You’ve heard the saying ‘you have to spend money to make money,’ but is it really true? Why would you spend money if you’re trying to make it?
Sometimes it’s just the case. You have to make your money work for you, which means spending money upfront to get a much larger return on the back end.
What Does It Mean to Spend Money to Make Money?
If you’re looking for a way to increase your earnings, you might have to spend money to make it happen. For example, if you are starting a side hustle, you might need to spend money on equipment, supplies, or training to get yourself to be successful. You’re paying money to make money.
You might have to dip into your bank account and use some of that savings, but in the end, you should have more money to replace it with because you leveled up. At first, it may feel strange, but when you fast forward to a few years from that point and see how much income you earned, you’ll see that spending money to make money was worth it.
Do You Have to Spend Money to Make Money?
There are many good ways to make money, but it’s unnecessary to make money. For example, if you want to invest in real estate to make more money, you have to buy real estate.
Are there ways you can make money without spending any money? Sure, your job is an example, but there are many other ways or even side gigs you can start that don’t require you to spend money upfront.
Keep in mind that you won’t always make money. There’s no guarantee your investments will always perform well or that you won’t lose money. It’s always a risk that you should be aware of before making choices of what to do with your money.
Do You Have to Spend a Lot to Make Money?
In most cases, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make money, but there are times you do.
Going back to our example of investing in real estate. You have to spend a lot of money to invest in real estate. But there are plenty of investments, side gigs, and other ways to make money that don’t require you to spend a lot of money to make money.
16 Ways to Spend Money to Make Money
It’s not a bad thing to spend money to make money. If you invest in the stock market, you’ll get a return. If you start an online business, you’re investing in a business that you hope to succeed.
Here are some great ways how to invest money to make money
Utilize Cashback Websites
It may not feel like it, but cashback sites are a great way to spend money to make money. Popular cashback sites include Rakuten and
Cashback sites are a great way to get paid to buy the things you need and the occasional splurge. Take groceries, for example. Of course, everyone needs them, so you have to spend money on them, but you can earn money back when you use Ibotta or other sites.
We are never too old to learn. So whether you go back to school, buy books, or invest in memberships or seminars online, educating yourself is one of the best investments you can make.
When you get educated, you learn more about different ways to make money. So whether you want to start investing, start a business, or just have a little more cash, you can find ways to educate yourself and reach your goals.
Learn About Money Management
Learning about money management is another great way to invest in yourself. Your initial investment will be in education to help you better manage your money. You’ll have a larger savings account, a fully-funded emergency fund, passive income streams, and a positive financial future when you learn how.
The money you spend to learn about money management will be well spent because it will help you build wealth and have a positive financial future.
Hire a Financial Advisor
If you hire a financial advisor, you have someone in your corner to help you make important financial decisions. Whether you’re looking at short-term or long-term investments, your advisor can help guide you based on your risk tolerance, financial goals, and timeline.
A financial advisor can also help you understand your tax situation, how to minimize your tax liabilities while you build wealth, and learn how to build not only your savings account but also your retirement savings and taxable investment accounts to reach your financial goals.
Flip Items for a Profit
To flip items for a profit, whether it’s a house, furniture, or a collectible, you need to spend money upfront to buy the item.
If you’re buying a house, you may have to leverage your investment with a mortgage, but you’ll need a down payment and to cover the closing costs. On the other hand, if you’re investing in something smaller, you’ll need a small investment upfront, but you’ll intend to sell the item for a profit.
Renovate a Room to Rent
If you have a spare room in your home that you want to rent out, but it could use some fixing up, you might spend money on renovating it to charge more rent. For example, if you remodel the bathroom to be more functional and modern and renovate the bedroom so there’s more living space for your tenant, you can charge higher rent and have more cash flow.
Car Detailing Before Ride-Sharing
If you’re a ride-share driver, you rely on tips. Customers are more likely to tip bigger when you have a clean car that looks impressive and you provide great customer service. If you’re trying to impress new customers, spending money on car detailing can be the ticket to making more money.
