How do I get started?
As you become financially independent, you will need to maintain some savings. See our budget page for advice on saving effectively. The general rule of thumb is to have enough money in your savings account to cover three to six months of your living expenses. Beyond that, if you are saving for a large purchase such as a bicycle or a car, a savings account is an ideal place to store your money: there is no risk of losing any of it, and you will be able to withdraw it promptly when you are ready (i.e., savings accounts are highly "liquid"). You can open a savings account with very little cash at any bank or credit union.
Once you are financially stable and have enough savings to pay for any unexpected expenses, you should think about investing part of your income. Investing is crucial for retirement and can, in the long term, improve your standard of living much more than spending the cash at present. If you are interested in investing in real estate, talk to a realtor and visit our home buying page. This section of our website focuses on investing in "securities," or standardized financial instruments with a reasonably liquid market for buying and selling.
The younger you start saving and investing, the richer you'll be. When you realize returns on the returns from your investments, the money starts piling up. The longer your money has to grow, the larger this compounding effect. When you're in your twenties and thirties, your best friend is TIME.
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