The task of getting your finances in order is something that many people find overwhelming. Although there are a lot of factors that should be considered, the truth is, you can have a significant impact on your overall finances within just a short period of time.
With so much personal financial information and content available online and in books, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start or what steps to take. One of my primary goals for Vital Dollar is to make the information practical and applicable.
With that in mind, I’ve created this 30-day plan with action steps for each day to help you know exactly what to do.
Before getting started, take time to talk with your spouse or significant other (if you have one). A lot of these exercises will impact both of you and your immediate family, so it’s important that you’re on the same page and it’s helpful to have involvement from both of you.
Financial Foundation (Days 1 – 10)
The first ten days will be dedicated to establishing the proper foundation for your finances. These are very important topics that you don’t want to overlook, even if they are not the most exciting.
Day 1: Create a Document Listing All of Your Accounts
How many different financial accounts do you have?
If you’re like most people, you probably have checking and savings accounts (maybe accounts at a few different banks), retirement accounts like a 401(k) and/or IRA, other investments, credit cards, a mortgage, a car loan, student loans, and insurance policies.
The more accounts you have, the harder it is to keep track of everything.
Take some time to create a document that lists all of your financial accounts, including the account numbers, usernames, and passwords. Since you’re including personal information, it’s critical this document is kept in a very safe place. That could be a safe deposit box at a bank, a fireproof safe in your house, or keep a virtual copy using high-security cloud storage.
This document can be very helpful for yourself, and it can also be extremely helpful for your loved ones in case something happens to you (of course, you’ll need to let someone you trust know that it exists and where to find it in case of an emergency).
Create a document listing all of your accounts. For the safest storage, keep it in a safety deposit box at a local bank. Let your closest family members know about the document and the safety deposit box.
Optionally, you could also create a version of the document that omits sensitive information like account numbers, usernames, and passwords. This version would list the type of account and the institution (such as “checking account at Bank of America”). Give a copy to close family members so they at least know where all of your accounts are held in case something happens to you.
Day 2: Check Your Credit Report
Your credit score can have a big impact on your financial situation by impacting the types of loans and credit that you are able to get, as well as the interest rates that you’re charged. Even if you are not planning to borrow any money, your credit score and report can impact things like rental applications and job applications.
It’s a good habit to check your credit report periodically to make sure that there are no errors and to address anything that needs your attention.
Getting a copy of your credit report is easy. You’re entitled to a free copy of your report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every twelve months. To get the free copy of your credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. You’ll need to fill out your personal information, but you can have a copy of your credit report within a few minutes.
Take some time to read through the report and check to make sure that everything is accurate. If you have closed accounts that are still showing up as open, accounts that you don’t recognize, listed balances that are not accurate, or other details that include errors, file a dispute with each credit bureau that is reporting inaccurately.
The free copy of your credit report will be extremely helpful, but unfortunately, it will not include your credit score. Thankfully, there is an easy way to get your credit score for free. You can sign up for a free account at Credit Karma, which will provide you with your credit score and basic credit monitoring for free.
- Go to AnnualCreditReport.com and request a copy of your credit report.
- Check the details of the report and dispute anything that is not accurate.
- Sign up for free at Credit Karma to get your credit score.
Day 3: Update Your Will
Do you have a will? If so, when was the last time it was updated?
Your will may or may not need to be updated, but you should at least read through it to see if anything stands out as being out of date. The most common situations that may require an update of the will are:
- Moving out of state
- Significant changes in the size of your estate
If you don’t already have a will, now may be a good time to take care of this, especially if you have kids. You can hire a local attorney, or save some money by using Quicken WillMaker.
If you already have a will, read through it to see if anything needs to be updated. If you don’t already have a will, contact a local attorney or use Quicken WillMaker.
