What is one thing you can do this week to make more money?

Although I recently published a post about the fact that you don’t really need any more financial advice, we can all definitely use a few pointers on saving and how to make more money every now and then, now can’t we?

With that in mind, I wanted to piggyback off of what has been by far my most popular post to date: What is one thing you can do this week to help cut expenses?

In that previous post, I noted that a lot of personal finance blogs in general and this blog specifically focus deeply on cutting expenses. Seeing as more than 3/4 of all Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, figuring out ways to save money for at least a rainy day (let alone retirement) is a very important exercise. Frugality is also far less complicated than learning how to negotiate a pay raise, for example. It can also be a lot less work than taking on a second job.

In short, keeping yourself from spending money is generally the fastest way to dig out of debt, build an emergency fund, and start to save for retirement. In some cases, figuring out ways to trim your expenses seems to be the only thing we here in the blogosphere talk about.

With good reason.

There is a limit to how much budgeting and saving can help, however.

You can have all the discipline in the world. Won’t matter.

Live with a few roommates, and never buy coffee or eat at a restaurant. Clip coupons. Bike or walk to work. Never, ever buy new clothes or music or books or gadgets. If you are stuck in a low-wage lifestyle, however, you’ll never reach the financial and lifestyle goals you have for yourself.

In fact, trying to meet unrealistic budgetary expectations can sometimes result in the opposite effect. If you trim too far you can begin to feel deprived, potentially producing a budget-busting splurge.

Think of it like when we all make New Year’s Resolutions to get in great shape. Gyms across the globe are packed every January, but then where are all of those fitness freaks when February rolls around?

Your budgeting functions in the same manner: Trying to do everything all at once may lead to burnout. Instead of trimming your spending down to unsustainable levels, you need to find a way to create some extra breathing room.

You need to make more money!

Again, when it comes to trimming expenses, there is only so much meat on the bone, so to speak. At a certain point, we all want to treat ourselves to something. Anything. We all can’t be Mr. Money Mustache, after all. (It’s great to try though!)

Maybe, like yours truly, it can be really tough to say “no” to paying for live music. Maybe you’ve been eying new clothes that you know you don’t need, and that you know don’t fit into your strict budget.

Maybe you just need to pay off your loans. No matter how far you slash your budget, sometimes there just isn’t enough cash at the end of the month to pay anything more than the minimums on your credit card or to put a little extra on your student loan payments.

Do you have time for a side-hustle?

I can’t reiterate this enough: You really don’t need any more financial advice. You need to get motivated, and get started.

If you have been steadfastly monitoring Personal Capital and Mint, but have only been disappointed with the numbers in your checking account, don’t blame yourself. It is easy to be financially responsible and still have to deal with month-by-month money shortages.

Unless you carve out the time in your day for a side-hustle. Otherwise known as a second job.

Think about your interests. Here in 2017, I guarantee there is a way to make to money off of it.

Keep your focus on your day job, but take a day or two to really put some intention around what it is that brings you happiness.

It could be something simple, like meeting new people. In that case, driving for Uber or Lyft may be a great way to enjoy casual conversations with loads of different people while also helping you make more money.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. In fact, things like blogging or starting a YouTube channel won’t make you any money at all at first. That’s alright.

Every extra dollar will help ten-fold

If you have already set a budget, you are ahead of most of the working world already. However, setting those spending parameters and sticking to them — no matter how strict — won’t necessary result in wealth.

At some point, you need to start bringing in more cash so you can invest in low-cost index funds.

But how?

Let’s list a few examples, just off the top of my head:

  • Do you have a car?
    • In that case, you can drive for a ride sharing company as mentioned previously. No, the actual hourly rates aren’t great by any means. That’s alright. You’re trying to make a little extra cash in your free time so you can pay off debt and invest. It’s the investments that will compound and make you rich, not driving on the side.
    • Pizza delivery driver, or really delivery driver for any type of food. If you don’t want to deal with having other people in your car, this is a great option. Tips are generally solid as well.
  • What about a bike?
    • Plenty of the same companies that hire delivery drivers also hire bike deliverers as well. Asking for a few shifts a week can add the hundred bucks or more you need to really make a dent in your debt!
      • Not to mention the health benefits. Long-term healthcare savings seems to be more important than ever considering a political climate I’m not going to get into here ….
    • Bike messenger.
      • This is more pertinent to those living in urban areas. Postmates seems to be hiring them nationwide — and scooter drivers as well!
  • Sell something!
    • Literally, anything.
      • I don’t know you, but I promise you that you have something in your home right now that someone else would be willing to pay for.
      • Dig through your closet. Anything you haven’t worn in the last six months or so can go. Shopify was literally built to help you facilitate this.
      • There’s always the old standby: Craigslist!
        • Will these options make you rich? Heck no!
        • However, think of what a quick, $200 jolt of cash could do. If you have credit card debt, a car payment, or student loans (and probably a combination of all three) this little bit of extra money can equal a monthly payment. This will allow you to pay extra in order to pay it down more quickly.
        • Or, of course, you could invest that $200. In 30 years at 7% interest, it will equal more than 1500 bucks! Sweet.
  • AirBnb!
    • How often are your parents coming to visit and using that guest bedroom?
      • Seriously, not that often.
        • That’s a lot of unused square footage.
  • Etsy!
    • Are you artsy?
      • Then don’t be shy!
      • Set up a shop and bring in the extra cash you need to get rich by selling the artwork you’d enjoy spending time creating anyways.
  • TaskRabbit!
    • Are you handy and have extra time to build or do things for strangers in your neighborhood?
    • In that case, maybe think about taking some extra time to build or do things for strangers in your neighborhood!
  • Donate your plasma
    • I did this for a long time. You spend a few hours there the first time as they vet your candidacy. After that, you just pop in, hang out for an hour or so and have your blood drawn while you read a book or watch TV.
    • They filter out the plasma from your blood, keep the plasma, and reinsert your blood. You don’t feel bad/lightheaded like you do when you actually donate full-on blood.
    • It can generally make you a few hundred bucks a month or more with their bonuses and raffles if you go 2-3 times each week.
  • Literally any second job, anywhere.
    • Seriously.
  • Google your specific situation.
    • Are you a stay-at-home-mom that wants to make a little extra cash?
      • Beyond the Etsy’s and AirBnb’s, EarlyBirdMom is a great resource, and there are probably hundreds of other great ones out there too!
    • Do you love to write?
      • Blogging yourself isn’t a guaranteed money-maker, but Google “freelance writing jobs” and you should find some promising leads.

Shall I continue?

Nope.

You get it, right?

If you want to make more money, it’s up to you and you alone to make it happen. Especially if you’ve already proven to yourself that you have the discipline to budget and save, get out there. Continue your hustle. Continue your grind. Make that money.

And then keep it all for yourself.

Invest your money. Get rich.

And stop working altogether.

_______________________________________________________

Check out the ongoing, full retirement ladder here:

Step 0: Create a budget that helps you get wealthy

Step 1: Why building an emergency fund is so important for your nest egg

Step 1.5: What type of account is best for your emergency fund?

Step 2: Contribute to your 401(k) up to the company match

Step 2.5: How should I pick the best 401(k) investments for me?

Step 3: Pay off all high-interest debt as aggressively as possible

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