Focus more on making money than saving money

AT we care about saving money, a lot. We try not to be extreme cheapskates because where is the fun in that? 

Rather, we try to be innovative and come up with new ways you can save money.

 But no matter how hard you try and how much you save, you will always be limited by the amount you earn. 

Therefore, it makes sense to spend just as much time thinking about how to make more money.

Yes, you can make money on the side with Airbnb, Uber, Grab, a travel or food blog, your Instagram account or by broadcasting your gaming exploits on YouTube. 

However, I don’t want to bore you to death with those examples from 2013. 

That’s because there are many more exciting trends and opportunities that you can leverage to make more money on the side of your regular job, or even change jobs.

For starters, there are many platforms that match supply and demand for any type of work. With the abundance of free Wi-Fi you can learn digital professions online for free or for very cheap on sites such as Udemy and Coursera. 

For Malaysians specifically, there are a number of factors that work to your advantage. 

Because of its history, many Malaysians speak English very well, which means the large and wealthy English-speaking world is your oyster! 

Finally, it is no secret the ringgit is depreciating. That means the Euro and Dollar are getting more expensive, but it is a good thing if you are being paid in those currencies, because converted to ringgit, you’ll be able to spend more here in Malaysia. 

How do you get paid in dollars you may ask? Online of course! You could get paid to click, tweet, search, browse, review, research, mystery shop, test, write, design, film, teach, babysit, housesit, translate, proofread, edit, photograph, answer or do virtually anything else that other people are willing to pay for. 

You can even become a virtual assistant and perform micro-tasks on sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, Contently, 99Designs or start getting paid by Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for HIT’s (Human Intelligence Tasks).

If you’re in the business of making Instagram-worthy pictures anyway and your coffee and dinner get cold as you photograph it, why not monetise it as a social media influencer? 

And if you make anything artsy-fartsy and Pinterest-worthy, why not sell it worldwide on Amazon, eBay or Etsy? 

Why not sell your digital marketing and social media skills online if you’re spending 4 hours a day on Facebook and Snapchat anyway? 

Learn SEO, SEM, graphics or even web design by learning to code! 

Or set up a small e-commerce store with Shopify and sell everything that has Durian in it to everybody who has ever fallen in love with the fruit when visiting Malaysia. 

Why not become an online entrepreneur yourself? Whether you sell emails, pageviews, listings, profiles, leads, ads, your own or someone else’s products, there are many niches which are too small for unicorn-focused venture capitalists to focus on. 

But these niche opportunities can definitely support a family and keep your skillset relevant at the same time. 

You don’t need investors or even a personal loan: many of these opportunities can be started with very minimal investment (less than RM500).

 Just make sure you give some of these ideas just as much thought as you do when thinking how to save on your groceries, petrol, clothing, holiday or public transport.

Mark Reijman is co-founder and managing director of dedicated to increasing financial literacy and to help you save time and money by comparing all credit cards, personal loans and broadband plans in Malaysia.
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