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What Should I Do With $50,000? 21 Ideas To Think About

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$50,000 is a lot of money to have available, and you might be asking yourself what should you do with it. When you have $50,000 at your disposal, there are many options at your fingertips. You could invest the $50,000, but where? There are other ways that the $50,000 could be used. And, of course, there are some things you should avoid doing when you have $50,000 available.

In this article, we'll discuss things you can use $50,000 for, whether it's investing, paying off debt, or similar, and what are some things you should consider not doing with $50,000.

Let's jump right in.

1. Create an Emergency Fund

First and foremost, having an emergency fund cushions unexpected life events. For example, say you lose your job tomorrow or end up in the emergency room with a hefty bill. When you have an emergency fund, this money is used to cover expenses such as this. The alternative is swiping your credit card, and this leads to debt, which damages your financial well-being.

Experts recommend having 6 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund. Some have said that since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic to consider having up to 12 months of emergency savings.

A safe place to store emergency savings is in an online savings account. CIT Bank is one such bank to open a high-yield online savings account. You'll have easy access to your money, and their Savings Builder account offers competitive interest rates. Check out CIT Bank with this link and consider funding your emergency fund if you don't already have one.

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2. Pay Off Debt

If you're trying to figure out what to do with $50,000 and have credit card debt, then paying off your credit card debt is a great choice. Credit card debt often has very high interest rates, and carrying a balance from month to month eats away at your wallet. Wiping out your credit card debt is a solid choice to use part or all of your $50,000 for.

If you have other high interest debt, such as payday loans, personal loans, or auto loans, then consider wiping these out. The less interest you have to pay over time, the better.

One way to think of it is, if you have $50,000 in debt with an average of an 18% interest rate, then you immediately get an 18% return on investment for wiping it out, as you're no longer paying an 18% APR month to month.

Invest In Yourself

If you have an emergency fund and you've paid off your high interest debt, the next place to consider investing $50,000 is in yourself. Investing in yourself often has a high return on investment because new skills and enriching yourself make for a happier, healthier, and financially more sound life.

Here are some ways that you can invest $50,000 in yourself.

3. College Education

If you never finished college or never went and are interested in a career that requires a degree, $50,000 can go a long way to pay for tuition at typical four-year schools. Having a Bachelor's degree opens up many career paths, and some companies require Bachelor's degrees for many of their positions.

Student loan debt is an issue in America, so if you can use your $50,000 to avoid taking out student loans, you may save yourself a headache later. 

If you already have a degree, then $50,000 can be invested into graduate school if having a Master's degree would further promote you in your career path.

Remember, not all degrees are created equal. Some college degrees lead to high-paying jobs, and others not so much. Be sure to research what type of positions and what type of salaries you will be expecting to obtain once you get your degree before choosing to go to college for said degree.

4. Online Courses

An alternative to college is investing $50,000 in online courses. Of course, you might not spend all $50,000 on online courses, but you may spend a fraction of it. 

Online courses are used to teach you anything from a new skill to be more valuable at your job to ways to make money as an entrepreneur. You might have a business idea and have no idea how to implement it, and taking online courses might be just the thing you need.

Fortunately, there are platforms out there where you can find thousands of courses in dozens of niches. Skillshare is one such platform that has a subscription-based model. For one low monthly or annual subscription, you'll get access to thousands of courses to take at your own pace. This is a great way to maximize your learning potential without paying a lot of money to do so.

Check out Skillshare with this link.

An alternative to Skillshare is Udemy, where you'll find many courses that are priced individually. That way, instead of paying for a subscription, you can permanently buy courses for a one-time fee. 

You can check out Udemy right here.

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5. Physical and Mental Health

Your physical and mental health are a worthwhile investment as taking care of yourself means living a happier, healthier life.

If you're overweight or have other health issues, $50,000 can go a long way. This money can be used to hire a personal trainer and a certified nutritionist, which together can get your weight back to where it needs to be if you're overweight. If you have other health issues, $50,000 can help with treatment, medication, and more.

If you have mental health struggles, $50,000 can go towards therapy, a psychiatrist, and medication, if medication is deemed necessary. In addition, $50,000 might even buy you up to a year without having to work, which can give you plenty of time to work on yourself.

Being healthy physically, mentally, and financially are three key ways to living your best life.

