Investing For Beginners: Starting With Little Money (Or None At All!)

Hey mama—wanna talk investments?

Did you know they’re excellent tools for wealth maximization? And all you really have to do is a little research, and then invest money in an asset with the hope that it’ll grow in value over time! This goes for investing in a home, a retirement savings account, a health savings account, stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and alternative investments.

If you’re not too familiar with investing, it might sound like a super fancy thing in which you might think one of the requirements is having a lot of money in the first place.

Lucky for most of us—that’s not the case at all! Anyone can be an investor; this isn’t something available exclusively to the heavy hitters with the oversized wallets, international bank accounts, and unimaginable salaries. 

Truth be told: you can literally start investing any day, any time, and with very little (or no) money.

Let’s get started!

Start out small

The best part is, you don’t necessarily need thousands of dollars to start investing.

If you’re not able to save as much as you’d like to begin your investing journey (or have no money at all), you can always start off with as little as a dollar a day! 

Try opening a savings account to ensure you’re not tempted to spend your investment stash. Over time, you can increase that amount and continue to put it towards future investments.

And if you’re just earning enough to make ends meet, focus more on making simple lifestyle changes and cutting costs to save as much as you can every week or month.

Create a budget

Creating a budget allows you to easily see what expenses can be reduced or cut out completely so the extra money can go into savings. 

Once you’ve identified specific budgeting categories (groceries, utilities, entertainment, etc.), decide on a maximum amount for each.

One popular budgeting method is the 50/30/20 rule where you allocate portions of your income to three categories: 50% to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to financial goals. 

“Needs” include necessary expenses like rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation; “wants” are things you can live without, including vacations, eating out, and hobbies; and “financial goals” cover things like saving for retirement, saving for a house, and paying down debt.

However, if you’re not earning enough to allocate 20% of your income to save and invest, you can still save as much as you can afford. If you don’t have any money to invest at all, creating a budget will definitely help set some aside to be able to invest.

(Budgeting is also a topic I touch on in my 14-day Thrive course, so if you want to learn more, click here!)

Pay yourself first

If you’re struggling to put some money away for future use, paying yourself as soon as that paycheck hits your hands or bank account is the best way to save a specific amount each month. If you decide to pay yourself last after covering all expenses in the budget, you may not have the amount you want left at the end of the month to start investing. 

Again, take advantage of a savings account for whatever money you’ve saved, no matter how you’ve saved it!

Cut spending

If you don’t think paying yourself first is enough to invest in what you want, maybe cutting back on expenses is the way to go.

Try giving up take-out coffees and make coffee at home to bring with you to work. Brown bag your lunch. Cut cable and opt for a more affordable online streaming service or live TV program. Buy off-brand items instead of spending more on name brands when (most of the time) they both do the same thing.

You can even attempt to lower your bills by contacting your service providers. If that’s too time consuming, or if you have too many unused subscriptions and memberships to cancel, try having the app “Trim” do all of it for you. 

Try micro investing

With micro investing, you invest in small increments (AKA buy fractions of shares), with as little as $5. If you have little to no money to invest, this is a great strategy to get started sooner and work toward your financial goals earlier.

You can buy fractional shares of ETFs with just your spare change through Acorns, a micro investing platform with which you can save, invest, and earn money. Just set up an account and link it with a funding source (e.g. your checking account or Acorns Spend account) and cards you use to make everyday purchases. 

When you use your linked debit or credit cards to make everyday purchases, every transaction gets rounded up to the next dollar amount. Once that change adds up to $5 or more, Acorns invests the change automatically into an investment portfolio.

With the Acorns Round-Up feature, the most exciting part is you’re basically investing with someone else’s money!

If you choose to sign up for an Acorns Later account, you can create an IRA to save for retirement.

An Acorns Spend account, as mentioned above, is a checking account and comes with a debit card that saves, invests, and earns for you. It also includes all of the benefits of Acorns Core and Acorns Later.

Invest with robo-advisers

Robo-advisers are automated investment advisers that rely on computer algorithms and advanced software to help build and manage your investment portfolio. They create a forecast for stock performance and investment portfolios.

These online services don’t require large initial funds! You can find plenty of robo-advisors with account minimums of $500 or less.

Most robo-advisers charge an annual fee, but other than that, there usually aren’t any other fees. The annual fee is a percentage of the account balance, and most charge between 0.25% and 0.50% of the account balance as an annual account management fee.

Investing in individual companies

You can invest in individual companies, but be sure to buy the shares of reputable ones at a price you can’t pass up. It’s best to identify companies that are consistently performing well first, then buy shares of a few companies in different industries to diversify your portfolio within stock investment.

You’ll want to do some good research to see if investing in the stock of those companies will earn you a positive return. The price the companies you like trade for will determine your potential returns on your investments. 

You really want to assess how profitable a company’s stock may be if you invest in that company’s shares at a certain price. If you buy shares of overpriced reputable companies, you’ll risk losing money. 

Consider investing in index funds

Index funds like ETFs, mutual funds, or even a mix of funds and stocks can be profitable.

You can invest in low-cost index funds with little money through brokerages which don’t charge trading commissions. Reputable brokerages like Webull, Firstrade, and M1 Finance don’t charge trading commissions when you invest in index funds through them.

You can also invest in low-cost index funds through a company like Robinhood or other similar alternatives if you have little money to invest.

So, with all of that being said…

…clearly, you don’t need an insane bank balance if you’re looking to start investing!

Incredibly, anyone with an internet connection can start investing with as little as a dollar to their name. It’s an opportunity open to anyone who’s willing to give it a shot!

What are you waiting for, girl? Got $200? $50? $1? If you research the right companies, start investing with whatever amount you want, and time the market correctly, you’ll be on your way to achieving your long-term financial goals!

Make that money, mama!

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