Are there any good places to start saving $25 per month where you can start with a very low dollar amount? Most funds require higher beginning balances.
editor's note: The Dollar Stretcher does not recommend any specific investment, stock, mutual fund or management company. We provide this information as a source of potential opportunities for those who want to build a savings account. You'll need to check them out and determine which, if any, are suitable for your needs.
I just started a savings account at my bank (Bank of America) that only requires a $25 initial deposit. You can avoid monthly account fees/charges by making at least one deposit a month, which provides a good incentive to keep putting money into the account. There is no minimum monthly balance.
The interest rates are not great but it is a convenient way to save until you get enough money to invest in a money market, CD or other types of investments. You will probably need to call your financial institution to check for these types of accounts. I do all my banking online and through ATMs (which also saves me monthly account charges) and this particular type of account "Custom Savings" was not listed as an option on the web site.
I have two suggestions: credit unions and savings bonds. The regulations on who can join a credit union have loosened a lot in recent years to include member of the community and family members of existing members. The member benefits can't be beat! I wouldn't "bank" anywhere else.
You can buy savings bonds for a small amount of money--the minimum investment is $25 when buying through financial institutions. They're lower risk than most investments since both principal and interest are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States. And lost, stolen, or destroyed bonds can be replaced. They're convenient since you can buy savings bonds through most financial institutions, through payroll savings plans, and through the EasySaver Plan. There are no commissions or similar fees. Interest is exempt from State and local income tax and federal income taxation can be postponed until you cash your bond or until it stops earning interest in 30 years. I've seen several banks that will sell Savings Bonds to non-members. It may mean standing in a longer line, but if you're looking for long term savings, this is a best bet. For more information on Savings bonds go to www.savingsbonds.gov/sav/sav.htm.
Try Sharebuilder.com. You can invest as little as $25 a month (or a larger lump sum) and acquire shares (or portions of shares) of almost any stock (and some funds) available on DJIA NASDAQ, or AMEX. Great way to start a nest egg and buy some of those hot, but pricey stocks!
Strong funds have invested my small monthly amount for several years now. I started with $50, though you can start with as little as $25/month. There is no requirement for a large initial investment, they don't charge any commission, and they have a variety of funds available, including index funds.
They deduct the money automatically from my checking account on the date I choose, invest it in the fund I chose, (no-load!) and send me very nice quarterly statements.
They can be reached at 1-800-368-1030 or on the web at www.eStrong.com.
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