I have a young cousin who will face numerous heart surgeries. A lot of her medical procedures are provided through Medicare/Medicaid, but the expense for her young parents and little brother to stay in the area [3 hours away from home] are very hard for the family to come up with. Wishing to make a donation, but with my own funds being tight, I took books in my house that I deemed non-necessary to a used book store to start a fund so that I can provide the young family with at least a day's
worth of expenses prior to the surgery. I have rolled pennies and nickels, and will be finding other things to do so as to meet my goal by the end of January. It also will help to take care of some of the clutter in my house!
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Don't pass up 401k accounts. Most companies match your contributions. If a company matches up to 6% of gross salary, if one earns $2000/mo you could put in $120 & the company would put in $120. That's free money. With pretax contributions you'll see less than $120 subtracted from your paycheck.
Some companies now offer a 401k that acts like a Roth IRA. Disadvantage: you don't pay with pretax dollars. Advantage: when you withdraw the money, there is no tax on the amount you contributed, nor any capital gains. (On a traditional 401k, you pay taxes on all money when withdrawn.)
Each time I received a raise at work I would, at a minimum, increased my 401K contribution by 50% of that raise. I did this over 11 years and raised my contribution to 29% prior to retirement. I was able to accummulated $90,000 before retireing. My hourly wage was $9 -15 before retireing.
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