I was having lunch with a friend of mine the other day and we were discussing my next book Filling The Pig – Simple Investing. We were discussing the subject of how much money you need to have to start investing, specifically in stocks. His perception was that you needed a good chunk of money to get started.
After our conversation as I was driving home I started thinking about his questions. I think for most individuals investing and what it takes to get started can be a rather ambiguous topic of discussion. (Stand by that’s another blog article). Much of this is due to the fact that there are so many different options, terms and opinions that it can be extremely confusing. (I will simplify this in my next book) The confusion is the primary reason most don’t think about investing – not from the perspective they don’t want to – they just don’t know where to start.
But then I started thinking about the concept of saving money. For many that I talk with the perspective is that to be successful saving you need to be able to save a lot. Similar to investing the perspective is – more is better. To some degree, this perspective is a self-limiting belief. A belief that if we can’t save more or invest more why even start.
The reality is that the ability to save money and make more money actually takes place in small increments, it’s a progressive process. One that first starts with establishing an initial savings – like an emergency fund, then progresses to taking those savings and using it to save even more money or make long-term investments.
Let’s say you want to save money on your auto insurance and if you own a home your home owners insurance. One of the ways of doing this is to increase your deductible. Increasing your deductible lowers your annual premium and could save you as much as 10-15% annually on either of these insurance premiums.
To increase your deductible you have to have enough money (savings) in the bank to cover the higher deductible should you have a car accident or an unfortunate event with your home. If you don’t have enough money in the bank to cover a higher deductible then you can’t take advantage of this opportunity to lower your insurance premium.
But let’s say you have enough money to increase your deductible for both auto and home owners insurance and you save $200 per year. Big deal right? $200 per year is about $17 per month.
What if you then took those savings and invested it every year for 40 years – because that’s how long you may drive or own a home and pay an insurance premium. How much money could you make by investing $200 annual in an investment that makes 8% per year?
The answer – $51,811!
A small savings invested creates a whole bunch of money in the future. (see also Financial Calculators)
Saving or investing should be viewed as a progressive process – a building block approach.
- You can’t start investing until you save the money by lowering your insurance premium.
- You can’t lower your premium until you save enough money to increase your insurance deductible.
- And you can’t increase your deductible until you manage your way out of debt and start saving.
The process of saving and then investing starts with small steps. Don’t be discouraged with your ability to save money, or maybe the fact that you would like to save for retirement, but can’t. Think differently, think long-term.
Start by managing your way out of debt and saving money. Once you start saving you can take advantage of opportunities like saving money on insurance. Then you will have the opportunity to invest and and start the process of securing your future.
Remember, you don’t have to save a lot to start making more.
If you want to take a progressive approach to saving more money be sure to check out my eBook series Filling The Pig – A simple building block approach to managing your personal finances.
Have you saved a Little to Make More? Comment below.