When I put together a financial plan for my clients, they often get excited to see the possibilities of finally getting out of debt once and for all and also saving more money so that they can live a more financially stable life.
Typically, reducing spending is the first place that I look to support others in building a solid new plan, however there are two sides to the stability equation! The other place to look at is creating more income, and that can happen in several different key ways:
- Ask for a performance review (and maybe even a raise!) – When I used to work in a corporate job, it was pretty standard to have at least an annual performance review, and sometimes there were even check-in points mid-way through the year to see how things were going. However, it always surprises me that while there is generally a process in place for such reviews that most people don’t see these reviews as the massive opportunity that they really are and they end up simply going through the motions to comply with the required paperwork. If you’re the one being reviewed, this is a HUGE chance for you to stand on the top of the mountain and shout as loudly as possible just how your results have contributed to results. Don’t be shy, and make sure that you invest some time connecting your contributions to either increased income or decreased expenses for the Company. Also, make sure that at least once a year that you’re checking in with your immediate boss to better understand his/her goals so that you can align yourself directly with what they’re looking to accomplish. If you’re aligned with his/her efforts and can make him/her look good, then there’s a better chance that you’ll be taken care of both in terms of getting the right roles and assignments as well as being financially compensated for your efforts. Lastly, don’t be shy about asking for feedback in between formal reviews – sometimes the best feedback that I received about my performance and how I could improve came in the casual moments where there wasn’t a formal process or form involved!
- Leverage your skills – We all have certain skills that we give away for free regularly, and while I’m a big fan of generosity of course, I’m also a fan of valuing your worth and being paid well for your skills and results. Is there something that you’re doing in your life right now for free that you could be getting paid for? Is there something that you’re really good at that your friends and family would absolutely love it if you’d just create something or share some information with them and they’d gladly pay you for it? Spend some quiet time to think about where you might be leaving money on the table, and start to see whether you might even be able to earn a few extra hundred dollars each month to support accelerating paying down your debt and strengthening your savings account too. And who knows, perhaps you’ll be able to earn a sizable living from something that you’re already doing yet never really stopped to think about monetizing it! (This is by far one of my favorite things that I love to do with people…seeing their eyes light up with excitement to think about being paid to do something they love is awesome!)
- Ditch the clutter – It’s my favorite time of the year to just go absolutely nuts and start getting rid of things that you don’t need! Some folks call it “spring cleaning,” and it’s a great chance to look at what you can donate or give away to someone in need while also thinking about what items of substance you might be able to actually sell to someone who needs it. In fact, just earlier this week a friend and I decided to host a yard sale at her house later this month to get rid of some of the things that we just don’t need anymore – what a great way to ditch the clutter and make some money while having fun with your family and friends!
While there are certainly more ways to create income than the 3 presented above, these 3 will most definitely support you in getting started earning more money. The combination of a solid money management approach fueled by extra income can be an exciting way to accelerate your timeline to financial freedom!