If you want to be wealthy, you probably already know it won’t happen overnight and it’ll take some hustle.
Make it your strategy to cut your spending, pick up some side gigs in your spare time, and know where to put your extra money.
Here are a few ideas to get you started, ranging from easy to more serious:
1. Put BillCutterz to work slashing your cell phone and internet bills in half.
If BillCutterz is able to talk one of your bills down to a lower price, you split the savings 50/50 with them for one year, but after that, the difference is all yours.
Here are the kinds of bills BillCutterz can try to negotiate a lower price for you:
- Cell Phone
- Cable & Satellite TV
- Landline Telephone
- Bundles (Cable/Phone/Internet)
- Alarm & Security
- Satellite Radio
- Electricity (in some states)
2. Switch banks once a year to get a free $350.
In theory, as long as you deposit the required amount and keep your account open for the specified length of time (usually six months), you can do this as often as you want.
But even if you only do it once a year and you can set $200-$350 aside for savings or investments, it’ll be worth it.
- Chase Bank: $350
- Key Bank: $300
- US Bank: $100
3. Earn up to $1,000 per month watching dogs in your home with Rover.
You can choose which services you’d like to provide — Rover offers pet owners doggy daycare, housesitting, dog walking and overnight dog boarding.
You’ll make the most money with dog boarding — people who host dogs overnight make twice as much as people offering other services. So if you’re aiming for that $1,000 per month, you’ll get there through overnight dog boarding.
4. Make $250 per month renting out parking space in your driveway.
Talk about passive income! You can rent out space in your driveway for cars to park in the same way you might order an Uber ride.
People looking for parking in your area can search through SPOT to find open parking spaces (driveways).
SPOT is available (or coming soon) in Boston; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and Miami.
For example, you could make $12 per day if you live in Boston’s South End (more like $30 per day if you live downtown).
5. Earn up to $500 per year redeeming Ibotta offers.
The fastest way to earn the most money using Ibotta is to plan your grocery list around current offers.
This can be as simple as opting for Heinz ketchup instead of Hunt’s if you find a rebate offer for Heinz. But it might also mean eating pasta for a week if there’s a great pasta rebate.
Tap whatever offers you want to redeem, and then you’ll either scan your receipt when you’re done shopping or you’ll take a picture of your receipt and upload it to Ibotta (depends on which store you’re shopping).
Most offers are for between $0.25 and a few dollars per item. You can cash out through PayPal once you have piled up at least $20 worth of rebates.
6. Cut your grocery bill by at least 50% when you coupon the lazy way.
If your budget is already so tight that you can’t imagine squeezing any extra money to set aside for savings, double-check your grocery budget.
It’s realistic to expect to shave at least 50% off your grocery budget without buying a single newspaper.
Print coupons from the internet, stack them with a sale, and pay with a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny and you’re well on your way.
In fact, we will show you how to start couponing when you download the Quick Start Guide to Couponing.
7. Earn $200 per month testing websites through companies like TryMyUI.
You basically just navigate around an assigned website and give feedback about how user-friendly it is.
And since these gigs only take up to 20 minutes and you can earn up to $20 per gig, you’d only need to do 10-15 of them per month to bring in an extra $200.
Sign up as a website tester and then watch your email like a hawk. Opportunities are first-come, first-served — this means if you’re not the first to respond when they announce a gig, you’ll miss your chance.
Learn all about testing websites and making extra money on the side.
8. Ditch cable and stream TV instead to save up to $100 per month.
If you’re willing to spend $35 to buy a digital antenna, subscribe to Hulu ($7.99/month) or Netflix ($7.99/month), and rely on Amazon Video for any movie rentals, you stand to save close to one Ben Franklin per month in your cable-free existence.
9. Bring in an extra $1,000 per month selling used books through BookScouter.
Essentially you’ll be combing Craigslist or yard sales looking for books you can sell on BookScouter and make a profit.
