When it comes to personal finance, one of the biggest issues is figuring out how to save more money. The problem with most conventional financial advice is that it is not practical for the average person. Many people already work long hours, have more than one job, or, in addition to working long hours, have already slashed as much from their budget as they can.
The following are just a few of the best tips for increasing your income with minimal effort and time commitment. The overall lesson here is to think outside the box when it comes to bringing in more money and increasing how much you can save. Before you decide to take on another job or increase your hours at your current job, consider trying one or all of these strategies.
Earn More at Your Current Job
This tip may sound simple, but it is one that many people overlook when it comes to bringing in more money. If you generally enjoy your job or job field, the ability to negotiate better compensation may be all that stands between you and a better income.
Whether you are in the negotiation phase for a new position or you have worked for the same employer for years, compensation is often open to negotiation. If you’re in the latter scenario, the best time to bring up a pay increase is during annual reviews. As your supervisor details your improvement in your current role, bring up the possibility of taking on more responsibility and increasing your compensation. While this may seem like a difficult conversation to have, you will never know what’s possible if you don’t ask.
On the other hand, if you find that you are not enjoying your current role and you are unable to make ends meet, it may be time to look for a new position in the same field—or consider switching fields altogether. It may be necessary to learn some new skills or improve the skills you already have to be able to smoothly transition into a different line of work, but it may be for the best if the move could lead to a significant increase in earning potential.
Don’t Leave Cash on the Table
There are some other income-generating methods that aren’t nearly as daunting as asking for a raise or pondering a career change. This one involves using the Internet to earn money doing something a lot of us do anyway: online shopping. While you may know how easy it is to buy things online, you may not know that you could be making money at the same time.
The next time you make an online purchase from a retailer, take a moment to find out if they participate in a cashback program. Sometimes referred to as online rebates, many popular retailers have agreements with cashback sites that will give you a percentage back of your purchase. In many cases, cashback sites can be used in tandem with any discount codes you may have, further adding to the savings.
On top of offering cash back and discount codes, the most popular rebate sites give new users a cash bonus just for signing up. You can also sign up with various cashback sites since many retailers are exclusive to one site at a time—this ensures that no matter where you shop, you are likely to get cash back. Sign up is done via e-mail and payments are remitted either via paper check or are sent electronically directly to your bank account. Many users report that they receive hundreds every year just from cash back alone.
Clear out Clutter to Bring in Some Cash
When searching for ways to make more money, many people overlook what’s right in front of them: stuff lying around the house that they no longer want or need. Instead of hosting an old-school garage sale where you are unlikely to sell these items for any kind of profit, consider selling online instead. Whether you opt to sell on online classified sites or on global auction sites, there is likely to be someone, somewhere who is looking for the exact items you have.
Among the most sought-after profitable items to sell online are books, especially textbooks. It’s no secret that college textbooks can be expensive, so students are always looking to find a cheaper alternative. Editions typically have minimal changes from year to year, so if your used textbooks are just a couple of years old, they will likely still be worth money. In addition to textbooks, there are many out-of-print books that avid readers are looking for, so don’t be afraid to sell non-academic tomes.
This tip doesn’t just apply to books—most anything you have is of value to someone else. Do some research on the items you want to sell, such as current pricing information, to gauge whether you could make a profit.