When I started the year long journey of paying down $14,000 of consumer debt, I noticed the best strategy for doing so was to increase my income.
As a single person who made well under the salary of the average American worker, I knew I needed to make more money if I really wanted to reach my goal.
Here are the five steps I took, that will help you increase your income, so you can make the most of your time and money.
1. Determine How Much Spare Time You Have
The first thing you want to do before trying to make more money, is figure out how much spare time you have in the first place, then create an organized plan accordingly.
I learned this from my own mistake, when I dove head-first into building my freelance business, and didn’t stop to think about getting enough sleep or eating properly. It’s nice to make extra money, but not at the expense of your relationships, your health or your peace of mind.
Once you determine how many hours during the week, at night and on weekends you have to devote to increasing your income, you can start mapping out how to properly leverage those hours. The goal is to work smarter not harder!
2. Know How Much Your Time is Worth
“Your time is worth $1,000/hour and you need to act accordingly”. ~ Jason Cohen
What that quote means is to not waste your time taking on jobs or projects that aren’t worth much. If you respect your time, it will pay you back.
Is it more beneficial to save time, save money or make money? Well, if you’re spending a lot of time trying to save money, but end up wasting 2 extra hours, that’s not a very smart use of your time.
The same goes for trying to land a lower paying job when you can get the same amount of pay for half the hours. It’s all about understanding yourself, your needs and the value of your time.
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3. Ask For a Raise or Increase Your Prices
While you’re learning to respect your time, one of the best things to do is ask for a raise (if you work for someone else) or increase your prices (if you work for yourself).
This is all part of working smarter not harder, and what could be better than making more money in the same amount of time? That’s the benefit of understanding what your time is worth!
Whether you’re approaching your boss, or clients, about needing a raise, here are some good resources to help:
Consider these 6 steps before asking for a raise
How to ask for a raise in a tough economy
Raise your rates without losing clients
4. Apply the Gigs for Goals Method
The “gigs for goals” idea is about giving your goals, and your saving habits, a new perspective. For instance, start by writing down a goal, like taking a summer vacation, then find one new income stream that will solely pay for it.
Want to quit your job? Start a side-hustle that will help ease the transition.
Planning for an life event like a wedding or buying a house? Start selling stuff you no longer need on Craigslist, eBay or via consignment shops.
Trying to max out your retirement savings? Start using your skills to make money or start a business from home, and stash away your earnings into an IRA.
5. Leverage Your Assets
If you don’t have a lot of spare time to devote to a side-hustle or doing odd jobs on the weekends, another smart idea is to rent out your current assets — like your car or your home.
If you have a spare room or basement in your home, consider listing it on AirBnB. Renting out your home temporarily is good for those occasions when you’re out of town for several weeks or months too. Why not bring in some extra income while you’re away?
The same goes for your car and even your parking space out front. If you live in a big city, you can make money renting out your car with RelayRides. And since real estate is a prized possession in most large cities, you can even rent out your parking spot thanks to ParkatMyHouse.
By applying these smart steps, you’ll be on your way to successfully increasing your income without being too overwhelmed or working too much. It’s just a matter of understanding the value of your time, and choosing the right avenue for your lifestyle.
Image credit: edhar