Plenty of people like the idea of saving and investing, but fail to do anything about it in real life. That’s because saving and investment require sacrifice. It’s hard to set aside money when you could spend it, especially because we can all borrow money for the spending we can’t afford on our own. This puts people in a tough situation. Debt is the opposite of investment. Debt grows all by itself, as interest and fees feed into the growing balance that’ll need to be paid back someday. Killing off those nagging interest rates saves you money at specific rates each year – all you have to do to understand how much is to look at your account statement. Once you’re at zero, real saving and investment can begin. But it all takes some time and effort.

That’s why people put it off. We’ve all heard the expression “One in the hand is better than two in the bush”. Normally, people use this phrase to convince someone to accept what they already have, rather than throwing it away for something they don’t yet have. It’s another way of saying “the grass is always greener on the other side”. But when it comes to personal finance, everything gets turned on its head. The money we have is easy to give up with no thought for the future. There is no end to the things we can spend money on.

Saving forces us to step out of that way of practice. A good practice, once your debt is paid off, is to save until you have a solid emergency fund. An emergency fund should be enough to cover your personal expenses for several month, as well as those of your partner(s) and children. This may be money that is pooled from the other adults in your household or the result of your earnings alone.

But savings can be taken too far. Money that sits in a savings account grows at a tiny rate of interest, never enough to make any money on, nor enough to beat the rate of inflation. Therefore, you’ve got to invest your money, or it’s going to start losing value. However, most of us know it takes a fair amount of money to start seeing results in investment. There are conservative, risk-averse investment methods out there, but they tend to grow so slowly that you really need to invest a lot of money in order to see big returns.

Investment brokers like ETX Capital meet you where you are at. They don’t require a lot of startup capital at all. You can start a free account today if you want to. What’s more, the amount required for any one investment is not great at all. The returns can surpass the amount invested many times over, and all of this is accomplished while the user is learning a lot about investment in general. From here, it’s easier to build to bigger, more long-term investments. But all of us have to start somewhere, and a quick, affordable investment like this is a great thing to use with your spare time.