Getting your finances together during 2020 may have been tough, but 2021 offers many options for improving your bank balance, your budget, and your investments. You may have to be ready to do things that others won't do to get ahead.Get Your Goal Front and Center If you're thinking of picking up an extra gig or side hustle to have more money for investing, make sure that you can see an earnings calendar every time you hop on your laptop, fire up a tablet, or check your phone. Make looking at the markets a normal step in your day.Putting money in the markets can be scary. You may have avoided it for a while now. There is something comforting in not having any money to invest because you don't have to deal with market volatility. If you become accustomed to that volatility, your chances of being excited about investing go up.Don't Ramp Up Your Spending When Your Income Increases If you're working two jobs, you may feel that you deserve a treat or a night on the town. The extra money you've earned to use to build an investment portfolio can disappear pretty quickly if you're not disciplined. While earning more, look for ways to cut expenses as well.Since you won't be home as often, why not get a roommate? If your side hustle is an online gig that you can do from home, consider selling items you don't use and turning that empty closet into an office. If all of your work is from home, you may even be able to sell your car. While this sounds radical, by the time you're not paying for gas, parking, and insurance, getting rid of a car that you don't absolutely need can save a lot of cash.Look into ways to cut back on the consumables you use every day. If you have a particular brand of skincare that works for you, look for loyalty programs that allow you to get free products. Purchase things you need, including:groceries gas rent utilities on a credit card that gives you purchasing points or cash back and pay it off every month. By squeezing out a bit of free product or cash on the money you have to spend anyway, you will have more for your investment portfolio.Work When Others Don't The most lucrative side hustles can come from your willingness to make money while others sleep or play. While other folks drink and party on the weekends, you can be a rideshare driver or a bartender. While other folks pay to go to a gym, you can start a dog walking service and earn money while you stay fit.If your side hustle is online, take a look at the schedule you keep for your regular job. You may be able to:get up earlier and work uninterrupted on your side hustle, such as tutoring a child in another country take a class, use your night owl powers to best use and work into the night trading international currencies part-time use your take stock photos to sell while you're out and about running errands or exercising One of the challenges when going from hourly or salaried to freelance is that you get paid for those little stretches of time you're not working at your job. Get up to talk to a friend at work and it likely won't hit your paycheck. When you're freelancing or self-employed, no work means no money. You have to be busy most of the time. Use a timer to help you focus and stick with your project or task until it's done. Once you have that schedule set, guard it fiercely.The pandemic has forced many of us to think differently about a lot of things, money included. If you want an investment portfolio that will allow you to build savings rapidly, start studying the markets now and build that side hustle. By the time you have extra money coming in, you'll know where to put it for the best results.