Are you exploring how to increase your income and how do it quickly? If so, you’re not alone. The current debt crisis in America is substantial. Households around the country carry an average debt of almost $140,000! That’s insane.
It’s also not the 1900’s anymore, which that the outdated model of working 40 years for the same company is long gone. We’re entered an area of abundance and freedom for those who are ready to go after it.
It’s the 21st Century, which means you can sell your products or services directly, work a second job, participate in the shared economy, or rapidly learn new skills through online courses like Udemy or free platforms like YouTube.
Seriously, connecting directly with money and making more income has never been easier.
Making Extra Income (Quickly)
We could all do with extra income, right? In the best case scenario, it will provide you with money to invest in assets, allowing you to put your money to work for you, instead of the other way around. In the worst case scenario, you may need it to make ends meet or to pay for living expenses.
Money is tight for many people. Bringing in extra money by learning how to increase your income could make a vital difference to your quality of life, freeing you up to live as a digital nomad, travel, and experience new adventures.
While the correlation between money and happiness is controversial, what isn’t controversial is the correlation between money and health. With additional funds, you can pay for better quality foods, access better healthcare, and afford a gym membership.
Of course, you don’t have to be in debt to benefit from an earnings boost.
With the right approach, extra income is easier to achieve than you might think. Even better, you may be able to get your hands on it in record time, like 30 days or less.
Sound good? Read on for 7 strategies to make it happen.
1. Negotiate a Raise
Do you excel at your job and consistently deliver great results? If so, it might be time to negotiate a raise with your boss.
This is one of the simplest ways to enjoy a dramatic boost to your income. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask for it.
You’d be surprised how few people appreciate their true value. They undersell themselves, assuming they’ll be offered a raise when they’ve earned it.
Never make assumptions. Instead, organize a meeting with your employer. A simple request for more money could be all it takes. It pays to prepare though.
Go into that meeting with proof of your value (think sales data and other related evidence).
Creative Ways to Negotiate a Raise
Remember that a salary increase is not the only way to get more income. There are often items of unequal value to both parties in a negotiation, so you might want to ask what works best for your boss.
For example, if your request for a salary raise gets turned down – which can happen if there are set pay tiers within your company/organization – then you can shift into asking for funds through a creative solution, such as:
- A year-end bonus
- Professional development credits
- Money toward your commuter costs
- A commission or performance-based bonus
As mentioned in the last point above, it can be helpful to have your raise correlated with a measurable performance metric. By this I mean, consider asking to be paid when (and only if) you produce results. Yes, you will have to produce. And, yes, you should be skilled enough to do so with confidence.
Finally, one of my favorite beliefs is that “an ask is free.” There’s no downside to asking for a raise other than the potential to be turned down.
Simply put, courageous people make more money.
Top Negotiating Books for Getting a Raise
Are you still feeling nervous? Here’s are two of my favorite negotiating books to read that will give you a boost of confidence when asking for your raise:
- Never Split the Difference – Negotiating as Your Life Depends on It – This book was written by a former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, who provides practical tips on how approach to high-stakes negotiations .
- Secrets of Power Negotiating – This is an older book, but it’s got advice that has stood the test of time, and in my opinion, is a must-read.
Here’s even more advice on getting the salary you deserve.
2. Get a Side Job
Assuming you’re already employed, you can also consider taking on a side job to supplement your income.
There’s no shortage of opportunities out there. The internet offers a host of possible outlets for additional income. You could become a freelance writer, a virtual assistant, tutor people via Skype, sell E-books, and so on.
You can also be paid for completing surveys on the web.
Another effective approach is register with companies that host focus groups, because they will often pay you between $100 – $300 per session to give your consumer feedback. I used to regularly participate in focus groups during Grad School.
At the time, I had more time than money, so I reviewed new flavors of Gatorate chews, gave feedback on REI’s latest marketing strategy, and participated in a mock trial in which an attorney group wanted to role play a big case prior to their court appearance.
Here’s a link to get started with your search for focus groups. Of course, you can also search for the terms “Focus Group + [Your City]” to find more options.
Interested in something away from the computer?
Again, the world is your oyster. You could look for dog walking jobs, tutor people in person, or become a driver for Uber or Lyft.
How to Free Up Time for Your Second Income Flow
While taking on more work may seem difficult if you’re already stretched for time, you can start by auditing what time you are wasting on things that don’t improve our life, such as watching long periods of Netflix.
You can also check your screen time stats on your smart phone and it’ll probably shock you how much time you can free up. I regularly monitor my screen time, because I want to leverage my use of technology and not be reactive to it.
You can also pursue an increased efficiency in daily tasks, for example, by bulk cooking food. You’ll be amazed at how much time you can find when you get creative.
