Side Hustles and Money Saving Tips to Grow Your Savings
So at some point in adulthood, and for most of us at more than one point, you will struggle with money. Unless you’re independently wealthy or have a trust fund to fall back on or something. In that case, bully for you, this article probably isn’t going to do much for you.
Getting used to adulthood is a transition that sometimes takes a bit of time. For some, that takes longer than others. Entering your 20s and getting used to paying your own bills and taking care of yourself is sometimes not the most comfortable transition. And sometimes that feeling doesn’t quite go away; it’s always lurking there in the back of your mind, waiting for you to stumble a little and miss a credit card payment.
For most, wealth and/or success don’t happen overnight. For many, it takes years of hard work to achieve professional and even financial goals. And trust me, I’ve struggled. I did have the fortunate situation of having parents who were willing to help me sometimes. But I still had moments where I didn’t plan wisely and had my credit card declined at the grocery store (So. Embarrassing. I blush even now when I think about it.)
However, I have learned a thing or two about money saving and side hustling in my years of adulthood. These tips help me to pay my bills on time (even early sometimes. I know. Fancy.) and give me some semblance of financial stability.
The Internet is magical. It has given us a million and one ways to make money and sell sh*t online.
- Sell stuff. Do you have old textbooks laying around from college? Sell them. Amazon is great for that. What about junk cluttering up your house that you don’t use? Sell it (as long as it’s in good shape). Sites like OfferUp and eBay are perfect for this. Have clothes that you’ve only used once or twice? Sell that stuff, too. Letgo and Poshmark are the apps for that.
- Do you write? Do some freelancing on Fiverr or Guru. Design logos? Check. Are you great at SEO? Call me. Just kidding, but Fiverr and Guru has people that will pay you to do that!
- Take online surveys. Have some extra time? Take online surveys with Swagbucks or OpinionOutpost.
- Make money shopping. My personal favorites, making money while shopping for stuff you already buy with Ibotta and Ebates. I use Ibotta for grocery shopping and Ebates for just about everything else.
- Find gigs on Craigslist. Yes, I know, Craigslist can be hella sketch. But honestly, that’s where I found my first job when I decided to start working at home, and the job was amazing (online transcription which eventually led into the editing work). Be careful and discerning, but there’s tons of gigs you can find on there.
- Drive for Uber or Lyft. If you have a car and don’t mind driving around, Uber and Lyft can be a great way to pick up some extra cash. Each app has their own set of parameters, so make sure you read through those to make sure you qualify before applying. Also make sure your car insurance isn’t going to drop you if you start driving for them.
- Make deliveries or help out around the house. Apps like TaskRabbit, Instacart, DoorDash, Eat24, etc. hire people to do all kinds of stuff. With TaskRabbit, you can outsource your skills doing everything from putting together furniture to running errands. Instacart, DoorDash, and Eat24 (along with others) make food and beverage deliveries, and are always looking for drivers.
- Airbnb your extra room. I know tons of people that have had beautiful experiences renting out rooms in their home via Airbnb. Make sure you are clear with your rules and that you screen your guests thoroughly before letting people into your space.
- Pick up transcription work. Y’all, I still do transcription work on the side. When I started I only typed around 55 WPM; now I type around 105. Companies like Rev and Verbalink are always looking for new, reliable transcriptionists to join their team. Just do a Google search for Transcription Services and check out the “Careers” or “Work for Us” pages of the companies.
- Babysit, house sit or pet sit. Again, still something I do on the side! I love animals, so when I moved to Los Angeles I signed up on Sittercity as a pet sitter. Sittercity is awesome because they have options for pet sitting, babysitting, home care. Rover is also a great option for just the pet sitting.
- Make stuff and sell it on Etsy. I am not a creative person, so I envy those people that make things that they can sell! Do you make jewelry? Sell it! T-shirts? Sell those! You can even sell stuff like WordPress Themes on Etsy.
- Work as a Virtual Assistant. Sites like Upwork and Fancy Hands allow users to sign up and hire contractors to complete virtual tasks for them. Are you exceptionally organized? Great with Excel? VA-ing might be a great choice for you.
- Figure out where your money is going. This was a hard one for me, especially since everything is done on a card. It’s easy to pull out your debit card, pay for stuff you may not need, and then let “future you” balance it out later. “Future you” does not like you when you do this. Try out an app like Mint and connect it to your accounts; once you figure out where your money is going, you can figure out how to fix any problems that might arise.
- Eat at home instead of out. I mean, not all the time. Let’s not be crazy. But stop eating all your meals out like you still have a plan at the college dining hall. Cook at home! Learn to like it! I’m not the best cook, but I do enjoy prepping a meal with my husband. And there are so many easy things you can make. Also, if you work in an office or outside of the home? Pack a lunch. Seriously. It will save you so much money not eating lunch out every day.
- Determine your needs versus your wants. Yes, you may think you need that new dress. But what you really need is to pay your rent. You see? And I’m not saying, “Don’t ever spend your money on things you want.” That’s insane, and it will make you really unhappy. But stop binge buying on Amazon and focus on your budget. Yes, that cat teapot is super cute, but do you even drink tea? Exactly. Be discerning and spend money on things you want, but only after you have accounted for all of your needs.
- Budget. Oh my god, seriously, I don’t know how I went so long without a budget. It’s ridiculous. I use a simple template from Microsoft Excel, and there are tons of them. You can enter your expenses and the amount you make, then make sure you are living within your means. I also keep a calendar on Google Docs and make sure that I’m paying my bills on time by setting notifications.
- Keep a change jar. This is an easy one! Just keep a change jar in a prominent place and put your change in it. That sh*t adds up. When your jar is full, either cash it in or start a new one. Most banks will take the change and send it away to be counted for you, then deposited into your account. You can visit a good ol’ Coinstar if necessary, but keep in mind that they usually charge a premium to process your change. Husband and I usually cash in our change before we take vacations and use it for our cash to play around with.
- Have a no spend day. Or week. Or month, if you can swing it. Usually go for coffee in the morning? Make your own. Happy hour after work? Skip it. Love online shopping? Take a break. Your money saved will add up quickly. Obviously, there are things you have to spend money on, like gas for getting to work, et cetera, but cut corners wherever you can.
- Caffeinate. . at home. Yes, I’m a coffeeholic. And yes, I would love to have a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato with coconut milk every morning. But that is super expensive. Even if you’re only spending $2 on a regular coffee every morning, that’s $10 a week, $40 a month, $480 a year. You see? It adds up. Make your coffee at home or get it at work.
- Cut the cord. On cable. I personally haven’t been able to do this yet, but I think about it constantly. My cable bill is $200 a month! Split between the two of us, but still. Cutting back and just having Hulu and Netflix brings that bill down to $25 a month (approximately). You could even buy a bunch of shows on iTunes and still come out on top.
- Clip coupons. Personally, I’m not great with this one. I used to be, but I run out of time in the day. This can be a boring process, but if you’ve got some extra time in front of the TV it can be worth your while!
- Do free stuff. Or you know, stuff that costs less. Want to plan a date? Go for a hike. Night out to the movies? How about a night in and get a movie on Netflix (and no, I’m not saying Netflix and chill. Get your mind out of the gutter.) Plan a nice dinner at home for you and your person rather than an expensive night out on a date night. Get creative.
These are just a few tips for side hustling and money saving. Do you have a great side hustle or money saving tip that you rely on? Tell me about it!