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March 2017
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How to Make Your Money Work for You
You work hard enough — make your money start earning some money

Your nine-to-five job or career provides you with a solid stream of cash, but there’s more money to be made. Here’s how the money you already make can earn you even more all by itself.

Open a high-yield savings or checking account. The easiest way to start getting your money on track to make you more money is to place about six months’ worth of living expenses in a federally insured high-yield checking or savings account, where it will generate more value just by being there.

According to Business Insider’s deputy editor Libby Kane, a typical savings account offers an interest rate around 0.01 percent, while your classic checking account often doesn’t come with any returns. But high-yield checking and savings accounts offer interest rates that exceed 1 percent, or 100 times more than you would get with a standard savings account or, especially, a standard checking account. This is a smart option because in a checking or savings account, your money is still liquid and easily accessible if and when you need it. All you have to do is put in a little time to research the options of where these high-yield accounts may be available.

Develop avenues of passive income. Investopedia states that the technical definition of “passive income,” as outlined by the IRS, is “net rental income and income from a business in which the taxpayer does not materially participate.”

Passive income can be anything from investing in real estate to being a silent partner in a business to making YouTube videos and using affiliate marketing on your blog. 

“Creating any streams of passive income requires an investment upfront, whether of your time or money, but can lead to huge payoffs later,” explains Kane and Associate Editor Emmie Martin in Business Insider.

Store it in retirement accounts. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Sean Gould suggests saving as much as possible in a 401(k) so you can take advantage of any available employer matching, as well as the tax efficiency of retirement accounts. And don’t forget about any 401(k)s you might have from previous employers — keep a close eye on them or roll them over to your current plan to avoid losing out on free money.

Invest in the stock market. CFP Gould explains to Kane and Martin that you don’t have to play the market timing game to make money; any dips and fluctuations tend to even out over time. However, Gould advises against having more than three to six months sitting in cash, as inflation will eat away at your cash if you leave it sitting in comfort.

Open a credit card with useful rewards. While using a credit card may not seem like an effective way to put your money to work, if your card offers cash back or rewards that are legitimately useful to you, each dollar you charge is pulling double duty. The trick is to make sure you are financially sound enough to pay off the credit card bill in full each month to avoid accruing interest charges.

Get a professional degree or certificate. You don’t necessarily have to attend grad school to make yourself worth more in the job market. Even attending seminars, classes and professional workshops is a way to build your resume and make yourself more marketable as an employee.

What is great about the above six methods is that you don’t have to be a financial genius to implement them. Try one today and get that money working for you.


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