Welcome back to the Master your Money Bootcamp. This week we’re going to stop procrastinating.
Exercise 2: Open the accounts you need
Sometimes it can feel like all the administrative work it takes to keep our personal lives running smoothly is a full-time job in and of itself. Opening a new account? I’ll do it later, you say. But then later turns into tomorrow and tomorrow turns into someday. It’s a 10-minute task that routinely gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists.
The goal for this week: Open savings and investment accounts for each of your goals.
1. Expect to spend about 30 minutes to an hour on this task. If you don’t have the time right now, create an event on your calendar for later this week – and stick to it.
2. When you’re ready, take out your list of financial goals. Tackle the ones that require a savings account first since they’re the easiest to set up (it shouldn’t take more than five minutes per account).
If you haven’t decided which bank or credit union to use yet, check out our lists of the best high-yield savings accounts, best money-market accounts, and best CDs. If you’re easily overwhelmed, go with an organization you already use and trust. Any savings account with a moderate to high APY and no maintenance fees is likely a fine choice.
3. Next, move on to investment accounts. If you haven’t started saving for retirement yet, find out what plan your employer offers. Aside from the stellar tax benefits that come with a workplace retirement account, you may also be able to get a match on your contributions. If you are already putting some money into your workplace account, consider whether it’s time to open an IRA (here’s how 401(k)s and IRAs compare).
For longer-term goals that aren’t retirement-related, you may have decided to invest your money rather than park it in a savings account. You’ll be taking on more risk this way, but also open yourself up to growing your balance. Here’s a rundown of the best online brokerages for every type of investor. When you open an account, the brokerage will often ask questions about what goal you’re investing for, your timeline, and your appetite for risk (known as your risk tolerance) to provide a list of appropriate investments. Some brokerages even have advisors that can help for an additional fee.
As a reminder, here’s what you’ll accomplish in this month’s Bootcamp (we’ll link to each exercise as it goes live):
For each exercise, you’ll get a detailed explanation of how to complete it and why it’s important. Use the hashtags #MasterYourMoney and #MasterYourMoneyBootcamp to share your thoughts, progress, and connect with others across our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram as you make your way through each exercise, then join us for the live events.