How to Save and Make Money in Your Twenties at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they love

8 Simple Ways to Save and Make Money in Your 20s

March 8, 2017

Whether you’re in college or just getting out of it, your 20s are the time of your life where you’re, like, supposed to get your life together.  And seriously, what’s this talk about investments and 401ks when we’re just trying to get by? Well, luckily there are great ways to save and make money in your 20s – even when it feels like you’re just trying to figure out how to keep up with everyone else.

I firmly believe that there should be a balance in life when it comes to balancing your daily grind and living a life you love. We all have to work. But why restrict yourself from enjoying life, or traveling?

Your 20s is the time you ought to live like Hemingway and grab the bulls by them horns. 

Your 20s is the time you ought to live like Hemingway and grab the bulls by them horns. Click To Tweet

Everyone has different priorities. For some, it’s important to make money in your 20s in order to save for your future home. For others, the importance lies in saving money to travel.

Regardless of your purpose and passion, here are eight simple ways you can create that vital balance between the daily grind of life and living a life you love.

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1. Get Down on that Side Hustle

8 Simple Ways to Save and Make Money in Your 20s at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they loveIf you already work full time, you know it can be difficult to find a second job that works with your other job schedule.

Side hustles are perfect for the millennial who works a full-time job (or anyone who needs the flexibility in their schedule). You can pursue something you feel passionate about without having to quit your day job…and you can make money from it.

  • Start a Blog. Starting a blog is a great side hustle. There are various ways you can earn money from a blog, including affiliate marketing. Because free hosts (such as WordPress.com or Blogspot) normally limit your advertising capabilities, invest in starting a self-hosted blog! Don’t worry – I didn’t know how the heck I was going to get WordPress installed on my blog. But my host, Siteground, did it for free! You can follow this step-by-step tutorial to start your very own money-making blog within minutes!
  • Fiverr. Use your artistic talents to create logos for entrepreneurs. Offer your time as someone’s virtual assistant. You can even give others relationship advice. This can all be done on Fiverr. You can start by offering a basic package of $5 and then offer upgrade content for a higher fee!
  • Drive for Lyft. Lyft is one of the best side hustles. For one, you create your own schedule. You decide when to start and stop driving. Driving during peak hours (busiest times of the day) increases your income tenfold. They even give you an extra $2 per ride in your first 30 days (up to $100). If you live in the United States, see if Lyft is hiring drivers in your city

2. Refinance Your Student Loans

Are you one of the many college graduates worried about payments on your student loans? Does anyone else feel like it takes forever to pay these off?

Use LendEDU to look into refinancing your student loan interest rates. To find out if you qualify for a lower interest rate, fill out LendEDU’s free, 3-minute application that does not affect your credit. They use your application to show you interest rates from up to 12 different refinancing lenders…it’s fast, and it’s free to submit your application to LendEDU without affecting your credit.

How to Save and Make Money in Your Twenties at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they love

Most people who have student loans don’t entirely understand them (don’t worry, I didn’t either!). Read this in-depth article to learn more about student loans and the different methods you can use to pay off your loans more quickly.

3. Influence and Inspire Others

Maven. So, we know Pinterest is great for adding beautiful things to boards. But, have you heard of Maven? Similar to Pinterest, you can add products to boards. Anytime a person purchases an item from your board, you get a commission! These boards are also shareable on social media and your blog, so it’s easy to inspire others to buy beautiful things! Bloggers can even add their blog to their profile and receive campaigns for alternative ways to earn from Maven! It’s free to sign up and get started today!

Inzpire Me. Do you know about this new fad called influencer marketing? If you’ve put the time and energy to grow your social media followings, you should get paid for it! More and more companies are looking for (social media) influencer marketers to broadcast their products to a targeted audience… and pay you for it! Join a website like Inzpire Me and create a detailed, interesting profile so you can get connected with brands!

4. Save While You Spend

We all have to go shopping, whether it’s for our household amenities or for groceries. So, how can you make the most out of what you do have to spend?

Pay with Cash and Save the Change

8 Simple Ways to Save and Make Money in Your 20s at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they love

One way to grow your savings is to pay with cash and save the change. You would be surprised at how quickly your change adds up! Yeah. All those pennies you throw away? They add up over time! Put your spare change towards the next trip you plan on a budget, or starting your own money-making blog.

Use a Rewards Credit Card for Every Purchase

Another way to save pennies would be to use a rewards credit card for every purchase. You spend the same amount, and actually get rewarded for the purchases you make. If you use credit cards the right way, this is at no cost to you. I am not a big spender, but I’ve made hundreds of dollars from my rewards credit cards since I graduated university. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re trying to get by, every little bit helps! Read this guide if you need to get your credit in order and start making those credit cards work for you!

