Making money is so much fun. Once you get started earning extra cash doing random gigs and side hustles, you realize the opportunities to make more money are endless.
In my early twenties, I moved out on my own and was in charge of taking care of myself throughout college. I did several things to increase my income, including picking up side hustles, networking, and expanding my skillset to make more money.
Here’s a great list of 10 real ways to increase your monthly income. I recommend trying out one at a time and eventually incorporating all of these tips into your life. They truly make a difference in making more money!
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1. Get a side hustle
A side hustle can bring in up to $500 a month, potentially more depending on how much time and effort you put into the side hustle.
When I was in college, I walked dogs on Rover.com for $20 an hour, got freelancing jobs for $100 an article, and became a virtual assistant earning a few hundred each month. I eventually made roughly $2,000 from side hustles each month which helped me quit my day job and work full-time on my online business (this blog).
I highly recommend getting a side hustle because 1) having multiple streams of income is ideal in case you lose a job or lose hours at work, 2) most side hustles can become a full-time job or business.
Here are some of my favorite side hustles:
- Sell printables on Etsy
- Become a Pinterest Virtual Assistant
- Run a dog treat business from your home kitchen
- Find a remote job through FlexJobs search engine
- Become a Facebook Ads Manager
- Become a Tax Preparer
- Freelance writing
- Become a remote proofreader
- Teach English online to kids in China
- Become a bookkeeper
2. Learn new skills
One of the fastest ways to increase your income is by learning new skills. Learning new skills can help you get a new job, start your own business, or negotiate for a higher salary and get a raise.
Skills currently in demand are mostly tech-based, but also in the creative field as well. I’m listing several skills down below that pay well and resources to learn the skills.
Skills that can earn money:
- Coding/Web development
- Web design or graphic design
- Online marketing/social media
- Financial management
- Teaching a language
- Fitness instruction
- Freelance writing
Courses to learn specific skills:
- E-Printables (making money selling printables on Etsy)
- Facebook Ad Manager (making money with Facebook ads for small businesses)
- Virtual Assistant (making money as a virtual assistant)
- Proofread Anywhere (making money as a proofreader)
- Earn More Writing (making money with freelance writing)
- Launch Your Side Hustle (how to make money with a side hustle)
Best resources for learning new skills:
3. Invest in yourself
One of the most surprising ways to increase your income is by investing in yourself. This means spending money or time in improving yourself.
When you spend money or time on yourself, you’re committing to improving your well-being, increasing happiness, confidence, and overall creating a better life.
Investing time in personal development helps you perform better in all areas of your life. I noticed when I started working on personal development, I grew much-needed confidence and started earning more money in my online business. I learned how to overcome problems, create solutions, and create more control in my life.
Some of my favorite ways to invest in myself are:
- Have a life coach who helps create solutions and results in my life
- Read personal development books and apply what I’ve learned
- Find a physical activity you genuinely enjoy, even something simple like walking outside
- Listen to personal development podcasts
Related: 6 Ways To Invest In Yourself
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4. Meet new people and network
I’ve landed jobs and relationships with brands just by networking. My feature in Forbes came from knowing someone who knew someone who wrote for Forbes. That feature increased my credibility and brand by getting new readers on my blog.
You or someone you know may have gotten a job because they knew someone who already worked at the company. This is common.
Increase your networking skills by:
- Going to conferences in your career field
- Joining MeetUp groups
- Joining Facebook groups
If you’re introverted like me, networking and creating new relationships might sound scary and it very well may be at first. I recommend 1) Being yourself and releasing all pressure from any situation 2) Focus on small wins – You may not meet a bunch of people your first conference or meetup, but at least you went and got familiar with how these things go 3) Bring a friend to your first conference or meetup, but go solo for the next conference which increases your chances of talking to other people besides your friend.
5. Negotiate salary
A key factor in making a lot of money is negotiating your salary, especially right out of college at your first entry-level job. People that negotiate their salary get an estimated 7% increase in annual income.
Before applying for a job, I think it’s important to see the average salary for someone in the field. There are many free resources that do this, including Indeed and PayScale. It’s a good idea to get an idea of how much you should get paid before you head into any interviews.
Even if you’re going into an entry-level job, it’s normal to negotiate your salary. In fact, many recruiters are shocked when people come in with no negotiation at all.
Did you know you can negotiate many other things besides your salary? You can negotiate for things like 1) health insurance benefits 2) paid time off 3) signing bonus 4) relocation expenses 5) tech benefits like new computers, 6) education stipend for ongoing learning 7) stock options and 8) the opportunity to work remote.
Don’t make the mistake of not negotiating in the interview. They’re expecting you to come in with negotiation, so leave the fear behind.
6. Look for new jobs
One of the best ways to increase your monthly income is to apply for a new job. The reality is, your current job can only give you so many raises until they hit their max. A different job can offer you a much higher salary when you start.
I personally have a friend that wanted to make more money at their job. Their current job paid them $60,000, yet they knew they could earn in the $80,000 range for their skills. They left the current company to go to a new company because the pay was so much better.
I haven’t been on the job hunt for a while because I’ve been running my online business for years, but I’m currently helping my boyfriend find a job in his field. We’ve had the best luck on Indeed (free). We created an incredible resume and cover letter and had several friends in the field critique both. I recommend spending a lot of time on your resume and cover letter and getting advice from others. Even better to get advice from people who are in your desired field.
Best job search resources:
Quick things you can do today to increase your income
- Get paid for answering surveys
- Open a high-yield savings account (my favorite is Ally)
- Get cash back for shopping online or in-person
- Sell items on Facebook marketplace
- Earn cash back on groceries with ibotta
I love making money and I’m always finding new ways to earn more money to share with you guys.
There are so many ways to increase your monthly income and the best ways include:
- Get a side hustle
- Learn new skills
- Invest in yourself
- Negotiating your salary
- Look for a new job
What’s your favorite way to increase your monthly income?
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