All of us wanted to build an amazing future for ourselves and for our respective families. And a lot of us know that one of the ways to help make that dream a reality is to invest in various financial vehicles. However, a lot of us, including myself, don’t really have that much money, to begin with. So, how do you invest with little or no money if we’re just barely making both ends meet?
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash
Think About These Before You Invest in Anything
Before you start dabbling in any kind of investment, I highly suggest that you think about these things first.
What are You Trying to Achieve?
Before we talk about how to invest with little or no money, I suggest that you reflect on this first – what are you trying to achieve?
What is your ultimate goal?
I’m sure that none of us just want to be rich for the sake of being rich.
You have to be clear on why you want to invest because this will be one of the main backbone of every decision that you’ll be making once you start investing your hard-earned money.
- Do you want to become financially independent so you can stop working?
- Are you dreaming of giving your family a nice comfortable life?
- Or perhaps, you want to become financially independent as early as possible so you can enjoy living the life that you want.
Whatever your ultimate goal is, you have to be clear about it. For me, my answer is all of the above and more. I want to become financially independent as early as possible so I can stop working for money and just live my life on my own terms.
It took me years to understand that it’s truly what I want in life. And now that it’s clear to me, the actions that I need to take even became clearer.
What’s Your Financial Standing in Relation to Your Goal?
Once you get to identify your ultimate goal, then it’s time to make a self-assessment. Ask yourself the following questions, write them down as well so you could have something to look back to in the future.
Here are some questions that can help you identify where you are standing right now:
- How old are you?
- What is your current financial status?
- How much is your net worth?
- Do you have any debts? How much?
- Is there any money in your savings account? How much?
- Do you have any dependents?
- Are you the lone breadwinner in your family?
- How much do you get to save on a monthly basis (without depriving yourself of basic needs)?
And here are some questions that can help you identify where you want to be:
- At what age do you plan to retire?
- How much are your projected monthly expenses once you retire?
- Where do you want to retire?
- Will you get any sort of pension once you retire?
- How do you envision your retirement?
- Will you be willing to work part-time, online, etc?
- Are you expecting any sort of inheritance (e.g. land, farm, money, etc)?
Once you have reflected on these questions, write the answers down and…
Make a Draft of Your Action Plan
I will not even attempt to give you a magic number because everything varies depending on the lifestyle choices that you will be making now and the lifestyle that you’re planning to live once you retire.
And of course, it will also depend on where you live right now and where you’re planning to retire in the future.
My suggestion is to initially come up with just the basic liveable number (target monthly expense once you retire) and start from there.
You can adjust it, of course, depending on how comfortable you want to retire and how much you think you’re capable of earning and saving.
Once you’re done with your draft, then you can start thinking about various investments.
By the way, you can use the available retirement calculators online to make it easier for you to know how much you need to achieve.
However, keep in mind that most calculators are in US Dollars, so just make the necessary adjustments if you live in another country.
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
How to Invest with Little or No Money
Now that you’re done identifying your ultimate goal, your current financial standing, and a draft of your financial plan, then you can start thinking about investments.
If you followed what I’ve said above, then it should have given you at least a basic understanding of where you are and how near or far away you are from your goal.
Personally, I’m a bit late in this personal finance/ financial independence game. And honestly, when I was younger, I didn’t give this much of a thought.
I just found it out late in my life and now all of my efforts are aligned to my ultimate goal.
So if you are thinking that it might be too late to think about this, it’s not!
I’m also still waaay far behind my goal. So don’t worry if you are too.
Know that you’re not alone.
Actually, a lot of people I know, even if they are living a grand life right now are also far behind being financially independent.
So, never think that it’s too late to start saving, investing, and thinking about becoming financially independent.
Anyway, going back to the topic, here are some ways on how to invest with little or no money.
Invest on Yourself
This is something that most people take for granted. The best investment available out there is yourself.
We are all lucky to be alive in this era. The internet is continuously making a lot of things possible with very minimal associated costs and even sometimes, at no costs at all.
Do you know that there are so many available tutorials online about a variety of things? Just do a quick Google search or YouTube search and you will find all of this information available to you… for free!!!
I learned how to make a blog just by reading online tutorials and watching YouTube videos about blogging.
Level up your skills and competencies using all the available free resources online.
Invest in Your Time
This may sound so cliche, but I personally believe in this, especially now that I’m clear about what my ultimate goal is.
All of us have the same 24 hours.
When I first heard of it, I got really so angry, sad, depressed and all the other negative emotions a person could ever feel especially after I compared myself to others.
Life isn’t fair, and we have to deal with it. And all we’ve got to do is to make the best out of what we have.
Sure, some may have more resources than us and could make more out of their 24 hours compared to us, but we have to get past that my friend.
At one point, we got to stop comparing ourselves to our neighbors.
And bring the focus back to ourselves.
Ask yourself, what would be the best thing that you could do for whatever spare time you have that could bring the maximum potential output.
This is why I built this blog.
I wanted to learn how to make resources that could provide me residual and passive income.
This strategy is like putting myself to school to learn how to make money online while also generating some income in the process.
This is also the reason why I’m cutting off some of the distractions in my life that I know will not bring any value to me now and to my future self.
