3 Smart Ways To Put An Extra $500 To Work For You

This can be an opportunity to start making smarter money moves.

3 Smart Ways To Put An Extra $500 To Work For You

This can be an opportunity to start making smarter money moves.

Updated May 20, 2020

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So you’ve managed to build up a little extra in your bank account somehow, nicely done! It’s tempting to splurge it on a night on the town, or a new smartphone, but you’re smarter than that – you see this as an opportunity to start saving, putting it to work for you.

But what should you do with it? Letting it sit in your checking account isn’t going to do you any favors (unless it's a high-yield checking account).

We’ll share 3 things you can do with it today that will pay off in the future.

Invest in Real Estate

We’ve all heard stories about how people make money investing in real estate, but not everyone has the means to buy a property and rent it out. That’s where Fundrise can help out – with as little as $500, you can invest in a portfolio of real estate properties around the country. You can even see the specific properties you are investing in, and pick properties that are aligned with your risk tolerance.

Once you’ve invested, you’ll start to receive quarterly dividends as as those properties generate profits from the tenants who live in those properties – without having to deal with the hassles of being a landlord.

Invest in Other People

You don’t have to be a big bank to earn interest lending your money to others - the peer-to-peer industry is fairly established, and lets anyone do just that. Prosper has been around for over a decade, and will let you get started lending money with just $25. It’s recommended that you diversify your loans by making more than one at a time, but it’s simple to keep tabs on your investments.

Invest in Companies

You don’t need a broker to invest in the stock market – these days, it’s easier than ever to sign up online for a brokerage account that will let you invest on your own. But many of the big-name companies have big fees if you don’t have a lot of money to fund an account with, and many people shy away from investing because they don’t know what to invest in.

Apps like Stash and Acorns can help you get started. They'll ask you a series of questions to help you choose investments that are aligned with your risk tolerance and investment goals. As with any investment, there are risks, but typically apps like these invest only in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which have two key advantages – incredibly low fees, and built-in diversification.

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