How to make your money work for you in 2023

A smiling woman with grey hair and glasses holds her credit card and uses a laptop while her dog sits in her lap.Image: A smiling woman with grey hair and glasses holds her credit card and uses a laptop while her dog sits in her lap.

In a Nutshell

Start making your money work for you by narrowing down your long-term financial goals and then creating an ironclad budget. Next, you'll want to explore ways to increase your income, such as starting a side job or investing in stocks. You can also focus on saving money and investing for the long term.
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Making your money work for you is an important step on the road to financial security and independence. Trading your time and effort for income is effective, but the key to wealth is learning how to make your money work for you. That goal might seem out of reach, but this article outlines the steps to making more money with less effort.

Narrow down your financial goals

An essential first step to making your money work for you is establishing your long-term financial goals. Doing so can help you create a roadmap for your financial future and ensure that your decisions align with your aspirations.

With a well-defined financial plan, you can manage your resources more efficiently and optimize your investments. It’ll also help you stay motivated and focused on achieving them, even when facing temporary setbacks or unforeseen obstacles. Without those clear goals, getting lost in the sea of financial choices and making costly mistakes is easy.

Additionally, you may be able to allocate funds so that you can make money from your money.

Tackle your debt

Another impactful way to make your money work for you is to pay down and eliminate your high-interest debt. This includes but isn’t limited to …

  • Credit cards
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Student loans

Some lenders charge up to 20% or more in interest, meaning that when you pay off that debt early, you can save on interest charges and invest that money elsewhere.

This goal might seem unreachable, but there are ways to work toward it. First, leverage budgeting to identify your monthly expenses and determine where to cut back. Then, if applicable, use those savings to pay off your debts, starting with the ones with the highest interest rates.

Additionally, consider using the snowball method or debt avalanche to get out of debt. Your debt repayment strategy matters much less than just getting started. Once you eliminate your high-interest debt, you can start with the other suggestions in this article.

Open a high-yield savings account

Opening a high-yield savings account can help make your money work for you. These savings accounts generally offer higher interest rates than checking accounts and are a great place to store an emergency fund.

Before opening a high-yield savings account, research and compare rates, fees and minimum balance requirements. Look for an account offering a competitive interest rate with little to no fees. Also, ensure you meet the minimum balance requirements to avoid penalties.

A high-yield savings account is a great option for anyone looking to save money and earn a higher return on their banking.

Grow your wealth by investing

Investing is essential to building wealth and making your money work for you. Start by learning about different investment options, including stocks, real estate, mutual funds and bonds. Then, explore how each investment works, their risks and what potential returns you could earn.

If inflation hovers around 2%-3% yearly, you’ll want to aim for a return on investment that at least beats that. Otherwise, you might have more money than the previous year, but it’ll be worth less. If your savings account earns 1% interest or less, you’ll lose money to inflation that year.

Remember that the stock market can be unpredictable, and investments can take time to grow and mature.

Take advantage of credit card rewards

Another way to make your money work for you is to leverage credit card rewards. Some credit cards even offer rewards of up to 5% back in certain spending categories.

Also, several cards offer initial welcome bonuses worth $1,000 or more. Taking the time to use credit cards strategically can be a worthwhile investment.

Here’s how to make your money work for you with credit card rewards.

  • Consider your spending habits. Look for credit cards that offer reward points or cash back on your regular purchases.
  • Make the most of your rewards. Use your credit card for your regular expenses and bills but pay off the full monthly balance to sidestep interest charges.
  • Remember your sign-up bonuses. Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Read the terms and conditions of the bonus and if it makes financial sense for your situation, try to spend the required amount within the specified period to qualify for it.
  • Keep track of your rewards. Keep track of when your rewards expire and use them before they do. In addition, check your account regularly to see how many rewards you have accumulated and how to redeem them.

Remember, to make the most of credit card rewards, practice discipline and pay off your balances in full each month.

Start a passive income stream

Passive income continues making money for you with little to no day-to-day involvement, and there are many ways to generate it. Some passive income ideas include …

  • Selling crafts
  • Writing a guide or book
  • Starting a blog
  • Investing in the stock market

FAQs about how to make your money work for you

How can I make my money grow faster?

By investing in stocks or mutual funds, you can often earn higher returns than traditional savings accounts or CDs can offer by investing in stocks or mutual funds. However, investing in the stock market does come with risks, so do your research before making any investment decisions.

How can I make my own money without a job?

Consider the sharing economy, such as driving for Uber or renting your home on Airbnb. Consider monetizing a hobby — such as photography or writing — by selling your work or offering your skills and expertise to others. You may also consider participating in online surveys or signing up for cash-back apps to make money in your spare time.

How can I make money every day?

A flexible and common way to make money every day is by taking up freelancing jobs. Freelancing allows you to work on your terms using your existing skill set. For example, you can offer services like digital marketing, blog writing and web designing and find numerous clients willing to pay for your work.