Let’s be honest – making more money is never a bad thing. Adding income to your monthly total gives you many benefits. You can worry less about your funds. You can save more money for retirement. You can have more spending power to increase your quality of life. But HOW can you boost your income? You know what you want, but do you know how to get it?
Are Your Salary Increases Falling Short of Your Expectations?
According to multiple sources, the average annual salary increase for American workers is around 3 percent. You might not complain – after all, 3 percent of a $50,000 salary is $1,500. While you might not be able to notice a difference in your check after withholding, the extra $50 to $100 a month adds up over time.
Now this salary increase might be larger if you are one of your company’s top performers. It might also be larger if your company has experienced significant growth as of late. Of course, if you work for an hourly wage, you might experience a boost in your income during your annual review, when management decides if your efforts deserve a reward.
But there are ways to boost your income without depending on someone else. You hold the power over your financial future. There is nothing that hard work and ingenuity can’t overcome, even if it seems like your flatlining income is going to cause problems.
Here are seven strategies to implement in order to boost your income and secure your finances.
- Could it Be as Simple as Spending Less?
Be honest with yourself: where do you spend money in an unnecessary and perhaps irresponsible fashion? Is your weakness a decadent latte from the local coffee shop…every single work day? Or do you splurge on online shopping on a consistent basis?
If you are not sure where your money is going, but you still feel like you can’t keep track of it, follow the paper trail. Download your bank or credit card statements and see where the cash goes the most frequently. Once you identify your spending habits, it’s time to deal with them. If you want to free up room in your budget, the main way to start is by decreasing the amount of money that leaves your possession each month. Keep more of your hard-earned money – don’t throw it away with no rhyme or reason.
If you don’t yet have a strict spending budget, implement one. It’s not a crime to allow yourself to have some fun with your own money, but most of your cash should be labeled “business.” You should constantly be thinking about how to boost your income with the resources you have – stop letting it leave your account is step one.
- Work on Developing Passive Income Sources
If you’ve never heard of passive income, prepare for a shock. You are used to having to work for you money – every cent of it. And when it’s gone, it’s gone. However, this doesn’t have to be the case all the time, not if you invest your money into a scheme that ends up making you money on a consistent basis. That is what is known as passive income and it can launch you from mediocrity to wealth, just as you wish.
There are many types of passive income, but one of the most common and most talked about is the benefit of real estate. If you are already paying your mortgage and already committed to paying off your home, why not rent out a room and use this asset to your advantage? If you have enough money for a down payment, find a property where it is possible to rent out a section or an apartment and live in the other. It’s the perfect way to bring in extra cash. Yes, you still have to pay taxes on it. You still have to use it to better the experience for your tenants, but overall you are going to profit in the long-term due to the nature of passive income – it just keeps coming in with minimal effort on your part.
You can also start now and begin building up your stock portfolio. Work with an advisor who understands your desire: to be able to collect passively on the portfolio either later in life or after you retire. Once you gather together a nest egg large enough, a healthy return can provide you with significant cash on a monthly basis.
You can also become a lender to others. Through cloud-based peer to peer lending websites, lend your money to a stranger’s idea and you could receive a 5 to 12 percent return. While this might be a riskier move depending on the site’s reputation and policies, it is worth checking into as a passive income source. Begin developing passive income and you will see why so many depend on it to grow their wealth – it can boost your income fast.
- Use Crowdfunding to Launch Your Product or Idea
While technically developing your own product from an original idea is a way to gain passive income, through sales, you might believe this route is impossible. You are not an inventor. Plus, you do not have the large amount of cash needed to finance a giant venture involving manufacturing, marketing and more.
You may not have the cash, but the people who want to buy your product do. Begin working now on putting together a presentation on your product. Who will it help? What sets it apart? You will have to do all the research necessary to know what the next step is after you’ve got the money so you can honestly report your progress to the people who will back you.
Then, put all of this information on Kickstarter or another similar online platform. Your campaign could end up changing your life as well as the lives of others affected by your product. This is not a fast way to boost your income, but it might be the longest-lasting way. It also may be the most mentally challenging but fulfilling at the same time. If you have been wanting to pursue your idea for years, what are you waiting for? Now is your chance to start making the moves towards product development and entrepreneurship.
