If you’ve ever searched for personal finance advice, you’ve probably heard this line a time or two: “make your money work for you.”
The concept is simple – you’ve worked hard for your money, now it’s time to make your money work hard for you. Take the money you have and turn it into more money. But how exactly is that possible?
Budget your income
Step one is to start a budget. Calculate how much income you’re bringing in on a monthly basis, then divide that money into categories, like groceries, mortgage and car payments, gas, and other bills. The key here is to make sure you have money left over to put into savings after you’ve covered your living expenses. Cut out unnecessary spending (like fast food, cable TV, or beauty products).
Making smarter spending choices by following a budget can relieve a lot of financial stress, not to mention the benefits that come from a growing savings account. By making responsible decisions surrounding your income, your money might go farther than you thought it could.
Clear your debt
If you don’t have debt, you can skip this part, but if you do – this is your next step to a healthy financial future of money that works for you. Using your budget, you can allot a certain amount of your income to paying off whatever debt(s) you may have.
Start by clearing up your smaller debts, as this will induce a snowball effect. The money you were applying to those smaller debts can now go towards your larger debts, in addition to the money you’ve started saving, and before you know it, the issue of paying off your debt will begin to become more manageable.
Other debt solutions include credit counseling, where you can set up a repayment plan that works with your budget. You might also consider debt consolidation, which combines multiple debt payments into one, potentially making it easier to keep your debt under better control.
Save what you can
Now that your budget is made and your debt is taken care of, the next step is to contribute to a savings or retirement account. Putting whatever money you can into one of these accounts every month – or as often as you can – will start earning you interest annually. Interest is essentially a percentage of profit that is returned to you based on how much money you have in savings.
Over time, your money earned through interest will start to make you even more interest, and the cycle goes on until you’re doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling the amount of money you put into savings to begin with. And all you had to do was save a little every month! Your money does the rest of the work just by sitting in the savings account.
However, you do need to make sure that the account you want to use is interest-bearing. Talk to your bank about what options they have, or look into using an online banking account through online banks, like Synchrony, Ally, or American Express, that offer interest-earning account options.
Expand your wealth
Your savings account is already increasing from interest, but it doesn’t stop there. There’s even more you can do to increase the amount of money you’re bringing in. Here are a couple of ways you can accomplish this:
Invest your money in stocks that interest or benefit you. Think about goals you’re saving for, like education or retirement, and invest where it brings you profit. Investing in or purchasing stocks that generate income is another way to make your money work for you simply by putting it where it’s useful without having to do the work yourself.
Passive income is money made without having to do a whole a lot to make it. It’s usually made by doing something once up to a few times and simply reaping the profit.
Examples of things that count as passive income are:
- Starting a blog
- Starting a YouTube channel
- Writing a book
- Renting your house/spare rooms out
- Renting your car as advertising space
These things all require some initial effort, like writing a few articles or placing an ad, but after that very little work is required to start bringing in streams of passive income. By paying a little to get these things going, the reward you get in return is more than worth the minimal effort.
Learning how to make the most out of the money you earn can be time consuming and, on occasion, requires a little determination. However, since you’re already bringing in income, it’s just a matter of letting that income grow and prosper on its own. Budgeting and saving early on will benefit you as time passes and your earnings increase, and investing where it counts can make a difference when it comes to your future plans. Additionally, small amounts of your income being used to promote a flow of passive income will inspire profit. Given the chance and the right tools, your money will work for you.