9 brilliant financial moves you
can make with $50
Is the glass half full or half
empty? Will that 50 bucks you just got do wonders for your bank
balance? Or is it just a drop in the ocean of your financial troubles?
Fact is, you can do a whole lot of earning with
$50, whether the loot comes from a bonus, a birthday envelope, a
scratch-off lottery ticket or a buddy who paid off a bet. It may
not be a windfall, but it can be a down payment on a better financial
So let's turn that $50 worth of lemons into
lemonade and champagne! Here are 9 brilliant financial moves you
can make with $50, how you do them and how much profit you'll make
after that $50 has left your pocket and gone to to work.
credit card debt
$50 off a $2,000 credit-card balance (at 16%) will cut your
payback time by four months. That's if you're only paying the
$40 minimum right now. You'll more than double your money by
saving $103 in interest.
|Use it to
start paying down your mortgage -- then do it every month and
that first $50 will have started down the road to riches! If
you have 25 years left on a 30-year, $100,000 mortgage at 8
percent, increasing your payment from $734 to $784 shortens
your payback by four years and three months. You'll save $25,065
|Buy the latest
copy of Quicken or Microsoft Money software and start keeping
your checking account in balance. Let's figure that some careful
bookkeeping can help you avoid four rubber-check charges this
year -- at $29 each -- That's $116. Plus, getting a good look
at the rest of your finances ought to let you find lots of other
ways to save or make money.
|Buy a $50
Series "I" U.S. Savings bond. "I" bonds
are sold at face value and grow with inflation-indexed earnings
for up to 30 years. You can defer federal taxes on earnings
for up to 30 years, and "I" bonds are exempt from
state and local income taxes. The current rate is 7.49 percent;
at that rate, in 10 years, you'd have $102.96.
in your relationship
to life than money. Buy flowers for your wife, a putter for
your husband or a bottle of single-malt scotch for your boss.
In the long run, this may be the best investment of all.
Depends. How much do divorce lawyers and
selling soon, use those five tens to increase the looks of your
home. Try buying new cabinet hardware for the kitchen, flowers
for the garden or a gallon or two of paint for the front door.
Increased curb appeal shows you've taken care of the place,
creates the impression of value -- and gets you closer to your
for a special event
$50 to inspire yourself to start a bank account. Follow up with
another $50 every month and in just a year you'll have $600
plus (plus interest) to pay for vacations or maybe a family
reunion wingding. And you save more by limiting your holiday
spending to cash onlyand cutting out credit card interest charges.
-- use the money to kick the cigarette habit. Buy a four-week
supply of nicotine patches by using the mail-in rebate. Save
what used to be your cigarette money each day and buy another
four weeks of patches to completely kick the habit. After eight
weeks, you will be able to put aside a minimum of $15 a week
-- a lot more if you smoke heavily.
the idea now -- $50 isn't megabucks, but it isn't chump change,
either, if you use it to start incrementally saving or paying
down debt. Whether it's an Education IRA for Junior or a chunk
out of the Visa bill, it's up to you to make it pay off big.
A lifetime of stronger financial habits.
Dec. 5, 2002