6. A Dream Vacation

You might not think of a dream vacation as a necessary investment in yourself, but taking that dream vacation that you've always wanted gives you that experience that you've longed for. This experience can create fantastic memories, and you may meet people along the way.

Plus, with $50,000, there are a lot of places you can go, and you very well can take your spouse and children.

7. A New Car

You might not spend the entire $50,000 on a new car, but if you have needed a new car for some time, part of the $50,000 could be used for buying one.

Likewise, if you and your spouse both need cars, $50,000 can be used to buy two more affordable new cars or two used cars.

This is a great way to get a new car without having to finance it, stopping you from taking on more debt.

8. Fix Up Your Home

Perhaps you've had many ideas to improve your home over the time you've lived there. Investing $50,000 into your home may be a good use of the money as you can then do things such as improve the kitchen, the bathrooms, or replace the roof. 

Of course, you might consider getting some furniture you've always wanted, or put on an addition to make the house bigger.

There's a lot that $50,000 can do for your house, and this might be the best use of $50,000 should improving your house be your top priority.

9. Put a Down Payment on a Home

One way to invest $50,000 is to put it towards the down payment on a house you've always wanted. Transitioning between renting and owning has many benefits, especially if you're looking to settle down in an area for a long time.

Owning a home is one way to build wealth, particularly if you buy a home in an up-and-coming neighborhood. 

Here's an article on how to save money for a down payment while renting.

10. Max Out Your Retirement Contributions

Another thing you can do with $50,000 is to max out your retirement contributions. For example, if you have an IRA, you can contribute $6,000 per year in 2022 if you're younger than age 50 and an additional $1,000 per year if you're age 50 or older.

If you are self-employed and have a SEP IRA, you can contribute up to $61,000 in 2022, which is more than the $50,000 you're looking to invest.

11. Invest in the Stock Market

Investing in the stock market can be a good use for your $50,000. If you're unsure how to invest, open an account with M1 Finance and let them invest your money for you. With M1 Finance, you can contribute money regularly or as a one-time investment and use their Robo advisors to take care of the rest.

With a Robo advisor, you'll fill out a survey so that your goals are determined, and based on the results of the survey, the Robo advisor will invest your money to help you reach your goals while keeping in mind your risk tolerance.

M1 Finance is an automated, commission-free solution for all of your investing needs and is particularly useful for hands-off investors who either don't know how to invest or don't have time. You can set up automatic deductions from your checking account to your M1 Finance account and let them do the rest.

Check out M1 Finance with this link and start growing your wealth.

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ETFs

ETFs are a collection of many stocks, and when you invest in an ETF, you get access to all of the stocks in their collection. The advantage of this is that if a single stock loses significant value, you won't take as large of a loss. Likewise, if a single stock skyrockets and the rest do not, you will not see as much of a gain.

An ETF is generally a safe and steady way to invest, as you can expect your portfolio value to follow the general market, especially if you invest in index funds. 

To invest in ETFs, first, open a brokerage account. Charles Schwab, Vanguard, and Fidelity are three very popular brokerage firms. M1 Finance is also a popular place to invest as you can use their Robo advisors to invest for you.

Dividend Stocks

Dividend stocks are popular as they pay a dividend monthly, quarterly, bi-or annually. Receiving a dividend from shares of stock you own is a form of passive income, which makes investing in dividend stocks popular among those looking to increase their monthly income passively.

One way to invest in dividend stocks is to use a stock screener provided by a brokerage firm with which you have an account. You can also do your own research to choose companies you believe in.

Picking individual stocks is considerably riskier than investing in funds. If you feel uncomfortable investing in individual stocks, then you can invest in mutual funds or index funds that have a high dividend yield. 

To start investing in dividend-yielding stocks, check out Charles Schwab, Vanguard, Fidelity, or M1 Finance

Growth Stocks

Investing in growth stocks is popular for those who are hoping to grow their wealth considerably and are willing to take on the risk that the stock might flop. 

Growth stocks typically don't pay dividends, meaning you'll only realize a gain when you sell the stock at a later date. 

Similar to other ways of buying stock, you can invest in an ETF that focuses on growth stocks so that your $50,000 is spread across hundreds of stocks, cushioning you from a single stock failing.

REITS

REITs are Real Estate Investment Trusts which are companies that own or finance real estate that collects income, such as from rent. When you invest in a REIT, you earn a portion of the rent that is collected from the real estate that the REIT company owns.

