12 Smartest Ways to Make Your Money Work for You

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You work hard for your money. Wouldn’t it be nice if your money returned the favor?

What if your money worked hard for you?

That can happen, you know. Money doesn’t have to just sit there like a lump, collecting dust and waiting around to be spent. You can train your money, give it directions and put it to work.

Ideally, your money can make more money. At the very least, sometimes you should strategically spend a little bit of money to prevent a situation where you’d be forced to spend a lot more money.

We’ve got some ideas for how you can get your money to do its part. Not all these ideas may work for you, but some of them will, so make sure to read them all.

1. Grow your money with professional help

Your money should definitely be making more money! To properly manage your money, work with a professional — it’s totally worth it. If you’re not doing this, you could be missing out on some serious financial gains.

A Vanguard study found that, on average, a hypothetical $500,000 investment over 25 years would grow to $1.7 million if you manage it yourself, but more than $3.4 million if you work with a financial adviser. That’s twice as much!

If you’ve got at least $100,000 in investments, check out a free service called SmartAsset. You fill out a short questionnaire and instantly get matched with up to three vetted financial advisers in your area, all legally bound to work in your best interests.

Even if you don’t want help picking investments, an adviser can help lower your tax burden, create a comprehensive financial plan for you, maximize your Social Security, and serve as a second pair of eyes to make sure you’re on the right track.

Using SmartAsset only takes a few minutes, and in many cases you’ll be offered a free consultation.

Please carefully review the methodologies employed in the Vanguard white paper, “Putting a value on your value: Quantifying Vanguard Advisor’s Alpha.”

2. Escape the jaws of 25% interest

You can use the value of your home to kill off your credit card debt. The average credit card interest rate these days is approaching 25% — a record high. Sounds like what a loan shark would charge, doesn’t it?

Never borrow recklessly, but when it’s time, do it right. Take advantage of much lower rates by borrowing against your home. Use that loan — with rates as low as 6.75% — to fix up your house, to pay off high-interest debt or for any other purpose (besides financing a lifestyle you can’t afford).

That’s a fraction of what credit cards charge, and will literally save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

How do you shop for the best deal? Simple: Head to a loan shopping site like Rocket Mortgage. They’ve eliminated most of the hoops you had to jump through in the past, so it only takes a couple of minutes to see how much you could get.

3. Protect your family by leaving them up to $2 million

Spending a little money on an insurance policy can save your family a ton of money down the road. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your family, right? Well, if something happens to you, who’s going to pay the mortgage or college bills? This is why life insurance is so important.

Not everybody needs insurance. If your kids are grown and you have a nice, fat bank account, there’s really no need. But if your family would have a hard time getting along without you, life insurance is definitely something you should look into. Just don’t pay too much for it by buying the wrong kind, or buying from a commissioned salesperson.

Shopping for life insurance used to be a long, complicated process. Now? Not so much. For example, Ethos is a company that lets you apply online in minutes without getting off the couch. There are no medical exams, no blood tests. You can get term life insurance ranging from $20,000 to $2 million. And it may cost as little as $7 a month: less than you might be spending now on coffee.

Simply answer a few online health questions and get a personalized quote in less than five minutes. This could be the most important thing you ever do for the people you love.

And Ethos is rock-solid: They’ve protected more than 100,000 families and provided more than $34 billion in coverage. So, why not check it out? Click here right now for a quick, free quote from Ethos.

4. Protect your home from unexpected costly repairs

Home repairs aren’t cheap. Whether it’s a leaky roof or a broken appliance, your home can quickly become a nightmare and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to keep up.

But you don’t have to worry. Luckily, with a home warranty company called Select Home Warranty, you can safeguard yourself against giant repair bills. From home appliances to electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, it can all be protected.

When something goes wrong due to normal wear and tear, you just call Select Home Warranty, day or night. The company has a wide network of reputable repair folks who will fix what’s wrong.

And if they can’t fix it? Select Home Warranty will replace it. All you pay is a service fee.

You don’t need a home inspection to qualify for a warranty, and there’s no limit to the number of claims you can file. Right now, Select Home Warranty is offering $150 off plans, two months for free and free roof leak coverage.

Hey, if you’re handy and like to repair stuff yourself, that’s obviously the cheapest route. But if that’s not you, a penny spent now could save you big bucks later.

If nothing else, at least see what it would cost. Get a free quote in 30 seconds.

5. Invest in real estate for $10

Real estate has long been a path to wealth. But you need to be wealthy to get started, right?

Wrong. For as little as $10, Fundrise can get you started. Fundrise lets you buy into real estate properties the same way stocks let you buy into companies.

In effect, you’re a landlord without having to run background checks or serve eviction notices. While not a guarantee of future results, Fundrise investors have earned an average of 25% within three years; if they held on for five years, the increase was more than 50%.

People are always going to need a place to live — and recent rent jumps make real estate investing more profitable. Rent prices went up almost 18% in 2021, according to data from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Take two minutes and check it out.

Note: This is a testimonial in partnership with Fundrise. We earn a commission from partner links on moneytalksnews.com. All opinions are our own.

6. Protect your pets for less

You have health insurance for your family, right? Of course, you do. Otherwise, an accident or illness could leave you bankrupt.

