What is a significant increase in income? Really that is up to you to decide for yourself. All of the items outlined below range from a potential increase of 1% with very little effort to as much as 100% but takes a lot of your time and energy.
Increase Income with a Raise
Asking for a raise is not easy. Early in my career, I shied away from asking for raises and I know I left money on the table. Before launching my own financial planning company though, I worked for a firm where I was a key piece to multiple transitions and I was able to double my income after 3 years and three separate conversations about a raise.
To build your confidence, track your milestones, constantly be learning, be sure to share ideas, regularly ask to assist your managers and colleagues.
Increase Income with New Employment
Finding new employment is a popular way to dramatically increase your income. Change isn’t easy so your new employer is more likely to incentivize you to take the leap. Be sure to review the full financial picture of the job change. Your salary is not the only thing that adds to your bottom line.
Increase Income with a Side Hustle
Side hustles are a great way to maintain your base employment and stack additional income on top. The downside is it will require more output from you both in terms of time and energy. The biggest mistake that most people make with their side hustles is not breaking down their earnings to an hourly amount based on your total time output.
Make sure it makes sense or that you really enjoy the work.
Maximizing Credit Card Rewards:
It’s possible that the majority of your monthly expenses can be paid through your credit card and many credit cards offer 2% cashback or the equivalent in rewards. It may also be worth exploring new credit card sign up bonuses.
You will want to monitor your behavior to make sure that you don’t start making additional purchases just because of the rewards.
Receiving Employer Match in Your 401(k):
Most people know to contribute enough to their 401(k) to get their employer match, but every now and then I run into someone who hasn’t enrolled yet or not contributing enough to get the full match. There are very few good reasons to not take advantage of employer matching in your 401(k).
The cool thing about your 401(k) plan is that you are investing in assets that have the potential to generate their own income for you (though you will not be able to access it without a penalty until you are in retirement).
Increase Income with Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP):
This is by far one of the most overlooked benefits that can easily increase your income by 1% and sometimes more. It depends on the maximum amount of your income that you are allowed to contribute, the discount you receive, and at what price the discount is applied at.
The best part is you can sell the shares as soon as they are purchased to greatly reduce the risk that your employer stock will fall.
Increase Income with Sharing Economy
If you have an item that is in demand, then you may be able to share it or rent it out. You can rent whole houses to a couch to crash on, from your vehicle to a hammer. This is also something you want to weigh the income to the hassle ratio.
My wife would never let us rent out a bedroom to a complete stranger.
Oddly, reducing your expenses can easily be the most bang you get for your time and energy. Since the cost of all the services, conveniences, and luxuries add up, it may be very easy to find a 3-4% savings by remove expenses that do not add a ton of value to your life.
Since starting our family and Level Up my wife and I had reduced our food (grocery and dining ou) by about 30%.
Start Increasing Your Income
Which one are you going to try to implement first? There is no reason why you can’t combo a few of the above items together and substantially increase your income.
Interested in less significant ways to increase your income? You may want to check out the following mile-long list.
Lucas Casarez is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional serving tech professionals virtually out of Fort Collins, CO