Managing your finances well, in many ways, is synonymous with living within your means. So long as you spend less than you make, save a little for emergencies and retirement, you should be able to feel financially stable, right? Yes and no.
It’s true that living within your means is an essential part of good financial literacy and practice, but sometimes, the money you make really is stretched too thin to keep you secure. Times are tough for many, and with wealth and income inequality on the rise, budgeting may not be able to solve all your financial woes. Short of starting a revolution, here are five ways you can stop sweating your bank account and make more money, now.
1. Free Up Cash
Start by taking a closer look at your monthly spending. Are there areas where you may be able to cut back or otherwise free up cash? If you have high-interest credit card debt, transfer your balance to a credit card that will let you make lower monthly payments while still tackling your debt. Call your insurers and see if you qualify for a rate reduction, or increase your deductible so the amount of money you’re working with each month increases. Cancel cable, magazine subscriptions, and any other monthly service that isn’t truly essential. While these types of self-inflicted austerity measures aren’t fun, they can be a boon to cash flow.
2. Ask for a Raise
Few people enjoy asking for a raise, but when you need to make more money, it can provide a quick fix. Because too few companies in the United States have a built-in pay-raise structure, if you want to make more money under your current employer, you’re going to have to ask for it. According to U.S. News, as many as 60 percent of workers never ask for a raise. Don’t be one of them. Here are some tips to ease your nerves and increase your chances:
- Make a list of your assets and the facts surrounding your employment
- Visualize yourself asking for the raise and receiving a positive answer
- Be clear about what you want and why you deserve it
- Don’t beat around the bush
- Stay calm no matter what the response is
3. Start a Side Gig
There are dozens of money-making opportunities waiting in the wings of almost every individual’s life; you just have to recognize them and be willing to make the effort to bring them to fruition. Whether you take a second job or you start your own little business, there is good money to be made in side work. The best part about a side gig is that you can make money doing almost anything. Here are just a handful of ideas:
- Teach piano lessons
- Start a tutoring business
- Pick up some landscaping work on the weekends
- Bartend or wait tables
Another quick and easy option for generating money quickly is to offer your services to a temp agency. From data processing to nursing, temp agencies can find work for qualified people in almost any field, and they’ll often work hard to accommodate your schedule, too.
While the work can be spotty at times, if you’re willing to tackle jobs and assignments somewhat outside of your wheelhouse, you can develop more marketable skills and build your resume while you’re beefing up your bank account. Some temp jobs can also lead to full-time employment, which means this particular path can also help you transition into something else entirely.
Finally, if slashing your budget, taking on a second job, and asking for a raise fails to give you the money you need, it may be time to simplify. Simplifying your living situation can take many forms, of course, but almost all of them will help you generate money or save it.
Move out of your two-bedroom apartment into a studio, and sell the furniture that won’t fit in your new digs. Sell your car and start walking, biking, and taking public transportation. In every way you can, reduce your material possessions. You’ll make money when you sell them, and you’ll save money with your simplified lifestyle.
Don’t fall prey to believing that just following a budget will keep you financially secure. Sometimes, what you really need to do is make more money. Thankfully, these five paths will help you do that.
This post is brought to you by Tiffany Rowe.