I tend to prefer action, so the first thing I did was to open an investment account after getting a referral to a neighborhood investment adviser. You’ve seen these places — they have small offices in strip malls. These little financial companies are the fast food of personal finance. I find that my arrangement has made a lot of sense for holding money as an intermediary between emergency cash (this is in my bank savings account) and these little money market accounts. The beauty is that they are very liquid (I can cash them out in three business days if I have a true emergency) but they are not as easy to access as my bank savings account.
I set up the accounts with $25.
My very low-entry commitment was to allow them to automatically transfer $25 each month from my checking account into the money market account. If you have a savings account attached to your checking account, that’s great. Use it. But I found for me that having the money away from the bank was better. I get monthly statements and each month I would get encouraged to save even more.
The best part about this arrangement was that I could call the adviser’s office and speak to either of the two partners and tell them to increase the amount by $X either for a one-time transfer or to tack onto the monthly regular transfer. If I came into a little money through a refund, I call and have them transfer only that amount. When I figured out how to save money each month by lowering a regular bill, or changing a service, I would then add the savings to the monthly transfer. Even if the savings was as little as $5 each month, I would tack that money on so that every single month, I would have an additional $5 going into the investment fund.
- Set up an account that is separate from your bank account.
- Start with the minimum deposit and minimum monthly contribution.
- After the set up is done, start looking for money to add either as a one-time deposit or to add to your monthly transfer.