How would an extra $4,000 help you?
This year I have a strong focus on making extra money in ways anyone can (so I am excluding blog and business income) and saving it all. One of the specific saving goals is $30,000 for court. I made an extra $3,200.17 in January (which you can read here), February I forgot to publish an update, but here are the details for March. So far, I am ahead of my goal!
This post contains affiliate links to some services I use.
How I Made Extra Money
I have shared loads of ways to make extra money here (some of which net you over $20,000 a year). March had a few random things, but it was a lot of fun!
1.) Medical Research – $2,050
I have mentioned this a couple of times. All up, I was paid $4,000 to do a trial for a treatment which is the same but a cheaper version of medication I may need due to a condition I have. Cryptic, hey? I have neutropenia which means low white blood cells and it’s hard for my body to fight infections. If I had to do chemo, I’d need this medication. My mother died of cancer and I have to have an annual surgery to remove polyps as I have already had these issues. But so far, no need for chemo or serious anything yet for me!
The final payment for the last bit of the research came in early March. You can find out more about medical research or clinical trials here.
2.) Bank bonuses – $1,300
Various banks offer bonuses. ING had a big one recently which generated a decent amount for me. It was completely unexpected and when the money landed in my account I was so confused until I saw what it was. I asked here what others would do with a random $800 and it was interesting! Banks regularly have bonuses for various savings accounts, credit cards and similar. If you choose to sign up to get the bonuses, be aware it will impact on your credit score which can have a negative impact if you are going for a loan.
Currently, ING are offering $25. Open an ING Everyday account, use the code CNW116 when you sign up then follow these steps:
1.) Head to ING Everyday and enter the code CNW116 in the promo box when opening your account.
2.) Deposit $1,000+ (e.g. your pay) into the account within 1 calendar month before 31st May.
3.) Open and make a deposit into a Savings Maximiser account.
4.) Use the debit card connected to your everyday account to make 5+ purchases.
3.) Sold clothing – $200
I didn’t have time to list as much as I wanted this month, I also haven’t been to an op shop in ages. When I focus on selling, I have made over $10,000 in a month. Find out how here.
4.) Trolleys – $5
A little random and not something I go out of my way to do. We live near Woolworths, people here are lazy and leave their trolleys near our apartment. I sometimes pick one on my way to Woolworths which still has the money in it, use the trolley as we shop then load up my backpack, return the trolly and pocket the $1 or $2 from it.
5.) Market Research
I don’t do these regularly anymore, but every now and then one will come up which I agree to do. This month they were worth $450 and done in my home. You can find out more about doing market research here.
Usually, I aim for 20% of my income to go to savings. Right now, due to some extreme money goals, everything extra coming in is going into my savings, except a small amount I divert to Acorns. You can read about my comparison of Acorns vs high-interest savings accounts here and which one made me more.
How will I make more in April?
April is my birthday month so it will be slightly different. School holidays take up 1/2 of it, my kids are going to camp for 5 days and we are going away as a family as well. Ideally, I want to finish selling off everything (which was a goal for February but it didn’t happen). The focus of these posts has been things anyone can do to make money, not including blog or other work income.
My plans for April include:
1.) Selling off everything
Clothing, shoes, some books, coins (the collection was given to me at Christmas I was told I could), some of the things my kids no longer use and a few household things.
2.) Finish training and enrol in another course
While this won’t make me money immediately, it is an important part of making money on the side in the future and part of a career change I would like eventually. It will take time but I am excited by it.
3.) Focus on business
I nearly sold The Thrifty Issue recently. When I purchased it a few years ago it was always with the intention of selling it later, as I have with other sites. But I love the community I developed here and backed out of the sale. However, while this challenge and most of what I share on here is about ways to make and save money, plus this challenge was to exclude my business, I am switching my focus. I will still do things on the side, it’s my nature and I like having multiple streams of income.
A strong focus of mine is being able to retire at 40 (I turn 33 this month), as such, I am moving to outsource everything possible, change direction in some areas of my business and focus on that. As such, there will be less to share on my ‘side hustles’ but if people are interested, I can share more on the business side of things because it is work anyone can do.
How can you make money on the side?
Some of my most popular money making posts include the best Australian online survey sites which was updated with more we tested this week! 9 ways I made money this month (a post from last year), how to make money with Airbnb, 51 ways to make money from home and 18 ways to make money this year!
Saving the extra
Along with making money, you need to save it. If you haven’t already, start saving at least 10% of any money that comes in. Increase it as you can. I now have my ‘base wage’ then anything extra I make I can save as well.
On top of that, I am regularly looking for ways to save money on things I already do. Here are a few of the recent changes I have made.
1.) Catching up with friends
Instead of going to a cafe (though I still do at times), most of my catch ups with friends involves the park or a walking/running track near my house. This means if it’s with kids they can play at the park, if it’s kid free, we can walk or run and get fit instead of eating cake!
2.) Car share programs
I have been trialling the various carshare programs in my area (Car Next Door is my favourite so far and you can get $15 off here). Car sharing is where you either rent a car someone else owns for as little as $5hr or $25 a day (as with Car Next Door) or you hire a car designed to be shared. It is significantly cheaper for me than owning a car and cheaper than car hire when I need. I’ll share a post soon about it and the pros/cons of each platform.
This has been on my mind for a few months. My lease is up in May so we have been looking at other properties and I am considering moving. It doesn’t have to be cheaper, but I would prefer about 1km or so closer to where my last apartment was as it would save time and money in travel for the things we do. I am walking distance from everything we use, but that 1km would make it easier. Time is something which is more important for me to be saving right now.
4.) Alcohol-free home
Our home is now an alcohol-free home. I’ve never been a big drinker, but some bad habits crept in when someone else was living here. Since they moved out, the place is alcohol-free again which is already proving to be a big money saver. Not only due to the high cost of alcohol, but also junk food typically ordered when a few drinks had been had or the lowered capacity to work the next day, things like that.
5.) Our groceries
You can get free and super cheap groceries in a variety of ways. We are sticking to a mainly vegetarian lifestyle here. My daughters and I aren’t big meat eaters, so the markets, HelloFresh (get $50 off here) and making things from scratch at home is working for us plus keeping the bills low.