- You have $US50 to spare – what should you do with it?
- Some people may think $US50 is pocket change, but it can turn into a lot more if you put it to smart use.
- You should put it in an emergency fund, deduct it from your paycheck, spend it on investment apps, or invest it in personal-finance resources, such as books, according to the experts.
Some money is better than no money.
If you can afford to spare $US50, don’t treat it like loose change. While it may not seem like a lot, it can go a long way if used wisely.
Here, they share the smartest things you can do with $US50.
1. Tuck it away for a rainy day
Rich Ramassini, certified financial planner (CFP) and director of strategy and sales performance at PNC Investments, recommends using $US50 to build up your emergency fund.
About 40% of US adults don’t have enough savings to cover a $US400 emergency, according to a Federal Reserve report. “Once your emergency fund reaches the level of three to six months of expenses, the focus can shift to reducing debt and saving for the future,” Ramassini said.
Resist the urge to build your emergency fund in your everyday checking or savings account. Andrew Westlin, CFP at Betterment, previously told Business Insider it’s best kept separate from your daily bank account – like in a high-yield savings account at Ally or another bank with a strong interest rate – so you’re not tempted to dip into it regularly.
2. Deduct it from your paycheck
It’s easier to kick your savings into high gear if you never see the money in the first place.
“Get $US50 automatically deducted from each paycheck into an account of your choice – savings, emergency fund, investing app, etc.,” Matthew Schulte, CFP and head of financial planning at eMoney Advisor, told Business Insider. “For most people with bi-weekly paychecks, that’s more than a grand that you’ll end up saving or investing without even thinking about it.”
“You can go through $US50 in your pocket pretty quickly, so why not put it somewhere else if you have some breathing room in your budget,” he said.
3. Spend it monthly on investment apps
It takes money to make money.
“$US50 can be quite hard to save, but it is also very easy to spend, so why not spend it on something that will save you more money in the long run,” Rob Webber, founder and CEO of MoneySavingPro.com, told Business Insider.
For a small monthly fee, spare-change investment apps “are a brilliant way of saving for a rainy day without any of the hard work,” he said.
Acorns rounds up your purchases and puts aside the spare change as you go about your day and automatically invests it in diversified portfolios constructed by experts. Meanwhile, Digit analyses your checking account and moves small amounts to your savings based on your personal spending.
4. Invest in resources that will make you more money-savvy
Also consider spending that $US50 on another type of investment – resources that will enhance your personal-finance knowledge, which will make you more wealthy at the end of the day.
Jeremy Straub, CEO of Coastal Wealth, recommends buying the board game Cashflow, which was created by Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.”
“It will teach you how to understand how to build passive income, save, and run a good financial life,” Straub told Business Insider. Personal-finance books will do the same.
Straub recommends buying used versions of the following four books:
- “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie, whose courses investor Warren Buffett called the best education he ever received;
- “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, about how a stoic philosophy can lead to a fruitful life;
- “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts, on how to live on less, travel more, and value experiences over things;
- “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, a classic book about acquiring wealth.
For more reading material, Schulte recommends buying the first six-month subscription to an investment newsletter. Fidelity Investor is a great resource that focuses on investing with mutual funds for $US100 per year, he said.
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