5 ways to increase your income with minimal effort as a 9–5 employee. No side-hustle included.
While most of us would find ways to minimize our spending in efforts to increase our savings, there are just limited efforts to how much we can do.
So, the only way to increase our savings further is obviously to increase our income. Most would look for the “next best” side hustle job or Google “How to earn money online” and tonnes of websites that might take lots of effort which might not even be worthwhile pops up. But what if you don’t need to? The most asked question? How? or where do I start?
1. Monetize your hobby
Yup! That’s right! There are plenty of sites out there that can help you to monetize your hobby — any hobby for that matter, even binge-watching videos or shows you might be interested in. Instead of looking at your phone or devices once every few minutes when you’re “bored” or during your free time, why not fully utilize it by earning some money on the side? Popular websites such as Swagbucks reward their subscribers with points that can be converted to cash or free gift cards. If your hobby is photography, you can monetize it by listing your photos on Shutterstock or iStock. Whatever your hobby is, there are plenty of research companies that are willing to pay you to test their products or offer gig activities that you might be doing yourself on a regular basis. It’s also a sustainable source of income as the gig economy is also growing as well. A 2019 study by Mastercard estimated that the global gig economy generates $204 billion in gross volume, and is expected to grow by 17% by 2023. So, don’t underestimate your hobby. Who’ll know? It might turn out to be your main source of income. 😉
2. Negotiating your salary
You might be thinking. Oh! I wouldn’t dare! Most people are afraid to negotiate their salary because they don’t think that they have a say in how much their bosses are willing to pay them. But, if you’re a valuable employee to the company, chances are you are likely to be very much underpaid. There are 4 things you can do to review your work either on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, and when it’s time for your annual review, show your own review to your superior by telling them how much value you’ve added to the company and how much you are offered for the same job as an employee in another company. Showing your own review works for interviews as well.
i. You need to keep a detailed list of everything you’re working on. Tip: Create 3 columns in which you fill in your weekly to-do list where you can track your task for the week, your progress, and the VALUE ADD (most important).
ii. Repeat the same process for any follow-ups you might have and make sure you know the relevant stakeholder.
iii. Remember to track your unplanned asks because inevitably they come up! This is the stuff you’ll always forget about when it comes to performance reviews/ updating your resume.
iv. Track your accomplishments as well. Make sure what you’re working on ladders up to your goals so when you have a performance review, you’re ready to go!
These tasks help you to be aware of what your action plan is, track your progress, find those successful accomplishments, and have a short and simple presentation to your superior or interviewer. Straight to the point. 😁
3. Providing services that are in line with your current 9–5 job
It’s much easier to provide services that you might already be doing on your daily 9–5 job as compared to finding a side-hustle that might take you hours to master a certain task that takes hours to complete. For example, providing credit card or non-interest income referrals of existing or new customers that I’m currently serving within the company helps to earn an additional income on the side. Best of all? It’s done within my 9–5 job and an additional point that I could add in my value-added task as above. Or say for example, if you’re currently a programmer that helps your 9–5 job in the company to build or maintain their website, providing similar services to friends and family for a small fee could help you add an additional income. The key to fulfilling this task is that it does not take a whole different skill set to add an additional income. So, by first identifying your current job scope and skillset that you have, find ways to provide it to the market. An additional perk is that it automatically increases your market value as well!
4. Investing in low-cost dividend ETFs or REITs
Yes, this is by far the easiest to do. Hah! Although the imaginary action that most people would think of is by just clicking the “buy” button, you’re all set! Nope, hate to break it, but it does not happen like that. Some minimum effort of research is needed and it might take some time to learn. But comparing ETFs with individual stocks, ETFs have much lower volatility and hence, keep the investor’s portfolio a lot more stable as it’s a basket of stocks. REITs are another alternative to dividend income stocks. They are a basket of stocks that are invested in real estate companies that generates cash flow from the rental of the properties being bought. Most are commercial properties. Knowing what your financial needs are is vital to know if investing in dividend ETFs or REITs is worth the time. Will be writing more on that later on. 😄
5. Staking your crypto
If you’ve already been invested in crypto, why not stake it? There are many exchanges that provide a much more stable or higher rate of return than your fixed deposit that is left in the bank. It doesn’t cover the inflation rate! However, do take caution that by staking your crypto with an exchange, your money is being given to the exchange for a certain Annual Percentage Rate (APR). These are profits that are given to investors in exchange for providing liquidity to the exchange by staking their crypto with them. More on that later on. More importantly, is to understand the fundamentals of the asset class, crypto, before being invested in it. Do your own due diligence.
I hope these are ways you can start to explore, discover and implement to increase your savings, and remember, any additional income from these sources should be placed in your long-term investment account. That is if you want to achieve Financial Independence much earlier!