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Debt-Reduction Tips: Methods to Increase Your Income
 
 

Methods to Increase Your Income


Key Definitions

1. Social security – It is a government system that offers monetary help to individuals with no or inadequate income.

2. Pension – It is a regular payment made after an individual's retirement from an investment fund which that individual or his/her employer had been contributing during his or her working days.

3. Contributions – These are money set aside by the employer or employee for the benefit of the employees after his/her retirement.

4. Budget – It is an estimate of expenditure and income for a certain period.

5. Taxable income – This is the amount of income used to compute a person's income tax due.

Introduction to Income

Income is money a business or a person receives in exchange for a service, good or investing capital. It is consumed to finance debts, daily expenditures, savings and investment. Most individuals aged sixty-five and below get most of their income from wages or salary earned from formal employment. Social security, pensions, and investments are the main sources of income for retired people. In this article, we will look at pain-free ways you can use to increase your income.

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1. Share your home.

One pain-free way to reduce your monthly housing expenditure is to take in a roommate (s) into your house. In fact, according to data given by the Census Bureau in 2010, more than 6 million adults shared their home with someone who was not their relative. This was a 5.3% increase from 2007.

Sharing your home helps you save on both your rent and utilities. Look at it this way, the mean cost of a studio apartment in United States is $731 per month, and the average cost of sharing a 2 bedroom apartment is standing at $480 per month. By taking in a roommate, you will be saving at least $251 per month.

Painless House savings

Investment per month $251

Rate of interest =6%

In 5 years, your investment grows to;

$17,600

15 years later, you will take home;

$42,200

If you don't want to share your home with permanent tenants, a sound alternative is to host tourists. For instance, assuming you live in New York, you can charge up to $90 per night and if you advertise on sites such as Airbnb, roomorama.com, and craigslist, and you have several rooms to offer, it's possible to make up to $25,000 per year.

Quick tips;

  • Make sure to conduct a background check on your renters. Otherwise, you may end up sharing your home with thieves or people with undesirable behaviors.

  • If you are going to take someone in for more than a weekend, make sure to draft and agree on home-sharing rules, including chores distribution, daily routines, acceptable noise level, guest policies and more.

  • Make sure all your renters are in full compliance with your homeowners' association regulation, local law and condo rules.

  • This is a great strategy to note only help you pay your rent, but also your mortgage or other debts.

  • You will be required to pay tax on the income you raise from co-renting your home, but you will be allowed to deduct a given percentage of your rent or mortgage, maintenance costs, and electricity bills. The allowable deduction will be computed based on the space your rented relative to the size of your home, and the number of days for which it was occupied.

2. Lower Your Transportation Cost

Keep your car and use till it drops. If you really need to drive a nice car, let's say you have a date, hire one for a few days or borrow one from your parents or friends, but do not buy! A common mistake that keep people stuck in debt is factoring car repayments into their budgets as if a survival necessity, something like a roof over their head.

Holding on to the old concept that car repayments are "normal" and that "everyone" needs one can literally cause you to work more than 5 years just trying to pay it off.

Give your car good maintenance and drive it for as long as it can be on the road.

To give you a hint of how much you can gain from doing so, look at the following illustration;

A fancy car normally requires a monthly repayment of $400. Let us assume you put this money in an investment that gives you 6%.

If you are in a pretty ugly financial situation, go extreme and try to not use your car, and if you must, use it to the least possible. Ideally, consider public transportation, riding to work, or shared rides. However, note that you will need to spend a little on gas, or you will soon have no friends around you.

3. Earn Doing What You Love

Craft websites such as ArtFire and Etsy are not just for artists, people make money selling a vast variety of products, such as handmade purses and furniture. You might not make enough to help you quite your current job, but you get to exercise your creative nature, and get paid to do so. The websites act as middlemen, connecting you with buyers, and for that they take a cut off your earnings. For instance, Etsy takes 3.5% of the amount you make and ArtFire charges $12.75 each month.

In some cases, it's viable to do away with the middlemen and sell directly from your blog or website. A good example is Jennifer James McCollum. The lead director for Oklahomans for the Arts, a nonprofit based in Oklahoma City, bought her camera just 5 years ago and since then, she has managed to turn her then budding love for photography into a well-paying business. She says, "Over the last 3 years, my blog has brought in enough to pay my monthly mortgage."

If you have a gift with words, and you really enjoy writing, why don't you turn your hobby into an extra income? Amazon Kindle has made it pretty easy for self-publishers to get noticed and make money from their hobby. For example, early 2010, Scott McIntosh, a-well known web strategist, dashed off a 60-page eBook about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and published on both Barnes & Noble for the Nook and Amazon. Although Google tricks may no longer hit the bestsellers record, it earned McIntosh a couple thousand dollars.

