Money isn’t everything. Not by any means. Yet, it does determine many factors in our life: what we do in our spare time, how early we can retire, how much we can give to good causes, how we celebrate special events, what types of cars we drive, etc. Whether we want to admit it or not, our lives are intimately linked to our salaries. Our lives are not completely determined by our salaries as we can cut cost in order to throw money towards things that are most important, but there is a correlation.
About a year ago, I realized that my wife and I were barely making ends meet. She was working at a low-paying job in order to get the necessary experience and I was working while going to graduate school. We were doing much better than many of my graduate school peers, but we weren’t putting anything towards retirement and barely able to cover the random expenses that came up. I realized that in order to have a little more financial stability, our household income needed to increase. I understood (and still do today) that there is more to life than money, but a little cushion would provide a necessary relief. So, I did what any motivated person would do – I started working to improve our situation.
How We Doubled Our Income in One Year
While we weren’t as strategic about our effort to increase our household income as I would be now, in the past year to year and a half, we have been able to double our salary. Again, as a disclaimer, it is much easier for young professionals to significantly increase your salary than someone that has been in their career for many years. With that said, I still consider the progress that we made to be quite remarkable and I want to share how we did it.
As I mentioned, my wife was currently working a low-paying job. To be clearer, she was working as an Americorps Vista for a non-profit. This means that most of her below-minimum-wage salary was subsidized by the government. While one of the lowest-paying jobs, it was providing her valuable experience in a growing non-profit organization. As it turns out, it not only provided her valuable experience, but also entry into a manager position after her initial Americorps year commitment. She excelled in her job and all of her supervisors loved her. Within two years time, she had two more job offers, allowing her to advance further up the “ladder.” While she was not obsessed with advancing, it came naturally with working hard and implementing successful initiatives. In a year’s time, she practically quadrupled her income alone.
Another thing that changed was my side business. After starting blogging in order to write about a passion, I soon found a way to make money from my hobby. Things changed rapidly and before I knew it, I was starting several other projects in order to generate revenue. While income has tapered off a little, it’s nice to get a few hundred extra dollars from something that you enjoy doing. More importantly, it’s a few hundred more than many of my peers make sitting around doing nothing but watch TV. I’m now reinvesting the income from my side business in order to earn more money from dividends.
Easiest Way to Increase Income
Through the course of the year, I have learned that there are many ways that families can increase their income. The possibilities are endless, but not all are created equal. I committed a lot of time and effort to grow a side business, but I’m not sure it was the easiest way to make more money. In the past couple months, I have started applying for different jobs that would be something I am more interested in going forward. While not the primary focus, the positions that I have been interviewing for are significantly more money than I am currently making. In fact, I am expecting a job offer in the days to come (fingers crossed).
When I stop to think about how much my wife has advanced in her career as well as the potential for me in this job, I can say without a doubt that the easiest way to increase your household income is to get a promotion. It may never be as simple as just working hard or diligently, but it is possible, regardless of where you are. “Getting a promotion” may also mean that you are switching companies, as would be my situation if this job works out. It may mean that you have to learn a few new skills, but it is much easier to do that and be eligible for a $10,000 raise than to build a side business that has a net profit of $10k.
What do you think is the easiest way to increase your household income?
This post was written by Corey, a staff writer from 20’s Finances.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.