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Updated April 23, 2023

10 Smart Ways to Invest $1,000

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$1,000 can become a lot more with investing. Here are 10+ smarter ways to spend that extra grand than on a shopping splurge.

Shortcut: If you are really eager to start investing, check out Betterment. They have no minimum balance, low fees and good returns. It's an easy-to-use app that's great for beginners.

Investing doesn't have to take up all your free time. Let a robo-advisor do the heavy lifting for you. A robo-advisor automatically manages investments for you based on your goals and risk tolerance.

You don't need a lot to get started. Betterment has no minimum required to start investing. All you have to do is tell the program your goals, and it'll select investments that will give you the best chances of reaching them.

It'll actively manage your account, rebalance your portfolio regularly, and automatically reinvest extra funds.

Or, for an even more hands-off option, Acorns invests your money by rounding up and collecting the spare change from every transaction.


$20 Investment Bonus

  • Open an Acorns account (new users only)
  • Set up the Recurring Investments feature
  • Have your first investment be made successfully via the Recurring Investments feature

Real estate is a great long-term investment. Maybe you're probably thinking… How can I invest in real estate with only $1,000??

REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) investing is kind of like "real estate stock." A company owns a portfolio of real estate properties. You can invest in the company and get in on the profits without having to purchase real estate yourself.

One of the easiest ways to get started is with Fundrise. You only need $10 to start investing in real estate projects across the country. Dividends are paid out every quarter—and investors have earned more than $79M in net dividends already.


Invest in Real Estate with $10+

  • Only $10 minimum investment
  • Get a diversified portfolio of real estate projects across the US
  • Open to all investors

Invest in Real Estate with $10

The minimum investment amount is only $10. (Though most transfer $100 for better diversification; subsequent transfers can be for any amount)

  • Short-term real estate investments lasting just 12-18 months
  • Open to non-accredited investors
  • No investor fees
Arrived Homes

Invest in Rental Homes with $100+

Browse rental home investments for free. No bank account required

Bitcoin surged in 2020, but not everyone has ventured into the world of crypto. If you want a piece of the action, how do you actually get started?

Investing in crypto is similar to investing in stocks. You deposit funds into your account, then use the money to buy and sell crypto. Keep in mind though that crypto is more volatile than stocks.

eToro USA LLC and eToro USA Securities Inc.

Deposit $100 and Get $10 from eToro USA LLC

Expires 12/31/2024
For a limited time, you can get $10 when you deposit $100 in your eToro account. Here's how:
  1. Sign up for an eToro account
  2. Deposit $100
You'll automatically receive $10 directly to your account balance. Offer only applies to US customers. eToro USA LLC and eToro USA Securities Inc.; Investing involves risk, including loss of principal; Not a recommendation

4. Open a Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is a retirement account. It's one of the best moves you can make for your future. What's special about it is that you can withdraw the funds tax-free.

You contribute to it with money that has already been taxed, so you won't be taxed again when you take the funds out. Most importantly, if you follow all the rules[1], you won't even be taxed on the interest earned.

Tip: The key difference between a Roth IRA and traditional IRA or a 401k is that Roth contributions are made post-tax. With traditional accounts, you'd avoid paying tax now, but would have to pay normal income tax in retirement.

5. Invest in Fine Art

You should never put all your eggs in one basket. But when it comes to diversifying your portfolio, assets like fine art seem totally out of reach. After all, most people can't purchase a million-dollar painting.

In reality, you can actually break into the $1.7 trillion art market with just $1,000.

Masterworks is an investing platform that gives you access to high-end paintings from renowned artists like Andy Warhol. If you're looking for investment alternatives to stocks, this could be a great opportunity. Fine art actually outperformed the S&P 500 by 180% from 2000 to 2018.

There's usually a waitlist to get started on the platform. You can click here to skip the waitlist and join Masterworks today.

6. Invest in Gold

For thousands of years, cultures all over the world have been fascinated with gold. Gold prices tend to rise when the stock market dips. Today, it's still an attractive investment for those looking to diversify their portfolio.

To get started, you don't need a treasure chest full of gold coins and bullions. Instead, look to ETFs for a convenient way to get your gold exposure.

Gold ETFs track the price of gold and are backed by gold. You trade them just like any other ETF, so you don't have to deal with appraising, selling, or buying physical gold.

One of the best options for commission-free ETFs is Robinhood. It's a free trading app that lets you trade ETFs, stocks, options, and crypto with no minimum to start. Plus, it's much easier to keep in your wallet than a gold bar.

Index funds are a collection of stocks. One fund can contain hundreds of different stocks, so they're a great way to automatically diversify your investments.

Each index fund is designed to track a specific market index. For example, the S&P 500 index fund tracks the 500 largest companies in America.

Because they simply track the market, there is no need for an active manager. This keeps the operating costs low. They usually have much lower fees than actively managed mutual funds.

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are another smart choice to diversify your stock investments. Similar to index funds, they're a collection of securities that track an index. The difference is that they're traded like stocks.

