Whether you are in business for yourself or you work for someone else, saving money can be difficult. This is especially true when it seems like you are just barely making enough to scrape by. There are bills to pay, groceries to buy, and all those unexpected expenses that seem to pop up at the worst possible times. With so much money that needs to be spent out of every paycheck, the idea of saving may seem all but impossible.

No matter what your current financial situation is, though, saving money is extremely important. As a general rule, most financial experts recommend that you should have at least enough money in your savings account to cover six months of expenses. Many of those experts also recommend having more than one stream of income to serve as a safety net in case you lose your job or become unable to work.

When you’re spending your days toiling away at your job, saving up and having more than one source of income may seem like an unattainable goal. In reality, though, there are all sorts of ways that you can save some money for a rainy day and bring in additional income. Keep reading to discover some helpful saving tips and passive income business ideas.

Create a Budget

If you want to have any hope of saving money, you need to start by creating a budget. Figure out exactly how much money you have coming in every month and how much you need to spend on essentials like rent, utilities, childcare, insurance, car payments, etc. Don’t forget to factor in expenses like groceries and prescription medications.

Figure out how much money you have left each month after coving the cost of essentials. You may be surprised to see that there’s more left than you thought. That’s because you haven’t taken into account the money that you regularly spend on things like eating out, grabbing a cup of coffee, or seeing a movie. If you’re finding that you are spending a lot more on non-essential items than you probably should be, take a look at last month’s bank statement to determine exactly where your money is going and come up with ideas of where to cut back.

Start Generating Passive Income

If you are one of the many people who feels like there is way too much month left at the end of your money, generating passive income can help you bridge the gap and start building up your savings account. There are all sorts of passive income business ideas that can allow you to earn extra money on the side without shirking your responsibilities at work.

Writing ebooks and creating online courses are two ideas that are currently really popular. Entrepreneurs of all types are sharing their knowledge via ebooks and online courses, and they are making big bucks doing it! It takes some time to get started and write something that will sell, but once you are up and running, you can make money off your book or course for years to come with minimal extra work. And since everything is online, you don’t have to worry about paying to have books printed or shipping course materials to your students. Once you have everything set up, the entire process is mostly automated.

Other passive income business ideas that you can pursue without giving up your job include things like launching a blog, becoming an affiliate marketer, or starting a drop shipping business. These are all things that you can work on in your spare time. Once you have them up and running, you can bring in a substantial amount of money that you can save to meet your future financial goals.

Save in the Right Places

Storing your extra cash in a box under your bed may seem like a smart way to avoid dealing with a bank, but doing so can be risky. It also means that you are unable to earn any sort of return on your savings. When you are saving toward short-term goals, put your money in a savings account that earns interest, or invest in a Certificate of Deposit (CD). CDs typically have higher rates than savings accounts, but your money is locked in for a set period of time – usually a couple of years.

If you are saving for long-term goals, opening an FDIC-insured individual retirement account (IRA) is a good option. These savings accounts are tax efficient and earn interest over time. High dividend stocks and mutual funds are also potentially good options. Keep in mind, though, that they are subject to investment risks.

Make Saving Automatic

When all of your bills are paid and you have a hefty sum of money sitting in your bank account, it’s easy to give into temptation and spend instead of saving. Avoid that temptation by having part of your paycheck go into a savings account automatically.

Nearly every bank offers automated transfers between checking and savings accounts. If you get paid every Friday, for example, you can set it up so that a certain amount of money is transferred over from your savings account that day. You may even be able to split your direct deposit so that a certain percentage of each check goes directly into your savings account. Automating the process eliminates the risk of ‘forgetting” to transfer money into your savings, and it can help you avoid the temptation to spend.

Conclusion

Saving money isn’t always easy. With the tips listed above, though, you can be on your way to building a healthy savings account. You may even be able to start generating enough passive income to fund your retirement account or even say goodbye to the 9-to-5 grind. Even if you are only to save a little or earn a small account of extra money, though, starting today can help get you on the right path for building a stable financial future.