For most of us, saving money is hard.
In fact, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, according to a survey by GOBankingRates. Saving money can be particularly challenging for millennials who are often saddled with student loan debt and just starting out in their careers. Even if you have a great job, you still might not earn enough money to save for your goals, like buying a house or starting an emergency fund.
So, how can you increase your earnings potential right now so you can save more money? Starting a side business from scratch is one possibility. However, this might not be realistic when you take into account your demanding job and limited funds. But, as the saying goes: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Actually, there are 5 ways. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of the sharing and gig economies and start saving money right away:
1. Rent out a spare room on Airbnb.
This of course means you have a spare room in your apartment or house. If you do, consider fixing it up with some nice yet inexpensive decor (Target to the rescue!) and posting it on Airbnb. If you don’t have a spare room and live with roommates, you can still get creative by staying elsewhere and renting out your own room a few nights a month. I know you might dread this, but staying in your parents’ basement isn’t such a bad idea either if you’re only taking up residence there every other weekend and this translates into a few hundred bucks a month. Not so shabby.
2. Rent your car.
If you have a car and don’t use it much, consider listing it on Turo. According to Turo, if your car is worth $20,000 and you rent it out via the platform 15 days a month, you could earn $6,501 a year.
3. Hang out with four-legged friends.
If you’ve considered starting a dog walking business but you don’t have the time to market yourself, Rover and Dogvacay might offer the perfect solutions. These two apps allow you to list your hours of availability, set your rates and voila! – you’re in business. If you live in a dog-friendly house or apartment, you can even host dogs when their owners are on vacation and start your own hotel for dogs.
4. You’re in the driver’s seat.
Yup, driving for ridesharing services is an easy way to make some extra cash. Some good options: Uber, Lyft or Safr, which recently launched in Boston. Redefining ridesharing for women, Safr aims to provide safe transportation and job opportunities for women. According to the Safr website, it also pays more than other driving apps. If you don’t want to drive people around, what about food? More than 100,000 people are already signed up on Postmates to deliver – among other things – take-out meals from local restaurants to hungry patrons. According to Postmates, drivers can earn more than $25 an hour and set their own schedules.
5. Turn your skills and talents into fast cash.
If you enjoy doing household tasks and consider yourself a jack of all trades, you might consider signing on to TaskRabbit to offer house cleaning, furniture assembly, handyman or other services. You set your rates and choose to work hours that fit your schedule. As another option: If you do a bit of research, you might find a specialty app that will help you score side gigs. For example, I teach yoga and recently signed up on a new app called EasyPose. I entered in the types of yoga I teach and my availability. Students use the app to hire instructors who will come to their homes to teach private yoga sessions. Within a day, I had my first client.
As you can see, if you want to earn extra money to jumpstart your savings, you’ve got plenty of options. Yet, regardless of what type of gig works best for you, it’s important to keep your eye on your savings goals. To do this, it’s a good idea to stash away all of your earnings from your new side hustle into a savings account. Think of it this way: If you were able to get by on your full-time income before, anything extra is gravy.
If you find it hard to resist the temptation to spend your newfound income, here’s another tip: Automate your savings. Automating makes it easy for you to save without thinking about it. For example, with a Chime account, you’ll save money every time you use your Chime Visa Debit card to make a purchase. That’s right. When you use your card, your transaction will be rounded up to the nearest dollar and that rounded up amount will be transferred into your savings account. If you use your debit card twice a day on average, you’ll save about $400 a year.
Between automating and earning more money with a new side gig, your savings goals are now within reach. Are you ready to start manifesting more money today?