How to Increase Your Income
There is only so much you can cut back on in your budget. At some point, you need to look at ways to increase your income.
Most of us don’t have a lot of time though and really, it’s about working smarter, not harder right? No one wants to spend all their free time working a second or third job and not living life.
So how can you increase your income without it draining all your time?
Disclosure we do use affiliate links for products and services we use and recommend.
1. Ask for a Raise
Depending on the job you do, how long you have been there, the results you get and the financial state of the business you work for, you might be in a position to ask for a raise.
Do your research, learn about negotiations so you know how to approach it. There are ways to do this successfully and ways to really mess it up. Never Split The Difference is an excellent book to learn about negotiating.
Be confident, know your facts and use the right tactics. If you don’t get a raise, see if you can negotiate something beneficial to you such as more time off, increased benefits or similar and make sure you get it in writing.
However, if you can’t get anywhere with it at all, it might be time to change companies.
2. Switch Companies/Businesses
Too often companies offer better rates to new employees rather than rewarding current ones. Check the going rate for your job, including all the extra you do now compared to when you were hired.
Chances are, you could get paid more elsewhere. Years ago you were expected to stay with one company for life. Now, career hopping is expected although changing jobs every 6 months still doesn’t look great.
Compare your options, speak with recruitment agencies, update your LinkedIn profile and see what comes up. Do not quit until you have something else lined up and be sure you resign according to your contract.
Meaning, some have a non compete clause, some require 2 weeks notice, other places require 4. Go over your contract and know what you are required to do and your entitlements when you leave such as getting paid your vacation leave.
3. Change Careers
Some careers simply do not pay much and you might need to look into careers that pay more. Think about your skills and interests to see how you might be able to apply them in another career for a higher wage.
For example, Mr Aspiring Millionaire was previously a dive guide and tec diver doing exploration trips in the South Pacific. In Australia, he was able to retrain and move into commercial diving which pays much higher and has huge potential depending on how far he wants to take it.
As a writer, I have the option of writing ebooks to create passive income, do website and marketing copy, write books for other companies, articles for magazines etc. Setting up multiple sites has also increased my income.
Research careers you are interested in, what the pay is and what you need to do to transition. There are so many options out there now but also take into consideration careers that could become obsolete compared to those that will increase in demand.
4. Maximise Benefits
If changing jobs or careers isn’t an option right now, see if you can maximise your benefits. Read your work contract thoroughly and check all the benefits your employer offers, as well as everything you can claim on tax.
Some employers offer benefits such as health insurance, gym memberships, childcare assistance, meals, bonuses etc. Knowing what is on offer at yours means you can utilise it to save money.
Every career also has things you can claim on tax so make sure you know what you can claim and keep the evidence necessary for it. Check the tax department website as they have a lot of information about it.
Learn how to invest and start early. Investing is a long term game so it’s not about replacing your income or increasing it immediately. Instead, you are looking to the future to ensure you have ongoing income into retirement and beyond.
Be aware of your risk profile, what you are comfortable risking and don’t over-invest. Also, don’t invest anything you plan to need short term.
For example, if you are saving for a house deposit, don’t put that money into the share market as it can be volatile in the short term.
6. Get a Side Hustle
How much time you dedicate to a side hustle and what you choose to do is up to you. Some side hustles require little effort, others can be quite time consuming.
A few of our favourites have been writing, renting out a room, renting out the garage, reselling things, online work such as blogging, consulting and marketing.
For others we know, running an Etsy store, influencer work, setting up a business, dropshipping and photography have been great.
Research side hustles and look at what would work for your lifestyle. It might take a little experimenting until you find the right one for you but it can be worth it.
Make sure you track everything so if it becomes a business, you can claim things on your tax properly.
7. Own a Business
With a business, you need an exit plan and a way for it to be outsourced. Too many businesses are set up and rely solely on the owner, but what happens if the owner gets sick, injured or unable to work for a period of time? They can lose everything.
Look at owning a business but create a proper plan to ensure you are not working for your business, rather your business is working for you.
