Moms are typically busy, but that doesn’t mean they can’t hustle. Cutting costs and saving money are definitely important. But household finances aren’t just about pinching pennies, and any mom with just a little bit of free time can make a little extra money.
Making financial investments from home— or from anywhere, really— is often a great fit for a mom’s daily patterns. Investing isn’t as time-consuming as, say, running a small business. Often it’s a case of ‘set it and forget it.’ And when it isn’t, a simple portfolio can be maintained with little snatches of time you might have throughout the day.
Interested? Check out these five options for investments below.
401k and IRA
For working moms, many employers offer a 401k as a form of retirement plan. These tax-advantaged plans are great, but if you don’t have that option don’t worry. There are similar plans known as Individual Retirement Accounts or IRAs. The key is to start as early as possible with retirement funds, and remember that you can always top up your contributions if you have extra.
For a 401k, pay the HR department a visit. IRAs, meanwhile, are offered through institutions like banks, dedicated websites and life insurance companies.
The idea of investing in cryptocurrency can sound complicated, especially if you aren’t too deep into investing or elaborate and technical software concepts. However, in reality crypto trading is surprisingly simple and easy. Investing doesn’t require any of the jargon or hacker skills, and there are modern, regulated services that make trading as easy as downloading an app.
But what happens if an inexperienced investor gets hit by the wild swings that have become part and parcel of trading cryptocurrencies? The good news is that you can start for as little as a dollar, and allow the service to spread your passive investment “on autopilot” and mitigate risk for long-term gain, which saves you time and stress.
After figuring out your own retirement, you’ll want to make sure to invest in your kid’s education. A 529 plan has just this purpose in mind, and is similar to 401k and IRA in terms of the tax advantages. There are ways to avoid fees in many cases, too, such as taking out the plan sponsored by the state you live in.
Getting started with stocks can carry lower stakes than it used to, thanks to fractional share stocks. A single share in a stable and popular stock like Amazon can be worth thousands of dollars, but owning a fraction of a share could cost as much as a new mop.
As with crypto, this makes it easier to spread across multiple investments. For a higher risk/reward ratio, penny stocks can also be a fun way to start cheap and see if you can find the company that ends up being the next Apple. If you want larger investments but have little experience, a bank or mutual fund may be a better option.
A bond, which is essentially a sophisticated IOU, can be one of the safer long-term investments, especially if it’s a government bond like a municipal or federal treasury bond. The idea is generally to buy debt for a fixed period, during which you’ll receive yields, and upon the ‘maturity date’ you’ll get back the face value of the investment. Higher yield bonds tend to be riskier — just look carefully at the credit rating before making a decision.
The responsibility of parenthood means that moms will generally want to start with safer investments. No investment is entirely safe, but leaving money in the bank isn’t either, and at best that money is going to depreciate. So don’t hold back! Get to reading, and see which option best fits your preferences.