Usually, people who want to bolster their finances trim their expenses.
But cutting costs only goes so far. Unless you already make a lot of money and spend like a bon vivant, most people can’t eke out that much more from their budget by decreasing expenses. Plus, the more you retrench, the more your quality of life suffers. (It’s all relative, though — certainly some overspenders could actually improve their lives by tempering their expenditures.)
If you’re looking to increase your revenue streams, take heart: Opportunities to earn extra money abound for people at all levels of experience. While the gigs requiring more experience will pay more money, for those starting out, even the earnings of lower-paying jobs will add up over time.
That extra money can be put toward helping you pay down debt, boost your net worth or save for big goals, such as making the leap to freelance.
These ways of making extra money cover a wide range in terms of compensation and prestige.
1. Change jobs.
This is the best way to boost your earnings, as you have the most leverage at the moment that a company wants you but isn’t sure whether it can get you. Use that to your advantage in negotiations. Another benefit of getting a bump up when you switch jobs is that the percentage boost will be baked into all your future raises, elevating your lifetime earnings. Here’s how to negotiate your salary.
2. Request a raise.
Getting a raise is an excellent move because it doesn’t require you to trade more time for more money. You are putting in the same amount of time, but pulling a bigger paycheck. But, it’s always a bit tricky to ask for a raise when your company already has you at your current salary. You’ve got to make a strong argument you deserve the increase. Here are the top 10 mistakes to avoid when asking for a raise.
Freelancing is the next best thing to being paid more for your full-time work, because professional work always pays more than unskilled. To find opportunities, let former colleagues or other personal connections that you’re available for freelance gigs. (Here are some ideas on how LinkedIn could be useful for that.) Or, post on marketplaces particular to your field. For instance, Mediabistro, a journalism site, allows freelancers to post profiles of their experience and services. Though these are more up to chance, designers can bid on jobs at 99Designs.com or submit a design at Threadless, to see if it will be crowdfunded. Elance-Odesk also lists many freelance opportunities, and you can also post your own services on Fiverr, although some freelancers say these services create a race to the bottom on fees and so are not very lucrative. If you’re new to freelancing, here’s how to set your rates, and here’s how to negotiate raises with clients.
If you have an area of expertise, you can create a website with ads and affiliate links, like blogger J. Money did (boosting his net worth $400,000 in 7 years) in and as Smart Passive Income guru Pat Flynn, who has so far earned $3 million blogging, does. Get Flynn’s tips on how to create value for your audience.
If you have enough experience in your field to coach others with their careers, then create a website — or, if you have one, add a section describing what you’d offer as a coach. Advertise your services in industry forums and give new clients a discount or other incentives to refer you.