How to Start Investing: Terminology And Best Practices For Beginners

How to start investing, young man investing

Many people want to learn how to start investing their money. Investing is possible even on a modest budget. Start with low-risk investments and work your way up to more complex investments over time. Once you have mastered risk management techniques, you can consider adding other asset classes, such as commodities or real estate, to your portfolio.

There are many forms of investing, but we’ll focus on low-risk investing for this guide. Low-risk investing is a great way to grow your finances over the long term. The most common investment vehicles are stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Each has its own risks as well as rewards. Keep reading below for some tips that will help you get started.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Investing?

There’s no magic number regarding how much money you need to invest. But a good rule is to start with 10% of your income. That way, you can still cover your essentials and have some wiggle room in your budget. If you’re unsure where to begin, try starting with a low-risk investment like a savings account or a certificate of deposit (CD). As you get more comfortable, you can start venturing into higher-risk investments.

Remember that the amount of time invested will be the most important factor in how much you’ll earn. You’ll likely need to keep your money there for at least five years to make big bucks on investment. It takes time to see the rewards because most stocks take a while to fully appreciate. To beat inflation, which is generally about 3%, you want your return on investment (ROI) to be at least 6%. The best way to do this is by playing it safe with your initial strategy.

Once you have your investment plan in place, you need to determine how much of your money to put into it. Before deciding on a dollar amount, figure out what amount of risk you can tolerate and when you’d like to see a return on your investment. If you’re just getting started with investing, try starting small with just 1-2% of your income. It will help you understand how much money is needed while allowing room for growth.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Investing

Are you looking to make quick cash or grow your money over time? Your investment timeline will play a significant role in deciding which type of account is right for you. Short-term investing means getting the most return on your investments within the next year, while long-term investing typically means saving and growing your assets until retirement. If you want to invest in stocks or funds (see below), it’s usually best to do so through an IRA or employer-sponsored 401(k) account; this way, if you change jobs and don’t have access to these accounts anymore, the government won’t penalize you with penalties and taxes.

You can also open up a brokerage account (no tax benefits but no restrictions either) or choose to keep your investments in ultra-low-risk places like high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposit. You’ll need to consider how much risk you’re willing to take on as well—higher risk yields higher potential returns, but also comes with serious potential losses.

Make sure you know what kinds of stocks or funds you want to invest in before opening any new accounts. Mutual funds are professionally managed by people who study different types of investments, which can lower the risk for investors just starting. ETFs are similar to mutual funds but trade more quickly on exchanges, making them easier to buy and sell than mutual fund shares.

When choosing where and how to invest your money, no one-size-fits-all solutions exist! Your risk tolerance level should be considered alongside your financial goals and timeline.

Investing vs. Savings Accounts

The main difference between investing and saving is that when you invest, you’re using your money to earn more money. With a savings account, you’re just keeping your money in a safe place where it will usually earn a bit of interest. You can still make pretty good returns with suitable investments, but those investments are inherently much riskier than a savings account.

In long-term investing, you generally can’t withdraw funds from your investment accounts without significant penalties, so you should consider building an emergency fund to make sure you have cash available if you need it. An emergency fund should have enough funds to cover at least 3-6 months of expenses.

Next Steps for New Investors

Investing is a great way to grow wealth and save for your long-term future. However, it can be daunting to get started if you don’t know the basics. This guide will give you the foundation you need to start investing today.

Join the CashFurther community today to learn more, and connect with others working to improve their financial future!

How to Create a Budget

How to create a budget in a calculator

There are many ways to create a budget, and it is important to choose the method that works best for you. Some people prefer to start with their income and expenses, while others like to list their goals and work backward. There are pros and cons to both methods.

No matter which method you choose, it is important to be completely honest with yourself throughout the budget process. Accurately track your spending, get clear on your goals, and make adjustments as needed based on your data. Here are some steps to create a budget that works for you.

1. Gather All Your Financial Information in One Place

Building your budget using all the information you gathered is critical for achieving financial goals. This includes your income, debts, expenses, and goals. If you’re unsure where to start, many budgeting templates are available online. Or, you can create your own spreadsheet.

Once you have a clear picture of your finances, you can start identifying areas where you can cut back or save more. If you find that your expenses are more than your income, it’s time to make some changes. Track your spending for some time to know where your money is going. Then, look for ways to reduce unnecessary expenses.

2. Set Goals for Your Budget

List what you want to achieve with your budget because your goals will help guide your spending decisions. Be sure to specify the short-term and long-term financial goals, how much you need to save each month to reach those goals, and set targets to help you stay on track.

If you’re unsure where to start, try the 50/30/20 rule: 50% of your income goes towards essentials, 30% is discretionary items, and 20% is savings and debt repayment. Adjust the percentages based on your financial situation.

Another way to set goals is the Debt Snowball method, which prioritizes paying off your debts from smallest to largest. Once you’ve paid off a debt, you roll that payment into the next debt on the list. This method can help you stay motivated as you see your debts shrinking.

3. Choose a Method That Requires a Realistic Amount of Maintenance

You need to plan how you will stick to your budget. This may involve setting up automatic payments to ensure bills are paid on time, making a list of necessary expenses each month, and tracking your progress so you can see how well you’re doing.

Ensure you choose an easy method to refer back to as your income or expenses change. The method should not be too difficult or time-consuming to maintain. By regularly reviewing and updating your budget, you can ensure that it always meets your needs. Be honest with yourself about how much time you’re willing to commit to this process on an ongoing basis.

4. Evaluate Your Spending Methods

Evaluating your spending methods is crucial in getting your finances in order. First, consider whether you’re spending money on things you truly need or spending money on impulse purchases. Second, consider whether you’re using cash, credit, or debit to make your purchases. Using only cash can potentially help you stay mindful of your spending and avoid accumulating debt.

In addition, consider whether you could be spending less by using coupons or discounts. By evaluating your spending methods, you can ensure that your money is going towards your stipulated expenses. If you have trouble sticking to a budget, try using apps or websites that help track your spending. Evaluate where you can make small changes that will have a big impact in the long run.

These are our tips about how to create a budget. We hope you found this blog helpful.

Get Started with CashFurther Community

The best budget for you is the budget you’re most likely to stick with. A budget gives you control over your finances and helps you make better spending choices. It also enables you to reach your financial goals more easily.

Join the CashFurther community to help you in budget creation and maintenance.