- Become a Power Freelancer
Want more money? Become a freelancer! Sure, you have heard that line before. But normally, this talking point on how to boost your income involves you picking one way to make extra money and focusing on that freelance job and only that freelance job. If you are truly serious about finding new ways to boost your income, don’t just be a freelancer – be a power freelancer.
What is a power freelancer? It is a self-taught someone who can seemingly do anything, or at least that is what customers would like to believe. You do not just offer dog-walking services, you also house-sit, babysit and clean the house while you are at it – all for additional fees, obviously. You develop continuing long-term relationships with clients and when they need a hand with anything – including painting, packing, moving, mowing, weeding, etc. – you are the first person on their mind.
Your brand is this: you offer comprehensive services that always deliver high-quality results for a fair price, because you are interested in earning money honestly. That is all your brand needs for you to make an impression. Sometimes freelancers get a bad name because the perception is that they “dabble” in whatever job it may be, but you can turn this idea on its head. Learn everything there is to know about the job, master it and market your personal skills. It is a surefire way to boost your income and improve your bottom line.
- Learn a Profitable Skill
If you are feeling stunted by your job, especially if that annual salary increase was only about 3% or less, you are bound to start getting discouraged. Should you just go look for work elsewhere in order to boost your income?
If you are truly miserable at your current position, sure, find a new one. But do not leave your current job without trying to improve your abilities in some way before you go. For instance, look at the needs of your company. What positions are they looking to hire for right now? Is there a way you can learn a new skill and volunteer to take over an additional role while still completing your current duties?
If so, this personal show of achievement and motivation could result in a significant raise. It places you in good standing with management, who would much rather have responsibilities handled by those already in-house rather than creating a whole new position. If you decide you still want to leave your job and search for a new one, you have another handy skill to add to your resume. It could lead to an entire career change or it could at least guarantee you a higher salary wherever you may go next.
- Harness the Power of the Internet
There are so many ways to boost your income online – it could and should be its own article. You can hand make items and sell them on platforms like Etsy. You can go to yard sales and flea markets, find items for cheap and flip them on eBay. You can sell your old valuable collections on Craigslist. The internet is the great equalizer when it comes time to boost your income – everyone has a chance to make money.
You may soon find that selling and re-selling can be a repetitive process. If you’re tired of the same old, same old, try your hand at blogging and affiliate marketing instead. Start a blog based on a topic you are interested in – that way, you’ll never run out of things to talk about. Then, by linking to products within your articles, you can receive a commission when someone clicks on the link and purchases something. Affiliate marketing can immediately add thousands to your annual income, but it takes the dedication to creating a high-quality blog that readers depend upon and keep coming back to in order to make it work.
- Make Life Changes that Result in a Bank Account Boost
Sell your car and bike to work. Sell your house and move into a cheap apartment. Get a roommate. Never eat out again. Never buy clothes new. Never buy furniture new. You don’t have to continue your cycle of maxing out your current income as soon as it comes in. You can take drastic, life-changing steps to ensure you’ll have more month at the end of your money rather than the other way around. But it will take the courage to make some hard decisions and it will take commitment to stand by the decisions, even when you are faced with the temptation to back out.
How Can You Stay Focused?
One of the most difficult processes involved in learning how to boost your income is not understanding the strategies that can help – it’s staying true to your financial plan. Once you boost your income a certain amount, maybe enough to raise your lifestyle a level or two in your mind, you might start getting complacent. Maybe you burn out too soon and stop thinking long-term. You’re more worried about how you feel now, and you’re tired.
Remember, the truly successful people don’t stop once they’re comfortable. They push outside of their comfort zone constantly, making new strides towards progress, whether for themselves on a personal level or for their business, company or product’s long-term vision.
Are you going to stay at a mediocre level or are you going to boost your income until you look back with amazement at how far you’ve come? That’s the decision you have to make. Use these strategies to help you get to where you want to be sooner rather than later.