There is no shortage of guides out in the world that tell you how to invest large sums of money that you already have, and for those without much to spare, it can be frustrating.

This investment fund needs a five grand minimum; that property needs a 10% deposit – you get the picture. But where do you start if you haven’t enough money set aside? Here’s how to save and invest when you’ve got no money.

Save Painlessly:

Carving off large chunks of your income can leave your wallet feeling the pinch, and in many cases, individuals can’t afford to do so while paying bills and expenses.

Acorns is a brilliant app recently launched in Sydney (they already have 1.2m users in the States) that turns your everyday purchases into a chance to save money without leaving yourself short on dough.

Turn To the Computer—

You’ve probably heard that all those “work-from-home” opportunities are scams. Honestly, most of them are, but there are a few exceptions that can end up being very lucrative for you. Sites like Fiverr.com let you use skills ranging from graphic design to offering voiceovers in your unique accent for use worldwide for a few dollars a job. It might not seem like much, but it adds up over time.

If you’re stuck in the house a great deal or have some spare time to kill between classes, look to “microtask” sites like OneSpace or CrowdFlower to help pass the time and earn a small yet steady flow of income.

Look To Your Mobile Phone–

You’ve always got your mobile phone nearby for texting, browsing the internet, and looking at social media, so why not use it to make money too? While there are ever-present surveys to take through apps and loyalty purchase programs for the things you’re likely to buy on mobile, there are also jobs.

Apps like Field Agent task members with small, easy-to-do jobs like taking pictures of displays in nearby stores. Other apps like Sydney-based Airtasker put you in touch with actual local people and businesses that need services like picture hanging, tidying up their homes, and similar projects. The key to using this tip is to check the apps frequently, several times a day, if possible, as jobs are in high demand and are often claimed very quickly.

Sell What You Don’t Need—   

Unless you’ve pared down your belongings, chances are a few nice shirts are lurking in your closet that just doesn’t fit anymore, or perhaps an old gift hamper had something in it that you’d never use. Use services like eBay or Facebook’s newly launched Marketplace to list these items; take photos with your mobile phone and make sure you have an excellent clean white background to keep the focus on your item.

If you have larger goods, such as furniture, a local trade website like Gumtree will help you find neighbors who will pay you on the spot and take away large, bulky items that cannot be sold quickly online.

Go In With Friends— 

If you’ve noticed that your friends are also short on money, think about some things you can use group buying power for to help keep costs down. For example, you’ll all use household goods like toilet paper, so you can easily buy larger packages to spend a lot less per roll. Particular food, especially meat, is typically cheaper in bulk – agree on a cut and size you’re all interested in and ask your local butcher about bulk pricing.

The key to this saving tip is planning and agreement – ensure you all discuss what you need and what you’re willing to pay before committing to the store. Hard feelings among friends aren’t worth saving a few bucks! When you earn more and save more through intelligent planning and using your assets, you don’t need to have a ton of cheddar to set aside a healthy amount of savings.

If you’re diligent about using these tips to better your financial future, you’ll quickly go from barely paying your bills to a comfortable, sustainable lifestyle with much less stress.

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