Shop Online…and Get Free Money

Since we’re talking about earning money while you spend… have you heard of Ebates? Do all your shopping online with Ebates! You literally get free money for the very little effort it takes to go to their website and use their link to shop. There’s no gimmick! The money can be sent to you via check, or deposited into your Paypal. Not only is it free to use and free to sign up, but if you use this link, you get an additional $10 after you make your first purchase!

5. Complete Surveys Online

Survey websites are some of the simplest ways to earn money online and in your free time. I recommend signing up for multiple in order to qualify for as many surveys as possible.

Swagbucks. Swagbucks lets you earn points called SB for filling out surveys and watching videos online. I like to throw on videos while I’m cooking or cleaning. It’s easy to get your first $5 when you sign up for Swagbucks!

Vindale. Vindale Research is another great website to complete surveys. I love their minimal interface and easy-to-navigate website. Plus, if you follow their social media accounts, Vindale posts “rewards codes” you can enter on their website for easy cash. They even give you $2 for signing up!

6. Travel on a Budget

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Honestly, your 20s are your time to travel and see the world. But we don’t all have the money to take frivolous, palatial vacations all the time. That doesn’t mean you can’t travel! This is the time that you should be seeing and learning as much as you possibly can.

You don’t have to make big bucks to go traveling. All you have to do is learn to travel smart.

You don’t have to make big bucks to go traveling. All you have to do is learn to travel smart. Click To Tweet

You can plan a nice, comfortable staycation in your home region. Or, become an expert at planning a trip on a budget. If you start to become a frequent traveler, make sure that you are an expert and know these essential travel tips.

If you create a dedicated account specifically for traveling, you are less likely to spend that money in your day-to-day transactions. Why not do that by depositing money into a checkings or savings account that pays?

7. Start a Checkings or Savings Account that Pays

Why let your money sit? If you’re not investing your money, definitely look into starting a checkings or savings account that pays. Here are three different accounts that earn you money in different ways.

  • Discover Checkings. If you open a checkings account with Discover Bank, you can earn up to an extra $120 per year. Discover gives you 10 cents back per transaction on up to 100 transactions per month (whether you’re writing a check, paying a bill online, or making a debit card purchase). And this is at no monthly cost, with no minimum balance requirement.
  • Discover Savings. Discover Savings offers 0.95% APY for its free savings account! The minimum opening balance does have to be $500, but after that, there are no monthly fees and no minimum balances.
  • Charles Schwab Checkings. This free account gives you rebates on ATM withdrawals. Basically, after you are charged an ATM withdrawal fee, they give it back to you at the beginning of the month. You can also earn 0.10% APY on your balance for this account!

8. Cut Spending

Most of all, look at your budget and figure out where you need to cut your spending. I vehemently believe in making sacrifices in order to pursue a life you love. Whether that’s making sacrifices in order to start a family, buy a house, or travel, is up to each person as an individual. But to achieve these goals, you might need to cut costs.

Here are some ways to cut your daily and monthly costs:

  • Unsubscribe from paid subscriptions you don’t make use of (e.g. magazines)
  • Instead of paying for cable, use Amazon TV instead
  • Ebooks are cheaper! Get a Kindle to save on the cost of buying books
  • Plan out your meals before you go grocery shopping
  • Dine in, not out – make your lunch or coffee at home

Why You Should Save and Make Money in Your 20s

8 Simple Ways to Save and Make Money in Your Twenties at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they love

I’m definitely not saying that money buys happiness. But having the financial stability to be comfortable and pursue things you love definitely contributes to happiness.

All in all, you have the power to turn your 20s into a decade you will positively reflect on. Life will always have its ups and downs. Some days it feels like the world is just freakin’ against you. But, there are ways to fight each and every battle.

Together, we can find the balance between your daily grind, and living a life you love. 

It feels like one of my daily reflections is trying to decide if I am happy with where I am in life. But, the truth is, we create our own happiness by figuring out what matters to us most. Once you figure out what your priorities are, you can start working towards those priorities and creating that happiness.

For example, I am very, very passionate about paying off my student loans as quickly as possible. But, even though I contribute about 40-50% of my income to them every month, I also find ways to save so that I can travel on a budget. Those are my personal priorities. Doing those things makes me happy. I’m sure you have your own personal priorities..

Even though it feels like life might be against you, create opportunities for yourself! Click To Tweet

Even though it feels like life might be against you, create opportunities for yourself! Start a money-making blog. Take the time to work on your credit. Take those setbacks, and turn them into inspirational lessons on life.

Love my advice? Please share or pin!

Now I want to hear from you:

What challenges do you find in your everyday life? What are your own personal priorities? How do you focus on them to create your own happiness? 

