Is a $50-Per-Month Investment Worth It? Yes, and Here's Why
You might be surprised by how much money you can make from a $ 50-per-month investment. Investing in small amounts still makes a difference. There are so many people who are not investing because they don't think they have enough money.
Living paycheck to paycheck
Even if you're investing less than $50, you should be investing that amount. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, or you just do not have the means to invest even just $25 per month at the moment, that is completely okay. You will get there eventually.
When you're living paycheck to paycheck or really struggling financially, it is a luxury to be able to invest. As you crawl out of that, you will reach a point where you do start to have money to invest. That is part of the journey, so hang in there.
Let’s talk numbers. Say you’re going to be investing $50 per month at a return rate of about 8% on average. This may be index funds, mutual funds, or some spread of stocks that you may have.
Most of these types of low-risk investments have an average return of at least 8%. Sometimes it's lower, sometimes it's higher, depending on the market, but on average, we're looking at about 8% - 10% return on investments.
Investing $50 a month
We're looking at a 20-year timeline split into 3 years of smaller investments and 17 years with larger investments. $50 per month for three years is a total of $1,800. If you're gaining 8% on that investment, your $1,800 is going to turn into $2,039.
Then we’re going to assume that after three years, you get into a better financial position, and you can start investing $500 per month for the next 17 years. Together this is 20 years. Three years at $50 per month, and 17 years at $500 per month.
Once you get to year 4 you’re starting with $2,039 in your account from the 3 years of investing. Now you're doing $500 every month for 17 years. At that 8% rate, you would end up with $223,995.
Investing $0 a month
Let's look at the same example but this time for those first three years you are not investing anything. You don’t have enough money to save so for the first three years you don’t invest. Three years pass and you get into a more stable position financially and you start investing $500 per month for the next 17 years.
At an 8% rate, you end up with $216,157. If we compare the gains, the difference in the amount of money that you end up with is $7,839. In the first scenario where you are investing $50 per month for three years, you gain an additional $7,839. So that means your $1,800 of cash turned into $7,839 in 20 years.
Is investing $50 a month worth it?
You might not think that’s a crazy amount of money for a 20-year investment but think about it. Time is passing anyway.
You're probably putting $50 towards something unnecessary like buying coffee, buying clothes that are not going to last you for 20 years, or subscriptions you don’t even use. There are places that you can probably pull $50 from and invest.
While you feel like money is tight remember, you can turn your $1,800 into over $7,800. If you’re not investing, you're losing those early stages of compound interest. Your $1,800 of cash over three years is going to be worth over $7,800 after 20 years. Even if you try to play catch up, that's still a $6000-7,000 loss.
Investing $100 a month
Let’s see what happens if instead of $50 per month, you save $100 a month for 3 years of a 20-year period. That's $3,600 of your money that's being invested.
Then the next 17 years you're saving $500 per month. You end up with $231,830.
Now let’s say for the first 3 years you can’t invest at all but start investing $500 a month for 17 years, you're going to end up with $216,157. It’s the same amount as the example where you didn’t invest $50 a month for 3 years, but this time the difference is much larger.
If you had been investing $100 per month, $3,600 you would have $15,673 more after 20 years. Your $3,600 invested over three years turns into $15,673 over 20 years.
The numbers don't lie. You don't need to be investing crazy amounts if you're not able to. If you're in a situation where you're spending $50 or $100 on things that are not improving your life, saving the money is going to make a difference in your future.
You can find ways to cut back and put that toward your investments instead.
I think a lot of people get intimidated by investing because they think it's difficult, but anyone can do this. With a little bit of research, you will find a way. Just dedicate a little time to it and you'll be able to figure it out
People think that $50 per month isn't worth it. The minimum contribution to a Roth IRA is $6,500 for 2023. People see that and think, ‘I'm never going to get close to that, so what's the point of doing anything?’ That’s the wrong way to look at this.
Something is always better than nothing, especially when you are young and you have time on your side.
$50 per month investment
The money that you're investing in your 20s is going to build so much by the time you get to your 60s. If you have the ability to start investing, even if it's in small amounts, invest it.
With time you are going to build up your wealth. You're going to start investing more. You will be glad you invested because what seems like a small amount now, can become a large amount in time. Let your money work for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section.
I completely agree that any amount of savings is better than nothing.
I do want to point out that your statement "The minimum contribution to a Roth IRA is $6,500 for 2023" is a typo. It's not the 'minimum' amount, it's the MAXIMUM amount, unless your over 50, in which case you can add $1,000 to that amount. You can invest any amount up to $6,500, so put $1,000 in there if that's all you can afford. After 40 years, it should be worth significantly more.