With the world economy on shaky ground, many people have been focusing on the financial here and now more than the financial future.

This is certainly understandable as people have to be able to survive today in order to live to see tomorrow, but if at all possible, it is important to look to the financial future. After all, a bit of planning today can make for a much sunnier tomorrow. Here are a few ways to buy long-term investments without breaking the bank.

Don’t Get a Job, Get a Career

It’s a fact of life that a having a college degree is becoming increasingly more mandatory for career-seekers. Sure, there are still some positions out there that do not require a college education, but they are few and far between. In order to make money in the long run, it is necessary that you spend money on higher education now. However, there are ways to go about earning a degree without draining your bank account.

The first option you may want to consider is online school. Virtual classrooms are becoming quite popular with traditional and non-traditional students. Online learning is ideal for people who work or take care of children during the day, as it usually allows you to complete assignments at your own pace.

Another money-saving aspect to consider is finding a college scholarship. Schools across the country offer thousands of dollars worth of scholarship money each semester – sometimes for just being who you are. Coupled with finding affordable ways to pay for tuition, earning a degree is something that should not be passed up. It is the ultimate investment in your future.

Never Say No to Free Money

Say Yes
Creative Commons License photo credit: teemow

For those who are currently employed by a company that offers 401k matching programs, be sure to take the full advantage of this benefit. While it may hurt a bit to reduce your cash flow, the 401k matching system is one of the best ways to get a return on one’s investment. There are very few occasions in life where one is offered cash for doing practically nothing – a 401k matching system is one of these occasions.

So make some time to speak to your human resources rep at work and find out how to maximize this benefit. By contributing a few percentage points of your income to a 401k plan, especially one that is part of a matching system, you can make a good long-term investment without breaking the bank.

Consider Investing in an IRA

Investing in an IRA is a good way to invest a relatively small amount of money in a long-term savings plan. IRA’s have a much lower maximum allowable contributions than 401k’s. This means that one cannot invest as much money in a given year. The benefit of IRA’s, however, is that they are a good investment strategy for people who are not employed by companies that offer 401k systems.

Those who are self-employed, however, can use SEP-IRA’s to invest percentages of their income, offering them the ability to invest much more on an annual basis than is allowed in traditional IRA’s.

You can get an IRA through many different brokerage companies or even through the Peer to Peer investment sites like Lending Club.  Either way getting started with your long term investing is the most important step.

Think of Your Car as a Long-Term Investment

Let’s face it, most people simply can’t live without a car and many families rely on owning more than one car. Sure, there are some folks who live in the middle of large cities with excellent public transportation systems, but this is not the case for most people. Buying a new car can be a real pinch for those who are trying to squirrel away some cash for a rainy day or for retirement, but it is possible to think of one’s car as an investment.

When researching new car deals, don’t get taken by the bells and whistles. Do you really need multiple DVD player screens and a sound system to rival the one that you have in your house? Probably not. It is best to purchase a car from a company with a good track record of manufacturing safe and dependable vehicles. Buying a used car is an acceptable option for a lot of people, but you are never completely certain what the car’s history is in these cases.

It is recommended that in order to have the piece of mind that you know where your car is coming from, and to really treat it as a long-term investment, it is better to shop around for a good deal on a new vehicle.

No matter how you plan to invest, finding a great option for your long-term investments is an important thing for most people. This will help you have the money there when you really need it.

C. Loren Bishop is a lover of all things creative. She likes to write, and has an obsession with crossword puzzles. She’s recently started blogging, and you can follow her on Twitter @cbishopBG. C. Loren Bishop is not affiliated with or endorsed by Alliance Wealth Management, LLC.

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