3. Sell Your Things
While this is not a long term income generator, if you’re looking to make more money quickly, it is an effective way to do it. Most of us have masses of stuff that we no longer use or need.
Search around the house for anything that is an unwanted possession. Look for shoes, clothes, furniture, games, toys, electronics, sports equipment, and old textbooks. Literally anything you no longer have use of could find a new home and be put to use.
With your ‘inventory’ assembled, it’s time to find an avenue to sell it.
Or, you can use the time test approach of holding a yard sale.
Leverage Donation-Based Tax Breaks
If you don’t need the money immediately, there are also exceptional tax breaks that you can get from donating your belongings to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or other non-profit of your choice.
By donating unneeded items to these organizations, you can easily save hundreds (sometimes more) come tax time.
I love the app ItsDeductible, because it automatically lets you track and calculate the value of your charitable donations. It also makes entering these donations easy come tax time.
4. Rent Out Spare Bedrooms
Where you live may be your single largest asset. Meaning, your home or apartment could hold the key to bringing in extra income fast.
Put any spare bedrooms to use by renting them out. You can bring in hundreds of extra dollars in rental income every month. Beautiful houses in top locations allow you to charge even more.
Imagine charging $500 per month in rent and having two or three spare rooms. That’s thousands of additional dollars you could collect.
As an example, I have two friends (a couple) who signed a lease for a 3 bedroom place, even though they only needed one bedroom for themselves. Their rent is now substantially subsidized by the rent they collect from renting out the 2nd and 3rd bedroom and they only pay a few hundred dollars per month to live in a beautiful place.
Similarly, my spouse and I used to rent out a bedroom to a close friend who lived with us during the early years of our marriage. It was a great fit for him, because he wasn’t in a position to commit to a long-term lease. It was also a great fit for us, because we loved his company and benefited from the monthly cash flow.
Don’t want long term tenants? You could get set up on Airbnb today and charge $30 to 100 per night. Assuming you can fill the room more often than not, this can prove a lucrative investment of time and effort.
Of course, being raised by lawyer (my mom), I need to mention that if you rent out space, make sure you are in compliance with any lease restrictions you may have. If you own and have a Homeowner’s Association, check your bylaws for that too.
5. Rent Out a Parking Space
Here’s another way to leverage your house as a novel form of income. Got a spare parking space outside? If so, many people will pay you good money to park their car there.
Of course, it’s a little dependent on location. Your house must be near somewhere that people want to go. For example, everybody knows the hassle of parking in the city. The commute to work inevitably ends in a stressful hunt for a parking space. A spare space in front of your house would solve their problem.
This is an easy way to make extra cash every month, because you don’t have to trade time for money. You simply open up your parking space to someone.
When I used to live in Washington DC proper, parking was an extremely valuable commodity, which made it easy to rent out a parking space.
Even though I now live outside the city in a less developed area, about a year ago a friend wrote me to ask about leaving her car on my property while she traveled overseas. The timing didn’t work well for her to do the drop-off, so I turned her down, but I mention this because the value of a parking spot may vary for people depending on their needs for short-term vs. long-term parking.
6. Check Out TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit’s a service that connects people with odd jobs with people who want extra cash.
You could sign up and find yourself doing all sorts of things to supplement your income. In some ways, it’s similar to getting a job, but far less official in nature.
Even better, you don’t need any specific skills to get started. With spare time and a willingness to help out, you can start bringing in extra cash in no time.
Want a longer term income strategy? Here’s how to start investing even when you’re broke.
7. Pay Down Debt
Debt and income issues are inseparable.
It’s hard to enjoy a healthy income with debt weighing you down. Your income naturally increases when you have to pay less in pesky debt repayments.
Work hard on paying down any debt you have. Credit cards can be a particular burden, because they can often charge interest of 15 to 20% (or more). Interest rates and misses repayments can create a vicious cycle of compounding debt.
Start by paying off the credit card with the highest interest. With that done, move onto the next highest, and so on. With hard work, you’ll be enjoying more money in your pocket.
Now You Know How to Increase Your Income
Money is an issue for millions of Americans across the country. This is equally true for others worldwide. For many households, debt is spiraling out of control and savings are wishful thinking. In this case, extra income can make a critical difference to your quality of life.
Thankfully, accessing it is easier than you think. You can boost your earnings quickly, if you are committed. The question is, are you looking for results or are you looking for excuses?
Here’s a dose of tough love – your actions will tell me your answer.
Hopefully, this post has provided you practical ideas for how to increase your income. Want more help with your personal finances? Get in touch or connect with me Instagram, so I can share in your life too.