Not a techie and worried you don't know how to convert eBooks into various formats for publishing? Free programs like Calibre are readily available on the internet and they will convert your word file into all popular eBook formats at just a click of a button.

But what if you have an idea but not the tech-know how?

Hsu Benny knew absolutely nothing about web programming when the then manager of his family business, Jacksonville, Fla, decided to invest in an idea that he thought would make a great iPhone application. What later became popular as Photo 365 allows users to shoot, save or post to social media networks one photo every day, effectively giving them a visual diary of the 365 days in a year.

Benny paid a total of $1,900, much of it the fee he had to pay the freelance programmer he outsourced from Elance.com (now Upwork.com). Freelancer.com, Guru.com, and Toptal.com are similar website where you can go and outsource skilled contractors. The $0.9 application proved so easy to use that apple decided to feature it, and it has so far netted Benny $55,000.

Even better, programming for the more popular android platform has been made much easier, now that Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Google.com have released online software (appinventor.mit.edu). The tool is a true game-changer in that it is specially designed to allow people with little or no coding experience to start developing android apps almost immediately, even without programming knowledge. Other similar apps that can help you navigate the highly profitable app world are Android Application Development for Dummies, Wolber's tutorial and iPhone Application Development for Dummies.



4. Save on Your Groceries

Cut the amount of your income that goes towards groceries by stacking coupons to save as much as 50% on groceries. The sweet part of this method is that it takes just about 1 hour each week to print online coupons, skim though magazines and newspapers and cut coupons, and to organize them so that they are easy to use. The painless part filters in because with coupons, you will still be buying the regular items you purchase, so there is absolutely no sacrifice – maybe only your time. And yes! It can save you an awesome amount.

Illustration;

Assuming your grocery budget runs for $300 each month, saving 50% gives you an extra $150 per month. If you invest it for 5 years at 6% interest, it will grow to $10,500. Leave it for 15 years, and you will win yourself $25,200.

Other Tips to Help You Save on Groceries

  • Make a Groceries Shopping List: Research conducted by University of Pennysylvania reports that if you can avoid impulse purchasing, you can save at least 23% on your grocery bills.

  • Dish Pre-packaged foods: You will save big by buying less pre-packaged foods.


5. Speak for Money

Are you afraid of being the focal point of many eyes or public speaking? You would better get over it pretty fast. Orators and motivational speakers who are able to attract huge crowd (think best-selling authors, celebrities and politicians) easily command well over $50,000 per engagement – even more than $150,000 per gig. However, without the benefits of the fame they enjoy, most of us are likely to make from $500 to $5,000 per engagement – but only if you develop a reputation of giving your audience something fresh each and every time.

You may have to start speaking for free but don't get discouraged. The secret is to keep trolling your area of expertise and to consistently search for ways to better organize and present your points. And yes, do not limit yourself to motivation lectures or financial workshops. Your hobbies are a great fodder for seminars.

A Quick Hint: Speaking bureaus are a rich source of venues, but they normally take a fraction of your profit – as high as 30%.

6. Complete Fun, Work from Home Jobs

Opportunities to boost your income are countless, and more and more people are opting to work from home; mainly doing online jobs or managing online businesses. The advantages of working from home careers are numerous and they include,

  • Saving on transport costs

  • The freedom to determine your working hours.

  • Saving on wardrobe costs

  • Cutting on lunches out.

"Telecommuting rose by a 103% in the period 2005/2014, and the industry now boosts of more than 3.7 million workers," Posits a report by the Global Workplace Analytics. While some individuals opt to complete online jobs after their 9-5 careers, other are taking it serious and converting their part-time online jobs into full-time jobs. Next, we will look at 8 ways you can boost your income from working online, and some suggestion on where to start.

8 Ways You Can Boost Your Income Working Online

1. Graphic Design

Websites such as Upwork and Fiverr are loaded with orders for graphic design projects spanning from designing marketing brochures to designing sites. With the right know-how and equipment, a seasoned graphic designer can quickly and easily make a couple of thousand dollars, even a full-time job equivalent income working just a few hours each day.

2. Voiceover Work

If you're gifted with a relatable voice and you have access to the proper equipment, you can use it to make some extra dollars from the cosiness of your home. Companies are always looking for voices in a vast variety of accents and sounds, primarily for advertising purposes. From the fun to the more serious and professional tone, there is a huge demand for people with outstanding voice – and that could be you.

3. Podcasts

It does take some time to generate significant income from podcasting, but if you consistently produce awesome content and stick with it for the long-run, it pays pretty well. Take for instance, the example of John Lee dumas, the Entrepreneur On Fires. He recorded a podcast each day, for almost an year without making any money. However, towards the end of May 2013, things started rolling his way. His followers and leadership exploded, and he found himself getting request from requesters to a total of $12,000 per month. His leadership has grown exponentially since then, and today he makes slightly more than $195,000 a month.

