Saving and investing are two of the most powerful components for establishing a secure financial future. Whether the goal is to build a stable nest egg or embark on a new business venture, both saving and investing can provide the foundation for monetary success. Due to persistent misinformation and myths, however, many individuals believe they cannot start investing without a stroke of luck or a large amount of disposable income. In reality, finding the right side income streams can help you save money and use the profits to become a successful investor. A look at the best ways to use your side hustle profits for saving and investing can help you take control of your financial well-being and achieve prosperity for years to come.
Importance of Saving and Investing
Learning to save and invest can provide you with important financial resources and help to build lifelong wealth. Rather than relying solely on your salary or living paycheck to paycheck, the combined practice of saving and investing helps you capitalize on your existing income. Instead of spending all of your earnings right away, choosing to save and invest can provide you with personal assets. Financial assets are valuable in numerous circumstances. Whether you want to start a business, apply for a loan, or need cash for an emergency, your assets can often determine the fate of any undertaking. By using saving and investing to maintain healthy financial accounts, you can enjoy greater security and quickly address any financial need life throws your way.
Differences Between Saving and Investing
Although everyday people often group saving and investing together, the two concepts differ greatly. Understanding the difference between the two can help you make an informed decision based on your immediate monetary needs and long-term financial goals. In simple terms, “saving” is putting aside money so that it is readily available when you need it most. Forms of savings include bank savings accounts that earn interest, second checking accounts, high-yield savings accounts, and certificates of deposit. By definition, savings are “liquid,” meaning that you can withdraw at any time. In the United States, most savings accounts also have insurance coverage under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This makes savings accounts “low risk,” but in return for this protection, these formal savings accounts have lower interest earnings paid to you over longer periods of time.
In contrast, investing involves making predictions and depositing money where it likely to earn a profit. Types of investment opportunities include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and employer retirement plans such as the 401(k). Because investing does not always guarantee a profit, it is considered a higher risk use for your money. Unlike savings, most investments do not allow you to “withdraw” money without penalty, wait periods, or selling the assets altogether. Furthermore, the FDIC does not insure the money you initially place in an investment (known as principal). However, this process also means that investments reflect positive changes in the market and the economy. Investments can bring you enormous return and profits in the long run, increasing your net worth and establishing real wealth over long periods of time.
Benefits of Saving
Saving is crucial for managing your regular income and meeting short-term financial goals. Foremost, saving enables you to budget so that you do not spend all of your paycheck on bills and living expenses. Deciding to save your money allows you to set aside cash into a secured account while retaining its value. Some savings accounts also earn interest, but this feature is not the primary goal of saving. Instead, saving protects your money and provides easy access when you need it later.
Saving your money plays a critical role in all financial planning. For example, saving is an important way to set aside money while you pay off debt. Since debt often cancels out benefits of investing later, it is important reserve funds and pay off debt as quickly as possible. Saving lets you keep your money in an insured location while you pay off debt such as student loans and credit card balances. Once you have enough money saved, you can use it to invest more freely and build your personal wealth.
Saving money can also provide you with a household emergency fund at your personal disposal. One of the top benefits of savings accounts is that you can withdraw at any time. By faithfully adding money to your savings, you create a cash reserve when necessary. Since the FDIC insures many of these accounts, you do not have to worry about sudden losses in access or value. In addition to emergencies, you can also use savings for large purchases such as down payments, cars, or home improvements. This allows you to avoid paying interest and save money in the long run.
Benefits of Investing
Investing means that you buy an asset with the expectation that its value can increase over time. More than saving alone, investing offers tremendous opportunity for growing your wealth. Once you have decent savings and lower debt-to-income ratio, investing is a great way to improve your financial standing and quality of life.
Investing allows you to use your money for further financial gain. Instead of spending it right away, you can invest your money in any number of securities. When market conditions are favorable, your money ends up having more value than when you initially earned it. For example, stock investment allows you to buy part ownership in a company. If the company excels, you reap the profits based on the percentage of your stock.
