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It’s also not the 1900’s anymore and the outdated model of working 40 years for the same company is long gone. We’ve 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 has never been easier.
Making Extra Income (ASAP)
We could all do with extra income, right? In the best case scenario, it’ll provide you with money to invest, 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.
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 to learn 11 real-world 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. Give Your Opinion (In Focus Groups)
Another effective income stream is to register with companies that host focus groups, because they will pay you between $100 – $300 per session to give your feedback as a consumer. I used to regularly participate in focus groups during Graduate School.
At the time, I had more time than money, so I reviewed new flavors of Gatorade chews (and got to take home the extras!), gave feedback on REI’s latest marketing strategy, and even got paid $300 to participate in a mock trial in which an attorney group wanted to role play a big case prior to their court appearance.
If you’re in the Washington, DC, area (like me), I’d highly recommend Shugoll Research. Just head to this page to register for their database panel and you’ll get paid when you qualify and participate in their studies.
If you’re located outside the DC area, 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.
3. Rent Out a Bedroom on Craigslist.com
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 a 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.
4. Rent Out a Parking Space (Check out SpotHero.com)
Got a spare parking space outside? If so, people will pay you good money to park their car there.
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 a parking space.
Of course, the value of your spot will be dependent on location. It’ll be worth more if your house is near somewhere people want to go. For example, everybody knows the hassle of parking in the city. The drive in inevitably ends in a stressful hunt for a parking space. A spare space you could offer would solve their problem.
Looking to cash in on this tip today? Check out SpotHero.com/rent-my-parking-space/.
With Spot Hero, you can start making money off your parking spot with three easy steps:
- Submit the location, pricing and availability of your parking spot.
- Reach thousands of drivers on the SpotHero mobile app and website.
- Receive a monthly check or deposit for an easy way to make extra money.
I used to live in the heart of Washington DC, which made parking quite a valuable commodity. This made the parking spots behind my house worth a pretty penny to other people.
Even though I now live in a more rural area, a friend recently asked me if she could leave her car on my property while she traveled overseas for 18 months. To incentivize me, she offered to pay market rate of $100/month.
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. Don’t assume that your spot doesn’t have value just because you’re outside of a city. You may be perfectly positioned to offer long-term storage, instead of high turn-over parking.
5. Freelance on Upwork
Assuming you’re already employed, you could 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 (VA), or tutor people via Skype.
A great choice would be to hop on one of the world’s largest freelancing platforms, Upwork.com.
Simply join, create your profile, and start offering your skills to people all over the world. Upwork will handle the matching and payments, making the process quick and streamlined.
Interested in something away from the computer? 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. Plus, you can pursue 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.
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. Sell Your Things on eBay or Amazon
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 tested approach of holding a yard sale.
8. Leverage Donation-Based Tax Breaks (Use ItsDeductible)
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.
9. 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.
10. Put Your Money to Work with CardoneCapital.com
If you have money in savings, perhaps your best option of all is to put it to work, instead of putting yourself to work.
To do this, I’d recommend you find investments that will pay you at least 6% in cash flow every month – and the more, the better.
One opportunity that I would recommend is CardoneCapital.com.
With Cardone Capital, you get to ride along on deals purchased by the seasoned real estate investor, Grant Cardone, who has 30+ years of experience in investing in income-producing real estate. He invests in high-quality (Class A) apartment buildings across the United States. This passive real estate investment will pay you 6% on your money, plus two-thirds of all of the upside as they raise rents and improve the performance of the properties which they own. In essence, you have unlimited upside in these investments.
With Cardone Capital, you also get to own your percentage share of each property (apartment building) and benefit from nearly all of the same tax benefits that would get from investing directly in real estate. That means, when properties sell, you have a chance to get a big “score” right along with Grant himself.
Historically, Grant has achieved 15% Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for his investors, and in many cases, even better.
With this rate of return, your money will double in under five years (approximately 4.8). That’s pretty incredible. Plus, he pays you your income distributions every single month, which is the same rate at which your bills usually roll in. Personally, I really like that aspect of the fund.
Grant offers several “Accredited Funds”, in which you need to make $200K plus per year or have a million dollars in net worth to qualify. For these funds, the minimum investment amount is $100K. Previously, he also offered a Regulation A Fund that allowed anyone to invest, regardless of income or net worth, for as little as $5,000.
Because his Regulation A Fund filled up quickly, I’m anticipating he will open another one soon once he can get approval from the U.S. SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission). When he does, you’d be smart to act fast if you’re looking to invest money with him.
11. Get Paid 8-12% with Fundrise.com
Instead, Fundrise let’s people invest in real estate online through which it calls an e-REIT (electronic Real Estate Investment Trust) or an e-Fund. This limits you from getting some of the tax advantages traditionally associated with investing in real estate (such as depreciation, for example).
However, I really like that Fundrise has historically paid out 8-12% return to investors over the past 20 years, has their fund backed by real (“hard”) assets, and lets you invest for as little as $500.
This low threshold to get started (only $500) also makes Fundrise more accessible to more people.
Impressively, the company’s trailing 20 year annualized return has been 12.3%.
At this rate of return, your money would double every 5.8 years and quadruple every 11.6 years. Meaning, if you invested $10,000 today, based on their historical rate of return of 12.3%, your money would be worth $40,000 (4X as much) in only 11.6 years.
To summarize, I like that Fundrise let’s you put your money to work and pays you a strong return.
Go! 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.