It’s a fact of life that you can easily spend whatever you can earn. That’s truer than ever these days, when raises at most organizations average around 3 percent a year, while cost of living continues to rise.
If you find yourself needing to make more money, a new job might be the answer. But it’s not the only solution. There are a variety of different ways to up your earnings, whether it’s negotiating your present salary, asking for a promotion, adding a second job, or going freelance.
Which option is right for you? It depends on your circumstances – and preferences. If you love your job, but need more cash, a microjobmight be the answer. If you’re feeling stuck in your career, it might be time to see if you monetize your hobbies and turn one of them into a new full-time gig.
The first steps include determining how much you’re worth and evaluating which ways are best for upgrading your earnings potential. Then you can figure out what alternatives are right for you.
#1. Are You Making Enough Money?
How much money is enough? Although it depends on your situation, there are several earnings earmarks that can help. Think about your salary in the context of peer earnings, your value on the job market, and your employer’s financial situation. Then, think about your benefits and perks. Would you want more money if you had to give up telecommuting privileges that you currently enjoy, or take less vacation, for example? It’s all about what’s important to you.
#2. How Much Could You Make?
The next question is how much are you worth? Are you being paid appropriately for your skills, experience, and education, given where you live and what you do for a living? Salary calculators can help. Typically based on anonymous surveys, they’re much more reliable than asking your friends and coworkers how much they make.
#3. Before You Accept a Job Offer
When you’re considering a job offer, money certainly matters. However, the rest of the compensation package is important, too. Before you accept your next job, find out what to look for when evaluating job offers, how to determine the full value of the offer, and when it can make sense to turn it down.
#4. Get a Better Offer
Don’t assume that the first offer is final. Many (if not most) hiring managers expect candidates to negotiate during the offer phase. If you don’t, you could cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.
Learn strategies you can use to get a better offer. Making a counter offer may up the salary to a point that’s acceptable to you. And even if the company can’t budge on money, you may be able to negotiate for benefits and perks that will save you money and improve your quality of life.
#5. Ask for a Raise
Afraid to ask for a raise? You’re not alone. Most people are pretty uncomfortable talking about money, period, much less asking for more. But if you don’t ask, chances are that you won’t get the same pay as someone who’s willing to negotiate. Learn tips for asking for more money the right way, as well as what you should never say when you’re asking the boss for more money.
#6. Get a Promotion
Another way to make more money at the job you have already is to work on getting a promotion. This one can take some time, because you will need to be a top employee who is considered promotable. You will also need to know about company policy regarding job promotions and to plan accordingly.
#7. Find a Side Job
A part-time job can help you pay the bills and add new skills to your resume (which can lead to higher pay at your full-time job down the road). It can take some juggling, depending on the hours you work at your first job. However, employers are hiring part-time workers in record numbers and taking on a second job is a way to get some quick cash coming in.
#8. Become a Freelancer
If you have the right skillset taking on some freelance clients is a way to boost your paycheck while maintaining flexibility. You can set your own schedule and work as many – or as few – hours as you’d like. Freelancing, if it’s right for you, can help fill in a wage gap and generate extra income. It may even lead to full-time freelance work, which (depending on your industry) could prove to be more lucrative than a full-time job as an employee.
#9 Find a Work at Home Job
If you can’t raise your pay, cut expenses. Working from home can help you do that by cutting out an expense (and time-consuming) commute as well as any dry-cleaning bills and lunches out. You can telecommute on a full or a part-time basis. There are many different types of jobs you can do from home or wherever you happen to be.
You may even be able to line up a job as an employee, as many companies are moving to virtual offices to save on their own expenses. Another option is contract work where you get paid by the job or the project. Learn ways to find a work at home job, companies that hire remote workers, and where to find job listings.
#10. Make Money With Microjobs
Need a little extra money? Consider taking on some microjobs. They are one-time tasks that can be completed for a small amount of money, ranging from a few cents to a few dollars or more. There are no strings attached so you can work as little or as much as you want. There are microjobs available both in person and online, and there are many websites that list them.
#11. Turn Your Hobby into a Career
You may be able to turn your hobby into paid earnings, at least on a part-time basis. There’s not much better than being able to do what you love and to make money at the same time. Find out if your hobby could become your next side job, and how to make a plan to make a living from your passion projects.
SOURCE: The Balance