Learn how to save and invest when you’ve got very little money.

Plenty of guides out there tell you how to invest large sums of money that you already have, and for those who have little to spare, it can be frustrating.

This investment fund needs a $5,000 minimum; that property needs a 10% deposit—you get the picture. But where do you start if you don’t have 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. Individuals often need help to afford to do so while paying bills and expenses.

Recently launched in Sydney, Acorn is a brilliant app with 1.2 million users in the States that transforms your everyday purchases into opportunities to save money.

Turn to the computer. 

You’ve probably heard that all those “work-from-home” opportunities are scams. Most of them are, but a few exceptions 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 often 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 at 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 always surveys to take through apps and loyalty purchase programs for the things you’re likely to buy on mobile, there are also jobs.

Apps such as Field Agent assign members to small, simple tasks such as photographing displays in nearby stores. Other apps, such as Sydney-based Airtasker, put you in touch with actual local people and businesses that require services like picture hanging, tidying up their homes, and similar projects.

Check the apps frequently, several times a day if possible, as jobs are in high demand and frequently claimed 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 don’t fit anymore, or perhaps an old gift hamper had something in it that you’d never use.

To list these items, use services like eBay or Facebook’s newly launched Marketplace; 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, like furniture, a local trade website like Gumtree can assist you in finding neighbors who will pay you immediately and remove large, bulky items that are difficult to sell 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 and spend much less per roll.

Particular foods, especially meat, are typically cheaper in bulk; agree on a cut and size you’re all interested in, and ask your local butcher about bulk pricing.

Planning and agreement are vital to this saving tip; ensure you all discuss what you need and are 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 a ton of cash to set aside a healthy amount of savings.

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

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