We spoke to an expert at a local bank, who provided insight into wealth creation, and we have gathered a selection of smart ways for you to make extra money.

Ester Ochse, product specialist at FNB Wealth and Investments, told us that the first and most important thing that everyone should do is reduce their short term debt. This includes personal loans and store cards, which need to be paid off first because they normally attract a much higher interest rate than what you can get on savings and investments. 

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“Once the initial step of paying off short term debt is complete and there is no high interest rate debt, you need to start building an emergency fund,” she says. This should ideally include about three months’ worth of expenses. 

“It is a lot, but gives comfort that when an emergency happens, you are well covered. Start with small amounts, like one week's worth of expenses, then one month's and so on,” she advises.

This emergency fund should sit in a money market account, or similar, somewhere you can get hold of the funds very quickly if need be. “But,” Ester warns, “ensure that you are disciplined and don’t use it for unnecessary spend.”

She advises that once that is in place, you can start researching and looking at a longer-term investment. The type of investment you choose will be dependent on your requirements. 

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Ester suggests that if you are saving for a deposit of a house in two years or a wedding in a year, you should invest in safe predictable assets, but if you are saving for your child’s university education in ten years, you should rather look at a growth type asset such as shares and property. She recommends approaching a reputable organisation for guidance in this regard.  ?It’s all well and good to invest wisely, but what if you don’t have money to save? Here are some ideas to get you inspired to earn your worth this year: 

Side gigs

Globally, more and more people are working a side hustle and their number one motivation is to bring in extra cash. Thanks to websites like the Southern African Freelancers' Association and FreelancerZA it’s easy to list your professional skills and get hired online, and if baby sitting or pet sitting is more your thing there’s a website for that too. 

Consider ways to bring in extra money after hours, and put that into a savings account to benefit from in years to come. 

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Smart investments

Financial advisors say that the type of investment you make will depend largely on when the money is going to be used and what your savings goal is. In other words, investing is not about how much money you have, but rather when you need the money. Speak to your bank or find a reputable financial advisor from one of the big investment companies such as Old Mutual or Liberty, to discuss your options. 

The sooner you begin saving towards your goal, the more money you will have when it’s time to pay out. 

A pay increase

You work hard and you deserve to be rewarded for it. To find out if you could be earning more, research average salaries and compare yours to that of your peers with the same amount of work experience as you.

Schedule an appointment with your manager and come prepared with facts to support your request. These should include not only information about local salaries but also why you deserve an increase, with data and solid facts to support your claims. 

READ MORE: Five easy tips to help you get that promotion

Leverage all your assets

If you have a car, consider driving for Uber. If you have a spare room, look into AirBnB. If you can bake, paint or juggle advertise your skills on local mom’s groups and put them to use as a kid’s birthday party entertainer. Whether it’s helping someone with their tax return or editing their thesis or directing their video application for a new job, you already have a skill that can earn you revenue. 

By leveraging all your assets you’ll be able to bring in extra income in no time.  

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