You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to make more money. Finding someone who knows how to do it and is willing to put in the effort, though, is another story. Making more money isn’t easy. But dedicating the time and energy is worth it. Even a small increase in earnings will make a big difference over time .
If it’s been a while since you’ve increased your earnings, it’s time to act. These seven ideas will help you put more money in your pocket.
1. Ask for a Raise
Continuing to do the same amount of work and getting more money for it is an optimal solution. But asking for a raise is probably one of the more intimidating things you’ll do in your professional life. Exactly how you go about asking for more money depends largely on your situation and your boss.
Many different sites give good advice on asking for a raise. I find both Forbes’ guide and their article sharing managers’ advice on how to ask for a raise to be very helpful. Salary.com’s 9 Things You Should Never Say When Asking for a Raise is also really good. In the end, though, it all comes down to showing your boss that you’re providing a lot of value for the company. And (politely) asking to be compensated for that value.
A raise can endorse your value to the company. While the amount you can get depends on many factors, there’s a good chance you could secure a 2–3 percent raise. With a $50,000 salary, that’s an extra $1,000 to $1,500 each year. Without changing your responsibilities. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
2. Get a New Job
If you’re not getting paid what you think you deserve, you may want to start a job search . Changing jobs is a big hassle, but when it comes to your finances, it will almost certainly be worth it. Of course, just because you start looking for a job doesn’t mean that you’ll get one. It could take months. But being on the lookout is always a good idea.
Figure out your market worth. You can use tools like Salary.com and Glassdoor to figure out what you might get paid in a new job. This is especially useful if you’re thinking about changing fields. And if you currently have a job, be sure to make your job search discreet. Few things are more awkward than having your boss look over your shoulder and see that you’re browsing job listings.
3. Educate Yourself
Whether you’re sticking with your current job or getting a new one, adding to your credentials can be a great way to increase your value (and, therefore, salary). And with the huge number of online courses available, you can surely find something that’s relevant to your position.
Lynda and Udemy offer many courses that come with certifications, and universities are increasingly offering similar programs. Showing your employer, new or old, that you’re putting in the effort to educate yourself can be a great way to show your commitment. And, of course, add value to the company.
You can further your skills in a specific area. For example, if you do a lot of work with spreadsheets, you can take an Excel course. Or you can learn something completely new, like the principles of design, so that you can take on new projects. It all depends on your interests and what you think your employer will appreciate.
4. Get a Side Job
Of course, your primary job isn’t the only way to earn money. Many people are picking up side jobs to earn some extra cash. You must be willing to commit some time, but it can be well worth it. As you might expect, focusing on your strengths is key. If you have some coding talent, freelancing as a coder might be a good way to go. If you have a passion for running and love talking to people about it, getting a part-time job at a running store will not only earn you money, but also be fun.
Think about a side hustle for extra cash. You can also pick up small jobs here and there without committing to anything highly time-consuming. The Craigslist Labor Gigs section, for example, often has things like cleaning, moving, painting, and all sorts of other things for each city. With a little extra time and a willingness to help people out, you can always find something to do for a bit of cash.
Looking for inspiration and success stories? I would recommend you give an ear to Chris Guillebeau and his podcast called Side Hustle School for ideas.
5. Take Advantage of the Sharing / App Economy
There are lots of ways you can use what you own to make some extra money. Uber and Lyft are popular options — if you have a car and like to drive, you can ferry people to and fro and get paid for it. But that’s not the only way you can use your car. Instacart, for example, will pay you to pick up and delivery people’s groceries. PeerShip [Broken URL Removed] pays you to deliver things, like a courier service. There are plenty of other options.
Go from idea to income. And it’s not just doing things that you can cash in on. You can also rent out the things you own . Rent out a room with Airbnb or VRBO. Rent out your bike with Spinlister. Let people pay you for just about anything with RentNotBuy.
There are sites that specialize in renting out cameras, clothes, bathrooms, and just about anything else you can imagine. It takes a bit of work, but it’s close to free money.
6. Earn Cash Back
Getting cash back on your purchases is about as close to free money as you can get. Whether you’re getting money back on every credit card purchase, on specific types of purchases, or taking advantage of loyalty programs, you can accrue quite a bit of money over the course of a year.
Make money every time you spend. A cash back credit card is a great place to start. Some give you cash back on specific categories, like gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants. Others give you a lower percentage of cash back on everything.
I use the Citi Double Cash card, which gives me 2 percent back on every dollar I spend. It’s not much, but it adds up over the course of a year. The Discover It card is another popular option, as its rotating 5 percent cash back categories and 1 percent on everything else add up quickly.
7. Sell Your Stuff
We all have more stuff than we need. Especially if you’ve lived in your current house for more than a few years. It just happens. But the internet makes it easier than ever to sell the things that have been hanging around in your garage for too long. If you’d rather not rent your things out, why not sell them and get some extra cash?
Turn unwanted crap into money. eBay and Craigslist are the two biggest sites around for selling your stuff, and if you go about it in the right way, you can make sure you get the best price for your things. Be sure to check out our tips for selling on eBay and making money on Craigslist .
The obvious benefits? You’ll get some money, clear out the clutter in your house, and help someone else get a good deal on what they need. What more could you ask for?
How Are You Making More Money?
These seven tips will help you kick your earning into the next gear. Don’t worry about doing them all, or even most of them, at once. Just pick a couple and focus on them for a month or two. Then add another one. By the end of the year, you’ll be making a lot more money!
How are you planning on making more money this year? Will you be seeking out more pay or a new job? Or just trying to earn money in more ways? Share your thoughts, plans, and tips in the comments below!
Image Credits: Sonpichit Salangsing/Shutterstock