3 Ideas for Growing Your Income

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3 quick ideas for growing your income in 2015It’s a new year and that means many of us are looking at ways to improve our lives, and for many readers of Everything Finance, “life improvements” likely include paying down debt or retiring faster.

What better way to reach your financial goals than by earning more money? Sounds nice, doesn’t it? And earning more money is within your reach, perhaps by doing nothing more than continuing in your current position. Here are three ideas for growing your income.

Get a Raise

Are you a good, hard-working employee? Would your current company struggle without you? Then maybe it is time to approach your employer about a raise.

First, step up your game even more. Arrive early or stay late. Complete all projects early. Do what you have been doing, but do it better.

While you are polishing your professional image, do salary research on sites like glassdoor.com, salary.com, and payscale.com. These sites will help you determine a fair figure for your current company and position. Bring your research with you when you approach management, but also be prepared to discuss how you have helped the company.

Get a Better Job

Not every company is in a position to give raises. If your company is a start-up, is struggling financially, or is fairly small, asking for a sizable raise may backfire: you might make yourself a target for upcoming staff reductions by giving the appearance that you are less than satisfied with your current position. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is find a new, better paying position.

Just like asking for a raise, do some salary research online. All the research you do will pay off during the salary negotiation process – you’ll know how much money someone with your education and experience should be making, and you’ll be able to negotiate with confidence.

However, don’t forget to factor in awesome benefits – if the new company has a workout facility, which allows you to drop a gym membership, keep that in mind.

Supplement Your Income

If you love your current job, but know a raise is out of the question, you’ll have to look at ways to supplement your income. Be aware that most ideas take time and effort, and will not always make a lot of money initially.

For example, blogging can be a profitable venture, but most bloggers will tell you that they spent hours a week on their blogs for two years before seeing a steady income stream.

Alternatively, some people have good experiences with direct sales (like Avon). However, if you don’t enjoy being a salesperson, you aren’t likely to be successful. The key to finding supplemental income is to find something you enjoy doing, that fits in with your current lifestyle, and that makes enough money to help you meet your goals.

If you love books and you have free weekends, maybe you can find a part-time job at a bookstore or a library. If you’re good with kids and have a few nights free each week, you could start a babysitting service. If you’re good with crafts, you might look into selling some of your work on Etsy or at a local venue.

Extra Credit: Grow Your Income Even Quicker

Don’t forget that you could earn more money at your day job and also supplement your income!

What ways will you take advantage of to increase your income this year?