- Nolo, Editors of (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 488 Pages - 10/29/2019 (Publication Date) - NOLO (Publisher)
Day 4: Check the Beneficiaries on Your Accounts
While your will includes information about your beneficiaries, it’s also important to check your individual accounts and see if the beneficiary information needs to be updated. This could involve adding a beneficiary or changing the beneficiary.
Check all of your bank accounts, investments, and applicable insurance accounts to see if the beneficiary information needs to be added or updated. Make any changes as needed.
Day 5: Set Financial Goals
Goals are important because they give you some direction and motivation for the way that you manage your finances. If you have no goals, it’s unlikely that you’ll manage your money as effectively as possible.
If you don’t already have a set of clear financial goals, take some time today to lay out your goals. Ideally, you’ll have some short-term goals (1 year or less), mid-range goals (1 – 10 years) and long-term goals (10 years and beyond).
Effective goals should be clear, have a deadline, and be easy to measure. You don’t want vague goals or else you’ll have a hard time knowing if you’ve actually achieved the goal.
It’s also equally important that you record your goals somewhere. Write them down in a notebook or keep them in a file on your computer, whatever works for you. And be sure to read your goals on a regular basis to reinforce them and keep them on your mind.
If you’re unsure how to do it, read this guide to setting financial goals.
Take some time to write down at least one clear goal for one year, five years, and ten years from now. List the deadline and clearly state how the goal can be measured. Some possible examples include paying off debt by a certain date, reaching a specific net worth, buying a house, achieving a specific level of income, or saving a set amount of money.
Day 6: Start an Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund is important because you never know when unexpected expenses are going to come up (after all, they wouldn’t be unexpected if you could predict them). Your emergency fund could prove to be extremely valuable in the case of a job loss, unexpected medical bills, family issues, or anything else that costs money or restricts your income for a while.
Most experts recommend that you have enough money in an emergency fund to cover six months of your living expenses. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, or if yours is a lot smaller, saving up a large amount of money like that can seem pretty daunting. In that case, aim for a smaller goal, like $1,000. While it may not cover your living expenses for very long, $1,000 can cover many of the expected things that would come up, like some needed repairs to your car.
One of the keys to your emergency fund is that it should be easy to access quickly. For that reason, savings accounts tend to be a popular place to stash an emergency fund. My wife and I use a savings account at CIT Bank because it’s convenient, we can get the money into our checking account in just a couple of days, and the interest rate is much better than we could get from a local bank.
Set a goal of saving $1,000 in an emergency fund. It’s best to have this money is a separate account that will only be used in case of an emergency. You can open a savings account with an online bank like CIT, or use another type of account if you prefer.
Day 7: Compile Your Living Expenses
Do you know where your money is going? Most people have only a general idea.
The only way to know exactly how you are spending your money is to track your expenses. You can either start today and record all of your expenses going forward, or you can go back and look at all of your expenses over the past few months. Going back only works if you use a credit card for most purchases. If you use a lot of cash, it’s hard to go back and see exactly how, when, and where it was spent.
If you’re starting today and tracking your expenses going forward, you can do it in one of three ways:
- Pen and paper
- Budgeting app
If you use pen and paper or a spreadsheet, be sure that you are recording everything that you spend each day. Record every single expense and label it with a category so you can add up the totals for each category. Also, be sure that you check your bank account and credit card statements at the end of each month and record any automated payments or other bills that you missed throughout the month.
If you’re using an app that integrates with your credit card or bank account, a large part of the expense tracking may be automated. But it’s still important to check the details to be sure that nothing was missed and that all expenses are put into the right category.
You can see our list of budgeting apps if you need to find one that will work well for you.
Going through the process of tracking your expenses can be extremely eye-opening. You’re very likely to be surprised by how much money you are spending on certain things, and this exercise can be a great way to quickly identify some areas where you need to cut back.
Decide on a method for tracking expenses (pen and paper, spreadsheet, or app). If you like the pen and paper method, you can use our printable spending log. At the end of each day, record every dollar that you spend and categorize each expense. At the end of the month, you’ll be able to add it all up and see a total for each category. Analyze the results and see where you can cut back.
