If you’re like most adults, you’re probably wondering how to more money (without having to work harder). While most people think about the basics – getting a job that enables them to pay their bills, putting some money away in a ‘rainy day’ savings account, and hopefully growing a nest egg (for retirement), there are even more ways to be smart about money. Making more money doesn’t just enable you to buy more things, it can give you a sense of security, peace of mind, and afford you the freedom to live the lifestyle you desire.
How To Make More Money
The most successful people in life often say the key is to learn how to “work smarter, not harder”. The same can be said about making more money. To help you make more money without working harder, today’s personal finance guide shares tips and money-making strategies from personal finance experts and investment advisers throughout North America.
1. Set-up an Automatic Savings Account
Tammy Johnston, a financial adviser, author, and the President & CEO of The Financial Guides in Alberta, Canada recommends using automatic payment plans as a way to save more money. “One of the easiest ways is to set up an automatic investment directly out of your bank account or off your pay cheque. If you never see the money you don’t miss the money. It just goes off and starts to grow.” While we don’t often think about saving money as a way to make more money, but it’s the easiest way to increase your net worth without having to think about it or doing anything differently.
2. Use a Credit Union
Jack Lawrence, the writer behind Enwealthen.com, which is ranked #216 in Modest Money’s list of top personal finance blogs, suggests switching “your banking from a bank to a credit union. You’ll receive higher interest rates, lower fees, and better service. Over time, this will really add up, especially when consider large purchases like a car or a home. It’s easier than you think, and credit union ATM networks make accessing your money easy, with no fees.”
3. Pay-off Debts with High Interest Rates
Jaycob Arbogast, a Financial Planner & Investment Adviser at Arbogast Advisers LLC in Chico, California who works with millennials says “One place where people often lose money is through interest on their debts. Every month that you carry a balance on your credit card, student loans, or your mortgage, you’re paying extra money to the bank in the form of interest. Cutting back those interest payments is going to save you a lot of money over the course of a year. A new tool that’s out is called Debitize. They link your debit card and credit card so that whenever you pay with your credit card, the money automatically comes from your debit card to pay it off right away. This way you get the credit card rewards points for having used the card, but you never get charged interest for forgetting to pay off your balance at the end of the month.”
4. Buy Life Insurance
Chris Abrams, owner of Abrams Insurance Solutions in San Diego, California, recommends protecting some of your investment money from risk by buying an insurance plan. He says, “There is a niche insurance product that does an excellent job of earning decent rates of return (7-9% average) without the stock market risk. You can also take money out of your insurance policy tax-free. The fees are likely to be much lower than your 401(k). And, as an added bonus; (if) you are a woman, you pay less in insurance fees than a man.”
5. Cut-Out Unnecessary Expenditures
Maureen Azor, a Boston-based personal finance expert at Cinch Financial, recommends cutting-out unnecessary expenditures as a way to make more money without working harder. “Do an inventory of your monthly subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify and iTunes, because those $10 monthly charges can add up. Look for accounts you might have forgotten about, like an Audible account, for instance, that costs you $10 a month but you haven’t used recently. Take stock of your recurring monthly bills and cancel those subscriptions you can live without. Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements every month and be sure you’re not getting charged for services you no longer use.”
6. Learn The Benefits of Compounding
Ash Exantus, a best-selling author, motivational speaker, and Financial Empowerment Coach at BankMobile, suggests that you learn the benefits of compounding, if you want to make more money without working harder. In essence – let your money work for you. “The simplest way that your money grows is by earning interest on your principal or the original amount invested or deposited. When you decide to leave the interest and principal in your account, then you begin to start earning compound interest, which is interest on top of interest and principal. The magic in this concept is that the earlier you start, the more money you will have when you retire. Let’s say that you decide to contribute $5,000 per year starting in your 30’s, earning a modest 4% return rate. If you decided to retired by age 65, then you would have accumulated a healthy $402,722.01 in your account for retirement. Not bad, right? Well, if you started 10 years earlier, then your retirement account would be a healthier $658,558.72. That is almost 300,000 more just for starting earlier… BOOM! And that’s the power of compound interest!”
7. Choose a Credit Card that Pays You Back
John Jordan, Client Segments and Priorities Executive at Bank of America recommends choosing a credit card that pays you back. If traveling is one of the primary reasons you want to make more money, then “consider using a credit card that offers simple and flexible options to earn and redeem points toward travel. For example, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card offers flexible rewards to pay for travel expenses, such as baggage fees. In addition to earning 1.5 points per dollar spent, this card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees when traveling abroad. When Preferred Rewards members use their BankAmericard Travel Rewards credit card, they can earn up to 2.75 points per dollar, making it even easier to earn more rewards to put toward future vacations.”
Alternatively, if you prefer cash back or other types of rewards, use a website like NerdWallet.com to compere credit cards and rewards plans. Competing credit card companies regularly offer different types of promotions, encouraging you to sign-up (for bonus points). Each offers something different (such as travel rewards, gift cards, concierge services, and cash back), which is worth exploring, based on your spending habits and financial goals.
8. Invest in Low-Cost Index Funds
Michael Prus, a fiduciary investment adviser and President of Scale Investment Group in Detroit, Michigan, recommends investing in low-cost index funds. “When investing, avoid sales pitches for annuities or funds that try to beat the market. Annuities are expensive and so are active funds and what’s worse is they rarely achieve their goal of beating their benchmarks. Instead focus on low cost index funds. You can check costs at any reputable finance site, like google.com/finance or finance.yahoo.com using nothing more than a ticker symbol. A couple of funds you may want to consider when starting out are S&P500 index funds, ticker symbols VFINX and FUSEX from Vanguard and Fidelity are great options.”
9. Do Trades for Home-related Tasks
Elizabeth Jenkins of Source Capital Funding, a real estate lending company, suggests doing trades for home-related tasks. She says, “Cut down on yard-work, child care costs, and other home expenses by creating a local support group that shares services and goods. This can easily be done with Facebook, but creating a small, exclusive ‘swap’ group that handles anything from clothing exchanges to home maintenance sharing, will help reduce the cost of home related expenses and end up saving you and your friends, a lot of money.”
10. Invest in a 401k Retirement Plan
If you want to make more money without having to work harder, then look to your existing job to reap even more financial benefits. Sally Brandon, Vice President of Client Services at Rebalance IRA in Palo Alto, California suggests investing in a 401k retirement plan. She says, “To get started, if you work and your company offers a 401(k), take advantage of it to start maximizing your savings. Find out what the matching policy is and consider at least meeting that goal. That’s tax-free money!”
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[Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Consult with a personal finance expert before making any investment-related decisions.]