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Ways to make more money in 2020

The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate your money habits and identify places where you can boost your income or decrease your spending. While the process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re drowning in bills, you’ve got this – and we’ve got your back. We rounded up a wide assortment of great tips for all aspects of your financial life so that you can turn your dream of saving money into a reality. Believe it or not, just a few simple tweaks can help you get (and keep) more money in your pocket in 2020.

Ask for a raise

But first, be prepared to make a strong case. “Keep track of your professional achievements and how your work positively contributes to your organisation,” says Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez, a personal finance expert and the author of The Broke and Beautiful Life. “The more specific you are and the more metrics, examples and anecdotes you can bring to the negotiation table, the easier it will be to build your confidence and support your ask.” It may also help to research how much your coworkers are making.

Buy gift cards at a discount, and sell ones you don’t want

Most of us have at least a few old, unwanted gift cards stashed away in a drawer. Leaving them unused is like throwing away money. Instead, turn them into cash by selling them online. Many of the sites that buy gift cards also sell those cards at a discounted price. This is a great way to save money on gift cards for yourself or others.

Shop through sites that offer cashback rewards

Meghan Fox, a savings expert, suggests users maximise their savings by buying discounted gift cards and then using those cards at a site that pays cash back. Check out sites such as Cashrewards and PricePal which offer cashback rewards for purchases at a variety of retailers and websites.

Use social media for positive motivation

“Follow financially savvy young professionals instead of, say, travellers,” says Brian Walsh, a certified financial planner at SoFi. “They will inspire you to stick to your goals rather than keeping up with the Joneses.”

Declutter and make money on Facebook Marketplace

Go through your closet, apartment, garage or storage unit, and sell things you no longer wear or need on Facebook Marketplace. “I have sold several thousand dollars worth of stuff to declutter our house!” says Deb Liu, Vice President of Marketplace and Commerce at Facebook. “I [also] get the kids involved. We’ve sold some of their games and toys. It’s a win-win: They think they’re earning money for even more toys, and I get to teach them about math and budgeting!”

Cash in on special-event items you won’t use again

Lindsey Nickel, a wedding planner at Lovely Day Events, suggests newlyweds help recoup some of their wedding expenses by selling items they used at their event. “These items are very wedding-specific and probably won’t be used again,” she says. “So instead of taking up storage, I tell them to sell them on sites like Facebook Marketplace and help out the next bride instead. Ask your professional photographer for the big day to take high-quality pics of the items.”

Take advantage of price matching

This can help you avoid a lot of driving around or wasting time shopping at a bunch of different sites. But be sure to read the store policies carefully. Some will only price-match the items at brick-and-mortar stores (not websites) or stores within a certain geographic location.

Become a preferred shopper

Sign up for retailers’ email promotions and follow them on social media. You will often get access to special coupons, sales and discount promotions. That said, it’s a good idea to create a special email address for these promotional emails to keep them from swamping your primary inbox.

Carpool

Carpooling can save you thousands of dollars each year on petrol and vehicle expenses, in addition to helping you decrease the stress and anxiety of commuting.

Let your home pay for itself

All over the world, there are millions of unused bedrooms in homes that could potentially be rented out. “This is often especially true for empty nesters and retirees,” says Wendi Burkhardt, CEO of Silvernest. “Rather than letting them gather dust, profit from them by renting them out to a long-term housemate. Estimates show that you can earn an average of $10,000 a year per room. Even better is that you can split bills with your housemate, helping you slash monthly expenses while you’re earning passive income on the side.”

Do gig work in your spare time

“There are apps that let you pick the jobs that you want to do when you want to do them, without having to commit to something ongoing,” says Carisa Miklusak, CEO of tilr. “Another upshot of this type of work is that it typically pays daily or weekly, so you get money in your pocket even faster. It can also be a good way to test the waters in various jobs if you’re looking for a more permanent position down the road.”

Sell your expertise or advice

Become a coach, consultant, or anything along those lines. “You can find customers/clients/students for anything you’re good at,” says Jeff Rose, a certified financial planner and the founder of Good Financial Cents. “Know how to change your own oil? Shop using coupons? Edit video content? More and more people are learning remotely how to do things via video. If you need help getting started, there are various platforms that offer specific income opportunities, such as teaching English. Get your name and what you’re offering out there.”

Harness the energy of the sun

Invest in a solar energy system to take advantage of the rebates and incentive schemes available while reducing your utility bills.

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