Hand dropping coin into piggy bank

When most people think of investing, they think they need thousands of dollars. The truth is you don’t need to have tons of money to begin investing since it doesn’t require a significant downpayment. Investing can, however, seem daunting if it’s something you’ve never done before and you need your money to cover expenses with not a lot left over. 

Believe it or not, there are ways to invest without using up your savings account. Here’s how you can invest on a small budget

Start Saving

Investing can be a great way to make your money work for you if you have tons of it to spare, but both saving and investing are big commitments. Many people put off investing and saving because they believe they don’t have enough money, while others have too much debt to begin investments. 

Your savings account earns interest, making it a great way to invest when you don’t have money to spare. While putting money in a savings account won’t pay you too much in interest, it can help get you started on a path to investing with zero risks. 

Put the same amount of money in your savings account each month so you can understand what investing takes, and you can save enough money so you can make bigger investments in the future. 

Retirement Plans

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, consider participating so you can invest in your retirement and future. Make sure you become an intelligent investor by reading all of the information about the retirement plan to learn whether or not it includes a match and what the terms are. 

Exchange-Traded Funds

If you don’t have a retirement account, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest on your own with Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). You can purchase these investments, which are traded like stocks. ETFs allow you to own a single investment with a large number of stocks within it.

Use a Robo-Advisor

Robo-advisors make investing simple and accessible. These advisors invest your money for you and use algorithms to determine a good match. There is usually no human contact with this option, but automated financial platforms collect your information to offer advice and automatically invest your money. 

Real Estate Crowdfunding

Investing in real estate is known to be expensive, but anyone can do it. Real estate crowdfunding raises capital for real estate investments and projects. Investors give their money to a crowdfunding website, which then invests the cash into real estate projects. You can find companies that offer low initial investments. This method of investing can help you reap the rewards of investing in real estate without dealing with the hassles and expenses of investing in it another way. 

Invest Your Tax Refund

If saving money is difficult throughout the year, then set aside a portion of your tax refund so you can have enough to start investing. Tax season is the one time a year where you’ll have additional funds to do things, such as pay off debt and begin making financial investments toward your future. 

Certificate of Deposit

A Certificate of Deposit (CD) is a safe investment obtained from a bank or lender. While the growth potential of these investments is limited, there are virtually no risks, making it a great way to earn interest on your money until you have more to invest. 

If you are comfortable with more risk, then you can look into dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs). With these investments, you buy shares of stock, and dividends are automatically used to purchase more shares. These are ideal for small investors because purchasing the shares doesn’t require a broker, which means you won’t have to pay a commission. 


Crowdfunding is a type of lending that can help investors find companies to invest in. As loans to companies are repaid, investors receive a share of the interest. This share is paid in proportion to the amount they have invested in the company. Crowdfunding is considered high risk because many new ventures fail. However, they do offer the prospect of higher earnings.

Paying Off Debt 

You should never invest if you have debt. However, paying off debt can help you get a guaranteed rate of return on your money. For example, if you have a credit card with a balance of $2,000 and an interest rate of 15.99% per year, you can unlock a 15.99% rate of return on your money. Similarly, if you have debt with a high interest rate, you can take out a personal loan with a lower interest rate and use the money you’ve saved to pay off the debt with the higher rate. 

Wills and Trusts

Investing in an estate plan that includes wills and trusts doesn’t benefit you as much as the people you love, making them the most important investment. Drafting a will ensures your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries according to your wishes. In addition, it allows you to name a guardian for your children and/or pets. 

U.S. Treasury Securities 

US Treasury Securities are a lower-risk investment. Your principal is always protected from swings and dips. U.S. Treasury Securities are debt obligations issued by the Treasury Department to fund the national debt. Securities can mature anywhere from 20 days to 30 years or longer. Investing in these securities is easy. All you have to do is use the U.S. Treasury Department’s portal to buy securities. 


While investing in crypto, like Bitcoin, is one of the highest risk investments you can make, there is no set minimum you need to invest. Any minimums will be decided by the platform you use to invest in cryptocurrency, which means you can invest with as little as $5. That being said, because this investment is so high-risk, you should weigh the risk versus reward, especially if you are new to investing. 

Investing on a Budget

Just because you don’t have much money to invest doesn’t mean you can’t invest. You can start earning money passively and watch your income grow year after year with these investment tips. 

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

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