What Are Some Small Ways to Make or Save Money?
If you want a small way to make some money, try becoming a dog walker or doing online freelance work. To save money, think about creating a monthly budget and organizing your finances around your savings.
Ways to Save Money
A simple way to start saving money is to record your expenses. This is a straightforward way of keeping track of how much money you spend, whether it’s buying a cup of coffee, paying for groceries, or covering an out-of-pocket payment for medication. There are many smartphone apps to help you track your spending, but if that is not an option for you, many people like to keep a ledger of their income and expenses.
The end goal of recording your expenses is to be able to organize them by categories, and create a picture of how much money you spend every month. You may find that there are some expenses you can live without or some habits you can change.
For example, some people cancel their subscriptions to streaming services that they barely use, preferring instead to get their media from a friend or the public library. Others cancel their gym memberships, instead opting for outdoor exercise.
Creating a budget is a guaranteed way of discovering how you can save money.
Plan to Save
Another way to save money is to budget for savings. When creating a budget gives you a sense of what you spend every month, you can start to plan to save your money. Maybe what you save from canceling a barely used streaming service can go into your savings account. That means that every month, your emergency fund grows by (at least) $10. Even a little change like that will lead to a healthy supply of on-hand money that you can access when something unexpected happens.
Financial experts recommend that everyone, regardless of income, should save at least 10% of what they earn. Current’s Savings Pods are an easy way to set aside money for future expenses or to start to build some savings.
Setting goals helps greatly when working toward saving money. Many people are able to better stay on track with saving money if they can visualize something to save for. It could be anything from finding a better place to live, to buying a used car, to getting out of debt (or even just paying off one debt).
Creating a budget and investing in your savings can help you define some short-term and long-term goals. This is a good financial habit to have because it lets you address everyday expenses while also giving you some breathing space to enjoy life without losing sight of what you’re saving up for.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
These are some examples of a short-term goal:
- Building an emergency fund of up to six months’ of living expenses
- A vacation
- A down payment on a used car
Longer term savings goals might include the following:
- Planning for a family
- A down payment on a house or a new car
- Paying for college
It is a good idea to set small, achievable goals for fun items, like vacations or a new phone, for example. This is a good psychological trick to keep you on track with your savings and reward you for the accomplishment. This can then be grown to help you stay on target for larger, more complex goals, which require more diligence and more savings, and that can be incredibly rewarding and life-changing.
Ways to Make Money
Even if you already have a full-time job, that does not have to be the only way you can make money.
You can pick up some freelance work online. There is a market for everything from content writing and programming, to design, data entry, and even being a virtual assistant. Sites like Upwork or Fiverr can connect you with clients who need short-term services and are willing to pay for expertise. The flexibility of the arrangement means you can work on evenings or weekends to make a little extra money on the side.
Many companies want people to test out their apps or websites before rolling the products out to the general public. You would be compensated for your time, which usually involves downloading and using the app and then filling out a survey about your usage of the app.
Dog Walking and Car Renting
If you like animals, you can make extra money by becoming a dog walker or a pet sitter. Specialized sits like Rover connect you with people for pet-related gigs that can fit your schedule. If your day job allows you to work remotely, you could pet sit at someone’s house for money while also working your main gig. Furthermore, if you make a good impression on clients by looking after their animals, they can recommend your services to their own friends and family.
Renting out your car is also a way of making money. If you find that you’re not using your car very often, you can use a service like Turo to rent out your car by the hour or even by the day. This is different from ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber, in that someone who rents out your car uses it for their personal business (that is, they cannot claim to be a Lyft or Uber driver) and then returns your car to you (or a designated drop-off point) when their rental period is over.
As with all forms of freelancing, there are risks and fine print. Always be sure you know exactly what you’re getting into and that you trust the client/vendor before making any commitment. If you find a good match and a good arrangement, you can end up making a good amount of money on the side, which translates into solid savings for your future.
The Easy (and Free) Way to Make a Budget Spreadsheet. (January 2019). The New York Times.
Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and More: This App Helps You Get Control of Your Subscriptions. (November 2021). CNET.
20 Creative Ways to Save. (November 2021). US News & World Report.
Ways to Manage Your Money Better. (August 2021). Current.
In Most Countries, Freelancers Earn More Than Average Workers. (November 2021). Business News Daily.
Can You Make Real Money on a Dog-walking App? (June 2017). Buzzfeed News.
Turo and Hyrecar: What to Know Before You Share Your Car. (April 2019). Autoblog.
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