Day 8: Create a Budget
After you know how you are currently spending your money, the next step is to create a budget that will dictate the way you spend money going forward. If you haven’t created a budget or lived off a budget in the past, the process can seem kind of daunting. But creating a budget isn’t difficult and it doesn’t need to be extremely limiting either. The nice thing about creating a budget is that it gives you control to determine how you want to spend your money, and what is important to you.
If you need help creating a budget, enter your email below to get access to our budget template that you can use to easily create your own individual or family budget.
Alternatively, you can also use a budgeting app if you prefer.
Budgeting and tracking expenses go hand-in-hand. If you’re going to go to the trouble of creating a budget, you need to be tracking your expenses to know that you are truly staying within the budget. And if you haven’t created a budget yet, tracking your expenses can show you exactly how you are spending money, which serves as a good starting point for your budget.
Create your budget. You can use our budget template or a budgeting app. Be sure to continue tracking your expenses to be sure that you’re sticking to the budget.
Day 9: Start Tracking Your Net Worth
Net worth is an important financial metric that gives an overall picture of your situation. It’s great for a high-level view of your financial health, for tracking your progress over time, and for determining and tracking your retirement goals.
Calculating and tracking your net worth may sound like something only millionaires need to do, but everyone can benefit from it. If you hope to retire someday, and I know you do, calculating and tracking your net worth is one of the best ways to be sure that you are on pace.
Calculating your net worth is actually quite easy. It’s simply your assets minus your liabilities. So make a list of both, add up the totals for each, and then subtract. For many more details, please see How to Calculate Your Net Worth.
If you want an easy way to calculate and track your net worth, you can use the free app Personal Capital. It will link to your financial accounts and provide you with one handy dashboard that gives you a birds-eye-view of your finances, as well as helpful reporting. Personal Capital will calculate and track your net worth for you, making it easy for you to check up once a month, or at some other interval.
Create a free Personal Capital account and use the app to easily calculate and automatically track your net worth.
Day 10: Check Your Insurance Policies
Most likely, you have several different types of insurance policies like:
No one really enjoys spending money on insurance policies, but unfortunately, it’s necessary in order to protect yourself financially. But there are some details of your policies that you should check to be sure that you have an adequate policy without overspending.
The amount of coverage and the deductible will have a huge impact on your monthly premium. Check the coverage amount on your policies to determine if it is not enough, just right, or too much.
If the coverage is low, you may want to increase it to truly protect yourself. But if the coverage is higher than needed, you may be able to save money by dropping down the coverage.
For example, when we moved three years ago and updated our homeowner’s insurance policy, we noticed that the coverage for the contents of our house was way too high. We don’t have nearly that much stuff (or at least, not valuable stuff) to need that much coverage. We reduced the coverage and the premium dropped by a few hundred dollars per year.
Also, check the deductible. If you could afford to increase the deductible, your premiums would probably decrease.
While you’re looking at your insurance policies, you may also want to shop around to see if you can get better rates. There are a few websites that make it easy to do this. Quotacy is a great website for finding the best prices on life insurance. I used Quotacy to get a much bigger life insurance policy for almost the same monthly premium. PolicyGenius makes it easy to quickly get quotes on all different types of insurance.
- Look at the details of your existing policies to see if you are underinsured, overinsured, or just right.
- Make any adjustments to the policies as needed.
- Use websites like PolicyGenius and Quotacy to see if you could save money with a different company/policy.
Planning (Days 11 – 15)
Now, after the first ten days, we’re moving into the next section, which involves planning your finances.
Day 11: Set Specific Savings Goals
This isn’t the same as day 5 when you created your overall goals. The task for this day is about creating goals that involve saving for specific events. This could be:
- Saving for an upcoming vacation
- Saving for a wedding
- Saving for college
- Saving for a downpayment on a house
- Saving for renovations to your house
- Saving for a car
Of course, those are just a few examples. There are plenty of other things that would fit there as well. These are things that are maybe outside of your overall, big-picture goals that we looked at earlier.
