Never underestimate the power of compound interest: $1,000 invested today will more than double over 10 years, growing to $2,225 with an 8 percent rate of return. Put away that much every month and it will only take you 25 years to become a millionaire.
But even if monthly contributions of $1,000 are out of reach for you — as they are for the majority of Americans — if you have an extra grand now, you can use it to jump start your retirement savings by contributing to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan and taking advantage of any company match. Or you could put it in a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, which are both individual retirement accounts that offer tax benefits.
If you're among the 69 percent of Americans who have less than $1,000 in savings, you can use that iPhone money to pad your emergency fund. Most experts recommend building up three to six months worth of living expenses in a rainy day fund, but some say it's smarter to have between eight months and year's worth of cash in the bank. Either way, an extra $1,000 is sure to help you get started.
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