401k: Be sure to take advantage of your employer’s 401k plan by putting at least enough money to collect the employer match into it. This basically means that for every dollar you contribute, your company will match that (pre-tax!). This ensures you’re taking full advantage of what is essentially free money from your employer. That match is POWERFUL and can double your money over the course of your working life:
The best way to protect yourself from yourself is to automate your savings. That means setting up recurring transfers on a regular basis from your checking account to your savings and investment accounts (or setting up auto deduction from your paycheck to your employer-sponsored retirement plan). This way, you force yourself to avoid bad money habits and save what you would likely otherwise spend. If you haven’t already, set aside 15 minutes on your calendar now to do it. Not later, now. Your rich future self will thank you.
When it comes to at-home income, selling your unwanted stuff is the definition of “low-hanging fruit.” Even if you’re resolutely intentional in your purchasing habits, you surely have possessions that you can do without: old kids’ clothing and toys, disused sporting goods, out-of-fashion wardrobe accessories, electronics, entertainment, valuable but non-sentimental keepsakes such as watches and jewelry, broken-in furniture, dusty tools and outdoor equipment, and perhaps even big-ticket items like a motorcycle or second car.
In an increasingly visual internet, website owners, bloggers, epublishers, video makers, and others need quality photos for their content. However, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to make money from your pictures. Quality photos from your smartphone are often good enough to sell online. Most stockphoto sites pay 15 to 60 percent of the sale of your photo, usually through PayPal.
Ask for a raise. If you’re unhappy with your compensation at your 9-5 job, asking for a raise is one way to beef up your bank account. Most employers offer an annual review of your work – which could be the perfect time to negotiate a higher salary or ask for better perks. If your employer doesn’t offer such an opportunity, it might be time to initiate a review yourself.