Let me be straight with you, it’s hard to save enough money for your future. Your car breaks down and your insurance charges you $500 for the deductible. Your washing machine overflows and you’re forced to buy a new one. Your phone falls in the toilet and is completely unusable, you had just gotten a new one 2 months ago and you know you can’t properly function without one. Then there’s that birthday party for your friend that you have to get a present for, actually, make that 6 birthday parties, a few dates with your significant other, a few things for your kid, and then oh, wait, someone wants to go grab “one” drink? Damn, why does my credit card say I spent $1000!

Life gives us curveballs every day, no matter what stage you’re in, unexpected things always pop-up. Yes, you can plan for the “unexpected,” but eventually life just gives you a big “let’s see if you can handle this!” 

What I want to do with this project is to give anyone and everyone the potential to say, “Yes, bring it on” at the very least from a financial standpoint. There are some scary statistics out there, 19% of Americans save nothing from their yearly income besides social security. 55 million Americans fear that any “emergency expense” like their car breaking down, an unexpected medical bill, or a house repair would put them in a financially unstable state. 21% of Americans have absolutely NO savings at all. So we’re out here on a mission, let’s bring all of these statistics down to ZERO.

GOAL #1 – Save $1 a day to kickstart your retirement fund, no matter how old you are.

$1 may not sound like a lot… because it isn’t. That’s the point of this, in order to take the first step in learning how anyone and everyone can save we’re going to start out with something that YOU should be able to do right now. Even though $1 doesn’t seem like it can make a difference, with the power of time and compound interest it can change your life.

Why is compound interest so powerful? Let’s say you save $1 a day for the next 50 years. In one example you save $1 a day in a jar sitting at home. In another, you save $1 a day in a high-yield bond account which has returns (compound interest rate) of, on average, 5% a year. In the last example, you put $1 a day in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) of the S&P 500 which has returns of, on average, 10% a year. How much money could you save up after 1, 5, 10, 30, and 50 years?

NOTE – Saving money in an Index fund is not guaranteed, however historical returns for the S&P 500 since 1927 (includes all major recessions) is ~10%

Potential Savings after 1, 5, 10, 30, and 50 Years with different saving methods

Type of Savings1 Year5 Years10 Years30 Years50 Years
Jar (0%)$365$1,825$3,650$10,950$18,250
High Yield Bonds (5%)$374$2,074$4,736$25,416$81,628
ETF of S&P (10%)$384$2,368$6,272$69,651$537,835

Now even if you didn’t save in an ETF or high yield bond account and kept adding $1 into a jar every day, you’ll still save a considerable sum for a rainy day. In 10 years you’ll save $3,650 by putting money in a jar, but with compound interest, it could be so much more.

In the beginning, it doesn’t look like there’s much of a difference. $9 for bonds and $19 for the ETF after the first year, seems like chump change. Start getting into the 5 to 10-year horizon though and you’ll notice the difference. With the very same $3,650 you put in a jar, a bond account could have grown to $4,736 and money in an ETF could be $6,272. What’s even crazier, is in 30 to 50 years of saving in an ETF the sums you could have saved up is worlds apart from putting money in a jar. Saving $1 a day for 50 years in a simple ETF of the S&P 500 could make you 30X more than the amount of money you originally put in. IT COULD BE $537,835, MORE THAN HALF A MILLION DOLLARS. 

THIS CAN ALL BE DONE BY SAVING $1 A DAY.

The rising wealth gap isn’t just because of a widening pay difference, the failure to teach everyone about financial tools and basic investing has just as great as an effect. I know there may be quite a few things in this post that you may not understand. How does my money just multiply like that? What’s an ETF? Will get to that, I promise. But first, I encourage everyone to start saving NOW. In order for you to start caring about saving and investing money, you need to have a stake in the game. Saving $1 a day is the perfect stepping stone to your financial independence. There are simple apps like Betterment that already allow you to save a $1 a day with just 5 minutes of your time.

YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it can grow with compound interest. Why aren’t you doing this right now? Hear that the stock market isn’t doing well? Invest in bonds. Scared you aren’t sure what everything means? Google (soon it’ll be to read the rest of this site). Let’s do this.

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