But what about your pets? They’re a member of your family, too. And just as with human healthcare, vet costs are also skyrocketing.

That’s where Pet Insurance comes in. With customizable plans and affordable premiums, you can ensure your pet gets the care they need without breaking the bank.

The best way to find the best coverage at the best price is to use a comparison site like this one, where you can clearly see various options from multiple companies, all on one page, along with expert recommendations.

Why gamble your savings on your pet’s health? Click here right now and see if there’s an affordable solution for your four-legged family members.

7. Don’t pay retail, save 10% to 30% on everything you buy

Let’s face it, shopping online is more convenient than going to a store. Plus, you’re more likely to find a deal, promotion or coupon code and quickly cross-reference prices at several different retailers to save money.

Want to make that process even easier? Try Capital One Shopping. This handy-dandy tool alerts you when a deal on an item you’re buying is available. Talk about effortless. All you have to do is add it as a browser extension, and it’ll search the internet for coupon codes to apply during checkout.

That’s not all. It also compares prices across the internet and will notify you when the item you’re purchasing is cheaper elsewhere. It’s free, and you don’t need to be a Capital One customer to use it. It’s just a friendly tool trying to save you money online. Find better bargains now.

8. Use this secret source for discounts

Are you over 18? Then you’re eligible to save hundreds of dollars every year simply by joining AARP.

“What?” You say, “I thought AARP was for retired people.”

As it turns out, AARP doesn’t have a minimum age to join. And members get discounts on hundreds of things, like:

  • Up to $200 per person off flights
  • Up to 30% off rental cars
  • Up to 15% off restaurants
  • Up to 20% off hotels

You’ll also save on eyeglasses, prescriptions, meal deliveries and lots more. And that’s not all. AARP offers a Fraud Watch Network, job listings, retirement planning tools, games, and tons of information, programs and resources.

Anyone trying to save money can’t afford not to join AARP, especially since the cost is as low as $12 per year with auto-renewal. You’ll likely recoup the cost in the first week.

9. Slash your interest bill by $500 (or more)

One way to slash that sky-high credit card interest you’re paying is to get a lower-interest personal loan and use the proceeds to pay off all your debt in one fell swoop.

And finding one couldn’t be easier.

Whether you’re consolidating high-interest debt, financing your next home renovation project, or covering unexpected expenses, NerdWallet's loan marketplace makes finding the right loan quick and easy.

It only takes a few minutes to apply — without affecting your credit score — and if approved, you’ll have money in your account in no time.

NerdWallet has rated and reviewed loans from more than 35 financial institutions, with loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 and APRs as low as 5.99%.

Their marketplace also offers a range of helpful resources and tools, so you’ll feel confident and informed throughout the process. It’s never been this easy to find and compare personal loans.

10. Shield yourself against costly auto repairs

The cost of car repairs is skyrocketing. One shop told Consumer Reports that a decade ago, their average repair was $1,600. These days, the average bill is $4,000.

Typically, a vehicle manufacturer warranty lasts three years. Yet the average car is around 12 years old. If you’re concerned about coming up with thousands of dollars for a repair bill, protect your investment with Endurance Warranty Services.

The company provides extended warranty plans of up to 36 months. Choose from at least six different plans, to get only the coverage you actually need, for cars up to 20 years old.

All their warranties include 24/7 roadside assistance plus rental car benefits while your vehicle is being repaired. For the first year, you’ll get the Elite Benefits program for free; this includes complete tire coverage, key fob replacement, a collision discount and a $1,000 payment if your car is determined to be a total loss.

Endurance has a network of thousands of ASE-certified repair shops. More important: Endurance pays the repair bill upfront. All you need to cover is the deductible.

ConsumerAffairs calls Endurance “a solid choice” for drivers of any age, and “particularly appealing” for those with older vehicles.

11. Save up to $610 on car insurance

If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance. But shopping around for a better deal is such a hassle.

Well, it used to be.

Now you can just check out Provide Insurance, the largest online marketplace for insurance in the U.S. Provide Insurance lets you compare quotes from more than 175 different carriers in minutes.

All you have to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your driving history. Then Provide will show you the best options for your needs and budget.

You could save up to $610 a year on car insurance by using Provide Insurance. That’s money you could use for other things, like investing, saving or paying off debt.

Don’t let your current insurer overcharge you. Try Provide Insurance today and see how much you can save on car insurance.

12. Earn more money on your savings

What’s the difference between 0.5% and 4% interest?

If you’re like a lot of savers, you’ll say, “Who cares? Neither one amounts to much.” But that’s a mistake, and the longer you make it, the more it will cost you.

Example: Put aside $500 a month for 30 years at 0.5% interest, and you’ll end up with $195,000. Nice!

But if you can raise that rate to 4%, you’ll end up with more like $350,000. Nicer!

Doesn’t it make sense to earn an extra $155,000 with no additional effort and with no additional risk? That’s exactly why it pays to shop around and find the highest-paying FDIC-insured savings account.

Especially when it’s so simple. There are tons of free online comparison sites that can help you find top rates on insured savings in seconds. So take a few seconds and check it out.

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