You likely already know that you need to make more money so that you can save more, pay off your debt, and live a better life. You just don’t know where to start when it comes to increasing your income.
This is why we’re going to look at how you can increase your income to deal with life getting more expensive by the day.
Let’s get started…
How can you make more money? How can you increase your income right now?
Many of our financial problems would be solved if we made more money. There’s only so much that we can cut from our spending before we have no joy left in our lives. When you make more money, you have more options.
Why do so many financial experts focus on saving money?
You don’t have to look far to find some condescending article about how you shouldn’t be eating avocado toast or how going out is terrible for your bank account. We get it. We shouldn’t be having any fun. We should be ashamed for spending any money, right?
Financial experts love to harp on what you can’t and shouldn’t be doing. In reality, we’re not robots and we look forward to simple joys and time spent with our friends.
There are so many articles written about how to save money. It’s easy to create content around saving money because you just include a laundry list of what you’re not allowed to do. Anyone can tell you what not to do and how you should never do anything remotely enjoyable. There’s much less content on increasing your income because this is where things get tricky.
Making more money requires effort and it can feel overwhelming when you’re first getting started. Cutting everything out of your life doesn’t require much effort.
This is why we’re going to go all-in on how to make more money today.
How can you increase your income right now?
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” — Seth Godin
Here’s how you can increase your income (ranked in order of easiest to approach starting today)…
- Max out the earnings from your day job.
- Tap into the gig economy.
- Sell your stuff.
- Start a side hustle.
- Upgrade your skills or learn new skills.
- Invest your money.
Let’s go through every option for increasing your income…
Look at your job to see if you’re maximizing your income.
Before you do anything outside of the box to increase your income, you have to see if there’s anything that could be done at your current job. While there’s so much advice out there about how entrepreneurship is the way to go, the reality is that you should be trying to find ways to make more money at your 9-5.
How can you make more money at your job? Here are a few things to think about:
- Can you ask for a raise?
- Can you speak to your boss about improving your situation?
- Can you work more hours?
- Can you take on more projects?
- Can you take a weekend course or upgrade your credentials?
- Can you transfer to a different department?
I used to work with a guy who was constantly complaining about how he wasn’t paid enough. So finally the manager informed him that the company offered to pay for work-related courses and programs that the staff took. Many companies will offer some sort of educational assistance if you’re looking to upgrade your standing.
What’s the best way to approach trying to make more money at your current job?
- Ask your manager for any opportunities. You never know what kind of positions could be opening up in the near future due to retirement or expansion.
- Speak to HR about courses and advancement. See if there’s any assistance available to you.
- Get better at your job. Before you get a raise or move up the ranks, you’re going to have to prove yourself.
Try out these options before you look into the other options for increasing your income because you don’t want to jeopardize your main source of income when you’re new to the personal finance world.
Tap into the gig economy.
The gig economy is currently the best option for bringing in more money instantly. Every gig that you perform pays you so you don’t have to worry about wasting your time with no returns for your efforts. There are also many different ways that you can tap into the gig economy right now.
How does the gig economy work?
You pick up short-term flexible work for a fee. The work can range from driving people around to setting up Ikea furniture for someone.
What are the various jobs in the gig economy?
- You can walk dogs on Rover.
- You can deliver food with UberEats or one of the 20 food delivery apps available.
- You can perform random jobs on TaskRabbit.
- You can wait in line for people (yes this is a real gig).
Check out our detailed piece on making money with the gig economy. This is the best way to increase your income when you need instant access to cash since you get paid for every gig. I’ve personally focused on dog walking/sitting and Airbnb Experiences to bring in extra money.
Consider selling your stuff/flipping things you don’t need.
The quickest way to make a few dollars right now without applying for work is to sell some stuff that you don’t use or have much need for on Facebook Marketplace (or Kijiji or whatever marketplace is available where you live).
I didn’t realize how much potential there was in getting rid of your stuff until I listed my old mattress on Facebook Marketplace as an experiment. I figured I would list it before throwing it in the bin downstairs (my condo also has weird rules about throwing big items away).
Instead of tossing it away for free, someone paid me $85 and picked it up from my unit. They came upstairs and brought it down into their truck. I didn’t even have to worry about lifting it off the bedframe.
What can you sell from around the house?
PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING.
I was with a friend once and he had to head home because a dude was coming to buy a dishrack from him. I couldn’t believe it. Some guy drove across town to buy a dish rack. I would never ever think to do this. I don’t even have enough space in my condo for a dish rack. Someone felt the need to drive for this purchase.
What I want you to do is to find stuff around the house that you don’t plan on using and then list it. See what happens. Worst case scenario is that you get denied. The best case is that someone comes to pick up your crap from you.
How do you sell something you don’t need for extra cash?
- Organize items that you no longer need or just don’t use. There has to be something that you no longer need around your place. This could be anything from a light to a table. You may even have old gifts in the closet that you kept just to be polite.
- Try to clean it up and make it look presentable for photos. You want to snap some accurate photos so you don’t get the same 20 questions.
- Post photos to Facebook Marketplace and any other local market groups with your price and details. Try to include all details in multiple groups to reach more potential buyers.
- List it and wait for the replies to start rolling in. This could require some effort depending on where you live.
- Deal with folks until you get the best deal. Try to organize a meetup that you’re comfortable with.
I’ve been able to sell many items through Facebook. I had friends sell everything in their place when they left the country. They listed everything that they could find instead of tossing it all in the garbage.
Should you flip stuff?
