Money isn’t everything, but it’s certainly far less stressful when you’ve built up a savings and you’re not one emergency away from debt. People often get complacent with their finances because of how easy it is to fall into habits. You work your 40 hours per week, pay your bills and hopefully save a bit. If you’re looking to take the next step and gain more financial security, here are five ways you can make and save more.
Invest Your Extra Cash
Conventional wisdom says that you should invest your money and let it work for you, but the stock market isn’t exactly easy to understand, and you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to invest every month. Fortunately, there are now apps that can do this for you.
Acorns and Stash are just two of the popular investment apps that will simplify your investing for a small fee. Acorns rounds up all your debit card transactions and deposits the extra money into a stock portfolio. With Stash, you make deposits whenever you want, and the minimum amount is only $5. Each app lets you choose between diverse portfolios.
Clean Out Your Home
If you’re like most people, your home is probably full of things that you hardly ever use anymore. Not only will it be less cluttered if you get rid of these things, but you may also be able to sell them for some extra cash.
There are more places than ever where you can get rid of old goods and make a few bucks in the process. A garage sale is one option if you have a variety of items that you want to sell in one go. If you want to sell your items online, eBay, Craigslist, OfferUp, Letgo and Decluttr are all good marketplaces to check out.
Use a Cashback or Rewards Credit Card
If you have a good credit score and you aren’t the type to run up a balance on a credit card, then you can score plenty of free money from card issuers. The best cards not only earn you a return on your spending, but they also have solid signup bonus offers that could be worth hundreds of dollars or more. Cashback cards are the simplest choice here, as you get a percentage back on what you spend. The best cashback cards offer 1.5 to 2 percent back. If you like to travel, then you should consider travel rewards cards that will earn you points or frequent flyer miles that you can redeem for free airline tickets or hotel stays.
Find Cheaper Alternatives to Your Typical Entertainment Expenses
There’s nothing wrong with spending your money on things that entertain you. After all, you shouldn’t torpedo your quality of life just to save money. But it is worth looking at your entertainment expenses to see if there are places you could cut back. Cable TV is one example. People often spend $60 per month or more on a cable TV package, even though they’d be just as happy using Netflix or another streaming service at a much lower cost. If you go out for meals and drinks often as a social activity, see if those friends would be interested in mixing it up with he occasional hike or day at the park.
Be Smart When You Shop
Overspending is a common problem, but there are plenty of ways you can keep better control of how much money you spend. The first is to never make impulsive purchases. If you want to buy something that isn’t an essential item, give yourself 24 to 48 hours to think it over. This waiting period can help you step back and take a more objective look at things. When you go shopping, make sure you look around so that you can find the best deals. There are often discount offers available online, and you could also consider buying products that are used instead of new. The savviest shoppers save hundreds of dollars or more every year by finding the best sales and knowing where to look.
You don’t need to make huge life changes to start making and saving more of your money every month. A few adjustments here and there can make a major long-term difference.