Let’s face it the term financial insecurity resonates with most of us.
According to a recent survey done by Northwestern Mutual, money is the leading cause of life stress for Americans. How much green is in their bank account worries people more than personal relationships or pressures they face at work.
So where does this insecurity come from? Simple really, it’s the fear we feel of not being able to cover a life event, expected (think: retirement) or unexpected (think: job loss).
The good news is there are actionable steps you can take to face financial anxiety and create a plan for reaching both your money earning and saving goals.
Save Your Cash
If only it were that simple right? Sure, saving money isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is possible, especially with a plan in place.
The first step is to set a goal you’d like to reach and reverse engineer it so you can work in incremental bits to accomplish it.
Let’s say you want to add $1,000 to your emergency saving fund by the end of the year. Now, for simplicity sake let’s take $1,000 divided by 12 months of the year, and you’ve got roughly $84 a month to save—great your goal is set. But now the harder work begins. Where are you going to get that $84 a month extra from? Maybe you’ll use public transportation a few days a week to save money on gas, cook dinner at home instead of eating out or give up your cable plan.
Remember, even small sacrifices can move the needle in the direction of financial stability.
Other Options to Stash Cash
Cash Back Credit Cards
A word to the wise, this option only works if you are financially apt at handling a credit card … aka you pay the balance off every month. These cards offer consumers a way to redeem cash back or save money on every eligible transaction — essentially you save cash by getting a discounted price on something you were going to buy anyway. The money you save can then be added to your retirement account, for example.
Mobile Apps for Saving
If you’re techy or just own a phone, downloading one of these money-saving apps might make your struggle to save a lot more effortless. There is a long list of available apps so it’s worth reading up to see which might suit you best, but in general, these apps save money for you without you having to think about it. Most link to your bank account and run the numbers for you, saving what you can safely afford.
The Hustle is Real
Does saving seem out of reach in your current situation? Fear not, financial certainty can still be attained, but instead of saving money, your solution may lie in earning more.
Already work a full-time job? That doesn’t mean your income has to stop there. Enter the side hustle, basically a second job that allows you to earn additional cash to reach your financial goals, pay off debt, or increase your savings. All you need is a bit of planning and an internet connection to get started.
Rent out a Room or Your House
Sites like Airbnb, Clickstay, and more allow homeowners to rent out a room or their entire abode to travelers from across the globe. This can be a great way to earn some extra cash especially if you stick to only listing your property on pay-per-booking model sites.
Be a Sitter
Whether it’s humans or animals you adore, you can add to your income by caring for them. Popular sites include Care.com and Rover. The mainstays in both industries are to create a professional, friendly profile and to make sure your rates are competitive for your area.
Direct Selling Organizations
Unlike the other options listed above, direct selling opportunities don’t require you to work around someone else’s schedule. Offering a low-cost and low-risk start, individuals can begin supplementing their income almost immediately in these builder-type businesses.
Many independent business owners, IBOs as they are often referred to in these types of organizations, start their journeys as side hustles but over time given the flexibility and great earning potential of direct selling models, end up far exceeding the income of their day job.
But remember, not all direct selling organizations are created equally. Don’t confuse reputable companies such as Amway for pyramid scheme scams that don’t deal with real products but instead seek to dupe people through financial fraud. Amway is a world-wide leader in health, beauty and home products, and is a brand you can trust.
Remember, there are many great options to help you become more financially secure in a way that best fits within your lifestyle and financial aims.