Similar to investing in traditional stocks, if you don't feel comfortable choosing individual REITs, there are funds you can buy into that are comprised of many REITs, allowing you to have access to a basket of REITs versus investing in a single one.

12. Invest in Real Estate

$50,000 could go a long way toward buying a rental property to set up a passive income stream from. Owning rental properties is generally an excellent way to both raise your net worth and collect an income, but it's not for everyone.

You can be a landlord or hire a property management company to take care of everything for you. Some real estate investors are very hands-on, while others are highly hands-off.

When you invest in real estate, you not only make money from collecting rent, but as the house appreciates, you're able to sell it for a profit, should you desire.

If buying properties yourself isn't something that you feel comfortable doing, you can check out crowdfunded real estate, mentioned below.

13. Check Out Crowdfunding

Another option for investing in real estate includes using a platform like Fundrise, which employs crowdfunding. With crowdfunding, you own shares of properties, so the amount you need to buy in is significantly lower than if you were to buy a property yourself.

For example, when you invest with Fundrise, you can start with as little as $10, and your money will be placed into one or more funds that own many real estate projects around the country. These projects range from single-family homes, apartment complexes, commercial real estate, and more.

When investing in something new, do your due diligence, read all of the terms, and understand what you're investing in. 

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14. Open a Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is an FDIC-insured account that can be used to earn a fixed percentage of money over a period of time, usually six months, a year, or a few years.

CDs are one of the safest ways to earn passive income, as your money is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.

CDs can be opened at most banks, including CIT Bank, a reputable, safe, and secure bank to save money with. Open a CD at CIT Bank with this link and start a source of passive income.

A drawback to CDs is that you'll generally earn a very small return on investment compared to other investment options.

Click here to read the advantages and disadvantages of investing in CDs.

15. Invest in a 529 College Savings Plan

A 529 college savings plan can help pay for tuition, housing, textbooks, and many other expenses related to college. 

You might choose to invest your $50,000 into a 529 college savings plan if you have children that will attend college someday that you wish to help fund.

16. Invest in Bonds

When you buy a bond, you're buying debt on which you collect principal and interest. Bonds are issued by corporations and governments when they want to raise money, so they are essentially taking a loan out from you and paying you back at a later date.

Bonds are lower-risk investments than the stock market and may be more suitable for you if you have a low-risk tolerance or want to diversify your portfolio to include less risky investments.

Bonds can also be used to create a stream of passive income via a bond ladder, which is when you buy bonds generally in annual increments.

17. Invest in Cryptocurrency

Investing in cryptocurrency is a hot trend right now, however, crypto is considered a speculative and high-risk investment as it's unclear what direction crypto will head in in the future. 

That said, crypto volatility can be used to make money if you do thorough research and have a good sense of what will cause various coins to go up and down.

Of course, because of the speculative nature of crypto investing, you can get wiped out just as fast as you can make a significant ROI. Because of this, it's generally wise to only invest a small percentage of your total portfolio in crypto, if any at all.

If investing in cryptocurrency interests you, you can get $10 worth of Bitcoin for signing up at Coinbase, a platform where you can buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency, with this link.

Invest in Exclusive Funds, Crypto, Art, Real Estate, and More

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18. Invest in Alternative Investments with Yieldstreet

Yieldstreet might be an option for you to invest your $50,000. Yieldstreet is a platform where you can invest in things such as art, commercial property, crypto funds, and more. 

Since 2014, Yieldstreet reports an average net annualized return of 9.71%. Currently, you need $500 to invest with Yieldstreet, and many of the funds you invest in are only available to accredited investors, meaning your options may be limited based on your income and net worth.

It should also be noted that Yieldstreet investments are generally illiquid, meaning your money will be tied up for some time.

With that in mind, Yieldstreet may be a great investment choice if you're looking for an alternative way to invest your $50,000 and don't need your initial investment for some time.

Check out Yieldstreet with this link.

19. Invest in Art Using Masterworks

A popular asset class to invest in among the ultra-wealthy is art. However, until recently, it was challenging for the average person to invest in art. Now, a typical person can invest in art using the platform Masterworks.

Masterworks requires $500 to fund an account and gives you access to artwork shares for as little as $20 each. The idea is that the art that you invest in is sold at auction at a later date, allowing you to collect profit from that sale.

