I know what you’re thinking – how can I save and invest? It’s already hard enough to commit to one goal. Before we dive into both, let’s make sure we have a clear understanding of the major differences between the two. Saving is a vehicle used to set aside a pre-determined amount of funds for emergencies, a future purchase or simply put – peace of mind. A personal savings account is ideal for this since you are able to access the funds relatively quickly, with little to no risk involved.
Ask yourself these important questions before we move into investing:
- Have I reached my personal savings goal(s)?
- Have I made progress with debt minimization?
- Am I mentally and financially comfortable with investing at this time?
These answers can not only steer you but create a new level of focus. Both saving and investing are equally important and play crucial parts in your journey to financial wellness.
Investing is the act of acquiring assets with the intent of them making money for you in the future. The level of risk can range from conservative to aggressive based on your long-term goals. With all of that being said, just remember it’s very possible to achieve financial success in both areas. The power-packed duo known as saving and investing allows you and your future the sanity you’ve worked so hard to reach. Check out these tips below to knock out two goals in one sweep.
Maximize your 401(k) account
Take a second look at your contributions to make sure you’re getting the full employer contribution amount or percentage on your accounts. If possible, don’t leave money on the table! Review the mutual fund accounts that are available and assess your current comfort level. Are you able to tolerate a little more risk? If so, talk with the many professionals from your 401(k) providers, so that they are able to clarify some of the tricky language that can sometimes deter people from making any adjustments to these accounts.
Explore the many saving apps available
Want to get a beginners’ birds eye view on the stock market without hiring a broker? Take a look at the many investment applications available. These applications use methods such as taking a look at everyday purchases or simple automatic drafts can help you save, invest and learn all at the same time!
Pay yourself first – you deserve it
There are so many things demanding your attention and often times paying yourself first is last on the list. Don’t forget to invest (aka save) for yourself! Set up automated drafts to eliminate the hassle of trying to remember this every pay cycle. On another note, saving and investing in a class, certification or something to further enhance a preferred skillset for sure classifies as an investment.
Commit to lifelong learning
The road to financial wellness continues to change based on life events that will most definitely occur. Your commitment to remaining flexible and learning through all situations will definitely guarantee your success. Remember, there is no one size fit all for saving and investing! Being open to adopting different methods throughout life will yield nothing but positive results.
There are many books and resources available that can help you along the way. Here are a few of my favorites:
“Investing for Dummies” by Eric Tyson, MBA
“Stock Market Investing for Beginners: Essentials to Start Investing Successfully” by Tycho Press
“The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America” by Warren E. Buffet & Lawrence A. Cunningham