Budgets are good and need not be so rigid where the consumer has no way to enjoy the small things in life or forever put off gratification or delay it until retirement. One way to limit the adverse effects of a budget is to maintain your expenses while increasing your income. As long as you make more than what you spend, then you’ll be fine. But, bringing in more money is not always an easy task, which means you must look at some options, including some which may be new to you:
Get a raise — Frozen pay scales have hurt workers who are paying more for food, gas, insurance and other expenses while their salary is static. Many companies froze salaries in 2009 when the recession was at its worst, a move that helped to preserve jobs. Two years later and some employees still haven’t seen a dime more in their paychecks, effectively seeing their purchasing power decrease during that time. Even when times are hard you can ask for a raise. Writing for Forbes, Tara Weiss advises employees to make an appointment with their supervisor to discuss salary, emphasizing one’s contribution to the company without addressing financial hardship. Your boss knows whether you merit an increase and is aware that you may someday bolt to a competitor. Never threaten to leave, but do discuss your value to the organization.
Do some moonlighting — There was a time when an employee wanted to make more money, he took on an extra job nights and weekends to bring in some extra cash. As you can imagine, the time away from family and the toll it took on the body was often immense. Today, your options are broader and extra income can be realized by working from home, often in front of a computer with your favorite drink, snacks and music playing nearby. Common online jobs include freelance writer, social media contributor, virtual assistant and forum manager. Your wages will vary depending on your experience, drive and the particularly opportunity, but you can create a nice side income to expand your income base.
Offer your services — You may have a talent that others appreciate, one that can bring in some money. If you sew, offer to hem pants or take in a dress. If you play piano, offer lessons. People are always looking for dog walkers, children sitters, interior designers, gardeners, elderly companions, a meal planner, personal adviser and more. Your service may be derived from what you do for a living or could come from a hobby — what you do in your down time.
Sell your stuff — Survey your home to find items you no longer want or need. Chances are your attic, garage, basement or hall closet has many items in it that can be sold. This is where you begin to plan a garage or yard sale (see How to Plan Your Garage Sale), developing an inventory of salable items priced right for a Saturday sale. Look at this as a one-time money injection opportunity or at least a once annual chance to bring in some cash. Competitively price your items and you could pull in a few hundred dollars or more from your proceeds. Whatever you don’t sell, donate to a local charity and get a receipt for your donation. Donations can offset your tax burden, another way to effectively put some cash in your pocket.
Rent out a spare room — If you have some extra room in your house, consider taking in a boarder. Some localities frown at this, therefore you’ll want to ensure that taking in a roommate is legal where you live. You’ll want someone who will respect your home and pays his or her rent on time. If you can offer a separate entrance, then everyone’s privacy will be respected. If not, you’ll need to make it clear to the tenant who else can enter your home and what their business is when they are there. Charge a reasonable rate or less to attract the “ideal” tenant, someone who has references, is quiet and above all will treat you and your home with respect.
If you’re able to do one or more of the above, then you’ll successfully make more money and whip that dreaded budget into place in no time. Sensible tips for everyone desiring to increase their income.
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