Grand Plans: How to Invest When You Have $1,000 or Less

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Five ways to start building a nest egg, even when your savings are so small you might assume it’s not worth the bother.

The Mint.com blog endorses five classic investment strategies such as signing up for your company’s 401(k) plan, especially if your employer matches your contributions:

A company match is free money that could instantly turn your $1,000 into $2,000. To put that in perspective, if you just put that $1,000 in a tax-deferred account earning 7% a year, it would take it just over 10 years to turn into $2,000.

Now, you may be saying to yourself: ”Well, that’s great, but I have the $1,000 in my checking account and I can’t move it from there into my 401(k).” That’s okay. All you have to do is sign up to have $100 per month automatically withheld from your future paychecks and deposited into your 401(k). Then you can use the extra $1,000 you have in your checking account to make up any budget shortfall those monthly deposits may cause.

The best part is, because 401(k) contributions are not taxed, the hit to your paycheck will be smaller than your actual contribution. Someone in the 25% tax bracket, for example, would receive just $75 less per month while contributing $100 to their 401(k).

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