Earlier this week, I mentioned that you need a second job. Here are a number of ways you can get started today on increasing your income:
- Ask for a raise-I know this isn’t really a second job, but one of the quickest ways to increase your income is to reach out to your boss for a raise. Now, your boss doesn’t care that you need more money or want to get out of debt or anything else. What’s most important to your boss is that you’re doing a great job and creating value for the company. So make sure you have a list of the things you’ve done, improved, perfected, or fixed. How have you helped the company recently? What are you doing to teach other employees and improve your knowledge? Make sure you have concrete examples of this before you set up a meeting to discuss your pay.
- eBay and Craigslist-You can use either of these sites to help you get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore. I’ve sold electronics, cars, clothing, furniture and dozens of other things on eBay and Craigslist. With eBay, you’ll pay a few fees if your auction is successful and on Craigslist you need to be careful of potential scams. But, both ways offer an opportunity to unload things you’re no longer using and make a few bucks at the same time. I hope part of your financial recovery plans include simplifying your life and reducing the ‘stuff’ you spend money on. Once you start simplifying your life, you’ll realize how little you actually miss all the ‘stuff’.
- Retail and Restaurants-Great money making opportunities here. Most people have the necessary skills to do well in both these industries without a lot of experience.
- Labor-If you’re not afraid of sweating, labor gigs on Craigslist and other similar sites. You can easily find people needing help packing, unpacking, landscaping, and other short term work through the Gigs section of your local Craigslist.
- Freelancing-What do you do at your day job? Can you do it as a freelancer on the side? Photographer, painter, web design, marketing, or advertising? These fields frequently use freelancers, but there are numerous others too. Check out eLance.com, oDesk.com, or Craigslist for freelance gigs. A word of caution: many people on Craigslist are looking for cut-rate work at a low price. Don’t bite. Either work for free, or for full price, but never for cheap. It’s hard to say that when you’re just starting out, but don’t let people take advantage of you and your freelance inexperience. Figure out what your time is worth, add in your expenses, and don’t take jobs that pay less.
What NOT to do:
- MLM-Don’t sell Acai Juice, Noni Juice or anything from AmWay.
- Start Your Own Blog-There’s some potential for making money here, but it’s a much longer term investment. Get yourself on firm financial footing before embarking on this. You’ll have to invest a lot of time and effort in getting started and the return on investment might be months or years off. I hate to say this, but making $9/hr at Lowes is a better investment of your time, especially if you’re in serious financial straits.
- Anything That Requires You to “Invest”-Legitimate work from home opportunities exist, but you will almost never see them advertised online or on television. If anyone asks you to pay a fee, or requires a training course, or anything along those lines, run away.
One of the fastest ways to get a handle on your financial situation is to increase the money coming into your accounts. Don’t be ashamed of taking a second job. Make sure you discuss your plans with your family, and I do mean discuss. Taking a second job will increase the stress level in your house, it will reduce the time you have to spend with your loved ones, and it’ll probably deprive you of some sleep. But, remember, this isn’t supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to get you out of debt.