This is a 3-part series about creating a budget. Part one covered the basics of creating a budget and part two looked at ways to reduce expenses to make a budget more flexible. Today I’ll be examining ways to increase income to help pad a budget, giving a person more money to work with.
Since I use Quickbooks, I can easily use my annual reports to see if my income is increasing, decreasing, or staying consistent from year to year. A couple of years ago, I saw an increase in my income and I was thrilled. However, the following year my income decreased and has stayed consistent for the most part. Yet, because I am a fairly flexible and resourceful person when it comes to working and creating income sources, I decided to share some tips on increasing income.
Tip 1 – Community Work
As a teacher, I often am requested for tutoring services. Because I am not currently contracted with a district, I’m able to provide tutoring for a fee without getting reprimanded from my employer. This past year, I’ve been able to increase my monthly income through tutoring. But there are plenty of other community options out there that could generate a little extra income.
- Gardening – Does you neighbor need help mowing their lawn? Could you start a weekend lawn maintenance service? For a minimal starting cost, you could help bring in a few dollars on the weekends and get benefit from the exercise. Or, if you have a green thumb, you could sell produce at a local farmer’s market.
- Driving – Are there elderly people in your neighborhood who need help picking up groceries? Offer to be their driver for a fee.
- Tutoring or mentoring – Are or were you a good student? Could you pass your knowledge on to others? Most name-brand tutoring services charge a minimum of $50 an hour. If you can cut that price by $5 or $10 per hour, you could potentially make some spare change by tutoring a couple of students a few hours a week.
- Handyman – I’ll admit that I can’t fix anything. However, my husband is quite handy. If we ever needed extra money, I’m pretty sure I’d pawn him out for a fee. But for those who are lacking a handy-spouse, I’d bet they’d be willing to pay someone to hang their shelves and fix their fans.
Tip 2 – Don’t Leave Your House
It’s nice to make money without ever leaving home. I’ve found a couple of sources of income that give me this flexibility.
- Start a blog -I’ll admit that blogging isn’t as lucrative as a newbie thinks it is. In the beginning, it’s all work and no pay. But, if you can stick with it for at least 6 months, write decent posts on a generalized or broad topic, and grow your readership, you’ll find there are opportunities to make a little side income. Heck, some people make a job out of it!
- Take surveys – Some online surveys pay in cash, some pay in rewards points that can convert to gift cards. Surveys usually don’t pay very much, but they also don’t take very long either and can be done from the comfort of your home.
- Begin a daycare – To start a daycare you need a license, a safe home and patience, of course. Oh, and you really should like kids. With a little bit of word-of-mouth advertising, your daycare could grow quickly.
- Sell your stuff – Selling non-used items on eBay and Craig’s List can bring in some fast cash.
Tip 3 – Become a Night Owl
Many years ago, I averaged two to three jobs at a time to make ends meet. Thankfully, I don’t have to …..oh wait a minute what am I saying, I still work 3 jobs! Yes, yes, I have my traditional day job, my blog, I tutor, and I still help my husband. Hello, that’s four jobs. (And I go to school at night. No wonder I’m a little tired and can’t catch up!)
- Get a night job – There are plenty of night jobs available; anything from Starbucks to pizza delivery to office cleaning.
- Late afternoons work too – If you must get up early for your day job, finding a late afternoon job can work as well. Some companies are flexible and need mid- to late-day help.
No matter what extra income you bring in on the side, it can help pad a budget making your financial picture a bit brighter.
Do you have side income coming in? Have you taken on part-time work to add a little extra to your budget?