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Let's get one thing straight: It's hard to make ends meet. Even the day to day of trying to find enough money to scrape together for rent can be a hassle for most of us. Nowhere is this more apparent than with Millennials and Gen Z kids.
Wages are stagnant, taxes are high, and the cost of living continues to rise. So, when you hear the topic of investing come up, it's all too normal to hear people giving a cynical snicker. I mean, how can you find money to invest when you can barely afford Chipotle?
Believe it or not, it still is possible to create your own nest egg if you try. Yes, you can do it, even if you are worried about being able to keep yourself afloat.
Find money to invest by using a spare change app.
You no longer need to have hundreds or thousands of dollars in the bank to invest in the stock market. As long as you are willing to download an app that allows you to invest spare change you have into stocks, you can be an investor.
The best apps for micro-investing, like Acorns, allow you to round up the transactions you have every day. Then, the app automatically invests the difference in a specialized account.
Take up a side gig.
Let’s say that you’re totally broke and just don’t have a penny to spare. It’s okay. It happens in today’s economy. Prices are high and wages are low, but you already know that. You might be able to make ends meet, but that doesn’t mean that you should be okay with just living off one job.
A side gig is the best way to improve your overall financial situation and also find money to invest. It doesn’t have to be a fancy part-time job, either. Something as simple as walking dogs or driving for Uber can work wonders on your budget. At the very least, it'll eat up some time you may otherwise be spending money to enjoy, or could be the difference in saving for an emergency fund on a budget.
Cut out your daily coffee, or brown bag your lunch.
There’s so much money that goes to waste when you indulge in pre-prepared foods for your lunch break. Even that $4 a day Starbucks trip adds up way faster than you think it will. Don’t believe it? Do the math.
Trim your lunch budget by $4 a day, and you save $120 per month. That’s a simple, painless way to find money to invest—or just stock up your own emergency fund.
Quit one vice—just one.
When I'm talking about vices, I mean something like drinking or smoking. Simply put, it pays to actually quit your vices. I don't even mean that from a moral standpoint. From a financial standpoint, it literally pays off to put down that cigarette or bottle.
Do the math if you don't believe it. If you drink a bottle of wine a week, you could be spending as much as $520 per year, assuming you are spending $10 per bottle.
Use an app to try to shave some money off your recurring bills.
Did you know that your phone and cable bills might be shrinkable? It's true. In many cases, you can call up companies and ask for lower bills if you know how to haggle.
One app, called BillShark, will shrink your bills for you. By reducing your monthly bills, you can free up a little extra money—and find enough money to invest in your future. There are also plenty of other savings apps you need to know about.
Get a roommate.
I know, I know—it's not an ideal situation. In fact, if you were looking for ways to find money to invest, this might be the last item on your list. It's a major lifestyle change, and can also be a huge downfall in your quality of living.
However, this can lead you to save as much as $700 or more on rent every month. If you're looking to find money to invest, an additional $500 or more a month will definitely help.
Combine your chores with others' and charge for it.
Do you need to walk your dog? Cook lunch for the kids? If so, you might be able to find local families who want you to help them free up some time. Some sites, like Care, will link you up with local gigs so you can make some extra dough doing things you may already be doing.
It will not take you much longer to walk three dogs instead of one. It also won't take extra time to prepare five lunches instead of one. Ask around, charge a good rate, and you will be able to find some extra cash to add to your nest egg.
Recycling can be a very lucrative endeavor—or at least give you good beer money. Depending on which state you're in, your recycled cans can lend you as much as 10 cents a pop. If you guzzle soda regularly, you could be collecting that money.
On a similar note, recycling scrap metal can easily turn into a way to free up money in a pinch. If you have left over copper wiring or similar goods, simply sell them to your local scrapyard.
Use discount apps and cashback apps, then invest the change.
Still looking to find money to invest, but don't want to trim your spending or tack on jobs? No problem. Just use savings apps like Ibotta or Swagbucks to save money on groceries. Then, send the amount you save over to an investment account.
Simple? Yes. Small change? Yep; but as with everything in life, everything counts in large amounts.
Sell off things you don't use for spare cash.
Do you really need that broken laptop? What about that stupid Xbox that has been collecting dust? If you're looking for ways to find money to invest, but don't feel like taking on another job, why not give yourself a little extra space with some spring cleaning?
You'd be surprised at how much you can sell your used laptops for—not to mention just about everything else. If your room is cluttered up, this is the best way to pass time and free up some cash.