8. A Second Job
It’s not ideal but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Our preference is anything else such as a side hustle or creating a business instead of a second job.
But if you need the consistent income, a second job might work. There are many businesses that require shift work such as hospitality, delivery drivers, aged care, disability etc. Most of those jobs are quite physically demanding though so it can be draining.
Doing a second job isn’t a long term solution so try to look for other options to increase your income when you can.
9. Passive Income Ideas
We shared 10 passive income ideas already, or ideas that are passive once set up. Our preference is to have multiple streams of income and not be the ones working on all of it.
Things such as books once written and promoted with a solid marketing plan, websites once outsourced, investments, real estate if you have good management etc can all be good passive income options.
Some such as real estate aren’t always that passive though. Do your research on which options are right for you and how you will manage if they aren’t passive at times or take a while to become passive.
How are you increasing your income?
How we Increased our Net Worth by $166,000 PLUS got Permanent Residency and new Qualifications, Jobs and Another Baby
A year ago, we started this site as a hobby. At the time, we had just applied for a residency visa for Mr Aspiring Millionaire, we had 4 kids (teens, a primary schooler and a 3 month old). Mr Aspiring Millionaire had not been working for 2 years as he was on a tourist visa and Ms Aspiring Millionaire had health issues through the pregnancy causing a drop in income.
We’d seen some extreme expenses including repatriation after getting lockdown in the Solomon Islands. For 2020 it felt like we were bleeding money, so once we did the residency visa and knew we’d be based in Australia for a while, we regrouped and focused on our finances.
So in April 2021, we sat down and worked out where we were at financially, our goals and what we wanted to do.
What did we Achieve in a Year?
With the visa approved, we were able to get clear on our goals and also fell pregnant with a daughter who was born in February. With our son turning 1 in January, this meant by February 2022 we had two teens, an 8-year-old, a 1-year-old and a newborn.
A baby, a residency visa, a $30K course, cleared some debt, 2 trips (a road trip from Noosa to Melbourne then a trip to Tasmania for 3 weeks), a new job and started another business.
For 1 year, and 1 sporadic income, that is a lot to achieve. Many aiming for FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) would baulk at some of these expenses and choices. Our aim is to enjoy life, create great memories and do what we want while also working towards financial freedom.
A note on our income, Ms Aspiring Millionaire is the main income earner and due to health complications, her income dropped below 6 figures so we are not using a high income to achieve this either.
$30,000 Course: Commercial Diving
Our first goal was to save for a commercial diving course for Mr Aspiring Millionaire at a cost of $30,000 with 3 courses, flights, accommodation and some gear. In December 2021, he became an ADAS 3 Commercial Diver.
August to December, Mr Aspiring Millionaire was based in Tasmania while Ms Aspiring Millionaire was in Noosa with the kids. As the only income earner for the past few years, it was a little daunting to aim for $30,000 for the course.
Things fell into place in July, so we quickly booked him in the last spot available for the August course. If he didn’t do the course then, it couldn’t be done until early 2022, when Ms Aspiring Millionaire was due with a baby.
So for us, the only option was to find the money asap and we did. Getting the money as well as him getting qualified was a huge achievement.
The teenagers are just over a year apart, they are best friends and are from Ms Aspiring Millionaire’s first marriage. The 8-year-old is from Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s first marriage and she currently lives in the Solomon Islands. Together, we had our son in January 2021 and before we had him, we had decided to have another close in age, the same as the teenagers are.
In February 2022, our youngest daughter was born. Mr Aspiring Millionaire was doing work in another state so flew back for the birth and has visited twice in the 2 months since her birth.
Despite being experienced, her birth had complications and it was an extremely traumatic birth, requiring surgery and extra care for Ms Aspiring Millionaire after birth. Not at all what we planned or expected but 2 months on, things are going much better.
Our daughter is easygoing, much like our other kids and our older children simply adore her. All of the kids get along well and the teens love teaching their younger siblings everything.
