Today, I have a post from my friend Holly who writes at Get Rich Slowly as well as Club Thrifty. She is here to talk about how to get rich slowly. Enjoy!
When venturing out into the online world of personal finance, you’ll find a diverse mix of blogs and websites espousing different types of financial advice.
First, there’s the “earn more” crowd of bloggers who praise the virtues of investing and career advancement. In addition to giving solid investment advice, they sometimes advocate strategies involving high risk for big returns.
Second, you’ll find an array of bloggers planted squarely in the “spend less” crowd. These blogs make cutting costs into an art form. They may even make their own laundry detergent or buy their kid’s birthday presents at garage sales.
You’ve probably also stumbled across the early retirement crowd. And keep in mind, “retiring early” means different things to different people. Some bloggers in the early retirement crowd have retired as young as 30 years old. Sound impossible? I assure you that it isn’t. Although this lifestyle can’t be achieved by everyone, it can be done if you make the right decisions at a young age.
How to Get Rich Slowly
Diversity. That’s what I love about the Get Rich Slowly mentality. As a long-time reader and current staff writer, I enjoy the fact that we share a variety of different viewpoints. After all, why should anyone have to subscribe to only one personal finance philosophy?
Why should you have to choose between earning more and spending less? Wouldn’t it make sense to try to do both? The fact that you’re reading Making Sense of Cents means that you’re searching for ways to get ahead.
If your personal finance philosophy isn’t extreme, it’s quite possible that taking a balanced approach is your best bet. And you don’t have to knit your own underwear or invest 90 percent of your income to get ahead. In fact, there are many smart and subtle ways to get rich slowly that don’t involve any extreme measures on your part.
Related: How To Become Rich – It’s More Than Millions In The Bank
Get Rich Slowly By Earning More
Earning more is a great idea, right? Of course it is. However, boosting your income may take some creative thinking. Current economic conditions dictate that getting a raise from your employer may be a challenge.
Looking for a second job is always an option, but doing so may mean giving up more than you gain. So, what are some other ways to earn more?
Sell things you don’t need to help get rich slowly. Selling unneeded items is an extremely easy way to add to your bottom line. All you have to do is take inventory of your possessions and determine which items you no longer use. Once you’ve determined what you no longer need, you can choose to sell your stuff in a variety of ways. Some of your options include having a garage sale, auctioning them off on eBay or selling them yourself on Craigslist.
Chase credit card reward offers to get rich slowly. It may sound crazy, but credit card rewards are a great way to earn some extra money each month. If you have a high enough credit score, one of the easiest ways to earn some extra cash is to churn credit cards for sign-up bonuses. Most credit card sign-up bonus offers require that you spend $1,000 to $3,000 within a time frame of usually three to six months in order to earn the reward.
Since sign-up bonuses can range anywhere from $100 to $500, it can definitely be worth your time and effort. Of course, paying interest on your balance may cancel out any advantage, so it’s important to pay your balance in full every month.
Start a blog. One way to start earning some side income is to start a blog. Although Michelle has definitely made it look easy, starting a blog can take some serious time and effort.
The great thing about starting a blog, however, is that it doesn’t cost much to take the plunge. Depending on what your needs are, you can get your blog up and running for as little as $100. The fact that it costs so little to get started makes turning a profit that much easier. Read here to see Michelle’s tips on starting a blog of your own.
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Get Rich Slowly By Spending Less
If you’re having trouble earning more, one of the best ways to start getting ahead is to start spending less. If you think about it, cutting your spending is like giving yourself a big fat raise.
The more you cut, the bigger your raise will be. Of course, cutting everything out may not be the answer. You still have to eat, take care of your kids and pay for basic living expenses. Fortunately, there are a lot of fairly painless ways to cut your spending and increase the amount of money you’re able to keep.
Reconsider all of your expenses to get rich slowly. Put everything on the table. This may mean renegotiating your cable television package or canceling it altogether. Do you really need a landline? How about a second car? You should also take a close look at how much you’re going out to eat and how much you’re spending on groceries. When it comes to cutting expenses, the possibilities are great.
Re-evaluate your insurance needs to get rich slowly. Due to increased competition, it’s possible to save a significant amount of cash on your various insurance policies just by switching to another company. You may also consider changing your deductible or signing up for special promotions in order to get discounted rates. For instance, certain insurance companies offer policy discounts if you sign up to get statements by email.
Stop keeping up with the Joneses. Although this is vague advice, not keeping up with others is one of the best financial moves you can make. Trying to compete with neighbors can completely wreck your financial future, and it’s important to stop outsiders from influencing your spending. If you’re experiencing consumer envy due to the possessions of family or friends, try to remember that their financial position may be completely different than yours — for better or for worse.
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
Great post Holly! I agree that a mixture of both spending less and earning more would seem ideal. However in my case we are almost as that point where we don’t want to spend or cut anything else. Sure we CAN always cut a little more but I dont think we would be happy and in the long run thats what its about for me. Saving investing and growing wealth but I want to be happy and able to enjoy life with my family. With that being said I have really started to focus on earning more money. With it be from flipping cars, sell things on Ebay, side hustles online or even my own company. I plan to get rich slowly by being very diversified with my income stream. I think for the most part that is the safest route, multiple incomes streams of passive and semi passive income.
I’m all about earning more as well. Our monthly expenses are relatively low (around $3,500 for everything).
Mark Ross says
I also started my own blog, I thought of that last March, when I read a post about making some money through blogging. It really requires a lot of my time, but I’m starting to earn a few extra bucks from it, so I can say that it’s really worth it. I hope I can get more money at of it as time passes by.
Anyways, thanks for those tips, earning more and spending less is really a great formula every person can follow to get rich.