Think about this, how can you make the most out of your 24 hours without overworking yourself. Once you figure this out, everything else will fall into its place.
Invest in Your Current Source of Income
If you are presently employed and if you’re not earning that much then consider getting promoted. Sure, it will eat up your additional waking hours but this is one of the fastest ways to increase the money that you can save as long as you avoid lifestyle inflation.
Why is it the fastest? It’s the fastest in relation to what you have on hand right now. And also, because you wouldn’t have to learn something totally new. It’s way faster compared to setting up a business right?
Let’s say you are a call center agent in the Philippines and your monthly salary is around P12K – P18K. You can be eligible for a Team Leader post as long as you have three consecutive high scorecards (depending on which company). A Team Leader’s salary might be around P25K – P40K and sometimes even higher (again depends on the company).
And once you become a Team Leader then you can apply for an Operations Manager post where you can get an even much higher salary.
In my previous jobs (non-BPO but offshored companies), I experienced getting promoted even before I got regularized. This is very much possible with startup accounts.
I was employed for quite some time before I became a solopreneur. And in those years of being employed, I met an awesome boss who was just about the same age as I am but our positions in the company and our income levels were miles apart.
She taught me to aim for a promotion every year or two years and she said that if it’s not available in my present company, then I should move to another company to get the promotion that I want. Every move should mean a salary jump.
Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash
Be Strategic in Saving
While you’re in the process of growing your salary, save your money in banks that can give you a higher return. Traditional banks nowadays offer very small interest. A lot of them are just giving you back less than 1% and they will even charge a withdrawal fee for your own money.
Unbelievable right?!?! Hahaha!
Anyway, there are now a handful of digital banks in the Philippines (and also in other countries) that offer 3% – 4% and sometimes even higher during their promotional period.
These digital banks are also as accessible as regular banks. Personally, I have Upsave and Fast Plus Accounts with CIMB, Diskartech, and Komo. I’m also planning to open another one with Unionbank and ING.
Reinvest the interest that you earn back to your savings account by just keeping it in there and experience the magic of compounding interest. 🙂
Be Strategic in Spending
Do you know that you can also earn money by spending money? LOL! It sounded like a scammy thing but this isn’t a scam. Hahaha! There are really legit ways to earn money from your regular expenses.
Personally, I use credit cards to earn miles, points, cash backs, etc for my regular expenses. And I also get to take advantage of the credit card float (the time between incurring the charge and the due date).
Some of the ways that you can earn from your day to day expenses include:
- Earn from cashback apps
- Save money using online vouchers
- Earn miles, points, cash backs from credit cards
- Earn rebate by paying your bills on apps/websites like Shopee
- Earn money via the referral program of your credit card/digital bank
Whatever you get to save and earn from shopping vouchers, cash backs, referral fees, etc, put that to your savings account with a digital bank and watch it grow even further.
Invest Your Time with the Right People
Our parents have always told us to choose our friends and to choose wisely. Now, that I’m older, I finally understood what they mean.
The power of influence is undeniable. It could change lives. That’s why the marketing and advertising costs in a lot of companies are really really high.
Influence can shape the mindset of a person.
And the mindset affects the behavior.
The behavior dictates the action.
It’s actually scary when you think about it! LOL!
If you surround yourself with the right people or the people that you share the same values, then you will surely be influenced to stay on track with your goals.
If you are surrounded by people who know what they want in life and are working towards achieving their goals, then you will definitely be influenced by them as well.
This is also one of the reasons why I built this blog (which I have mentioned in my previous post). I wanted to have a platform wherein I could interact with the people that share similar goals that I have.
I want to be influenced by them. I want to interact with them and learn from them.
Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash
Invest in Your Health
This is a marathon, not a race and to win this marathon, we have to be in our best shape.
Invest in your health so you will have the energy that you need to face your challenges in your life.
Keeping yourself healthy will ensure that you will be able to reach the time and age when you can reap the fruits of your labor and sacrifices.
Invest in a Side-Hustle that You Enjoy
Prior to being an online seller, I was also employed and I was living a regular corporate life just like most people.
And one of the things that I often spend my hard-earned money on is clothes.
Over the years, I have accumulated tons of clothes and other stuff until I finally realized that it’s time to let them go.
To make the long story short, my journey in decluttering paved the way to my full-time business now which is online selling preloved goods.
Identify something that you can earn money from and start by looking at your passions in life.
Again, I keep mentioning this on my blog – the internet made it possible for a lot of people to earn money from their passion.
Invest in Your Community
Investing in your community doesn’t always have to be financial. If you don’t have the money to give then you can share your time.
Investing in your community also means helping each other grow and prosper. If everyone invests their time in their community then they can keep their community safe and they can help their community prosper.
If a community is safe and prosperous, then it becomes the perfect breeding ground for a thriving livelihood and business scene which will provide a lot of opportunities for the members of the community.
Making money nowadays is so much easier than ages ago. If you’re a low-income earner, before investing in any financial vehicles, consider what I have suggested above.
Think of income growth and how you can build residual and passive sources of income before dabbling in riskier investments.How to Invest with Little or No Money Click To Tweet
Dividend Power says
This is a very actionable and detailed article. I liked it.
Thrifty Hustler says
Thank you very much for your kind words 🙂