Income 101: How to Make More Money
Income is probably near the top of many people’s lists of the most important things in life. The problem is that most people do not use it properly or make enough to live comfortably. This mistake could be from a lack of income or the amount they spend. The amount of money that you spend has a lot to do with how you utilize your income.
Let’s use an example. Person 1 has an income of $30,000 and person 2 has an income of $100,000. You would rather be person 2 right? Not so fast…
Person 1 owns a used car, has a mortgage of $800 a month, and lives well within his/her means. He/she has a full garden, chickens, and makes almost all their meals from home. Person 1 is happy, married, and invests a large portion of their salary. Person 1 is set up to retire at age 55.
Person 2 took a loan to buy a Porshe that costs $800 a month, has a mortgage that is $2,200 a month and has all sorts of nice watches, clothes, and gadgets. Not to mention, he/she goes out to eat at least three times a week. Person 2 is depressed, divorced, buried in debt, struggling to pay bills, has almost no investments, and may never retire.
As you can see, the amount of money you make is not everything. It is how you use it that counts.
Utilizing Your Salary
One of the best ways to use every dollar you make in an efficient way is to create a budget. We have gone into great detail about budgeting in Budgeting 101: How to Create the Perfect Budget. It is the perfect place to learn about budgeting and be confident in starting your own.
Budgeting will give you the power to take complete control of your finances. It will keep you from overspending (like person 2), have every dollar allocated to what is truly important, and help you to save/invest money every month.
We recommend that everybody have a budget. If a budget is not your cup of tea, we recommend calculating how much you earn each month and working to allocating 50% of it to living expense, 30% to spending money, and at least 20% to savings or investments. If 20% is not possible, do as much as you can to maximize how much money you are saving and investing. Ideally, you want this number even higher than 20%.
Take a moment to write down a week’s worth of expenses and see where you can cut down on overspending. For example, do you need to get coffee, fast food, or more clothes? Probably not. You can make coffee at home, eat at home, and be comfortable with the clothes you have. The simple power of cutting back on things you do not need will have tremendous benefits in the long run. Even just $5 a day amounts to $150 a month and $1,805 a year. If you invest $1,805 a year at a 10% return on investment per year it will look like this:
- Year 1: $1,885
- Year 2: $3,967
- Year 5: $11,616
- Year 10: $30,727
- Year 15: $62,171
- Year 30: $339,073
- Year 40: $948,611
Saving just $5 a day can give you a million-dollar retirement. In less than ten years, you have enough money to make a down payment on a house. It is straightforward, yet people truly believe that they cannot do it. You definitely can and should.
Living comfortably does not have to mean owning a $100,000 Rolex and a brand new Porshe. Your finances do not care if you impress your friends or not. Living comfortably means spending what you need to have food, a roof over your head, and your other basic needs. One of the biggest keys to living comfortably is basically staying out of debt.
One of the most important aspects of living comfortably is not to increase your spending just because your income increased. Just because you got a raise of $20,000 a year does not mean that you should spend an extra $20,000 a year. If you earn a raise, it is an excellent idea to live the same and use that extra money to save, invest, or use it to make even more money.
Saving and Investing
When talking about saving, we want to touch on two main components: saving to save and saving to earn. Both components are critical to your financial success, but both have completely different needs and methods.
Saving to Save
Saving money is an ongoing journey. If you do not set savings goals, you will be sure to burn out. For example, having an emergency fund savings of at least three months worth of expenses. This fund should always be your first savings goal. After you have reached your goal, move to something new while your emergency fund gathers interest. We recommend opening a separate account and letting the other sit. Your next goal could be to save for a down payment on a house. Work toward this, then set goal after goal so that you are always working toward something.
Always allocate money to your savings in your budget and work toward saving at least 20% of your income each month. Every little bit helps and puts you in a position to be financially free.
Saving to Earn
This goes back to living comfortably. The more money you can save, the more money you will earn. If you can cut groceries from $100 a week at $75 a week, you have an extra $100 to save, invest, or put to use toward your financial freedom. If you can ride your bike to work every day, you are saving money on gas and getting yourself in better shape. If you can refinance your student loans to a lower interest rate, you are saving money on paying off your debts.
