The quickest way to achieving wealth is having your money make you money. Making your money work for you is more like a marathon that requires planning, diligence, and financial smarts. Here’s a few ways you can put your money to work without exchanging time for money.

Open a high-yield savings account, earn more money

When you have money tucked away in a savings account, you usually earn some interest on the account balance. Unfortunately, the interest you earn might not generate much income. That’s certainly true in today’s low interest rate environment. Some banks however, offer special, high-interest savings accounts that can offer much higher rates than traditional accounts.

One of the best places to look for high-interest savings accounts is online banks. Online banks, benefit from lower costs with the elimination of brick-and-mortar branches, rarely charge monthly fees and offer rates that are often much higher or more compared to traditional banks.

Develop a budget

An effective budget can help you make the most of your money, allowing you to understand where you are spending, so that you can feel empowered to save, and spend, on things that are most important to you. With the right tools on your side, you can learn how to make your money work for you.

An effective budget is an accurate budget. After you know how much you’ve been spending, you want to compare it to how much you earn. Using your after-tax pay can help you determine an accurate total for how much money you actually have available to spend. 

Pay down debt

Spending less and saving more are worthy goals. Paying down debt, however, is the key to success. Debt is a major obstacle to reaching financial goals from everything to buying a home to retiring. It affects people of all ages and backgrounds, at different life stages. Borrowing is pretty easy, it’s paying it back that’s hard.

Develop streams of positive income

The reason why passive income is appealing is that it requires little effort to make money. This is what is often referred to as making your money work for you. Generally, you invest your money in a product that will generate an income.

You invest time in building something upfront that will generate income down the road with little effort on your part.

Invest in the market / Store it in retirement accounts

There’s more risk in investing in the stock market as there are no guarantees, but the idea is to purchase shares in exchange for those shares to appreciate in value. The good shares will offer dividend payments as well.

Invest in real estate with little money

Investing in rental property can be passive if you hire someone to do the maintenance and repairs in the building. Ideally the building you invest in will appreciate over time and you will be earning rental income each month.

You can also invest in REITs if you’d like to own real estate without having to physically own and maintain property. REITs tend to pay high dividends, which makes them a common investment in retirement. Investors who don’t need or want the regular income can automatically reinvest those dividends to grow their investment further. New investors should generally stick to publicly traded REITs, which you can purchase through brokerage firms.

Sell Digital Products

Creating an educational product to sell to others, creating membership sites and creating templates or tools to sell to others are a great way to make passive income. The work goes in at the start to create the product, but once that product is created, there is very little to do. Just watch your product sell.

Choose credit cards with rewards you’ll use

The easiest way to make money with credit cards is by earning rewards, particularly cash back rewards and big signup bonuses. So long as you use a cash back credit card for purchases you were going to make anyway, and then pay your bill in full to avoid interest, you’re getting free money back. 

Get a cash back credit card

Cash back credit cards make it easiest to make money. Cash rewards cards give you cash back on purchases that you can redeem for statement credits, personal checks and/or bank account deposits. You can also set up automatic cash back redemption, so that once your earnings hit a certain amount, they’re cashed out according to your preferences. The average cash back credit card gives a little more than 1% cash back on purchases, but you can find cards with higher earning rates.

Earn a credit card signup bonus money

Many of the best rewards credit cards come with high signup bonuses for meeting a minimum spending requirement in the first 1-3 months. For example, you could make $150 to $500+ from rewards bonuses without spending more than you would otherwise, just by using the right card. Once you earn the signup bonus, one redemption option is to apply it directly to your credit card bill to cover purchases you’ve made.

Try lending money via peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending is exactly what it sounds like: lending money to your peers. Essentially, you finance someone else’s personal loan and get paid back with interest. One of the reasons people take out personal loans is to refinance credit card debt. If you become a lender on a peer-to-peer lending site, you can give money to people who are looking to pay off credit card bills, and then personally reap the rewards of their interest payments. However, this is really only worthwhile if you have extra money you don’t need at the moment and are willing to get repaid over the course of months or years. There’s also some risk your loan won’t ever be paid back in full.