One of the common obstacles to getting started in the stock market is to actually have the money to be able to use for buying and selling stocks in the first place. And it’s true – if you are living paycheck to paycheck or up to your eyeballs in debt – the stock market is NOT the place for you to try to “Get Rich Quick” – in fact, it’s far more accurate to call it the “Be Bankrupt Quick” method.
Thankfully, if you’re not in the perfect financial position for trading stocks – this doesn’t mean give up all hope! There are a lot of ways you can start building up your income and savings – and best of all, most are pretty painless and easy to do! These simple strategies for making and saving up money work great whether you are brand new or even a casual trader. Maybe you’ve been trading for awhile now, but would just like to find ways to increase the funds in your brokerage account so when a really good trade comes along you can maximize it to its full potential.
So…without further ado…let’s get down to some really awesome ways to make money so you can trade!
Analyze & Sharpen the Existing Budget:
If you’re going to be trading in the stock market, it makes sense to have a really clear picture of your current financial situation. Sadly, many new traders don’t even keep track of daily expenses or analyze how their monthly income is spent, which can leave a lot of money going unaccounted for or being used for things that are not really necessary.
There are many online budgeting tools you can use, many with apps for your smartphone and even tie in with all of your bank accounts and credit cards, so much of the work is automated for you. There are also several desktop apps available as well. The nice side of these types of apps is they will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you – even producing nice reports where you can analyze different things.
For example, maybe you’re spending $250 on fuel each month. You might be able to cut that back by $50 each month by driving less and carpooling more often. Maybe your grocery bill is high, or you spend a lot of money dining out or entertainment. By analyzing your current spending habits, you will be able to see how to best lower your expenses so you have more money to put aside for your trading funds. Do this on a regular ongoing basis, and you might be able to pocket anywhere from $200-$1000 extra each month.
Stop Paying for Things You Don’t Use
Look at your credit card and bank statements carefully. Sometimes you forget you signed up for a recurring payment for a product or service and never even use it! For example, maybe you have a magazine subscription, but haven’t actually read the magazine for the past 7 months, you just pile it in a basket and it collects dust. Maybe you signed up for an online video game service, but you haven’t played it in months. Maybe you have a gym membership, but never went back after January 3rd. These things can add up quickly, so be sure you are never paying for things you aren’t even using.
Another easy thing – switch to brands and alternative products that cost less. A good example of this is how I reduced spending by $300 a month by switching from Kuerig coffee (which I love, but wasn’t financially making any sense) to going back to the old way of making coffee in a traditional coffee machine.
Maybe you’ve always bought a certain brand of food or clothing or other item – chances are that someone else makes something comparable that works just as well – you just won’t be paying for the name brands or advertising gimmicks.
Maximize Your Current Income
There’s a lot of ways you can maximize your current income. If you’re currently employed – could you be in a position to apply for a position within the company that pays more? Are there any extra bonus payouts for reaching company goals? Does the company offer overtime?
Depending on the company you work for, it could also pay off to look at your current benefits package. You may have access to programs and extra ways to increase your income you may not even be aware of!
If you’re not especially tied down to your job, you could also always try to find a job you will enjoy that pays more than your current job. We know the job market these days isn’t exactly the best, but it’s always worth exploring your options and maximizing your fullest potential in your line of work or career path.
Moonlight for More Money
If your current employer isn’t able to offer you any additional ways to increase your income, there is also always the option of “moonlighting” – which means to have a second job or other income producing activity in addition to your regular job. The ability to do this of course means having the the time available and the energy – but it can be very good.
You can choose to either start a small part-time weekend business, or see if there are any job positions available – really it’s just a matter of what your interests are and if there are any non-compete clauses in your employment contract you should be aware of. (Some companies will not allow you to work a second job that’s in a related field as theirs).
Sell Some Stuff
One of the ways I always liked making extra money was selling “junk” online or at flea markets – it wasn’t unusual for me to earn an extra $200 or more every weekend for just a few hours of my time.
Go through those closets, the basement, the garage, the attic, your kitchen cabinets, the dresser drawers – you might just be surprised at what you find! That old exercise bike you never use anymore not only will free up space in the house but could mean more money for you to trade with!
Make Some Sacrifices
The other day I sent a picture of Ramen Noodles to my brother as my “path to wealth”. Seriously, for just 29 cents at my local supermarket, I could have a filling snack or meal. Is Ramen Noodle wonderful cuisine? No. Should it be eaten all the time? Um, given the amount of sodium as specificed on the nutrition label…probably not. But still, if you were to replace just three $5 meals a week with Ramen, that’d be an extra $12.50/week – $650/year.
You could also make other sacrifices – do you really need cable TV? Think about your daily schedule…what activities or items could you live without.
This is an obvious way to have more money for trading, but I’m willing to bet most people would not do it because it would take a bit of effort and may not be quite as “painless” as we’d like it to be.
But, what if you just scaled back your lifestyle habits considerably?
For example, say you live in a 2,500 sq ft house right now – what if you downsized to a 1,800 sq foot house or even a 1,250 sq feet house? Not only would your utility bills and taxes likely go down, but depending on your current financial position, could mean extra savings either through insurance and your mortgage payments or a nice chunk of cash from the sale of the home. You could also move to a less expensive area where the price of a home is not as expensive. Of course, there are things to consider such as taxes, commission fees and other expenses – so as always consult with a licensed professional before making any decisions.
There are other ways to downsize that are not quite so drastic as moving – Maybe you trade your gas guzzling monster truck for a more economical sedan. When you are at the drive through and they ask if you want to supersize, say no thanks.
The Bottom Line: You Need to Be in Control if You Want to Have More Money for Trading in the Stock Market
These ideas may not be revolutionary or ground breaking or the right solution for your personal situation. But the main thing you need to know – you can at anytime take complete control over your finances. You don’t have to be victim to circumstance. You also don’t have to do all of these things or go to great dramatic lengths – small steps can make a huge impact!
As always, I remind you this website provides no financial or legal advice – just ideas for ways you can learn the stock market and hopefully reach your financial goals.
Questions, Comments, Smart Remarks?
Share your thoughts in the comments section or below, or head over to our Stock Market Forums!