Find money to invest: 6 money saving tips
Investing your money helps it grow. There are a variety of ways to do it—such as contributing to your employer’s 401(k) plan, opening an IRA, or opening a brokerage account. And despite popular belief, you don’t need a ton of money to invest. Just $25 is enough to get started.
But what if you could set aside more money to invest and get closer to your financial goals? Ask yourself these 6 questions during your next budget review, and you might find surplus money if you cut a few expenses here and there.
1. What do I want to save for?
Are you saving for a new car, home improvements, or building a holiday gift fund? How close are you to getting there? Here are some tips to help you meet your savings goals.
2. Anywhere I can cut expenses?
Coffee, lunches out, and entertainment can make it easy to overspend without realizing it. Check out these 5 tips to help get your budget back in line.
3. Can I better monitor my budget?
If you regularly struggle with overspending, a free budget app such as Mint and YNAB can be a big help. See a breakdown of your spending, set a budget, and receive alerts if you go over.
Not sure how to set up a budget? View the first-timers guide to creating a budget.
4. How’s my emergency fund?
A good rule of thumb is to have 3 to 6 months of living expenses in an emergency fund. But that number can vary based on your lifestyle and other factors. Find out how much you should really be saving.
5. What debts do I need to tackle?
Credit card debt or student loans weighing you down? Balancing retirement savings and debt isn’t easy. But there are some smart strategies you can use to pay down debt while still putting away money. Get tips for balancing debt and savings here.
6. Can I put more in my 401(k)?
Did you get a new job? A raise or promotion? Consider increasing contributions to your employer’s retirement plan, if you have one. Even a 1% bump can make a big difference over time.
Just remember this
Stay focused with frequent check-ins—review your budget once a month while paying bills or check your budget app once a week. Even these brief reviews can help you stay on track with your financial goals. Bottom line: If you want to invest more money, make it priority. Think of it this way. If you stash just an extra $50 away every month, you’ll have $600 to invest at the end of the year. Once you’ve found extra cash, how do you invest the money? Brush up on the basics of investing.