How Investing Just $100 Per Month Can Give Your Nest Egg a Serious Boost

MarsBars/iStock via Getty Images Plus
MarsBars/iStock via Getty Images Plus

If you have $100 to spare, you may want to consider investing it instead of spending it immediately. Later down the road, your frugality will be rewarded with a nice chunk of cash that you can use when you retire.

Start investing today and a $60,000 investment could turn into a nest egg of $522,000 in 50 years, according to an analysis by The Motley Fool, a financial services company. Even if you don’t have half a century to wait, a $12,000 investment will grow an extra $5700 over the course of 10 years, netting you $17,700. Not a bad return for just $100 a month.

What this all comes down to is compound interest, which is essentially earning interest on top of interest. Calculating that the market returns about 7 percent per year, adjusted for inflation, The Motley Fool explains what this would mean for someone who invests $100 a month:

“That means the $1,200 you invest in year one will be worth $84 more in year two. When year three rolls around, that original sum will gain even more—roughly $90—because the interest from the previous year will grow as well. That might seem like small stuff, but over time, the effects can be astounding.”

You can see this at work with bank accounts that pay interest, but compounding also affects other types of investments, like stocks. Many stocks have dividends, which are payments corporations disburse to investors each quarter—say, 50 cents per share. When you receive dividends, you can reinvest that money, using it to buy new stock shares. Each of those new shares then pays its own dividend, growing your money exponentially over time.

However, the financial service agency says you shouldn’t start investing until you’ve paid off all high-interest debt—like credit card debt—and established an emergency fund with enough money to cover your basic expenses for three months if you happened to lose your job. Once that's settled, you can start putting some of your extra earnings into an investment account, like a 401(k) or IRA. (The company also offers some tips on how to set up a brokerage account, and how to figure out which type of account is best for you.)

Ready to start building up that nest egg? Check out Mental Floss’s 15-minute guide to how you can start investing today.

[h/t The Motley Fool]

The 20 Best States for Singles

monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images
monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images

Being single on Valentine's Day means you don't have to worry about cards, gifts, or date ideas. But if you'd like to do something romantic on February 14, your chances of snagging a date in time may depend on where you live. WalletHub crunched the numbers to create a definitive list of the best states to be single and looking for love in America.

To come up with its rankings, the personal finance site analyzed numerous data points for each state, including the proportion of single adults, nightlife and entertainment opportunities, and economic factors like cost of living. Combined, these qualities paint of picture of where you're most likely to find, afford, and enjoy a date.

Florida secured the number one position with a total score of 69.21 out of 100. Though it comes in 33rd out of the 50 states for economics, it places third for dating opportunities and fourth for romance and fun, earning it the top slot. It's followed by California with a score of 67.41 and Texas with 66.77. You can check out the top 20 states below, and see how all 50 states ranked at WalletHub.

  1. Florida // 69.21
  1. California // 67.41
  1. Texas // 66.77
  1. New York // 65.29
  1. Pennsylvania // 64.61
  1. Ohio // 63.10
  1. Illinois // 62.61
  1. Wisconsin // 61.13
  1. Massachusetts // 59.11
  1. Michigan // 58.56
  1. Arizona // 57.22
  1. New Jersey // 56.71
  1. Georgia // 56.11
  1. Colorado // 56.01
  1. North Carolina // 55.58
  1. Minnesota // 55.42
  1. Virginia // 54.98
  1. Washington // 54.76
  1. Missouri // 54.29
  1. Nevada // 53.64

The world uses Valentine's Day to celebrate romance, but you can take it as an opportunity to embrace singledom in 2020. If that's your plan, here are some vintage tips for living alone to keep in mind.

Keep Your Food and Wine Fresh for Longer With These Vacuum Lids

Equilibric
Equilibric

Despite how carefully you try to store your leftovers, most plastic containers aren't airtight, and oxygen is often the culprit behind why food and wine lose their flavor or spoil so quickly. But Equilibric is looking to solve this issue with their Freshly! vacuum lids, which they say can keep food fresh for five times longer than standard plastic containers.

The company just launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Freshly!, which you can back starting at $69. With this pledge, you'll receive three lids of different sizes, a wine seal, and the handheld vacuum used to give your food a proper seal.

The product is easy to use: Simply put the lid on whichever container you wish to seal, attach the vacuum to the air valve, press the button on the vacuum, and your food is ready to store in a matter of seconds. When you’re ready to eat, open the air valve, remove the lid, and enjoy.

When air comes into contact with your food, it can promote the growth of both mold and bacteria. Similarly, when air comes into contact with your open bottle of wine, it can kick off a process called oxidation, which is why your vino can taste flat after it's been opened. But when you use a Freshly! lid, you’re storing your food or drink in "an oxygen-less environment."

The dishwasher-safe lids are universal, so they don’t need to perfectly match the dimensions of the container you are trying to seal. The largest size measures 10 inches in diameter and it's recommended for large salad bowls, pans, and skillets; the medium lid is 7.9 inches in diameter and is best for standard-sized bowls and lunchboxes; and the smallest lid is 5.7 inches in diameter and is recommended for cups.

Vacuum-seal lids for food
Equilibric

According to the campaign, Freshly! lids can keep dishes like cooked chicken fresh for up to 10 days, whereas it only keeps up to five days in regular plastic containers. On average, about 30 to 40 percent of food is thrown out in America, according to the USDA. So, not only will you keep leftovers longer, but the lids can help reduce your annual food waste.

This isn’t Equilibric’s first time making equipment that helps make life in the kitchen easier. They launched a Kickstarter campaign back in March 2019 for the balanced bowl-colander hybrid that helps cooks save time and water.

The campaign has already made more than $70,000, surpassing its original $7000 goal, but you can still help bring this project to life until February 23 by heading here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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