About ten years ago, I read a short article about investing for pennies and I did just that using the hot (now defunct) online investment site of the moment. For less than $100, I managed to receive dividend payments 2-4 times a year and it was just enough to fill the gas on my subcompact or treat myself to a meal at a casual dining spot. I kinda thought I was all that and a bag of white truffle potato chips because my ignorance about the stock market was beyond blissful.
While this may sound great to some, my main problem (besides the obvious) was that I had no goals. Getting a few dollars in the pocket, whether it be in savings account interest or dividends, can go a long way when an entrepreneur chooses to make wise money decisions. Despite having a grandmother (who is still living and has all of her facilities) who worked in banking and gave me decent advice, these were merely the basics.
Besides doing accurate research, it also helps to have specific investment goals in mind. Also, like anything else, start small. It's not only smart but there is a greater chance of not losing. While there are a number of resources to be found online, it helps to either go to a neutral source, like the government or by taking a college extension class.
While you may be saying "When the h3ll will I even have money to begin investing or the time to read", this is the perfect downtime idea. Think about it, that bad client or prospect is going to go about their business, once you have been paid (or decided to charge it to the game). So why spend time sulking. Pick up a notepad and a beer (or box of chocolates) and start looking at ways to make your money grow.
If going back to a salaried job is a no, this is where those delivery or ride-sharing gigs may come in handy. However, before signing on, learn how to establish boundaries since these can also drain your gas budget. By keeping a notebook filled with resources and tips, anyone can design their own money-saving plan that will help when a personal or professional upgrade is needed.
Why do this now? Because one day you're not gonna be a youngster and time will pass faster than before (and you won't be able to collect as much). Even if you're not-so-young, making wise choices at 50 will make a difference if you live to be 75+