Buy In Bulk
If you have a large family or even your small family has certain items they use often, you might save money by buying in bulk.
You’ll spend more money upfront because it’s a larger investment to buy in bulk than individual products. But, you will save money when you don’t have to replenish the items as often. Typically, the per-unit price on bulk items is much lower than the price on individual products, so you have extra cash and won’t run out of the products your family needs.
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Great investments always require you to spend money to make money. Let’s look at business investments. If you invest in a PR firm, a mobile-friendly website, or product/service enhancements, you’re spending money to make more money.
A PR firm can help get your company on the map, a mobile-friendly website can get you more followers, and product/service enhancements give consumers more value. You see a more significant return on the back end when you invest the money upfront.
You can also invest in your personal life. Investing in your retirement funds, savings account, and the stock market are all examples of investing. A well-diversified portfolio will help you offset losses, minimize your tax liabilities and see the greatest return on your investments.
You can even invest in real estate, whether physical real estate or real estate funds that invest in commercial real estate that pays dividends and gives you an even greater return on your investment.
Purchase Quality Over Quantity
Buying higher quality items over less expensive items is a great way to put more cash in your pocket. You’ll spend more money upfront, but you won’t have to replace the items as often, so you have the extra money in your pocket down the road.
This can apply to household items, clothing, toys, or anything your family regularly uses. At first, it may feel like a splurge or like you’re losing money, but in the end, you gain money because you don’t have to spend more money down the road.
Start a Blog or YouTube Channel
Starting a blog or YouTube channel is a great way to earn passive income. You invest upfront by buying your domain name and hosting, and then you monetize your channels to earn money down the road.
You may have to pay a web designer, SEO marketing specialist, or accountant to help you set up your business, but once you’re up and running, you’ll have passive income streams that exist because of the money you spent.
Write an Ebook
Writing an ebook is another way to earn passive extra income. You spend time writing the book once. You might pay an editor or publisher for their services, but then you make money every time the book sells.
Sell Crafts and Homemade Goods
Many businesses start at home, such as selling crafts and homemade goods. If you make something you know people love, sell it. You’ll spend a little money buying supplies and setting up your business, but you’ll have more money fast as your items sell.
Invest in Quality Household Items
We’re all tempted to buy extremely affordable household items, but when they are flimsy and break, or they don’t do the job they’re supposed to do, it costs more money in the long run. Instead, buy quality household items that have good reviews. Yes, you may spend more upfront, but it makes sense since you won’t have to spend so much money down the road.
Buy Nice Clothes
If you find yourself at the thrift shop or buying clothes where you buy your groceries to save money, you’re probably not saving money. The cheaper the clothes you buy, the less time you’ll get out of them.
If you have to replace your wardrobe every season, you’re spending more than necessary. Instead, buy the nicer clothes now and watch how long they last and how much more money and free time you have when you don’t have to replace your wardrobe every season.
Secure a Booth at an Industry Show
If you own a business and attend vendor shows, pay the big money for a good booth. Ask for the booth that’s in the highest traffic area so you can catch potential customers before they see anyone else.
You’ll make your money work for you by getting the spotlight and making sure new customers see you and hear you long before they are tired of going from booth to booth and hearing the spiels.
The old saying is true: you have to spend money to make money. It’s not always a lot of money that you must spend, but some capital is necessary to ensure your successful financial life and meet your intended goals. Now that you know how to make money with money, start earning!
Samantha Hawrylack is a personal finance expert and full-time entrepreneur with a passion for writing and SEO. She holds a Bachelor’s in Finance and Master’s in Business Administration and previously worked for Vanguard, where she held Series 7 and 63 licenses. Her work has been featured in publications like Grow, MSN, CNBC, Ladders, Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Loans, Clever Girl Finance, Credit Donkey, Crediful, Investing Answers, Well Kept Wallet, AllCards, Mama and Money, and Concreit, among others. She writes in personal finance, real estate, credit, entrepreneurship, credit card, student loan, mortgage, personal loan, insurance, debt management, business, productivity, and career niches.