how to make your money work for you
Money

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Money Work For You

Today I want to share some tips on how to make your money work for you with some simple steps. Each of these things can be done online. Using these tips has literally made me thousands of dollars worth in FREE MONEY! Yes, FREE!

I’ve always been careful with my money since growing up my family had money for all the essentials, but not much extra. When I was 7 my mom took me to the bank to open my first savings account. I put most of my birthday, Christmas, and babysitting money in there and loved watching it grow little by little over the years. As an adult I’ve saved as much as I can and found other ways to make my money work for me. Some give instant gratification, and some are longer term investments but they all add up over time.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Using them gives me a small commission at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.

Get cash back:

1. Get money back on your online purchases with Rakuten (formerly ebates) at stores like Sephora, Target, Best Buy, Fandango, Etsy, etc. In the couple years I’ve been using Rakuten I’ve made back over $600. It’s a little bit here and there but it does add up! And they have a lot of travel and hotel booking sights so vacation time is an especially great time to use it. I also use TopCashback when they have a better rate.

2. Another way to get money back on purchases is to use a credit card that gives you a percentage of cash back. After a lot of research and using NerdWallet.com to compare cards I decided on Capital One’s Quicksilver card, which gives you unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, with no annual fee. I save my cashback to cover my sephora purchases during their spring and fall sales. So far I’ve gotten over $300 in cashback.

Capital One: Get a $150 cash bonus when you sign up for the Quicksilver card.

IMPORTANT: Make sure to pay off your credit card every single month. Paying interest when you don’t have to is throwing your money away. Unless it’s an emergency, if I can’t pay it off that month I don’t buy it. Using my referral link will get you a one-time $150 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening and 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

capital one quicksilver cash back
The last time I redeemed my cash back!

High Yield Savings Account:

3. Everyone should have a saving account for emergencies or for big purchases like a car or house. If you’re going to have money sitting there you may as well earn some interest. The best Annual Percentage Yield rates I’ve found are for online banks, because without physical branches they are able to have lower costs. I use Ally Bank which currently has one of the highest interest rates. There are of course other options, but that was my preference and I already had a trading account with them.

I had previously tried Synchrony Bank, but they wouldn’t activate my account because they kept sending the activation code to a random phone number I had never been associated with, sketchy right? Further researched showed that other people had the same issue so I personally do not recommend them.

Retirement and Investing:

4. Open a Roth IRA asap! Like, yesterday. A Roth IRA is a retirement account, you put taxed money in and when you retire the money you take out isn’t taxed. So if you put $10,000 today and it grows to $50,000 after 20 years, you don’t pay taxes on the $40,000 you made for free (these are hypothetical numbers). A regular IRA is the opposite, it taxes the money you take out so I don’t recommend it personally but remember to do your own research. Read more about them here. You can put in $6,000 each year, and it’s important to max that number if you can and don’t take money out until you retire. So far my Roth IRA has made over $3,500! Without a doubt this is the smartest way to make money online.

It’s so important to prepare for your retirement now. I didn’t start mine until 2017, if I had started it in 2008 when I was 18 lets just say it would probably be in the 6 figure range by now. I opened mine with Vanguard, which you can do completely online. There are lots of other options, Charles Schwab is another popular one, but they have low fees and the interface is pretty easy. The r/personalfinance board on reddit has great advice for which sites are good as well as which ETFs and funds to buy.

5. There are also more casual investing services like Acorns and Stash. I chose Acorns because it’s $1 a month. You can set it up to invest $5+ dollars a week or manually add money and it automatically invests that money in a range of stocks and bonds. Currently I’ve invested about $4600 and my returns are over $1000 so far. June 2021 Update: my returns are over $3000 now. Acorns also has an IRA option for $2 a month (they didn’t when I signed up).

Join Acorns and get a $5 bonus when you sign up.

how to make your money work for you
My Acorns returns as of July 2019!

Remember that your money will fluctuate when investing in stocks and bonds. It’s best to put money in and not worry about the day to day changes, you will see the best results long term.

So these are my tried and true money tips on how to make money online. Lets add it all up:

2019 Numbers
Rakuten Cashback: $600
Capital One Cashback: $300
Roth IRA: $3,500
Acorns: $1,600
Total: $6000

2021 Numbers
Rakuten Cashback: $640
Capital One Cashback: $500
Roth IRA: $14,000
Acorns: $3000
Total: $18140

Free money baby! And that amount will keep growing!

Obviously I am not a financial expert and you are responsible for your money investments. Always do your research! I spent hours researching all of these options before committing.

For more money tips read 10 Money Habits that Help Me Put $100,000 in My Bank Account.

how to make your money work for you and get free money

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10 Comments

  1. Great tips! I use the cashback option on Swagbucks for my shopping. The little amounts add up to large amounts then I transfer into Paypal to save until I transfer to my bank to make more with the interest. I’m a big advocate of using credit cards but like you I always tell others not to pay interest fees and get a card without an annual fee. I had a card I just let the cash back accumulate and when they sent me an email saying they would credit my account $50 if I cashed out, I ran and did that. I have over $900 cashback plus a free $50! I’ve got the high yield savings and retirement set and I’m going to suggest Acorn to my 23 year old granddaughter!

  2. I’ve been considering investing for a while! I’ve also never tried the cashback method – so that’s something to look into.

    Thank you for your informative post 😀

  3. These are some good ideas. I’ve recently looked more into investing and I’m getting into mutual funds and higher savings accounts so that’s always something. And yes, I do use a cashback credit card and points cards.

  4. You’ve got some great, and very practical, tips here. If anyone is confused by things like high-interest banking, try reaching out to your bank for more information! They are there for that reason and will gladly send you more details to help you make an educated decision.

  5. I’ve heard so much about online banks like Ally Bank. Their interest rates kill me with how great they are. I’ve been wanting to do it since March this year.

    I guess I really need to get to it since it’ll help me earn more money without trying it seems.