Think about the things that may be coming up for you in the not-too-distant future. What should you be saving for?
I recommend saving separately for these items. You can either keep the savings in one account and keep track of how much you’re saving for certain goals, or the easier way is to create a separate savings account for each.
With most online banks, creating a new savings account is quick and easy, so you can have multiple different accounts. My wife and I use different savings accounts for things like saving for vacation and saving for a new car.
With separate accounts, it’s easy to see how much we have set aside for each purpose. We also don’t feel like we’re taking money out of savings when we use it for the intended purpose.
Determine your specific savings goals and set up a bank account for each goal.
Day 12: Get a Free Analysis of Your 401(k)
An estimated 79% of American workers have access to a 401(k) plan through their employer (source). The 401(k) is the most common way to save for retirement, so it’s an important part of the financial health of most Americans.
Unfortunately, many people don’t contribute to a 401(k) plan, and those that do will typically set up automatic contributions and then never think about it. As a result, most people have a 401(k) that is not optimal.
Blooom is a robo advisor that specializes in managing 401(k) accounts, and they offer a free personalized analysis of your 401(k). You don’t need to talk to anyone, just enter your information and within a few minutes you’ll have a very detailed analysis of your 401(k) with practical suggestions that can help you to improve what you’re doing.
You can choose to use Blooom’s services to manage your 401(k), or you can get the free analysis and turn down the offer for their services. Either way, the free analysis is definitely worth your time. My wife and I both had our 401(k)s analyzed by Blooom and it was very insightful.
Take a few minutes to visit Blooom and enter your own details to get a free analysis of your 401(k).
Day 13: Set Up Automated Contributions to Your 401(k)
If you have a 401(k), be sure that you are taking advantage of it and contributing from each paycheck. Most employers offer some sort of match, which is basically free money. If your employer offers a matching contribution, be sure that you are contributing at least enough to get the full match.
Check with the Human Resources office at your employer if you’re unsure how to set up your 401(k) contributions or if you need to make changes. If you’ve been hesitant to contribute to a 401(k) because you feel like you can’t afford it, don’t forget that your contributions can reduce your taxable income, which means that you won’t see as much of a difference in your paycheck as you might be expecting.
Check with your HR office to get instructions for setting up or changing the contributions that you are making to a 401(k). Contribute enough to get the full match offered by your employer.
Day 14: Create a Debt Payoff Plan
If you have consumer debt like credit cards, student loans, and other personal loans (this excludes mortgage debt), paying off your debt should be a high priority. In order to increase your chances of success for getting out of debt, you should take a systematized approach.
There are two different approaches that are both popular, and either can work. The debt snowball approach involves paying off the debt with the smallest balance first, which provides some encouragement and motivation as you are able to quickly pay off some of your debts.
The debt avalanche focuses on debts with the highest interest rates first, and makes the most sense from a mathematical perspective.
You can learn all about both approaches in Debt Snowball vs. Debt Avalanche.
(If you decide to go with the debt snowball, feel free to use our debt snowball worksheet.)
If you have debt, choose between the debt snowball and debt avalanche to help with paying it off quickly.
Day 15: Find a Cause to Support
So far we’ve talked a lot about different aspects of managing and maximizing your finances. But giving back is equally important. Maybe you already have a particular cause or organization that you like to support whenever you are able. If you don’t, I highly suggest thinking about the causes that mean a lot to you and deciding what you would like to support.
How you go about supporting that cause or organization is up to you. It could be a monthly recurring donation, once a year, or whenever you’re able to donate. Regardless of what you choose, having a cause that you support can help you to be sure that you are actively involved in giving back to others. And of course, others benefit from it as well.
Find a charity or cause that you want to support and decide on a plan of when you will give, and how much.
