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Three Places to Invest a Tiny Little Bit of Money

Oh, here's something that I could use some advice on: after I get paid, I'll probably have around 3K USD in a bank account doing pretty much nothing. Should I invest it in a Vanguard index fund or something similar for now? Also, I'm probably going to need to buy a car eventually (my guess is in 2-3 years), which can create a lot of nasty compounded interest. Would I want to use any money that I have saved up to pay a big expense like that off immediately, or would I want to keep some invested?

If you've only got $3k you want to keep most of that liquid as an emergency fund. You probably don't want to buy stocks unless you can go long on the stocks and ignore market movements, and you want to study investing before investing ESPECIALLY investor psychology so you don't panic and act rashly if (when) there's a crash. You probably want to read "The Intelligent Investor" by Ben Graham before buying any equities, which Warren Buffet says is the best book on finance ever written. I agree, btw - I've never found better. Excellent book.

If you did want to deploy some of your cash, here's a couple things:

*It'll cost you around $20 to $100 to develop a credit score, assuming you're American and don't have one. Go to the bank, throw $100 in a CD, and get a secured loan against it that reports on your credit. That'll give you a revolving line of credit on your credit history, which helps. Get a credit card a few months after that, and ALWAYS pay it off in full each month. Good credit will make/save you thousands later, so do it now.

*Buy small gifts for people you admire as a show of respect. Do this for particularly good professors, bosses, teachers, friends of family, acquaintances, etc. Go $20 to $100 per gift to start, $100 is even too high unless someone has been really great to you. Buying 50 gifts at $20 each for people who have treated you REALLY well probably pays for itself. Write a note of gratitude when you do it, just buy chocolate or protein bars or a great DVD or something small. Don't do it all at once, spread it out, but I've never regretted spending money to say thanks for someone who helped me.

Better than Better than Your Boyfriend

On Tynan

EDIT : I know the site is kinda a disaster now. At least the cool archive link on the right works. I'm too tired to keep working on it, so it's time for a nap and then REAL work. And then if I don't fall asleep instantly, more work on the site.
That's not a typo - my favorite site just got better. I was talking with a reader of my site and he told me my site was hard to navigate. You know what? He's right.

So, I've done a few things to fix that (and other) problems. The most obvious change is that you no longer have to click "read more" to read the rest of the article. You still have to click "comments" to read comments, because otherwise the page would be even huger than it is now.

Also, if you go directly to a post (either through a link or by clicking the title of a post), you'll see links to the next post and previous post. This is for people that like to read the whole site in order or have some catching up to do. When reading in this mode you can also see all the comments right on the page.

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