Let's face it -- opportunities to significantly increase your income are few and far between. I was lucky enough to leverage a 60-percent increase from January to June of this year. To start, here is what my income looked like in January 2014. (Note: All of the dollar amounts are take-home, after-tax income.)
I'm not going to break down the percentages specifically, but my total income in January 2014 was $3950.00 for the whole month. In May 2014 I made $6481.00 which is a 64-percent increase over the six months prior. It looks better in a pie chart.
Here's how I was able to make it happen:
I Increased My Salary
Back in February I was unexpectedly laid off from my job. Shocking as it was, I was able to find a much better job within two weeks. Even better, as I was able to negotiate a large increase in salary.
Getting a new job, whether within the same organization or at a completely different place, is the single best chance you have of increasing your monthly take-home pay. Forbes just reported that employees who stay in companies longer than two years make up to 50 percent less. You don't want that to be you.
It can be difficult, and often uncomfortable negotiating a new salary when you're already antsy for a new job and stable income, but it is worth it to stick to your guns. There are two ways to increase a salary: either by receiving a raise, or getting a better paying job. The largest percentage of my income increase came from my new job.
I Adjusted My Side Hustle
I make extra money on top of my job in two ways: a small amount of advertising revenue from my blog, and money from monthly freelance work I do for clients. "Side Hustle" money is amazing, because you have complete control of it, and you can get really creative with what you can do to bring in extra money. I do freelance writing, but I have a friend who runs an Etsy store, and one who bakes cakes in her spare time and sells them to family and friends. Just because it isn't as lucrative as your full-time job doesn't mean the money can't be helpful. I know for me my "side money" is the easiest to save, since I don't budget it into my monthly expenses and income.
Diversifying your income streams, either through multiple jobs, a side hustle, or a rental property is always a good idea. It's like owning stock; you don't want all of your stocks to be in one company... just in case said company goes under. I was thankful for my freelancing income when I got laid off. It couldn't completely replace the income, but it gave me peace of mind and allowed me to wait for the right opportunity.
I Picked Up A Tenant
It took me awhile to make the decision, but I was finally able to find a renter for the third bedroom in my home. As you can see I was making zero dollars from tenant income in January, and now it accounts for about seven percent of my income. No one enjoys losing privacy, particularly if you are a homeowner, but If you have spare bedrooms in your home, you could be leaving cash on the table.
As you can see, it took three tactics to increase my income by over 60 percent. Keep that in mind if you're looking to increase your own: every little bit helps, and every approach could be worth something in the end.
This post originally appeared on L Bee and the Money Tree.