Analyze Your Monthly Expenses (Days 16 – 20)
At this point, we’ll shift the focus to look at monthly expenses and how to free up some room in the budget.
Day 16: Subscriptions
What type of subscriptions do you have? This could include things like gym membership fees, streaming services, membership magazines, and other types of subscriptions. These payments may seem small, but when you’re paying over-and-over again monthly (or annually) it can add up.
Not all subscriptions are bad. Some things are very much worth the price, but you need to evaluate each subscription to make sure that you are getting enough benefit to justify the cost. Subscriptions that you rarely use should be canceled.
Trim is a free app that will help you to find subscription payments that can be canceled.
Action Step: Evaluate all of your subscription payments and cancel anything that you don’t use or is not worth the money. Sign up for Trim if you want some help.
Day 17: TV
If you pay for cable or satellite TV, this is an area where you could easily save some money each month. There are a number of cable alternatives like Sling, Hulu, Netflix, and Prime Video that provide access to TV shows and movies at a fraction of the cost of cable or dish.
My wife and I got rid of cable several years ago and we’ve never missed it. We use Netflix for 90% of the TV and movies that we watch, and I also get a Sling subscription during football season.
Check out our list of cable alternatives to see which ones would be the best fit for you and your family. If you’re willing to make a small sacrifice in order to save a considerable amount of money, cancel cable or satellite TV.
Day 18: Cell Phone
Another area where you may be able to easily save a significant amount of money each month is your wireless service. If you’re using one of the major carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile, you may be able to save a lot by switching to a discount provided.
There are a growing number of options, including Cricket Wireless, FreedomPop, Mint Mobile, and Ting. The availability of service may depend on where you live, but most customers are able to get excellent quality of service even from discounted providers.
My wife and I switched from a major carrier to a discounted carrier several years ago and instantly cut our bill in half, saving more than $800 per year, without any noticeable impact on the quality of our service.
Take a look at your current cell phone plan and compare it to what you can get from a discounted carrier. Make the change if you want to save a lot of money.
Day 19: Utilities
Depending on where you live, you may be able to choose your provider for utilities like electricity and natural gas. If you’re in a deregulated state, you may be able to save money each month very easily by simply changing providers.
Most changes can be done online with just a few minutes of your time, so it’s quick and easy. You may even get a signup bonus for changing to a new company, depending on promos that are available.
Visit ChooseEnergy.com to quickly compare rates that are available in your area.
Day 20: Overall Monthly Expenses
So far we’ve looked at a few specific monthly expenses, but I’m sure you have some others that haven’t been covered here. Evaluate the specific bills that you pay every month and see if there are ways to reduce them or if they can be canceled.
Cancel or reduce any recurring bills, as much as possible.
Max Your Rewards and Cash Back (Days 21 – 22)
An easy way to save money on the things you buy is to take advantage of cashback offers. There are a few different possibilities, and if you want to learn more you can read these articles:
Day 21: Sign Up for Cashback Apps
There are a number of different cashback apps and websites that help you to save money on your purchases, both online and in-store. You’re probably familiar with some of these apps, and if you haven’t tried them because you think they’ll be inconvenient, I highly suggest that you give them a chance. All of the apps and websites listed here are very easy to use, take little time or effort, and can help you to save money on the things you need to buy anyway.
Ibotta – Ibotta is a popular app that has plenty of great cashback offers at grocery stores, Walmart, clothing stores, and more. You can browse the offers that are available, claim the ones that you want, and get cash back when you purchase. You can either scan your receipt, link the app to your store loyalty cards, or use Pay with Ibotta at stores that support it.
Rakuten – Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a popular website that offers cashback for purchases at thousands of different websites and stores. Most of the offers are for online shopping, but there are some in-store cashback offers as well.
