In the last few posts we have talked about budgeting and finding the most efficient ways to spend or save our income. There is only so much we can do to save, cut, and trim our expenses to find a little extra income.
What if instead of tightening our wallet book, we stretch our bottom line? There are plenty of hours left in the day after were home where we can capitalize on money making ideas.
Outlined below are 10 ways to increase your income, some may be easy and practical, others more difficult but can have the best return on investment.
Increase Income 1. Declutter
Youre an expert on buying things, you’ve been doing it for years. Now is the time to organize, and get rid of the unnecessary.
Looking in my room right now I see multiple items I could list on craigslist, ebay or at a yard sale and earn a few bucks.
- 15 Books $3.75 ($.25 each)
- Fan $5
- 3 HDMI Cables $15 ($5 each)
- Clothes $20
- 10 DVDs $10 ($1 each)
- CD/DVD player $10
- 45 HDTV $100
- 32GB Ipod touch $50
- Ipad Mini $200
- Heck this Laptop $800
Not to make the list too long Ill stop there. That’s over $1,200. You’re more likely to get better prices on ebay, craigslist, or your local classified section than a yard sale.
2. Craigslist Flipping
The trick to flipping on craigslist is to research a particular item, figure the median asking price, then find someone with a quality product that’s below what people are willing to pay.
Just as an example, I once bought a 6 month-old couch for $300, which was originally purchased for $650. This was not a common find, but I snatched it up, and I kept that couch for a year till I moved out. I listed the used couch for $400 knowing the median value, and It sold the next day. How much could I have made if I had flipped right when I bought it?
Its true the money made here will be pennies and dimes, but its this entrepreneurial thinking that will lead you to the next level of income.
3. Rent Space
If you have a basement, extra room, or even better, a separate suite, this can be a quick way to earn some extra income. Be sure to check backgrounds, credit, and previous references from landlords before you let a stranger into your home.
You can also rent your storage. Have a shed, or basement closet you don’t use? Rent it!
Have extra parking space on a crowded street? Rent it!
4. Sell What You Know
Your brain can be a very profitable asset, and people are willing to pay to learn what you know. Do you know a second language? Well, there are plenty of people willing to pay to have one-on-one tutoring and learn a second language.
Good at Math? High-Schools, Private Schools, concerned parents, are always looking for someone to help their kids get a leg up on their education in any subject.
When I was in High School I advertised in my church that I was teaching a half-hour guitar lesson for $15. Initially I had only two families that were interested in me teaching their child, but through the power of word-of-mouth marketing, the word got around that I was good with the students. By the next week I had 4 more students lined up and was making a cool $90 a week. Pretty good for 3 hrs. of work.
Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing, it is essential for any opportunity to increase you income.
5. Money-Making Hobbies
Get creative. Find ways to convert your hobbies into a lucrative side hustle. Whether you knit, or you like taking pictures; turn those hobbies into cash.
Anything crafty, I would recommend using Etsy, a site dedicated to the hand-crafted, and vintage. They take a small commission for allowing you to set up shop in front of thousands of potential customers. If your product is made well and you get positive reviews, its a small price to pay.
If you have an eye for photography and have already invested a small fortune in equipment, you’re ready to go! In the photography world you find photographers charging $50 -$1,000, for sessions that last a few hours. A great way to recuperate the cost of equipment, and increase your income.
One of my hobbies is writing. So I started a blog, and I also could do an extra $100 a week in freelance writing. Now a days, editors are looking for a more conversational writing style; that makes it easy for anyone to contribute. It could be for another blog, an online magazine, or some kids high-school paper (don’t enable them); there are many opportunities you can capitalize on.
6. Services for Sale
The list for this can be endless, just a few ideas to increase your income would be:
- Pet sitting/walking
- House Cleaning
Have you ever stared at a dirty room, or a disorganized pantry and thought, I would pay someone to clean this up. I know Ive thought that staring at a sink full of dishes.
Market yourself first to friends and family and see where it takes you from there. Talk to everyone, and make your services known.
7. Find a Second Job
The night and weekend schedule are often open to a second job. Nights and weekends are best for, waiting tables, retail stores, and call centers.
I had great experience with a part-time sales job. Sometimes I would make more money knocking on peoples doors on the weekend, than I would working 40 hours the previous week.
8. Negotiate a Raise
If you already have a job, that can be one of the first places you turn to increase your income. Its probably not wise to state your case as in need of money. Simply find a few points you can make where you have increased the companies bottom line.
Research what others are being paid in your relative field by using sites like Salary.com to leverage your case.
It may be harder to leverage an increase in pay if your position does not correlate to sales for the business, nevertheless if you don’t ask the answer is always no.
9. Job Hop (Once maybe twice)
This is a big discussion in the career world right now. The idea is that some of the biggest raises occur in your career when you jump ship for something more attractive.
Pros: 10% or more increase in income typically per hop, expanded network/skillset, and less periods of unemployment.
Cons: Possible relocation causing more stress to self and family involved, lack of loyalty, shallow experience gained. You are what you were last.
10. Rental Properties
This one requires the most skin in the game, but can easily turn your investment into a passive money machine. You just need to get the numbers right.
Now we can go into a whole article about real estate investing, but the rule of thumb Ive learned is 1%. That means finding investments that will return 1% of the total mortgage in rent income. E.g. a condo that cost $100,000 will have to rent for $1,000 a month. That way, by the end of the year your investment is making you a nice 12% return in passive income.
Id suggest looking at multi-family homes first, all though they may cost more, they cost less to manage. Which would you rather have 3 single-family properties, with 3 roofs to repair, 3 lawns to mow, 3 property taxes to pay? OR 1 triplex, with one roof to repair, one lawn to mow, etc etc, but the same amount of income.
If you’re going to go for it, might as well go all out.
How Have you Increased Your Income?
I know there are many more then 10 ways to increase your income, Ill leave the 11th up to you, leave a comment below, and help other readers learn about how you were able stretch your bottom line