Scan a book’s ISBN number with the BookScouter app to see what you could sell it for and decide if it’s worth buying, based on the seller’s price.
College textbooks often sell for more money than most books, and students rarely realize this. Be sure to sell textbooks right after you’re done using them so you can get the best price since editions are often replaced.
10. Do other people’s laundry and make about $10 per load.
If you’re home during the day anyway, it’s not too much extra effort to throw loads of laundry in and then deliver them to customers.
Sign up for Laundry Care and you can pretty easily make about $10 per load of laundry. Plus, increase your profits by using laundry detergent coupons to buy expensive detergent for up to 75% cheaper than regular price.
11. Earn up to $100 per hour for joining research or focus groups.
Companies are always looking for people’s opinions about products and services — for example, discussing how user-friendly a new printer is. Sitting in one of these groups could earn you up to $100 for just 20 minutes of your time. Check out sites like Consumer Opinion Services for opportunities.
12. Shave your budget down and put at least $50 in savings every month.
There are so many ways to do this, but the best way is to find your spending weak point and attack it.
If eating out is a spending struggle for your family, cut it completely, or only plan to dine out when kids can eat free at restaurants like Denny’s, Texas Roadhouse or more.
If you’re an impulse buyer when it comes to kitchen gadgets, clothing, electronics and more, learn the best time of year to buy everything, and plan ahead so you never pay full price.
Basically, look at where your money is going, and make a plan to cut back on that very thing.
13. Avoid student loans by working for a company that pays for your college.
It’s no secret that debt — specifically student loan debt — is a major barrier to growing wealth.
And there are companies who are willing to reimburse your tuition costs! Why not draw straws with your partner to see who gets to work at Bank of America or AT&T in order to get their bachelor’s degree paid for?
14. Or work in the public sector for 10 years to get total loan forgiveness.
If you work for a government organization, a 501(c)(3) organization, or a non-profit 501(c)(3), you can qualify for loan forgiveness after you work for 10 years and make 10 years’ worth of minimum payments on your loans.
Certain teachers, nurses and hospital employees qualify for this perk.
Between the three of these, you should be able to pick up enough flexible gigs to supplement your day job.
Honestly, I’ve never worked for these, but I’ve used them all, and I always ask my driver or delivery person what they think. Most say that they love that they can just pick up gigs last-minute and there’s no commitment.
16. Max out your 401(k) options.
If your or your spouse’s employer offers a 401(k) plan, you must shuffle things around in your budget so you can contribute — especially if your employer matches your contribution.
An employer match is free money your employer is investing in your retirement, based on how much you’re investing. My husband’s employer matches up to 6%, so we are scrimping in order to contribute 6% too!
17. Always buy seasonal clothing at the end of the season.
So, buy your winter gear in March and your summer clothing and equipment in September.
Doing this can save you up to 80% because stores are overly anxious to clear out the current season’s merchandise to make room for a new season.
Look for deals on The North Face and Columbia at Macy’s in March, and shop summer clothes at The Children’s Place, Gap and Target in September.
18. Put your extra money in an IRA instead of a regular savings account.
If you have a chunk of money you don’t need to access for many years and you simply want to save it, put it into an IRA instead of a traditional savings account.
Where a savings account will earn you about 1% interest per year, an IRA will earn you an average of 7% (sometimes closer to 10%).
Plus, you don’t have to pay any taxes on the money until you go to withdraw it — most likely during retirement.
Note that you can only put $6,000 per year into your IRA, though. If you’ve got more cash than that to save, consider investing in mutual funds or the stock market.
19. Use the money you’re saving to buy a rental property.
My sister bought a small house, lived in it for a few years, then bought a second house using savings as a down payment. Then she made the first one a rental, saving the money she collected for rent. Six years later, she sold it and netted $95k, which she put into buying a duplex. Her monthly payment on the duplex was lower than the first rental property because of a big down payment and her rent income doubled.
You get the idea. Sure, you need to have the capital for a down payment to begin, but that’s what side gigs are for, right?