Even before I was a business owner, I enjoyed saving money. Almost as much as I enjoy spending it (haha)
But now that I’m a bit older and have had to figure out my adult priorities, one of the big ones has been saving money. You never know what could happen, and it’s always good to have a Plan B!
My full time job offers a decent 401K plan, so I invest a percentage of my paycheck into that. First off, the sooner you start investing for retirement, the better. It’s harder to catch up as you get older. I want to have enough saved when I decide to retire that I don’t have to change my lifestyle because of the lack of funds.
My current Plan B is a micro-investment account with Acorns.
Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket?”
Well saving for retirement should have a similar approach. If something were to happen to the only source of retirement income I’m putting into, I risk my retirement savings. It’s better to have multiple options.
Now, I am by no means an expert. My dad runs his own company, so he’s had to think about this a lot for himself. That means I ask him a lot of questions and he gave me some good advice when I got my first job. The number one comment I hear from anyone is “Start saving as soon as possible” and “Put as much into your retirement while you’re young as you can”.
Why do they say that?
Well, if you decide to have kids, they cost money. You may need to adjust the percentage your contributing to your 401K or other retirement plan in order to meet the needs of those lifestyle costs. It also gives your savings more time to accrue interest because the longer your save, theoretically they have more time to grow.
So like I said, I’ve got my company 401K, but what if your job doesn’t have that option? Or you’re self employed or a small business owner and that’s not an option for you at the moment. What should you do?
There’s tons of options for financial planning companies who can help you plan for the future. They can look at your specific financial situation, where you’d like to be and advise you on the best route to take to get there. I don’t currently have a financial planner, but it’s something I’d like to look into down the road.
So what is Acorns?
Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t, but it’s an app that essentially takes your “spare change” and invests it for you. You don’t even need to think about investing your money. You can link one card, or multiple to start saving. I think you can also directly link your bank account, but I just connected my debit card and credit card. It’s really simple to use, and I don’t even notice the money “missing” because it’s just spare change and always goes in small amounts.
Here are some of the investment options with Acorns:
- Round-Ups: Invests your spare change from your daily purchases
- Recurring Investments: Set it up and forget about it! I save $5 a week.
- Found Money: Money you get from shopping at places you already shop!
- One Time Investments: Add $ anytime with a one time investment as low as $5
- Referrals: Refer your friends and watch you acorns grow. They’ll even invest $5 for you and for me if you click the link here and sign up!
- Acorns Later: This is new from when I first made an account, and is an easy way to start saving for retirement
How do Round-Ups work?
Let’s say I go shopping and spend;
$27.32 at American Eagle
$50.91 at Macy’s
$18.46 at Hobby Lobby and
$42.04 at Target
Acorns takes the extra $0.68 from my AE purchase, $0.09 from Macys, $0.54 from Hobby Lobby and $0.96 from Target and invests $2.27. They actually don’t withdrawl until they have at least $5 to invest, but it’s always in such small amounts I don’t even miss the extra pennies being saved. Since I started investing with Acorns, I’ve got over $700 in essentially spare change, but I’ve only actually invested about $400 of “spare change”.
AND, it rewards you for shopping at places you already love. Light right now, Old Navy will invest 2% of my purchase into my account, and I already know I could use some cozy jammies and their flannel jackets are KILLER. They have tons of stores that will invest for you when you shop through the links on the app. Super easy, and worth it for that extra couple bucks when you were going to buy that new jacket already.
Is it worth it?
Acorns is already creating a nice little nest egg of money I don’t even miss. I’ve only had the account for about a year or so and I feel it is 100% worth it. How easy is it to link your debit card and have it take your spare change and invest it. I mean it really could not be any easier.
I wouldn’t make an Acorns Core account and consider myself “saving for retirement”, but I would consider it as a great little option to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day. Currently, my “Potential Growth” says the account value when I’m 65 is just over $100,000. I’m also going to look more into the Acorns Later option just as another retirement account to have as another “basket”
For me, it is 100% worth it to save, save, save! Over the last 2 years I have worked hard to get out of debt paying off credit cards, car loans, extra $ towards the house, and closing in on that student loan debt. It’s also important to me, especially as a small business owner, that I do consider the future and expenses I may incur. Retirement might seem miles away, but the sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be! And if you’re self employed, you’ve got to invest in your own retirement savings. There’s so many ways to do that, but this is a super simple way to get the ball rolling.
Check it out here and Acorns will automatically invest $5 for you when you join!
Disclaimer: This blog is meant to start a conversation and share my personal experience. This should not be used as a financial planning guide or use to make a financial decision solely based on the opinions of the writer. You should make investments based on your specific financial situation and consult a professional on any financial investments. As with any investment, there is possible risk involved. Do your own research before making any financial decisions.