Saving money is such a drag. You cream off a portion of your hard-earned pay packet every month, bung it in a savings account with a crumby interest rate, and watch while it grows by the price of a box of doughnuts a year. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.
Banks will try and sugar coat savings accounts to keep us happy, but the fact is these painfully low interest rates mean those of us that are trying to scrape together a deposit to buy a home, or a car, or anything that costs a lot of money by saving, are having to wait longer than ever.
If you're a first-time buyer in the UK, on average you'll need to stump up a £31,000 deposit (source: Council for Mortgage Lenders). I can tell you most people don't manage to save this much until they're in their late 30s - and many will never manage it.
But a growing number of us are getting impatient. We don't want to wait until we're nearly 40 to be a property owner. No. We want to be rich, or at least financially comfortable, by the time we're middle aged - which means we need to make things happen much quicker.
People like us need to learn how to invest. We can learn to invest money in the stock market in order to make our money grow much faster. As a method of building wealth, investing can be so effective it makes saving look like a five year old with a bucket and spade - stood next to a professional builder with a six-pack riding an industrial digger.
If you'd invested £200 a month in a high street savings account over the last ten years you'd have £26,400 today. But if you'd invested the same amount in the FTSE 100 index (the 100 biggest companies in the UK) over the same period, you'd have £36,480.
Could this be the difference between affording a deposit and being stuck renting? Of course it could.
And investing can also help make us rich by the time we're middle aged too. In fact the younger we are when you start, the better. This is because we've got so many years in front of us, we can afford to take a punt on the riskiest investments that bring the juiciest rewards. Riding out the peaks and troughs of the market makes sense when you're young and you have time to kill.
Financial advisers tell me if you've already got a stash of savings that'd pay your salary for three months in an emergency, you've got a job, and you're not in any bad* debt, you could afford to put some money in the stock market. And if you don't know the first thing about the stock market - you don't have to be intimidated. All you have to do is spend a bit of time getting to know it before you open your purse.
With a bit of swatting up on the basics you can begin to invest and grow money, so you can get that house, or that car - in five years rather than ten - or in ten years rather than 20. Of course, investing can lose you money too, but learning how to do it properly is all about minimizing your chances of frittering cash and maximising the potential for big gains.
If you're intrigued about investing, CLICK HERE to read my free introductory guide.
I hope you will find it helpful.
*bad debt - debt that grows bigger the longer you have it. If you have bad debt then paying it off should be your top financial priority.
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