Using Rakuten is extremely easy, thanks to their browser add-on. With the addon installed, you’ll get a notification whenever you are browsing a website that offers cashback through Rakuten. All you need to do is click on that notification and it will track any purchase that you make and award the cash to your balance. Rakuten pays by check. Rakuten will also find coupon codes for you, which can save you a ton of money.
TopCashback – TopCashback is similar to Rakuten, but not as well known. Although it may not be as popular, TopCashback actually offers higher percentages of cashback than Rakuten in many cases. If you want to maximize the cashback that you earn, you should sign up for an account.
Swagbucks – Swagbucks allows uses to earn points (they call them Swagbucks or SB) for a variety of different activities, including shopping online. They have thousands of partner stores, and you can earn cash back in the form of points for many of the purchases that you already make. You can then redeem your Swagbucks for cash (via PayPal) or your choice of gift cards.
Dosh – Dosh is a cashback app that works by linking to your credit or debit cards. When you make purchases at stores and restuarants that participate in their program and you use your linked credit or debit card, you’ll earn cashback automatically. It’s extremely easy and hands-free. They also have some online cashback offers, but you’ll need to click through the app to earn for those offers. And they also recently added cashback on hotel rooms. Dosh offers a $5 bonus when you sign up and link your first card.
Drop – Drop is another app that links to your credit or debit cards to automatically earn cashback for your eligible purchases. They have great stores/restaurants in their program like Walmart, Target, Walgreen’s, McDonald’s, and others. They also have special offers that you can redeem through the app. For example, you may get Drop points for opening an account somewhere. You can then redeem your Drop points for your choice of gift cards.
Sign up for a few (or all) of the cashback apps listed above.
Day 22: Rewards and Cashback Credit Cards
Another easy way to benefit from the purchases that you need to make anyway is to use a rewards or cashback credit card. The credit card industry is extremely competitive, and that means there are plenty of great offers for people like you and me to earn cashback and travel rewards just for paying with a credit card.
If you travel frequently, you may prefer a travel rewards credit card, but otherwise, you’ll probably be better off with a good cashback credit card (or maybe a few of them in order to maximize what you earn from each purchase).
I won’t go into the details in this article because the specifics can change frequently, but you can use the links below to help you find the best offers:
Take a look at the credit card offers that are available, and apply to one that is a good fit with your spending habits.
Don’t sign up for a new credit card if you have existing credit card debt or other types of debt that you are trying to pay off. And if you think that having a credit card will tempt you to spend too much money, don’t apply.
Declutter (Days 23 – 25)
Most of us have a lot of stuff around our house that we don’t use or need. Many of these things could be sold for extra money or donated to a worthy cause.
Day 23: Find Stuff to Get Rid Of
Today, go through your house and find at least a few things that you no longer use or need. You’ll probably want to sell the things that have the most value, but less valuable items can usually be donated to Goodwill or a local thrift store. Even your more valuable things can be donated if you don’t want to take the time to try and make a sale.
Go through your house, closets, garage, and shed and find things that you can live without.
Day 24: Donate Things You Don’t Need
While it would be nice to sell the things you’re getting rid of, sometimes the items may not have a high enough value to justify dedicating time to selling. For these types of items, donating to a thrift store is usually the best option.
Go through the pile of things that you gathered the previous day and separate them to pull out the things that you want to donate, and keep the things you want to sell separate. Take the donation items to a local thrift store and you’ve instantly reduced the clutter in your house.
Day 25: Photograph and List Items That You Want to Sell
Although you’ve donated some things and started the decluttering process, it would be nice to make some extra money from the things that you’re getting rid of. Many of your items can be sold pretty easily with a post on the Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or using one of several other selling apps.
You might be surprised at how much money you can make by selling your old stuff. Earlier this year my wife made a few hundred dollars in just a couple of days by selling some kid stuff on the Facebook Marketplace.
Take photos of all of the items that you want to sell and list them online.