Spend the $1,000 to attend seminars or take classes that will enhance your professional development. Show your boss that you're ready to move ahead, or set yourself up for a better job, side gig, or even your own business.

If you have a hobby that has the potential to make money, $1,000 could help you launch a home-based business.

Capitalize on your expertise. Bill yourself as a coach or consultant. If you're an uber-organized multitasker who loves the fine details, sell yourself as a wedding or special events planner.

There's business to be had walking dogs, watering plants, and house-sitting, for example. You can't beat making extra money doing something you love.

9. Lend to Other People

If you want to help others and earn interest yourself, consider peer-to-peer lending.

This passive investment gives you another way to diversify your investment portfolio. You'll potentially see a higher return on your investment compared to stocks and bonds.

If you have credit card debt, the smartest thing to do with that $1,000 is to put it towards paying it off.

Think of it this way: Credit card interest rates are 12% - 24%. You most likely will not find an investment that can give you that kind of return. So even if you do make some money on other investments, the interest charges will completely wipe them out (and then some).

Make paying off that debt a priority before other types of investments.

If you're really drowning in credit card debt, consider a balance transfer. Find a new credit card with an intro 0% APR on balance transfers. You can then focus on paying off debt without accumulating interest.

Do you have an emergency fund?. Close to half (41%) of us do not, as found by a CreditDonkey survey. For those who do have savings set aside, it's often not enough.

Ideally, you want six months of living expenses saved and easily accessible. Credit cards are convenient and useful, but you don't want to lean on them when a financial emergency happens. Use the $1,000 to beef up your emergency savings or start a new account.

We recommend keeping your emergency fund in an online savings account. Online banks offer much higher interest rates than brick-and-mortar banks. Your savings can grow a little bit risk-free.

Here are some of the best online savings accounts :


High-Yield Savings Account - 5.26% APY

  • $1 minimum deposit
  • No fees
  • 24/7 online access to funds
  • FDIC insured
High-Yield Savings Premier - 5.31% APY

High-Yield Savings Premier - 5.31% APY

  • No account activity or maintenance fees
  • $500 minimum opening deposit
  • FDIC insured
5.31% annual percentage yield (APY) is accurate as of 7/11/2024 and subject to change at the Bank's discretion. Minimum deposit required to open an account is $500 and a minimum balance of $0.01 is required to earn the advertised APY. Member FDIC
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover® Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To qualify for Bonus: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, enter Offer Code CY624 at application, deposit into your Account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Qualifying deposit(s) may consist of multiple deposits and must post to Account within 45 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers, including co-branded, or affinity accounts. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 60 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is subject to tax reporting. Offer ends 09/12/2024, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 9/12/2024

12. Invest in your children's education

You can use the $1,000 to create or add to a college savings fund. A 529 plan allows for tax-free withdrawals when used for education expenses. Use as way to easily compare plans.

Or use the $1,000 for a year's worth of tuition for specialty classes or summer camp. You'll be setting up your young ones as college-worthy students.

Another idea is using the dough toward an educational family trip, like to Washington, D.C., Colonial Williamsburg, or a national park. You'll all learn something new and create family memories at the same time.

13. Refinance Your House

Today's low interest rates on mortgages aren't going to stay in the basement forever. They can go up, and that's likely to happen sooner, rather than later.

If you have a high-interest mortgage, $1,000 could help pay refinancing costs. A lower interest rate means more money in your pocket each month. Instead of spending the extra, put it toward savings or paying debt.

You can play around with this refinancing calculator to see how much you could save.

This one's a little unconventional. But travel is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Even if a vacation isn't in the cards right now, you can still prepare for it.

When you make your everyday purchases, try using a travel credit card.

What the Experts Say

CreditDonkey asked a panel of industry experts to answer readers' most pressing questions. Here's what they said:

Bottom Line

What would you do if you received $1,000 unexpectedly?

Ah, the sweet victory of having extra money lying around.

It's always fun to splurge—so feel free to spend a bit of it on a nice dinner or outfit if you'd like. But a spare $1,000 is best spent on something that lasts much longer, like your investments.

Take some time to decide which route is right for you. Remember, no two investors are alike. Make sure the investments you choose are right for your risk tolerance.

Delayed gratification might not be exciting right now, but you'll definitely feel satisfaction when you watch your money grow. As your savings start to build up, you can work your way to investing $10,000 and beyond.

Remember: All investments involve risk and the past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns.


  1. ^ To learn more about Roth IRAs and find out if you're eligible to open an account, go to the IRS website.

Donna Tang is a content associate at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Donna Tang at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Fundrise, LLC ("Fundrise") compensates CreditDonkey Inc for new leads. CreditDonkey Inc is not an investment client of Fundrise.

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What would you do if you received $1,000 unexpectedly?
47% Pay bills
16% Save it
36% Invest it
Source: CreditDonkey. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding.
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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

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