Sometimes it feels like you need thousands of dollars to move the needle on your finances even a little bit.

So if you find yourself with a few hundred dollars– say from a tax refund or anything unexpected– the temptation to spend it can be great! Often we have the mindset what difference can a few hundred really make. But, used wisely a few hundred dollars can put you on the road to a more secure future.

Here are a few ways to make even a small amount of money count:

  • Start an emergency fund – Ideally you want six months of living expenses stashed to cover unforeseen expenses, but a few hundred is a great start.
  • Take advantage of compound growth – Before spending, consider putting it into an IRA. Not only will compounding increase your balance over time, but increasing your pretax contributions can cut your tax bill.
  • Save for a bigger-ticket expense – Whether it’s for a major house renovation or a dream vacation, put the money in a credit union savings account. You could end up with a gift the whole family will cherish for years.