8 Simple Ways to Save and Make Money in Your 20s at KristaAoki.com, a lifestyle and travel blog. personal finance tips, entrepreneurial advice, and savings tips for the millennial who wants to live a life they love
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15 Comments

  • Reed shook

    Live for today b/c tomorrow isn’t promised

    March 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm Reply
  • mike

    Paying for cable is almost non existent now a days! There are so many other sites that you can watch television on and still save $40 a month. I love that website Fiverr, there are a lot of interesting things you can get for $5!! And it gives me a lot of ideas myself! Great post!

    March 8, 2017 at 9:02 pm Reply
  • silvia

    Awesome article! So important to get started on the right foot financially as early on as possible.

    March 9, 2017 at 1:37 am Reply
  • Sophie

    Really great tips! From experience the sooner you can be organised in life with money the better!!

    Sophie x
    http://www.sophobsessed.com

    March 9, 2017 at 2:57 am Reply
  • Danielle

    This is a great post! Me and my husband are always trying to save money! We do the thing where we use cash and save the change. It builds up pretty fast and then we use it for vacations! I am also a blogger too and hope to make some money from it and even turn it into a career as well!

    March 9, 2017 at 6:36 am Reply
  • Helene

    Great tips Krista! I always use credit card which offer rewards while you shop! Thanks for sharing!

    March 9, 2017 at 7:07 am Reply
  • Caitlin

    Awesome tips! I have a cash back card from Chase that I actually really love 🙂

    Caitlin, Beauty & Colour

    March 10, 2017 at 5:42 pm Reply
  • Shoshana Sue

    I wish I was more financially savvy in my 20s. I think this can still be used by me though

    March 11, 2017 at 11:08 am Reply
  • Brandi

    Great tips even if you’re not in your 20s!!

    March 12, 2017 at 4:13 am Reply
  • Letitia - Apparently a Mom

    Good tips in general! It is hard to figure it all out when you first start living on your own, etc. I moved out pretty young, I was about 20 and then I got pregnant with our first little at 22 so, I had to figure it all out pretty fast. Even at 25 with 2 kiddos I struggle a bit but you make it work. It is important to figure out. We’ve always done it on not much money. At first I was in college full time and worked a part time job that didn’t give me many hours but I’ve been a stay at home mom now since my first was born ( and even while I was pregnant because I was put on bed rest). Getting rid of cable and opting for a decent internet package has been our go to for a while. We have Netflix and we use youtube on our tv with an unlimited internet package that I actually get an awesome deal on so, that has been a big one for us. I LOVE tv and movies, it is what I like to do, sometimes it’s just on for the noise but my kiddo loves it too so, it is a good trade off for us. We save over $100 a month on not having a tv package alone. Shopping sales, couponing, shopping at cheaper stores, etc for groceries is a good one too. You don’t have to spend a lot to eat or eat well. We were just given a deep standing freezer and it has been such a money saver in terms of shopping sales now that we have space to put that stuff of make meals in advance and freeze. Actually the grocery store I shop at is cheap but also has reward points, you load your offers on the app weekly and they are based on things you usually buy anyway so you get points for just buying your normal groceries. The points rack up pretty fast like that and I saved $200 last year alone on that. Which isn’t much and I could have done better but hey, it’s 200 I wasn’t saving before. Bring in lunch to work instead of buying, carrying some small snacks in your bag or purse, getting a travel coffee mug instead of spending money at starbucks everyday, etc. All good ways to cut down in places you don’t realize you’re spending so much on. Side hustle can even juts be some odd jobs you do for friends and family. For example, I’m an artist and people always look to use the talents of the people they already know. Something as basic or simple as babysitting can bring in cash. I know parents love to have someone reliable, responsible, and available to watch their kiddos so they can get a break. Why not cash in on that?

    March 12, 2017 at 8:58 am Reply
  • Vy

    Great tips! And SOOO important!!

    March 13, 2017 at 9:51 pm Reply
  • Kimberly

    These are all such great tips! I’m definitely going to look into the refinancing option for student loans. Thanks for sharing!

    March 14, 2017 at 4:10 am Reply
  • Nicole

    Wow no way, I use all of these too!

    I’ve also really been enjoying using Receiptpal, Microsoft Rewards (formerly Bing rewards), discounted giftcards on Raise and Cardpool, and Betterment. I’ve tried many money earning sites and tools and these are the ones that stuck so far.

    March 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm Reply
  • Gen

    This is an amazing post! You always write such elaborate and helpful posts and you’re such an inspiration to me! I literally have $4 in my bank account right now (lol) so I’ve been trying to make money wherever I can. Thanks for this!

    March 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm Reply
  • Amanda @ AJ Money Matters

    These are such great tips Krista! I really love the simplicity of using cash and then putting away the change. Such a great idea! Also, saving 10% of your paycheck is always a really great way to save. As they say, always pay yourself first. It’s amazing how it can all add up over the years!
    Amanda xx

    March 24, 2017 at 10:05 pm Reply
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