Each week we ask a question to help you focus on an area of your finances that might need a closer look. This week: How can I make more money?
Apart from the lucky few who inherit a motser, there are basically two ways to ‘get rich’: make more money or use the money you already have more wisely.
But what about the former? Surely the easiest way to get rich is to simply make more money?
Of course, there’s nothing ‘simple’ about getting extra money. Whether you’re asking for a pay rise, taking on a side-hustle, selling your stuff or getting started investing, nothing is easy.
But all are achievable.
Here’s the lowdown on all four of those strategies.
Ask for a pay rise
It’s always awkward to go cap in hand to the boss to ask for more money. But if you don’t ask, you won’t get. It’s a very rare boss indeed that leaps up one day and randomly gives you a raise. Only if they’re scared you’re going to leave…
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be awkward. If you get your performance examples, proven contribution and market value in order, you should feel confident making the appointment and giving it a go.
Here’s everything you need to know to get the pay rise you’ve earned:
- How to set yourself up for a pay rise
- Proven strategies to get the pay rise you deserve
- Pay rise negotiating mistakes
And if you have the conversation, but still get turned down by your boss, chin up. Head back in there and negotiate some key benefits that, in the long term, might be worth just as much as the extra money: Non-cash benefits that rival a pay rise.
Start a side hustle
‘Side hustle’ is such a buzz phrase, isn’t it? A few years ago we’d never even heard of one, now every man, woman and even child has one.
If you want to make more money, you should get one too. It’s extra income you can earn on the side of your regular gig, hopefully doing something you love.
Have a think about your hobbies, interests and expertise and I’m pretty sure you can come up with a list of possible earners. Here’s a quick list to start you off:
- Offering your expertise in engineering, photography, financial planning, writing, marketing or architecture (first, check with your work that you’re not breaching any contract obligations by selling yourself elsewhere)
- Selling your crocheted teddies, potted plants, chicken eggs, knitted jumpers, sewn drawstring bags or paintings
- Spending your time tutoring, babysitting, mowing lawns, washing card, running errands or cleaning houses
Once you’ve figured out what you can sell, research how you can sell it:
- How to turn your hobby into a side hustle
- How to start a side hustle you can sustain
- How retirees can supplement their retirement income online
- 5 steps to stop being shy and master the art of self-promotion instead
Sell your stuff
Everyone – everyone – has a bunch of things they bought but no longer use. Some of us even have a bunch of stuff we bought and have never used…
It’s time to clear out the closets and make more money!
You can pile your things up and have a garage sale the old fashioned way, but it might be more profitable to sell your things online. Don’t think you can only sell the ‘big stuff’ online, either. These are the kinds of things that also do well on Gumtree and Ebay:
- Book packs
- Handbags and other preloved clothing
- Exercise equipment
- Lego and other children’s toys
- Surfboards, kayaks, SUPs and boogie boards
Give it a go. The worst that can happen is you’ll have given your place a good clear out.
More ways to make more money online and otherwise:
Invest your money
If you’ve got $10,000 savings sitting in a bank (we wish!), it’s doing nothing for you. On the other hand, if you invested that $10,000 in the Australian sharemarket, you could expect to be $930 richer. That’s based on a 9.3 per cent return, which is the average total return generated by the S&P/ASX 200 Index in the past 10 years.
Investing in the markets can feel very daunting, with so many of us not knowing where to start. So, start here: How can absolute beginners get started investing? Oh, and you’ll probably need this: A plain-English guide to mortgage jargon
These will also help:
- How to get started micro-investing and why you’ll want to
- How to find a good broker and why you need one
- The difference between investing and gambling
- Why market timing drives investment success
- What is infrastructure investing?
- The benefits and risks of investing overseas
Of course, it’s not all about the sharemarket. You can also make more money by investing in property. (Hot tip: you can do both!) Which is probably just as daunting if you’re just getting started, so here’s a quick guide: 6 simple steps to becoming a landlord.
You can do this:
- Property share: Is buying property with family and friends a good idea?
- The property boom means home owners have more equity to unlock
- The 3 phases of the property cycle and when you should jump in
- 5 ways understanding the psychology of property sales can benefit vendors
- Our two-speed property market: are the bargains in home units?
Okay, so that was a lot of links, but do take the time to go through them. Maybe pick one idea and dive full into the research. Whatever you do, though, don’t spend too long on the thinking. Thinking doesn’t make more money, only action does. Decide on a plan and start today!
Find the rest of our Money Focus series here.