Today I am so excited to share this guest post from Sarah Brooks with you guys. She is a wife, mom to two little girls and freelance writer and blogger over at The Frugal Millionaire, where she writes on everything from being productive with your time to sharing monthly income reports. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, baking and spending time with her family.
How often do you think about money? For me, it’s probably more often than I’d like to admit (but hey, in my defense I am a personal finance blogger). Thoughts about paying bills, saving money and decreasing expenses consumed my mind for many years. Recently, though, I’ve changed my mindset. While saving money is great (and necessary!), it really only will get you so far. Even if you live on Ramen noodles, frozen pizzas and beans and rice, your savings rate is still only relative to how much you earn and there is cap to that.
Let’s look at an example. The median household income in the U.S. is just over $50,000 per year. Assuming your yearly take-home pay is $42,000, you won’t have much money left over after expenses even if you live well below your means. After paying for health care and contributing to a retirement account, there will be very little money left over to save. And at most, you can still only save $42,000 a year and that’s assuming you had absolutely no living expenses.
That’s when it occurred to me that instead of being so focused on how to save money, I needed to change my mindset and focus my thoughts on earning more money. By increasing my income, I can save more money without having to live on processed food. There’s no “cap” on how much I can save as long as I’m willing to continue increasing my earnings. If, like me, you want to retire early, not be a slave to your job, be able to afford vacations and other luxuries, you have to find a way to bring in more money.
How to Increase Your Income
So, how exactly does one increase their income? For starters, take a look at how you’re spending your free time. Do you watch a few hours of television each night? Do you spend too much time on social media when you could be being productive? I know for me I needed to first eliminate distractions if I was going to find ways to earn extra money, so I deleted Facebook. While it’s only been a few weeks, that one minor change has freed up a lot of my time and in turn, I’ve made more money.
There are literally thousands of ways to make extra money, but I’m going to let you in on what my husband and I do. John and I are both self-employed. Besides the obvious benefits (setting our own hours, being our own boss, being able to take time off whenever we want), the main reason we’re both working for ourselves is because our income potential is essentially limitless. If you work for a company, you’re trading your time for money. Each year, you can hope for a bonus, a raise or a promotion, but it’s not guaranteed. No matter how good you are at your job, unless your boss promotes you, you’re essentially stuck. For those that do work a regular 9-5, it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to earning more money.
10 Ways to Make More Money Include:
- Start a small business (my husband runs a handyman business, but other ideas include a lawn care business, daycare or babysitting business, catering business or freelancing business)
- Sell a product or service
- Purchase antique items, clean them up and sell them for more
- Take surveys online
- Start a blog (grow a following, post regularly and then consider monetizing it)
- Sell unused items online (clothing, furniture, kitchen appliances, dishes, old baby gear, etc.)
- Rent a room in your home
- Write an eBook
- Get a part-time job
- Offer to pet sit or house sit for friends and neighbors when they’re out of town
These are only a handful of the thousands of ways to make extra money. By changing your mindset from focusing on saving money to earning more money and by eliminating distractions, you’ll come up with a creative way to bring in an extra source of income. This money can then be saved and invested so you can live the life you’ve always wanted.
I challenge you to come up with five of your own ways to make more money and within the next month, put one of those ideas into action!