Increase Your Income (Days 26 – 30)
Now that we’ve looked at getting your finances on a strong foundation, planning for the future, and saving money, it’s time to move on to the last section, which involves increasing your income.
While saving money is great, you can only save so much. At some point, you won’t be able to cut back anymore… But you can always make more money.
Day 26: Evaluate Your Options for Making More
There are a few different ways to increase your income:
- Get a raise at your current job
- Get a promotion
- Get a higher paying job (either with your employer or a different employer)
- Work overtime (if it is available to you)
- Get a weekend job
- Start a side hustle
The options that involve making more money at your current job are usually preferable, but it’s not always an option. For most people, the most realistic option is to start a side hustle.
Evaluate your options for making more money. Consider asking for a raise if you think you are underpaid or looking for a higher-paying job that will pay you more for the same amount of work. If those are not good options for you, a side hustle is probably the best way to increase your income.
Day 27: Consider Possible Side Hustles
From here out, we’ll be looking at side hustles. If you’ve decided to try to make more money from your job, you can skip these steps. I’m focusing on the side hustle aspect because most people find it to be their most realistic option.
When it comes to side hustles, there are no shortage of options. In fact, I’ve written a long article that covers more than 150 side hustle ideas, and you can use that as a starting point to do some research and think about your ideal side hustle.
Different side hustles will be right for different people, so there isn’t one in particular that I recommend. Of course, I’m partial to starting a blog, but I know that blogging isn’t for everyone.
Think about your skills and the things you already know how to do. There may be an easy way for you to make some extra money from the skills and experiences you’ve gained through your job or past jobs.
You can also think about your hobbies and what you like to do in your spare time. I was able to turn my photography hobby into more than $1 million and there are plenty of other hobbies that make money. Using a hobby for your side hustle is a great way to make it more fun.
Scan through my list of 150+ side hustle ideas and see what stands out to you. You can also try our free interactive side hustle quiz to help find your ideal side hustle. Write down a few ideas that you think might be possibilities.
Day 28: Pick a Side Hustle
Now that you’ve looked at a lot of different options and narrowed it down to a few of your favorites, it’s time to pick one that is the best fit for you. Consider things like:
- How fast you can start making money
- How much money you’ll be able to make
- Hobbies or interests that you can incorporate into your work
You may also want to consider the possibility of turning the side hustle into a full-time business. That may not be something that you would even want to do, but if you’d like to get away from your full-time job you may want to consider this possibility when you are picking a side hustle.
Pick a side hustle that seems like the best fit for you. Don’t obsess over it, just pick something and move on. Most side hustles are relatively easy to start and stop, so if you change your mind later, it’s not the end of the world.
Day 29: Set the Schedule for Your Side Hustle
A side hustle could be something that you work on occasionally here and there whenever you have time, or it could be something that gets 20 hours of your time every week. Of course, the more that you put into it, the better your chances will be for getting something out of it.
For the best chance of success with your side hustle, treat it like a business and set aside regular hours to work on it. Most side hustles are pretty flexible and will allow you to work when it’s convenient for you, so you can schedule it around your job (if you have one) or other commitments.
Decide which days of the week and which hours you will be able to work. Put those hours on your schedule and treat it like a job.
Day 30: Start Your Side Hustle
Now that you’ve picked a side hustle and set your working hours, it’s time to actually get to work. The specifics of what you need to do will depend on the side hustle that you choose. If it’s something that involves client work, you’ll need to start marketing your services to find clients. If it involves building a business online, you’ll need to start laying the groundwork. If it’s something simple like taking online surveys or microtasks, you can sign up at some websites like Swagbucks and MyPoints and get started right away.
The action steps will vary with different side hustles, but you can read How to Start a Side Hustle for a good overview of what you should be doing.
Congratulations! If you’ve made it through this 30-day process, you’re certainly in a better financial situation than you were when you started. But don’t stop here. Be sure to stay on top of your spending and use your money with purpose.
READ NEXT: 9 Steps to Financial Independence