1% of anything, by definition, is not very much. I'm sure by now you've heard about the 99% and the 1% that made so many news headlines last year. The purpose of the movement was to show the world just how unequal the distribution of wealth in the United States. Canada is not much different, unfortunately, but there's not much that we can do today in order to resolve that larger issue.
Instead, focus on what you can do in order to make the most of your money. One of the ways that you can do this is by monetizing 1% of your income. It doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, but over time and with some easy commitments, you should be able to improve your life and financial situation with just one percent of your income.
There's a couple of different ways that you can calculate 1% of your income. The easiest way to do this is by taking 1/100th of your gross income over a month. If you get paid bi-weekly, take 1% of each paycheck and times it by two. If you want to get really specific, feel free to add up all your income from all sources over the year, and divide it by 12 or 26 to determine a monthly or bi-weekly amount that you'll be setting aside.
The brilliant part of this plan is that it doesn't matter how much money you make, 1% of your income is the same percentage as 1% of the CEO of a major corporation. Sure, the dollar amount is different, but the commitment is the same. No matter what your income is, there will be something that you can do with 1% of your income in order to make your life better.
$15 a month is not a lot of money. Some people, however, are stuck in low wage jobs or are required to work part time in order to meet other commitments. If that is the case, use the $15 that you can afford every month to invest back into yourself. Spend it getting someone to look over your resume, save a few months so you can buy a decent pair of shoes, or use it for a babysitter so that you can get some time away from the kids.
If 1% of your monthly income is twenty five dollars or less, there's a few things that you can do in order to make your financial situation better. You can start or contribute to an emergency fund. When I started my emergency fund, it was by putting aside twenty five bucks a month. It wasn't a lot, but a couple of years later I'm at multiple thousands of dollars. Get into the habit early and you can always raise the amount later. You can make a contribution to a charity (which can be helpful come tax time). You can also dedicate the $25 to be a “gift” fund, so that you'll never be short for a birthday or friend's anniversary.
If 1% of your monthly income is fifty dollars a month, I highly recommend a Christmas fund. If you start it in January, you'll have an additional $500 come next Christmas that you can use for traveling, presents, or feeding family. You can also start your retirement fund or use the $50 as the basis for a high risk investment or two. Even $50 isn't a lot of money to be missing every month, but you'll certainly notice the different a few years down the road if you've invested a couple of thousand dollars wisely.
What's the best use of 1% of your money?