Since investing does not require immediate withdrawal, it is great way to allocate money for retirement income. Many retirement funds are tax-deferred, allowing you to simplify current tax returns. Investment funds can also yield higher returns that can tackle inflation you may encounter in future years.
Using Side Hustle Profits for Saving and Investing
Side hustles can help you set aside extra money to reach your saving and investing goals. One of the primary reasons many people believe they cannot begin saving or investing is that they simply do not have enough money. With dismal economic forecasts and high costs of living throughout the country, many people believe that “getting by” on their paychecks is simply a way of life. However, instead of limiting yourself to one stream of income, the best way to increase your residual income is to create a side income. Frequently, side income is made from freelance businesses that make the most of whatever skills or resources you already possess. If you have a talent such as fixing things, playing an instrument, cooking, teaching or writing, you can set up a side business on the weekends to increase your income stream. By automatically committing any earned income to your savings or investment accounts, you can gradually increase the financial resources you have to work with.
Initially, many people find it daunting to come up with a side hustle idea. However, with the right brainstorming, you can set up a side business to help pad your financial management accounts. The first step is to evaluate what skills you already have. These skills include may include hobbies that you already do for free such as writing, speaking a foreign language, or working with gadgets. If you need help brainstorming, think about what your friends say you excel in or services that you already pay money for. Think about topics you already search for online or browse on YouTube. Skill-based side hustles include numerous ideas such as offering accounting services, running a tutoring business, managing a mobile game truck, or working as a career coach. In addition, you can also use resources you already own to start side hustles like an AirBnB business or Amazon storefront business. Here’s a list of 155 Great Side Hustle Ideas to get you started. Whatever you decide, write down a business plan and invest at least 30 minutes a day to your side activity. Even if you start by making a few dollars each day, this amount can already translate into an extra hundred dollars each month devoted strictly to saving or investing.
How to Set Saving and Investing Goals
Setting saving and financial goals can help ensure that you reach them. While you may have great intentions to start saving and investing, it is easy to neglect your plans without a formal financial plan. The first step is to use a professional calculator to set your budget. Download a free financial goals worksheet from your bank or use a online accounting calculator from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Once you determine your monthly expenses, factor in any extra income from your side hustle for saving and investing. Next, write down a weekly investing goal. While it is easy to tap into your side hustle money for everyday expenses such as gas or lunch money, learn to see this money is “locked” for your savings or investment accounts. Similarly, your investing goals worksheet should require you to prioritize spending. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the most financially successful people make it a habit to save any additional income. By curbing any outside expenses and redirecting that money to your accounts, you can have a thriving personal account system in a matter of months.
Tips for Saving and Investing More Money
While setting up a side hustle may seem overwhelming at first, proper planning can reduce anxiety and provide you with a steady stream of additional funding. The easiest way to reduce anxiety and get your side hustle up and running is to start small. Invest 30 minutes to an hour each day to your side hustle. This translates into 3.5 to 7 hours each week for creating a business that can improve your life. Even if you begin with only five extra dollars each week, this results in an extra $100 to save each month. Once you have saved enough, you can shift your focus to investing as well. Additionally, you should follow the traditional advice to always “pay yourself first.” This means that before getting tempted to make commercial purchases with your paycheck, devote this money entirely to saving and investing. You can check with your bank to set up automatic transfers to a second bank account to help you follow through with your decision.
To keep track of your side hustle earnings, invest in home accounting software or a mobile app for saving and investing. Many banks allow you to download apps to check the status of your savings account at any time. For investments, you can also use mobile apps to access online trading platforms and investment portfolios. Not only do these applications save time, but they can also keep you current on the latest investing news. Finally, you may wish to consult a fee only Certified Financial Planner for professional tips on making the most of savings and investments. Many advisors offer free initial consultations or online tips and advice. With these resources at your disposal, you can use your side hustle to create a prosperous financial future.