Earn More Money to Help Save More and Pay off Debt Faster

From our money & finance contributor, Kelly Whalen.

Saving and cutting back are not the only way to get your finances in order – in our series we’ve discussed reducing expenseshow to deal with unexpected expenses, and 5 easy steps to a budget that works. But slashing spending is only half the battle. The other half is earning more money so that you can save more, pay off debt, and reach your financial goals faster. Today I’m sharing some ways you could potentially earn more as well as some ways to make sure that extra money doesn’t end up in extra spending.

Earn More Money

Earn More Money

Earning more money is essential if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Here are some ideas to get you started on the path to earning more:

  • Ask for a Raise or more Responsibility at Work. There are many reasons to ask for a raise including being underpaid, having extra responsibilities, and being responsible for generating new income or cutting costs for your company. There are lots of tips for negotiating but the best way to get your boss to say “yes,” is to show your value.
  • Time to Job Hunt. If you are in a position where there’s no room for growth it’s time to look at new jobs. Your skills could be more valuable elsewhere. People often see a jump in income when they make a lateral move from one company to another.
  • Start a Side Gig. Whether you have an idea for a small home business or can tutor kids from home in the evenings’ it’s likely you have skills or hobbies that could be used to earn you some extra money.
  • Get a Second Job. Getting a second job may not sound ideal but look for work that fits your schedule. You don’t have to work two 40 hour a week jobs. You may find a part-time or job you can do online or at home when your regular work day is done. Use your network, friends, and family to find something that is a good fit. This could be anything from a part-time barista job to being a virtual assistant from your computer at home.
  • Improve your Education or Training. If you’ve reached as far as you can go with your current role it may be time to look at more education or training. For some industries it makes sense to go back to school for an advanced degree while for others a certification course will help improve their skill set. If you’re short on cash to pay for further education look for training, programs, or degrees that will be covered by your current employer.
  • Add New Skills to your Resumé. For many people they have a set of skills that they work with each day. Look at related skills to help improve your value to your current or future employers. For ideas on things you might consider search LinkedIn for colleagues or those with similar titles at other companies.
  • Start a Blog. Read some great advice from Amy on long-term tips for bloggers. Blogging is definitely not a ‘get rich quick scheme’ but it can be helpful for reaching new clients for your day job or be a creative outlet that’s totally different from what you do from 9 to 5. And yes it can eventually earn you some extra dough.

Temporary Boosts in Income

While the following ideas won’t get you out of debt entirely or help you save every year they can be a great way to jumpstart your financial goals:

  • Sell Off Items. Whether it is baby gear you no longer need or housewares that aren’t getting use daily you can earn some extra cash by selling items you no longer need or want. Using Craig’s List or other services works well for local only items (like the play kitchen your kids outgrew) while eBay works well for items like collectibles, designer clothes, and electronics.
  • Take Surveys. There are multiple sites that will allow you to earn cash for answering a few questions. Some are based on your fit for the survey while others offer to pay for your feedback no matter your personal fit.
  • Use Apps that help you Earn. Apps are available to help you earn now. The Ibotta app allows you to earn cash for shopping after answering a question or two, liking on Facebook, or even watching a short video. GigWalk is another app that allows users to take photos, submit surveys, and share info with companies that are looking for ‘on the ground’ help.

In the end earning more only helps you reach your goals if you stick to your budget. While it can be tempting to spend a little more on things since you’re earning more-don’t. It’s pretty easy to get yourself right back into living paycheck to paycheck if you aren’t careful. A simple way to manage the extra funds is to have them deposited into a separate account that you use to save, pay off your debt, or reach your other financial goals.

These are just a few ways to earn more. What are some ways you’ve earned more?


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Published May 13, 2014 by:

Kelly Whalen is the author of The Centsible Life, a website she started her blog 5 years ago to help her family dig their way out of debt. The site has become a resource for readers, and Kelly has become a well-known mom blogger and a respected voice in the personal finance realm.

When she’s not packing lunches or helping with homework for her 4 kids she’s busy talking money and motherhood on Twitter and Facebook.

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