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5 Investment Options That Don’t Require Lots of Money

5 Investment Options That Don’t Require Lots of Money

As a millennial, investing can seem like an impossible reality. Between high student loan debts and low paying entry-level jobs, there’s barely enough cash to go around. However, you need to know that it’s possible to invest, even with small amounts of money. It just takes a little bit of creativity.

1. Penny Stocks

You may not have the funds to invest in $50 and $100 stocks, but who says you have to target the big companies? There’s a lot of opportunity to be had in trading smaller corporations with “penny stocks.”

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While penny stocks definitely aren’t a get-rich-quick scheme, they can allow you to grow your money and enjoy nice returns, if you know what you’re doing. Check out this helpful penny stocks guide to get started.

2. Employer Sponsored Retirement Plan

Does your employer offer a sponsored retirement plan for employees? If so, this is a no-brainer investment opportunity. You can actually set up an automatic payroll deduction that will remove a few dollars from your paycheck each week. You can do something as small as one percent or sometimes as much as 25 percent (depending on the employer’s rules).

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These contributions are generally tax deductible and your employer may even offer a match plan in which they contribute on your behalf. If this is the case, then you should contribute the maximum you possibly can. You’re literally getting free money. Here’s some good info on various types of employee sponsored plans.

3. Pay Off Debt

An investment doesn’t have to involve stashing cash away in some account or entity. One way to invest in your future is by paying off your debt. In fact, depending on the interest rate of the debt, you may be better off accelerating debt payments than putting money in an interest-bearing account. Study your interest rate and consider contributing extra money on your monthly payments. Even making a single extra payment per year can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars extra in the long run.

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4. Round Up Your Purchases

When it comes to investing and saving for the future, every penny counts. This is especially true when money is sitting in an interest-bearing account. The problem is that when money is tight, you don’t want to fork it over where it can’t be used. One easy solution is to make it a repeatable habit.

Every time you make a purchase, round that purchase up to the next dollar. So, for example, let’s say you go to the grocery store and spend $67.18. By rounding that amount up to $68.00, you have 82 cents to put in a jar or savings account. That may seem insignificant, but 82 cents every day leaves you with roughly $300 in a savings account at the end of the year. Not bad for incremental savings! (By the way, Acorns is a great tool to help automate this process.)

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5. Purchase Silver Coins

Precious metals are great physical investments because they’re almost guaranteed to appreciate over time. While gold may be too expensive, don’t count out silver coins. Silver has been down the past few years, so now is a great opportunity to invest. For just a few hundred dollars, you can amass a healthy collection.

Anyone Can Start Investing!

As you can see, you don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing. All you need is a positive attitude and a stable income. With just a few dollars each month – and a bit of creativity, you can start preparing yourself for a secure financial future. It’s all about planning and careful spending. By making smart financial decisions, your bright future is just a few bucks away.

What are you waiting for?

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Larry Alton

Business Consultant

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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