Dumas advice to start-up entrepreneurs, "Determine what you enjoy, find time and work on it each day, and stick with it till you find true success."


4. Freelance Writing

There is an entire world of work from home jobs for anyone gifted with words. Business owners, corporate marketing departments, marketing agencies, and business owners are more than happy to outsource freelance writers to help them organize and put their thoughts into words in a way that helps them sell more. The pay is good too; it's not rare to get $100 for a 500-1000 words informational piece or blog posts.

5. Website Help

If you are skilled in perfecting or managing websites, there is plenty of opportunities for you to earn a decent living right from your home. Webmasters are always looking for individuals with SEO (search engine optimization skills), coding and general website maintenance tasks. A good place to start searching is toptal.com.

But What If You Do Not Have Specific Skills?

Christine Durst, the founder of RatRaceBebelliion.com, a work from home career expert says, "Provided you have access to high speed internet, you can earn some money completing odds tasks at your own timetable. Pair together odd jobs and you will make a decent income." Most tasks pays between $5 and $50. Examples include;

  • Securing tickets for events and popular converts. For instance, ticketpuller.com gives $10-20 for each successful pull, but a pull normally involve more than a single ticket – but the painless part is that you spend their money to buy the tickets, not yours. "Since tickets are sold to a buyer at their face value, the practice is legal," a notice on the site says. Your commissioned is derived from the amount the client pays inform of "convenience charge."

  • Serve as a juror and give nonbinding judgement for online legal cases at JuryTest.com and eJury.com, as a means to help attorneys evaluate the soundness of their case. The amount ranges from $5 to about $50 based on the complexity of the case.

  • Give detailed feedback via video and/or audio of your reaction as you navigate a given website. A good place to get paid doing this is Userlytics.com, which normally charges companies for this service and is happy to give you a large chunk. You will receive $10 for each completed review.

So far, you have learnt that there are plenty of opportunities for you to increase your income, and help you avoid and/or repay your debts. Most of the methods described in this chapter are pain-free, but they all require you to invest sometime.

Everyone understands that the most important thing in our life is our family, friends, the moments we share with them, and our experiences, but it's good to acknowledge that financial freedom gives more time to engage in those things. Factor in the fact that debts and not having money is one of the most stressing experience for most people, and you will appreciate that it's worth it to set aside some of your free time and boost your income.

Mindset Change – 5 Things You Need to Do to Start Increasing Your Income

1. Be Confident

Your worth should not be defined by your income. Whether you have a $10 million or a negative bank account, you should always be confident in yourself. In fact, your confidence should be higher when you are faced with financial problems.

2. Begin to Prioritize Your Profits

When planning your monthly tasks ensure that you begin with income generating activities. 20 percent of all your activities should account for 80 percent of your total income. Find out what they are. This means finding out the top five things you need to do to generate more income.

Now put them in your monthly schedule to ensure that you are generating income. Regularly ask yourself whether what you are doing is generating income. Focus on doing the right thing and not what you feel like doing. Always remember that impact drives income.


3. Put a Value on Your Time

"Time is money" but it is more valuable than money. You can earn more cash but you cannot create more time. Actually, it possible to double your money in the same amount of time but it is impossible to double the time. Invest your time wisely and you will increase your money.

4. It is Okay to Say No

If you are committing to too many things or over-extending yourself, this world will destroy your life. Say "no" to things that do not generate income for you until you grow your income to a level you feel secure and confident. Commit yourself to focus on income-generating activities as opposed to tension-relieving activities.

5. Proximity is Power

The majority of broke individuals hang with other broke individuals and they often remain broke, together. Lift your peer group through reaching out to people playing the game of life at the highest level possible.

Associate with these people because you will become more like them. Their ways of life, their attitudes, and their belief systems are contagious. You are either surrounding yourself with people who help you increase your income or those who help you spend it. Choose wisely.

6. Reduce Your Excuses

The more the excuses the smaller the bank account. The best excuse validators or makers have the thinnest bank accounts. The time and energy you spend on artistic excuses are better used in thinking of real solutions that can drive your life forward. Excuses are viruses and if you continue to make them you will continue to make very little income.

7. Stop Being the Victim be the Leader

Stop blaming your organization, your past, the economy, your boss, and thinking that people wants to see you fail. Change jobs, endeavor to become more valuable. The day you take the responsibility for your life, is the day you will change your life. Therefore, take the responsibility for your income and you will definitely increase it.

The difference between good income and the best income is fast change or implementation. How fast will you change your mind to begin boosting your income? If you take these methods seriously and want it seriously you will increase your income within a month. You should always remember that your bank account is who you were before you started to focus on income and not who you are.

 
 
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