In April 2021 we did a road trip from Noosa to Melbourne. For the most part, it wasn’t that expensive as we had a lot of free accommodation with family and friends. The purpose of the trip was to see friends and family as well as collect our belongings that had been stored in Melbourne since early 2019 when we went travelling.
In the September/October school holidays Ms Aspiring Millionaire flew with the teens and baby, while pregnant, down to Tassie while Mr Aspiring Millionaire studied. Ms Aspiring Millionaire’s uncle lent us one of his spare cars for the trip and we stayed with family in some places and paid for accommodation elsewhere.
The Tassie trip was a combination of seeing each other during the course, showing the kids and Mr Aspiring Millionaire where Ms Aspiring Millionaire grew up, seeing family and some travel writing work.
New Job and New Business
In January 2022, Mr Aspiring Millionaire started work as a commercial diver and loves it. His previous career was in diving as a guide and tec diver including doing the trip to find Amelia Earhart’s Plane with National Geographic. Commercial diving was a goal of his since he started diving but wasn’t achievable in the Solomon Islands or Vanuatu.
As for the new business, many of our businesses are small at the moment with room to grow. Focusing on the babies and studies meant we didn’t spend a lot of time on the businesses. However, we had the opportunity to get involved with one this month. Right now, it’s not worth a lot but there is huge potential for growth across the 3 countries we are based in.
Plus the new business requires minimal work (less than 1 day a month) from us as most of the work is done elsewhere.
How Our Net Worth Grew
We are ecstatic to look at what we have achieved in the past year, especially since we know the obstacles we faced that we aren’t sharing here. Doing all of that predominantly on one income was amazing so we know now that we are both working and have the capacity to expand the businesses that our net worth will grow faster.
Here is where we were and where we are now.
Our Assets April 2021
April 2021 I was only able to list out our properties from Vanuatu so below is more specifics from May 2021 after the little businesses were valued. Retirement funds aren’t listed fully but we also plan to retire well before we access them so won’t really include them. In April 2021, we were having issues getting the amounts from the islands so couldn’t list them.
Business 1: $70,000
Business 2: ?
Business 3: $3,000
Our Liabilities April 2021
Combined, our debt is not great. We have a few separate loans and are focusing on one at a time while maintaining minimum repayments on them all.
Custody debt $9,000
Visa debt $6,000
Personal loan $12,000
Cash debt $600
Cash debt $500
School debt $900
Net Worth $571,000 April 2021
Once we remove the liabilities from our assets, our net worth isn’t terrible. We have a positive net worth which is the main thing! Our net worth is roughly $571,000AUD. This will be different once the businesses and retirement are sorted.
Assets April 2022
Business 1: $120,000
Business 2: $20,000
Business 3: $5,000
Business 4: $10,000
Business 5: $0
Total Assets: $755,901
As you can see, we haven’t invested a lot anywhere but the businesses have increased in value due to marketing. The value of the businesses is based mainly on the annual income since most of them don’t have tangible assets.
We would have invested more in shares and crypto but the course was our main focus, along with clearing debt. This coming year, we will invest more.
Liabilities April 2022
Custody debt $5,000
Visa debt $5,000
Personal loan $8,434
Cash debt $0
Cash debt $0
School debt $0
We are quite happy with how much debt we’ve cleared here on top of everything else. Our assumption is this debt will be all gone within a few months.
Net Worth April 2022: $737,467
Considering our expenses, the health issues with pregnancy reducing income and working predominantly with 1 income, we are pretty happy with this.
Knowing how much we achieved is empowering and motivating for this coming year. With Mr Aspiring Millionaire now working on a good wage and the world opening up again so Ms Aspiring Millionaire can do more travel writing again, we anticipate the next year to be even better.
Plans for the Upcoming Year
Rather than sharing plans, we will continue to share what we have done, as it is done. Ms Aspiring Millionaire will continue with the $2 to $1,000,000 challenge. We will continue to grow our businesses and Mr Aspiring Millionaire will work full time as a commercial diver.
As for large expenses, this year we plan to buy a 7 seater car. Debt will be cleared soon and we have a few purchases to make for the home.