Because of the nature of how Masterworks works, your money may be tied up for 3-10 years unless you sell shares on the secondary market, which is part of the Masterworks platform.

That said, Masterworks reports an average return of 14.3% for their investors since going live in 2017.

Check out Masterworks with this link.

20. Invest in Peer-to-Peer Lending with Prosper

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms such as Prosper exist where you can lend money to other individuals. The way it works is a single borrower may need a large sum of money, such as $10,000, to pay off a credit card. Several lenders pool smaller amounts of money into the total loan to source this money, and the platform handles this.

So, for example, you might lend $100 towards a $10,000 loan. When the borrower pays their loan each month, you receive your share of the principal and interest.

P2P lending is an alternative investment that you can take advantage of if you want to diversify how you invest your money, and some of your $50,000 might be well used in this space.

As mentioned in other sections, make sure to read the terms of how P2P lending works on whichever platform you go with, as alternative investments can be riskier than traditional investments.

Check out Prosper here.

21. Start a Business

Have you always wanted to start your own business and work for yourself? Starting a business has many advantages, including having an unlimited income cap. 

With $50,000, you could either invest the money into a new business venture or use the $50,000 to live off of while you start a relatively inexpensive business idea.

Some low-startup-cost business ideas include:

These business ideas can all be quite lucrative once you get them going. $50,000 might be enough money to live off of while you get one or more of these business ideas off the ground.

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3 Ways to Invest

There are three primary ways to invest your money. Let's discuss that next.

Talk to a Financial Advisor

The first thing you can do is to find a financial advisor who can guide you through investing your $50,000. A financial advisor such as a CFP can invest your money for you if you're not comfortable doing so yourself. 

When hiring a financial advisor, make sure that they have good core values and that you can tell that they're looking out for your best interests.

Financial advisors can also help you determine the best way to use your money based on your short-term and long-term goals

Use a Robo-Advisor

Robo advisors give you a hands-off approach to investing, which might be ideal for you if you don't know much about the stock market. Another perk to Robo advisors is that they are less expensive than using a real human.

Robo advisors use an algorithm to determine how to invest your money, also based on your goals and a survey you fill out when you hire the company that manages them.

Two well-known Robo advisor companies are M1 Finance and Personal Capital. 

Invest On Your Own

And of course, you can invest your money on your own. Some people enjoy strategizing how to use their money best and may see a much greater return on investment when managing their own money.

On top of that, when you invest your money by yourself, you pay much less in fees as you won't be hiring someone else to manage your money for you.

Of course, investing money by yourself has its own risks. If you are inexperienced, you may lose substantial money by making poor investment choices. This is why it's incredibly important always to do your own research and fully understand whatever it is that you choose to invest in.

Risky Things To Avoid Using $50,000 On

There are some things that are a poor use of $50,000, and we'll cover those things below.

Gambling

Gambling can cause you to lose your $50,000, and you may suffer from emotional and social issues if you get caught up in too much gambling. Gambling can cause a rush while you're doing it and emotional pain and upset after you've lost. The odds are stacked against you whenever you gamble, and the chances of winning over the long term are extremely slim.

That's why it's best to avoid gambling as, over a long duration, your $50,000 might be lost altogether.

Multi-Level Marketing Pyramid Schemes

Multi-level marketing schemes, aka MLMs, are companies that often try to sign you up and buy products from them and then have you sell them to people you know. You can also earn commission from signing up people under you.

The problem with MLMs is that less than 1% of people make a considerable profit, and the most money is earned by signing people up beneath you. The people at the top of the MLM pyramid earn the most money, and people towards the bottom often lose money.

On top of that, selling products for the company generally offers minimal return for the time spent, and some people end up getting stuck with products that they cannot sell, causing them to lose money in the process.

In general, it's best to avoid MLMs.

Day Trading

Day trading is when you buy and sell securities on the stock market within the same day, attempting to make money in small price fluctuations.

Day traders often get a rush in the quick ups and downs of the stock market and attempt to time whatever securities they're trading.

The reality is that an estimated 95% of day traders lose money over the long term, making day trading exceptionally risky.

Wrapping It Up

In this article, we discussed many things that you can do with $50,000, including investing it in yourself and investing it in various assets. $50,000 can go a long way and can help build wealth over many years. 

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Is 100k savings a lot?
Is 100k savings a lot?
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