It's also important to remember that any goals do not have a precise finish line. Perhaps you’re looking to save a bigger chunk of your paychecks, spend less money eating out, or do less online shopping this year. Whatever your goal may be, try to think about this upcoming year as one massive opportunity, and remember: The window doesn’t automatically close just because you mess up once. You can start fresh any day of the year.
Watch out for inflation chipping away at your assets. We've all heard an elderly person describe the purchasing power of a coin in their day. Inflation continues to make today's money worth less in the future. To win the race against time and inflation, learn to invest your money in the right places. A savings account might help you to keep up with inflation; however, to stay ahead of the game you'll want to invest in bonds, stocks, or some other investment that returns above the average rate of inflation (currently 3%-4%).
Using a food delivery service can’t necessarily earn you money, but it can help you save you money if you constantly find yourself throwing out half the food you buy. Food delivery services send a box of food every week with new, sometimes unique vegetables, meat, fruit, and so on. If you don’t have time to shop and want simple meal-prep that leads to a good meal, a food subscription service may be perfect for you.
Too often, people forget to take advantage of this opportunity to score cash. Many credit cards give cash-back rewards or even have partnerships with websites such as Amazon to cash in rewards as well. Check your credit cards to see if you have any pending cash back or rewards that you can redeem for either cash back in your pocket, statement credit or credit on other places you happen to shop.
Yes, reviewing your finances can actually help you make money. First of all, looking at your bank statement will help you figure out where you can cut costs. Do you have a gym membership but barely make it to the gym? Cut it. But it can also help you find out if you’re spending money you never even knew about. For example, did a free trial of something turn into a monthly charge? Give the company a call and cancel it, but also see if they can refund you any of the dollars you unknowingly already spent. Chances are, they will.
If you live near a university, there are likely all sorts of research studies looking for participants. While I was an undergrad at Virginia Tech, I got paid $500 to participate in a 6-week dietary study. The study provided all my meals and paid me, but I had to eat a 5,000 calorie diet of 50% fat for 6 weeks, plus I had multiple muscle biopsies, urine/blood testing, etc.
Become a moving advertisement. “Wrap” your car in an advertisement, go about your usual commute, and get paid monthly to do it. (Some car-wrappers in San Francisco make as much as $400 a month doing this, but of course this varies depending on how big a city you live in and when / how often you make your commute.) You can also get paid to wear a company’s logo t-shirt around (particularly if you wear it someplace conspicuous, like at your school; see ShirtsInSchools.com as one example).