I think blogging is really worth it. There are so many positives. I love the community and having an online journal!
We’re striving for financial independence and it’s truly a marathon rather than a sprint.
We’re doing both, trying to increase our income at work through raises and promotions and also cutting our expenses. Right now we’re saving +60% of our net income, which will allow us to reach financial independence in another 4.5yrs.
60% is awesome!
DC @ Young Adult Money says
I’m definitely in the “earn more” crowd, though my wife and I have also coupon to a greater degree than just about anyone we personally know. It’s saved us at least a few thousand over the past two years, especially if you include non-grocery items like clothes.
As you pointed out, starting a blog is a great idea because it doesn’t take much to get started. If you start and never make money, the only thing you’ve lost is time and maybe a couple hundred dollars. If you stick with it long enough it can be an ideal way to increase your income.
I definitely want to start couponing soon. I will have a lot more time so I don’t see why not?
I am on the earn more side, although I limit waste in my lifestyle too. If you manage to make enough so you only live on 25% of what you bring, financial independence is less than 10 years away!
Thanks Pauline! Right now we live on around 25% of our income, and it feels wonderful!
Excellent advice Holly! I do try to do both. I don’t think I am a naturally frugal person my recent circumstances have forced me to be more frugal and I am actually starting to enjoy it. I have been looking for more ways to cut back my expenses and increase my income. It is definitely a slow process, but it’s worth it.
It definitely is worth it 🙂
I agree, Great post! (Our balance is ok posts are always popular.)
I think you are now my favorite writer at GRS. 🙂
Thank you so much!!!
Holly is my fave also!
Matt Becker says
I think having a balance between earning more and spending less is really important. It’s also important to identify your goals ahead of time so you know what you’re working for. Trying to cut expenses or increase income without any end goal in mind is pretty empty and won’t actually get you to a happier place. The advice here for how to actually do it is definitely simple and effective.
I agree Matt! Thanks for stopping by.
Little House says
Great tips. I try to blend the “spend less” and “earn more” philosophies together – it seems to work best for me. I like to think of myself as frugal, but my other half likes to indulge so we break even on that front. 😉
I’m definitely more frugal than W, so I know exactly what you mean.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Nice post Holly! I agree that there is no real reason, generally, why you can’t do both. We’re doing both and try to have balance with each. Alone, either is nice, but combining them is where you can really see some significant impact.
I agree. Combining the two shows great results!
Grayson @ Debt Roundup says
Spot on post Holly. You really should do both to get ahead. You can only cut expenses so much, that is just a fact. You can always make more money, but you have to be willing to and have the know how. Having both in your toolbox will help you get rich slowly over time.
I agree, there is only so much that you can cut.
Nick @ ayoungpro.com says
Nice post Holly! The thing I like about earning more is that it is essentially uncapped. There is only so much you can save, but you can always earn more. However, I agree that the easiest way to build wealth is to do both!
I agree Nick!
Great post! This is why I love the PF atmosphere. Truly motivating to have people who care about pf.
I’m for earn more and spend less, which equals into more saving and investing money. FI is something we both definitely think about.
This is why I love PF blogging also 🙂
Budget and the Beach says
I’m probably the more balanced approach type person. I want to spend less, earn more, diversify my income, save for retirement. A little bit of everything. The only thing I haven’t touched on in my own blog is student loans (never had them), mortgage (never owned anything), and not too much in the debt and investment areas. I think money should be valued, but spent and used to enjoy life. So I’m probably smack dab in the middle.
I agree. Life should be enjoyed as well.
Mama Needs Money says
I’ve definitely thought more about the ‘spend less’ side, but the internet is so chock-full of great ideas for earning more- it’s awesome! Good article!
Done by Forty says
A diversity of approaches is healthy. Even if we don’t ascribe to every tip, it’s good for us to be appreciative of other approaches.
Justin @ The Family Finances says
We’re trying to work both ends: spending less and earning more. Our spending is pretty well cut as far as I’d like to go, but I do regularly monitor what we’re spending and checking for lower-cost alternatives. On the earning side, I started my blog in early 2012 and do get a little income from that.
Keren @ Stepping It Down says
I’ve definitely started diversifying my income since May. Last month I was SO CLOSE to meeting my extra income goal, too! Great post, Holly!
Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances says
Great tips, Holly. I agree that diversification is the best way to reach financial independence. That’s why I’m trying to spend less and earn more, while also earning from different side gigs. I have a hard time deciding which I should use when selling items: Craigslist or Ebay? Do you have a preference, or does it vary by item?
This cracks me up. The comments here are waaaaaaaaaaaaayyy nicer than they are at Get Rich Slowly. I could get used to this! =)
Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans says
Great post! I like to think I’m in the balanced camp – I want to earn more AND spend less.
Words well said! I’m hoping to work on both, maybe more on increasing the earnings though, as I think I already spend quite less.
I am not sure it was “slowly” or not, but I did it by investing in income property. It took a little over 7 years to achieve financial independence.
Lisa @ Cents To Save says
Spending less and saving more is definitely the way to do it. I seem to have problems with the spending less part.
Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa says
I owe so much money right now. I’m slowly getting poor. Once I achieve poorness (or a balance of $0), then I will start planning on getting rich.
The turtle does usually win the race. I think it should be a combo approach of cutting expenses while trying to grow your income. Both will make your getting rich more efficient. Now if only I could have Michelle’s side hustle/blog income level :p
Earning more is so much more fun and interesting than saving. Someone should write a post about saving the fun way. After much effort to save, I find myself little disappointed looking at the numbers. I’m not advocating that we shouldn’t save, yes we should all apply some of these great tips to get rid of our leaky faucet, but I believe in shifting the gear and head hard toward making more.