Investing can feel unknown and scary when you’re just starting out. But investing early will help your debt and capital growth in the long run.
The earlier you start investing your money, the better off you’ll be in the future. Too many of my millennial counterparts have said, “I’ll worry about it later,” because it seems so far off in the future. But “later” comes up sooner than you think, and then you end up trying to quickly play catch-up and hope you can actually retire.
Understandably, abundant student loans and a lack of financial understanding contribute to this decision to not invest. But many don’t realize you can both pay off debt and invest if you put in some time to learn about your personal finances.
Early investment means faster growth
To start, investing some money into retirement will put you ahead of many others. Compound interest will put your money to work right away, and if you have an employer-sponsored 401(k), they may offer a company match — which is free money for your future!
Rev up your finances now
Here’s how you can get started in a few steps, without being an expert:
- Talk to your Human Resources or Benefits Specialist: Their job is to help you make sense of your company’s retirement offerings and 401(k). Feel free to ask questions! Many times they offer info sessions with representatives from your company’s partnering financial institution to help explain the benefits — be sure to attend these.
- Dedicate an hour or two a week to your personal finances: It may not be exciting, but get into the habit of spending an hour or two learning about finances each week. Maybe it’s reading an investing or money advice book, or maybe it’s tracking your budget more minutely. Whatever it is, this devoted time will be invaluable for shifting your mindset and spending habits and teaching you how to invest intelligently.
- Just get started: Whether through your employer-sponsored 401(k) or by opening an IRA on your own, it only takes a few minutes to get set up with a financial institution and create your automatic contributions. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything right away, but the sooner you start the process, the sooner you’ll understand more.
Anyone can learn how to invest and manage their money successfully. You just have to get started and use the resources available to you to ask questions.