For lots of folks, investing is a glamorous sport, a sweet science you can practice for fun and, of course, for profit. It also doubles as a terrific hobby.

Value hounds, for example, can while away the hours performing "deep dive" research on the likes of Carnival (NYSE:CCL) and Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR). Both companies' stock prices fell yesterday amid analyst downgrades and, in Juniper's case, fourth-quarter reporting woes. Small-cap investors can handicap the further upside potential of companies such as Tempur-Pedic International (NYSE:TPX) and Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN); each of those little fish rose more than 90% over the last year.

Meanwhile, growth mavens might hit the books with race cars like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), eBay, and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), trying to determine just how much those firms' forward-looking earnings prospects are worth. Each is expected to deliver 20%-plus growth over the next five years.

The other side of the coin(s)
Now admittedly, socking away money to invest in those stocks may not be quite as glamorous, but the fact is, the more you save, the more you can invest. Indeed, reducing the amount you pay in credit card interest, for instance, can be deeply rewarding -- literally.

At an annual percentage rate of 19%, you'll have to cough up $737.25 a month to pay off an $8,000 credit card balance over the course of a year. Reduce that rate to 11%, though, and your monthly payment falls to $707.05, leaving you with an additional $362 in the bank when you're debt-free at the end of the year.

Better yet, don't park that moola in the bank: Send it off to your brokerage account. If it earns the market's historical average (10.5% annualized), that sum will come close to tripling in 10 years' time. Not too shabby, especially considering that you've essentially invested with found money.

The Foolish bottom line
The more you sock away and plow into the market, of course, the greater your potential returns. With that in mind, we strive to bring you $450 worth of money-making and money-saving ideas each month in our Motley Fool Green Light newsletter service. You can try Motley Fool Green Light free for 30 days. Just click here to snag a guest pass that provides complete access to our archives, current newsletter issue, advisor blogs, and world-class discussion boards. There's no obligation to stick around if it's not your cup of tea, so go ahead and give us a risk-free whirl. A richer financial future really does await.

Shannon Zimmerman runs point on the Fool's Champion Funds newsletter service and co-advises Motley Fool Green Light with his pal Dayana Yochim. At the time of publication, Shannon didn't own any of the securities mentioned above. Yahoo! and eBay are Stock Advisor picks. You can check out the Fool's strict disclosure policy by clicking right here.