Everyone wants to reach that point where their bank account starts to grow a little each month. It's great when you finally get the stable job you've been working towards, begin making a second income, or get a pay raise. Sure, it's nice to see a little more money at the end of each month. But what's even better is when you know how to make your money work for you. With some learning and time, your hard-earned dollars will begin to make you a significant amount of cash.
Once you set up a structured plan for your money, it goes to work and creates more for you every year. While getting your money organized may take a bit of time, it will be worth it when you hardly think about it anymore, and your money is working harder than ever.
The best ways to make your money work for you
So let's take a look at ways for how to make money from your money!
Get your budget down to a science
Budgets might not be the most fun topic in the world, but having one is essential for your financial success. With the proper budget, your entire life can be different. Here's how to craft a budget that is customized to your financial situation.
Find what works
The key to figuring out how to make your money work for you is picking the right budgeting method. You are not like everyone else, so your budget shouldn't be, either. Find the methods that make sense for you. There's a lot of templates and apps available today to help you get organized. Feel free to try out a few different budgeting ideas until you find the plan that works for your life.
Auto-pilot everything you can
Why do more work than you have to? Automate your finances to simplify your budget. Set up direct deposits, automatic transfers to savings and retirement accounts, and automatic bill pay. Soon, everything in your bank account will seem to pay for itself. It may take a few days to get all this in order, but think of how worth it this can be when you no longer have to remember every due date.
Make it a routine
One thing that works for almost every new habit is to make it part of your routine. Work budgeting into a daily or weekly schedule, so you become comfortable with looking at your accounts often. Find ways to stay consistent about this habit, knowing that doing so is helping you out for the future.
Remove debt from your life for good
If there's one thing that can cripple finances more than anything else, it's debt. Consumer debt for Americans has now reached nearly 4.2 trillion dollars. So take control of your money by saying goodbye to debt forever. Getting debt-free is how to make your money work for you and not your creditors!
Get the big number
That big, scary number that you owe? Even if it's more than you'd like, when you look at it for what it is, it can remove a lot of fear and confusion. Sit down and calculate how much you owe on your credit cards, house and car payments, and any other type of debt. Then add it up. (Deep breath here.) Even if the number is high, knowing what it is means you can make a plan to chip away at it until it's no longer in your life.
Make a step by step plan
Making a plan for eliminating debt will help you to tackle it head-on. Start by keeping track of how much you owe for each card or category. Then decide which one to eliminate first. It might be the smallest number, the largest, or the one with the highest interest rate. While still paying all of your minimums, put all the extra cash you can afford towards the debt you chose until it's gone. Then move to the next one.
While this can feel like it takes a lot of time, there are ways to make it go faster. For example, you might choose to make some more money from a side hustle and contribute to your debt. Or maybe you'll save up money from birthdays or holidays to get out of debt quicker. Be creative with your approach.
Another idea is to celebrate each time you pay something off. Stay motivated and don't lose focus. Remember that you no longer have debt at the end of all this, and that dream will keep you going.
You can try a debt chart, where you color in part of the chart each time you pay off a certain amount. Don't forget to start a money-savings chart too! It's a good visual reminder. Or, if you prefer rewards, take yourself out for ice cream or coffee when you meet your goals. Try to keep rewards inexpensive but fun.
Once you're out of debt, stay out
Once you have paid off all debt, do everything you can to stay out of it. First, save up and pay for things in cash in the future, so you don't have to worry about paying things off again. Then, when a purchase tempts you, remember how hard you worked to get to where you are and save for it instead. This is a huge part of how to make your money work for you.
How to make money from your money
Investing is how to make money from your money. Of course, it takes a while to see a return, but the more cash you place in your investments, the better. And the longer you leave the money alone, the more it grows.
Investors can buy stock in a company to make a profit. Stocks are also called shares. While you can invest in single stocks, it's risky. Because of this, you may choose to look into index funds or ETFs that hold multiple shares of various companies.
An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund. They offer a combination of different investments such as stocks, bonds, and other securities. While ETFs are similar to index funds, there are a few differences. They are tax-efficient and are traded multiple times per day.
You own real estate when you own property. It can be land, houses, or commercial buildings. This investing can take a while to save up for, but there's a huge potential to make money. With real estate, you can make passive income through a rental property that's paid monthly. It can pay off quickly if you don't have a mortgage. Another way is to buy land and then sell it later for a higher price. So while real estate investing can be a bit tricky, it can be worth it.
Make your money work for you by diversifying your investments
A great way to help protect your money is to diversify your portfolio. Simply put: don't put all your money in one place. Instead, it would be best if you spread it out through different investments and assets.
Your investment portfolio is a big picture of everything you invest money into and is part of how to make your money work for you. Therefore, you'll want to place your money into different types of investments to keep it well diversified. You can do this through percentages. Begin by deciding how much to invest in each category. Things like mutual funds, ETF's, and small, mid, and large-cap stocks are all things you can invest in. For info about what percent to invest into each category, check out Fidelity's guide for diversification.
Everyone is different with the amount of risk they want to take on. While some prefer to play it safe, others are riskier. A way to determine how much risk you can tolerate with investments is to ask yourself a few questions.
1. How old are you? Your age will determine how many years you can invest and how long you have before retirement. Usually, the more time you have to invest, the more risk you can handle. Someone in their thirties can have a riskier portfolio than someone in their fifties.
2. When do you want to take money out of your investments? This is just you determining how many years your money will stay in your portfolio to grow. It's usually better to think long-term when investing. The longer your money has to increase, the more risk you can take.
3. What is your personality with cash? If you aren't bothered by whether the market is up or down on any given day, you can take on higher-risk investments. Are you risk-averse? Try safer options with low risk. If you're too risky with investing, you may lose all your money. If you're too safe, you could lose out on a high profit. Find what works best for you.
Collect income from various sources
Those that have reached millionaire status typically have 7 different sources of income. So if you want to become a millionaire yourself or just want to be more financially secure, bringing in money from several sources and making your money work for you will help you get there.
Making money from multiple jobs is a smart way to get a jump start on your investments or tackle debt. While most of us work a full-time job, it is often possible to work multiple jobs by working weekends or evenings to make a higher income. For example, you might try delivering food, walking dogs, or working weekends and nights in hospitality or retail.
Side hustles are an extra job, too. But side hustles are unique in that they are usually more flexible, and often you are your own boss. They take time to get started with, but they can pay off. Many people end up going full-time with their side hustles when they can't handle all the work from their full-time and part-time hours.
Passive income streams
Passive income is the key to how to make money from your money! It is fantastic because once it's set up, you don't have to think much about it anymore, yet it continues to provide benefits. It can come from royalties, ad and affiliate income from blogging or a website, real estate, and many other places. The misunderstood thing about passive income is that it does require work upfront. It only becomes passive once it is profitable, but you must do the work to get it there.
You can make your money work for you!
There are quite a few ideas here about how to make your money work for you. While you begin your journey towards better finances, know that setting up a budget, working extra hours, and creating passive income streams takes time. However, you'll be glad you put in the work when you look back a few years later. Start with a budget, and then add in investing and other income ideas as you go.
When you manage your money well, it creates enormous opportunities for freedom. After working hard for a time, you'll find yourself with good financial habits, multiple incomes, and money that is working harder than you. Your goals are all possible with a bit of time and knowledge. Learn more about saving and growing your money with our Free Financial Courses and Worksheets!