There are tons of small lifestyle changes that you can make to save money and put it to better use. Use your budget to determine where you can cut back. If you follow your budget correctly month by month while cutting back on expenses, you will continually be better off than the month before.
Take a moment to think about everything you buy and realize that just because something has a $5 price tag on it does not mean that it costs you $5. That $5 could have been invested and earned a %10 return. Therefore, that $5 may end up costing you thousands in the long run.
We are not telling you to live below your means and become an extremely frugal person. Realize, however, that the money you save ends up earning returns. The more you save, the more the magic of compound interest occurs, and this is how you achieve financial freedom.
Contrary to popular belief, saving is not the same as investing. Even if you are earning a 2% interest on your savings, this will not even keep up with the rate of inflation. Therefore, you should take your savings (except your emergency fund) and invest it. If you do this correctly, you will beat inflation and could even earn more than a 10% return on your money.
Investing not only helps you to save for retirement and retire early. If you invest enough, it can also supplement your income. If you gain 10% back per year on $300,000 invested, that is $30,000 a year. That can be enough money for a lot of people to live comfortably. The more that you can invest, the more it will compound and provide for you and your family in the long run. It is probably the best place that you can allocate your money and one of the best places for you to earn extra money on the side.
Making More Money
Most people we know want to make more money. We are sure that you want to make more money or you probably wouldn’t be reading this. We already touched on investing and even saving as a way to make a little extra money, but there are some very simple and effective other ways. It is your job to take action on these steps and accomplish what you truly want out of your financial situation.
Asking for a Raise
This is one of the easiest things that you can do to make more money. Go to your boss, and ask for a raise. Even if it is small, it all adds up. If you just got a raise, don’t go asking for another. There is always a time and a place for it. Some corporate structures will also make it difficult to ask for a raise without getting a promotion. However, you should always try asking for a raise. The worst thing that could happen is they say no.
Getting a Second Job
If you work a 9 to 5 job Monday through Friday and still believe you are not making enough money, you can always consider getting a second job. You can find many jobs on Indeed or LinkedIn that are part-time and can be nighttime or weekend jobs. We understand that many people have families and do not want to miss precious time with them, but even working an extra one day per week can add up and leave you feeling more comfortable about your financial situation.
Finding a New Job
If you are not making enough money with your current job or especially if you do not like your current job, you should always be looking for a new one. Many people feel stuck in their job and feel they have no other place to go, but in reality, you can keep your job and still be exploring other options. If you find a job and receive an offer that you can not pass up, by all means, take it! You, your finances, and family will thank you.
You only get one life to live, so you should never feel unhappy or stuck in one place. There are millions of options for you to make a living, and you should always be finding one that you love.
Starting a Side Gig
This is one of our favorite things to do and probably the easiest to get started. Just make sure that you are passionate about it. Starting a blog is a perfect example of this. Although it takes a lot of time and patience, blogging is one of the most rewarding side hustles imaginable. You not only get to write about the things you love, but you get to interact with people that share a similar passion all over the world. Most people will never make a sustainable income from blogging, but it is possible! It is also very probable that you will make at least a few bucks from your blog.
Some of the most popular side gigs include driving for Uber or Lyft, delivering food for DoorDash or Postmates, doing online surveys, blogging, and starting a YouTube channel or Podcast. One of our favorite lists is Ways to Make Money: 150+ Side Hustle Ideas for Your Spare Time from a fellow blog called Vital Dollar.
Having a side hustle is like having a second job that you can do on your own time and one of the most rewarding ways to make extra money.
“Making money is all about how you spend your money.”Wealthy Whisper
It is never too late to start and it is extremely important that you do it the right way.
The right way is to utilize the income you already have by budgeting and living comfortably, saving and investing, and finding a way to make a little more money through your job, another job, of a side gig.
Ultimately, the decision is yours what you do with your money, but always be aware of the decisions you make. There is no better time than now to make more money and take control of your income. The sooner you do, the sooner you are on your way to financial freedom and unlimited wealth.