly budget but add up to sizable amounts over a year. You could put between $300-$600 into your investments and start making money off your money.
- Make your credit cards work for you. Opening a card like a Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card is one of the easiest ways to invest. You earn 2% cash back when you direct your deposit into an eligible Fidelity account. They have a variety of accounts (Fidelity Cash Management Account, Brokerage account, Fidelity-managed 529 account, Retirement account). Every time you spend $2,500 equals a $50 deposit in your account!
These are some pretty simple steps that you can take to start your journey into investing. As you gain more confidence and understanding of how investing works, broaden your portfolio and consider investing larger sums of money. The earlier you start, the more time you have to grow your investments and the bigger the return you will see!
Ultimately, investing is a sound idea and quickly becoming a mandatory step in anyone’s financial life. You can protect your future now, by taking your first steps to building a diverse and deep investment portfolio.