All Articles How to make money for your self-funded startup

How to make money for your self-funded startup

Modern workspace with an iMac displaying the words, Do More.

Even if you have a perfect idea, building a startup without money is going to be challenging. Having solid funding can really speed up the complicated process of building a startup.

There are many ways to finance a startup, but in this article, we will focus on Bootstrapping. Bootstrapping means financing your startup with your own money. Self-funded projects give you a lot of freedom, but they also bring a lot of responsibilities. For those who want full control over their time and startup decisions, these responsibilities are worth it. Building a startup with your own resources is not an easy or cheap process, but with a bit of planning and a few lifestyle changes, you will be able to finance your project.

Save money while freelancing

Freelancing is a great way to make money on the side. Freelancing can provide flexibility and new opportunities that will make the process of saving up much easier. If you are already working full-time for a company, consider freelancing on weekends, or whenever you find you have extra time to do some work.

Getting creative with your free time and finding ways to make money with the skills that you already have will speed up the process of reaching your financial goals for the startup. Ask yourself what you can offer to potential clients and dedicate your free time to that.

When you decide to take on some extra responsibilities, it’s always important not to stretch yourself too thin. Make sure that you can combine your new responsibilities with your old ones in a sustainable way. While working 16 hour days for months might seem like a good idea to get the startup off the ground fast, it is not sustainable. Choose a lifestyle that you can stick to, or if you choose to push yourself for a bit, make sure to listen to your body so that you know when to stop.

Increase your hourly rate

Sometimes you will have no other option but to ask for a raise. Have that conversation with your client or look for a new project that pays a higher rate. While taking up extra work is helpful, not everyone has the time for that. Maybe you are already working 60+ hours a week and there is simply not enough time to pick up another freelancing gig. If that’s the case, increase your rate and put all the extra money into your startup.

Reevaluate your current spendings

Budgeting and reevaluating your spending habits are going to be essential if you’re funding the project yourself. Doing some extra paid work is great, but not everyone has the time or the ability to find a new job. This is where the budgeting comes in. While you will not be making extra money, you can still manage your income so that some of it actually goes into the startup.

The first step to budgeting is taking a hard look at what your monthly spendings are and evaluating which of these expenses can be cut out, at least for the time being. These cuts don’t have to be major, you don’t have to change your entire lifestyle. After all, It's important that you actually enjoy the process of building something on your own. But small changes, especially to your everyday spending habits can amount to substantial profits that can then speed up the process of financing your startup.

Sell what you no longer use

Some of us are used to hoarding things that no longer have any use for us. To make some extra money on the side, sell the items that you don’t use anymore. If you haven't used something within a year, it's probably time to let it go. You can put the money that you make from it, into your startup.

Use already available resources

When building a startup, you should take any opportunity to repurpose the resources that you already have to avoid extra costs. Repurposing your resources can mean anything from using your connections from previous jobs to repurposing the work you have done before for your clients, as well as tools that you may have access to through your current job.

Coming up with an idea and planning the launch is one thing, but you will have to take care of many mundane, technical details as well. That’s why you should take any help you can get. And this isn’t about just saving money. Your time and energy are just as valuable when you take on such a project.

Ask your friends and family for support

Let your friends and family know about your ideas and plans. If you’re lucky enough to have friends and family that will support you without any preconditions that’s great! But if they are a bit hesitant, try including them in the process of building your company in a way that can generate profit for them in the future.

When you involve friends and family members into your business it’s always a bit complicated, because you have to be extra responsible. Before taking any financial help, make sure to lay some ground rules as to not compromise your relationship in the process. Both sides should have a clear understanding of what they are agreeing to. While this advice holds true with any kind of partnership, when it's personal it is especially important to follow through.


Funding your own startup is not an easy task. Unless you are already in a very good place financially, you will have to make some lifestyle changes if you want to fund your own project. Budgeting more carefully, repurposing your resources, and creating income through selling your old items can help you speed up the process of reaching your financial goals. You can use all of these tips together or just apply some of them based on your circumstances. All of these changes are small enough as to not disturb your daily life too much, while also making an impact. Building a startup with your own money will give you the kind of freedom you can’t get with any other type of funding, so these temporary changes will pay off in the long run.