This is where things get tricky. I’m not a fan of the Gary Vee method of buying junk at yard sales in hopes of trying to find the Mona Lisa that will bring you in lots of money. Most folks will just end up filling their home up with junk that they don’t need. I do highly recommend trying to sell stuff that you no longer need though.
Start a side hustle.
This is often my go-to tip. I firmly believe that everyone should have a side hustle. These are the best way to test the waters with entrepreneurship too.
What side hustles are worth starting?
- Freelance work (could be anything from graphic design to writing jobs).
- Airbnb Experience (as mentioned above).
- Anything that you could think of from tutoring to coaching.
We’ve covered side hustles here, here, and here on the site many times. I’ve helped readers become full-time tutors, freelance writers, and even table makers. Check out some of our previous articles and start your own side hustle right now.
Check out this video on how you could build a real business on Airbnb without owning any property…
Now let’s look at options for increasing your income that will require more effort.
Upgrade your skills to increase your income.
Have you done anything to upgrade your skills lately? Do you have the skills that could lead to a decent income increase?
A lack of marketable skills can be holding you back from increasing your income. Getting a degree can get your foot in the door to a decent job, but you’re going to want to learn new skills to increase your income after that.
How can you upgrade your skills? How do you even start?
- Know what your weaknesses are.
- Look for new and emerging opportunities.
- Think of a lucrative skill that you could possibly pick up.
What are skills that you should always be working on?
- Any kind of writing.
- Social skills.
- Management skills.
- Sales and strategy.
- Handyman abilities.
- Anything that you feel will help you make more money.
I could go on with the list. The point is to find one skill that you could lead to profits.
How do you upgrade your skills?
- Take a course or program.
- Study the experts.
- Pay for coaching.
- Read a book.
- Earn a certification.
There are many ways to learn a new skill. The process will depend on the kind of skill that you’re trying to learn.
How do you make more money with a new skill? You can start freelancing, begin a side hustle, or find a different job.
Start investing your money.
There are many investments out there that will increase your income once you have enough money saved.
I only listed this option last because you need to focus on making more money through other options first so that you have the savings needed to invest.
What are investments you should be looking into to increase your income?
- Reale estate. We’ve looked at how to make money from real estate by flipping, becoming a landlord, and using Airbnb to list your unit.
- Stock market. You can invest in individual stocks, become a dividend investor, or focus on index funds for a safe bet.
- Cryptocurrency. You can try to buy low and sell or stake your cryptocurrency. Since cryptocurrency is highly volatile, you’re only going to want to risk money that you can afford to lose. You can read up on investing in cryptocurrency here and here.
You can give yourself a pay raise by investing your money. In order to get passive income, you need active income. When you increase your active income, you can save more money. You can then use your savings to invest in one of the aforementioned assets.
What’s the best investment?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. Investing will depend on your personal risk tolerance, how much money you have to invest, and what you’re comfortable with overall.
This bit from Morgan Housel in the book, “The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness.” really stuck out to me:
“You can’t blame people for devoting all their effort—effort in what they learn and what they do—to trying to earn the highest investment returns. It intuitively seems like the best way to get rich.
But good investing isn’t necessarily about earning the highest returns, because the highest returns tend to be one-off hits that can’t be repeated. It’s about earning pretty good returns that you can stick with and which can be repeated for the longest period of time. That’s when compounding runs wild.”
What this means is that there’s no best investment for everyone. You have to find something that you’re comfortable with.
Notice that I didn’t mention anything about becoming an influencer or a YouTuber on this list of how to increase your income. Those are examples of passion projects. They won’t always lead to an increased income, especially in the near future.
How can you make more money in the future guaranteed?
There’s a lot to unpack in this guide about how to make more money. Focusing on increasing your income can get challenging. It’s not uncommon to feel frustrated when it feels like nothing’s going your way. This is why it’s essential that we look at how to stay focused when everything feels pointless as you grow your income.
Focus on one option for making more money.
“It is not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it is that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have.” — Gary Keller
Many people get overwhelmed when trying to increase their income because they don’t know where to start so they try to do a bunch of different things at once. They want to dabble in crypto and real estate while starting a YouTube channel. Unless you’re a millionaire who can hire an entire team, you only have so much time and money that you can allocate towards increasing your income.
You have to focus on one option at a time when trying to increase your income so that you can make more money instead of getting stressed out.
You only have so much bandwidth and spare time. You don’t want to spend every waking moment of your life at work.
How do you decide what to focus on?
- Think of what the easiest option to act on is for you.
- Commit to trying one option in the next 30 days.
- Try it out and experiment.
The good news is that every option ties in when it comes to making more money, such as:
- When you upgrade your skills at work, you could be creating future opportunities as a freelancer.
- Learning how to list a place on Airbnb can create a side hustle for you as a property manager.
- Becoming better at your job will allow you to earn more money so that you have more to invest in real estate or the stock market.
You have to keep on investing in yourself.
Are you investing in yourself? While it’s tempting to save every penny. You’re going to have to spend some money on yourself today so that you can bring in more tomorrow. The goal is to spend money today so that you can make it back tomorrow.
Here are a few examples of investing in yourself when you have limited funds:
- Sometimes you’re going to have to sell that old couch to pay for that weekend course that will lead to a pay raise.
- You can deliver food on the weekends to have more money to invest in the stock market.
- Take a course, buy a book, or pay whatever it costs to learn from the experts to fast-track your progress.
“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becoming strikingly apparent.” — James Clear in Atomic Habits
The final word on increasing your income…
It’s more important than ever to focus on making more money. You should have enough ideas about how to increase your income after reading this article. It’s time to work on one idea at a time until you start growing your income.