How to Invest with Small Savings

How to Invest with Small Savings

Often some goals seem out of reach because we’re waiting for that big chunk of cash or big job but starting small  which might sound like one of the most cliche things ever, really is the answer.

You hear it a lot and we’re here to say it again.

So here is how you can start small:

  1. Start early

I often talk to my dad about money, goals and life in general and whenever I ask him what he wishes he knew or he’d done differently, he mostly says, “ I wish I started early”. A lot of older people say that and a lot of younger people ignore it thinking they still have time.

My dad’s always urging us to get our money right in our 20s because even if he didn’t, at his present age, he sees the benefit. 

You might be past your 20s and there’s nothing wrong with that. Early for you might mean the moment you read this blog or interact with our content on Instagram. Now is your early and when you start, you’re able to take advantage of compound interest, align your goals and find out how to earn more.

Check out our blog on Setting Tangible Financial Goals

  1. Use what you’ve got

Whatever knowledge, resources, networks you’ve got, use them. When I began Uni, I had to find a way to sustain myself because my parents could only give me transport to school and pay our (my brother and I) tuition fee. I still needed to have lunch, buy clothes and see places. I just didn’t have enough money and unlike my peers, it wasn’t going to come from my folks. 

I thought about starting a business but I didn’t have the capital. My mother’s sewing machine was sitting in the house and one day I decided I’d start making accessories with african fabric and try to sell them. I didn’t know how to run the machine, I only knew how to hand stitch but that wouldn’t be sustainable. So I asked my mom to show me how to do it, but she didn’t have time. She told me to sit there and learn and I did. Learning took me about a week (with some glitches, I’d use thread and remaining fabric from my mom’s stash.  In a few months I was selling a lot of accessories to my friends in Uni, then transitioned to making and selling bags. I couldn't believe people were actually buying these things but, I learnt a lot from the process and earned while at it.

  1. Save small and build the muscle

One of the things that slowly killed my business was that I was using up most (if not all) the money I made. 

I had no systems and didn’t think it’d make sense to save even though I was making KES 2,000-5,000 ($20 - $50) a week with no bills. One time there was a  forum in school where they were discussing Money Market Funds and making them accessible to students. They told us  that we could save as little as KES 100 ($1), earn interest on our savings and access the money whenever we wanted and so I gave it a shot. I’d still withdraw the money here and there because I hadn’t cultivated the discipline but my interest in investing peaked and I wanted to learn more.

Use our Ultimate Guide to Money Market Funds

  1. Stay disciplined and set goals

Discipline often isn't fun but it’s satisfying. You only ever reap the benefits of being disciplined and consistent but cultivating that at the beginning isn’t all roses and chocolate.

 I’d wanted to move out of my parents’ house for a while before I actually set a date, wrote a list of the things I wanted and a plan to accumulate the money. I accumulated the cash in a Money Market Fund every month. I won’t lie, sometimes I’d withdraw a bit of it and spend but I’d always put it back because I knew this amount had to be exact. I managed to not only move out and buy the stuff I needed but also pay for a finance management course. 

Building wealth is often done through small, consistent, diligent steps. It seldom can be achieved in one day. Starting small really helps you value the process too! I’m still growing in my money journey and if you want to too, check out our course Your Roadmap to Wealth.

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