Before I shipped out for the military, I had a standard sales associate job in retail. I worked hard my senior year to build up some money that I could spend during the little bit of time that I had between senior year and basic training. When it came time for me to ship out, I found myself without about $2500.00 left to my name. Since I was not going to need money for at least the next 3 months, I decided I would invest this money instead of having it sitting around in a .01% interest savings account. I spent a decent amount of time researching investment strategies and decided that I would split this money between a company that I previously worked for and an ETF. An ETF is an exchange traded fund, most similarly relating to a mutual fund, except that it is traded over the stock market.
This investment has been one of the best decisions of my life. Not because it made me rich but because it taught me to care about money. Physically purchasing stocks made me want to learn more about money management, savings, and the market. It is even the reason why I decided to be a finance major in college. I am strongly against doing things for monetary reasons, but I want to be in a position where I can adventure and explore the world and not have fear as to where the money will come from.
It does not take much. I try to follow a 70/30 rule. I keep about 70% of my earning in my checking account for bills and local adventures while I spread the other 30% out amongst different investments and saving accounts. My way is not the only way though. Several financial advisors even recommend a 90/10 rule especially for those as young as us. Either way, taking that little bit and putting it away can only do good things for your future. Described as paying yourself first, you are not only protecting yourself in the event of an emergency, you are investing in yourself and in your future.