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Whether you admit or not, at a particular level we all love money. For some of us, it’s far more important, but one thing for certain is that we all need it.
There are so many great ways to bolster your income and make more money. The problem is, many people don’t know where to start or what to do.
This article will educate you on easy, practical methods of making you more money.
Increasing Your Salary
Despite having multiple side hustles, the bulk of my income still comes from my corporate job. This is likely the case for most of you reading this.
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with this. The narrative of having a side job and “constantly hustling” is being pushed by so many content creators. While I fully endorse diversifying your income streams, there’s nothing wrong with just having a traditional job as your only source of income.
In fact, this is largely the case for most people anyways. The average number of hours spent working in full-time positions totaled to 8.5 hours per day in 2019 (1).
For your working career, that’s over a third of your time spent working.
That’s a lot of time spent over a long time.
So how do you make more money when your employer decides your annual salary?
First and foremost, know your market value.
Now more than ever, employers are offering extremely competitive wages, benefits, bonuses, and incentives.
The gap between labor supply and demand is uniquely wide, with job postings far outpacing unemployed persons. This means there is high demand for workers, but not enough workers willing to fill those positions.
So with employers in greater need of workers, compensation is naturally more competitive. Many economists and researchers expect wages to rise significantly in 2022, to the tune of 3.4% (2).
So how can you leverage this information?
Research your market value. The odds are that for whatever position you currently are working in, a competitor employer is offering more.
Do your research, know your market value and what your competition is offering its employees for the same position.
In fact, if you don’t know your market value you are only doing your employer a favor. Knowledge is power.
The next part of maximizing your salary is to know when and how to ask for a raise and/or a promotion.
This is a lot more difficult, but just as important.
Being realistic, if you’ve put in your time and performed well, a salary raise, and promotion is almost always warranted. Employers want to retain top tier talent, so do everything in your power to build a case for yourself.
If you are a newer employee, you are likely more expendable and have less leverage. Indeed recommends you wait at least six months to a year upon being hired by a new employer (3).
If you are a longer-term, more seasoned employee, opening a salary conversation with your manager once a year is appropriate. I would highly encourage all of you to do this if you’ve been at the same employer for longer than a year.
At a minimum, ensuring you are being paid fairly and the market wage is a good place to start. Again, this requires you to do your research and be knowledgeable of your industry.
Your manager should always be willing to listen. At least, good managers will.
Never demand anything. Be respectful and appropriate, but know your value above all else.
This being said, if you really believe you are being paid unfairly, switching employers may be the best option. Don’t fight an uphill battle.
Another great option is to actively search for internal promotional opportunities and position changes. Employers would rather train qualified, internal employees as opposed to exhausting resources hiring a new employee.
Especially if you are a solid, nonexpendable employee. Be prudent and aware of potential opportunities. Again, it’s likely that if you put the time and effort into your career, you will have plenty of opportunities for promotion.
Find ways to build a case for your promotion, and never wait too long for one in the first place.
The CEO of Ziprecruiter recommends that promotions should occur at most every three years, particularly earlier in your career (4). Again, if you aren’t seeing change or career growth within your organization, it’s time for a change.
Invest Your Money
I write about this every week. Seriously, every week. But I do so for a reason.
Saving your money is great, investing your money is better. It’s important to allocate a certain percentage of your income for a “rainy day”. Life happens, we all need money in reserve to cover for stuff we can’t control.
But I challenge you to really think about how much money you need tucked away for an emergency expense.
Stow away enough, but the rest of what you normally would save should be invested. What’s surprising is that as of 2020, only 55% of Americans had ownership in the stock market (5).
Considering the U.S has a population closing in on 330,000,000 people, that’s a significant number of individuals who aren’t participating in the stock market.
With the plethora of technology and resources in this day and age, investing in the stock market is extremely easy.
You can even get started with just a couple dollars.
If you need a good place to start, check out my articles on stock market basics and even my personal investment portfolio.
The stock market has historically yielded an 8–10% on average per year. This assumes you diversify by investing in large index funds or ETFs, and do so consistently over a long period of time.
That’s basically it, let compound interest do the rest. Making money through smart investing is really a simple process.
Pick your investments, and diversify your portfolio. Stick to large, reliable, high-growth index funds and ETFs. I would highly encourage avoiding investing in individual stocks unless you have experience and are a more seasoned investor.
Devise a consistent investing schedule, leveraging the power of dollar cost averaging. This minimizes market volatility and forces you to stay grounded to your strategy.
Invest long-term, and leave your assets alone. Monitor your earnings, but don’t be emotional and significantly reallocate your portfolio or investments simply because you had one bad year.
Investing long-term is a safe and almost surefire way of seeing return on your investment. Don’t time the market, play the long game.
Control Your Spending
Easier said than done. Life is expensive, we all unfortunately know that. Even more of a reason to be extremely in tune with your finances.
Inflation always makes things more difficult. The federal reserve has historically attempted to keep inflation around 2% annually. At the time of writing this, we are currently in the 7–8% range, with social and economic crises dampening our economic outlook and driving up prices.
Inflation ran rampant throughout 2021 and early into 2022. It’s estimated that inflation actually resulted in the average worker losing 2.4% in terms of wages in 2021 (6).
While employers usually adjust wages to stay on par or even ahead of inflation, inflation over the last 15 months has reduced the purchasing power of workers, despite wage increases. This makes it even important to be fully in control and aware of your cash flow.
That’s right, think of yourself as a business. You generate income, invest money (or should be), and probably spend a whole lot of what’s left. Cash flow is the heart of any business or person.
The very simple rule of thumb is that you want to be pumping more money out than in. Makes sense. Imagine your heart didn’t work like that and instead sent more blood out all your body parts without asking for any in return.
Not sure you would make it to the end of this article. Mastering your cash flow is crucial to financial freedom and independence. The following test is a great barometer for checking whether or not you really want to purchase something.
Wait five days after you think about purchasing something. If you still want it, great. It’s likely that after five days your desire to purchase that good will subside.
There are so many great apps and resources out there to help you manage your expenditures and cash flow. I personally use the NerdWallet app to track my expenses, net worth, and cash flow.
Oh, and it’s free. How timely at this point in the article.
I highly encourage, no matter how much money you make, to really sit down and look where you can shave expenses, invest more, and spend primarily on things that matter.
Live your life, buy things you want, but I encourage you to be much more strategic and frugal. It will go a long way in terms of building your financial freedom and giving you control.
In the end, there are many easy ways to make more money without the extra hassle of working more hours or picking up a side gig.
Even if you don’t make a lot of money, you can utilize these skills to build long term wealth. Our society is far too fixated on trying to get rich quick.
Lebron James got rich quick because he’s one of the best basketball players of all time. That’s the standard for getting rich quickly. With all due respect, I highly doubt you are similar to Lebron James.
Building wealth and making money takes patience and time, something most people simply don’t have.
That’s where people like you and me take advantage. Like what you read? Check out my website, lyfeblog.com.
1 — BLS (Work Hour Statistics)
2 — CNBC (Wage Increase for 2022)
3 — Indeed (Raises and Promotions)
4 — CNN Business (Promotions)
5 — Forbes (Stock Ownership Data)
6 — Washington Post (Inflation and Wages)