Do not' despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4: 10. That passage refers to the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. The old wept, knowing it wouldn't have the grandeur of the old temple. Is there a lesson here about investing? We’ll talk about that today on MoneyWise. INADEQUATE RETIREMENT SAVINGS A Bankrate survey has shown that Americans are saving far too little for retirement. About a third of us save 10% or less of our income. One in five save 5% or less, and a full 20% of Americans are saving nothing at all. You don’t want to be in those groups. And this is a lesson about starting small. If you think you need hundreds or thousands of dollars to start investing, and you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’ll never get started. The good news is you don’t need that kind of money. GETTING STARTED But you do need to get started because financial security requires investing putting your money to work and allowing compound earning to grow what you invest. This starts with getting on a budget that enables you to spend less than you earn. Your budget, or spending plan, will determine how much discretionary income you have left over after you’ve paid all of your monthly expenses. By the way, the free MoneyWise app is a great way to set up your budget. It has three different options for budgeting and one of them will be perfect for you. We have trained volunteers to help you set up a budget and find ways to spend less for the things you need, so you can invest. The only charge is for a simple workbook you need to get started. Just go to MoneyWise.orgto sign up with one of our coaches. DON’T BE AFRAID TO START SMALL Even if you barely have anything left over after the bills are paid, no matter. It’s okay to start small!! You can even start investing with pennies. How do you do that? Start putting your spare change in a cookie jar or coffee can. You might be shocked to see how much is in there after just a month or so. And I would advise against using one of those coin counting machines at the grocery store that give you a voucher you can redeem at customer service for paper dollars. They take 8 to 11 percent of your money, and you don’t want to start investing with a loss like that! So you take your rolled up coins to the bank and deposit them in your account. Now this is important: You have to move that money to someplace where you don’t see it. So can set up an IRA at an online bank like Ally Bank, Marcus or Capitol One 360 Checking. You can choose a target date fund that’s pegged to the year you expect to retire, and the account will manage itself. You can sit back and watch your earnings grow. If you use all of your coins in parking meters, you can try the five-dollar bill rule. Every time you get a 5-dollar bill in change, you can’t spend it. Instead, it goes in the cookie jar. Then at the end of the month, you deposit your cookie jar money just like you would your spare change. Also, I know a lot of folks use debit cards for everything these days and they handle very little cash. No worries! You still have several micro investing options. You can check out Acorns, an app that links to your debit or credit card accounts. Every time you use the card, Acorns rounds up the transaction to the nearest dollar. It then transfers that tiny extra amount to a savings or investment account, automatically. That’s especially helpful, because most brokerages require a minimum deposit to start, often thousands of dollars. In addition to Acorns, there’s Betterment. It also has no minimum investment and charges a low . 25% management fee. Then there’s Stash. It requires only $5 to get started and you can invest for as little as $1 a month. And one more: RobinHood. It’s not a so-called robo-adviser, like the others. You have to pick your own investments. But, there’s no minimum deposit required and all transactions are free. So those are all good low cost or no cost investing opportunities for folks invest small. We hope you’ll get started today! On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Is it wise to invest in silver or gold given soaring government spending and its potential future impact on the value of the US Dollar? ● How do you determine if your mortgage payoff amount is accurate? ● How should you balance paying down your mortgage with investing for retirement? ● What is the wisest way to finance significant home repairs?