• Life Lessons,  Make Money

    9 Ways to Increase Your Income

    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.

    5. Invest

    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.

    How you invest is up to you. Many people enjoy investing in the sharemarket, especially indexed funds or ETFs. Read The Simple Path to Wealth and Quit Like a Millionaire for more on this.

    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?

  • $2 to $1,000,000 Updates,  Make Money

    How Outsourcing can Increase your Income: Step 10 in Doubling my Money

    How and What to Outsource to Make More Money

    One of the biggest obstacles financially for me has been time. Not enough time, no childcare, and everything falling back on me to manage. With moving house, setting the teens up in new schools, having a toddler and baby etc. It’s a lot.

    A few years ago, I made great money, travelled and had a super flexible lifestyle. My teens and I loved it. Then the world changed drastically in 2020, we had some major hurdles with bushfires, a double family death in Vanuatu, getting locked down in the Solomon Islands and needing to set up a home there, hit by a cyclone, repatriated and needing to set up a home again and buy a car.

    That was just the first few months of 2020 for us. Then, then 2 back to back complicated pregnancies, a residency visa and studying for Mr Aspiring Millionaire in another state. As I said, everything fell back on me. This greatly impacts my earning capacity and motivation.

    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

    We Can’t Do It All On Our Own

    With so much going on, I neglected myself, my career/business, my life, and everything. We had agreed once we moved, the kids would go into childcare, and I’d be able to complete my studies and work.

    No childcare was available, no nannies, and no options for months. The waitlist for childcare is 18+ months!

    This greatly reduced my capacity to do anything and set me back mentally and emotionally as well. Doing it all on my own was slowly killing me. Plus, it meant I couldn’t do anything about my $2 to $1,000,000 challenge.

    Finally, I have made an arrangement and now get time to work, do self-care etc. It wasn’t easy to set up but is essential.

    Get Help

    As much as we like to think we can do it all, we can’t. I get called superwoman or supermum a lot. People are amazed at all I do and wonder how I do it.

    Yet often, I feel stressed out and like I’m failing because there is too much to do and I feel I am always behind. My goals, needs and wants don’t happen.

    Being so busy, having so much on, trying to do everything perfectly myself is no way to live. Something had to give so I made the decision to outsource more.

    How Much Can Outsourcing Make You?

    How often do we waste our time on things that would be better outsourced? If you can make $50hr doing something you are great at and outsource the little stuff for $25hr, aren’t you better off outsourcing those things so you can focus on income?

    The amount you make from outsourcing depends on what you outsource, how you do it and how much you or they make for you during that same time.

    Outsourcing has been a struggle for me over the years even though I know I could make more money if I did it more. The desire to be in control of everything as it impacts my reputation is strong. I know if I have a good team, I can make a lot more though.

    So both not being able to outsource childcare and being reluctant to outsource too much in business was costing me money.

    How to Know What to Outsource in Business

    When it comes to business, outsourcing should be easy but for many small business owners, it’s tricky. You have specific skills people are paying for and that is where you make your money. So your time should be spent on those tasks and admin outsourced, right?

    How many business owners do you know who waste a lot of their time and energy on the small stuff? I’ve been guilty of this many times.

    Write a list of all the tasks involved in your business. Next, you’ll divide the list into tasks that absolutely have to be done by you vs tasks you can outsource.

    Then, place them in order of tasks that make you the most money to tasks that make you the least. How much time do you waste on those things that need to be done but don’t need to be done by you? When you could put that time into money-making pursuits only you can do?

    Looking at this list can make it easier to know what to outsource first. The more you outsource the more time you can dedicate to those things only you can do and that earn you the most money.

    Some tasks you might consider first are bookkeeping, emails, social media, marketing, all the administration tasks, bookings etc. Sometimes when business owners do this, they find the professionals streamline a lot of these processes for them saving even more time and money.

    Take the plunge and outsource.

    How to Know What to Outsource in your Personal Life

    Outsourcing your personal life might sound weird but it is amazing how common it is and how much time it can free up. You already outsource somewhat.

    Think about it, you outsource car repairs and maintenance to the mechanic and most families have to outsource some childcare.

    Cleaning, gardening, ironing and even booking appointments are common things people outsource. There are personal concierges that will take care of picking up dry cleaning, arranging gifts, booking flights etc.

    Decide what you want to outsource and make it happen.

    If you want to grow your business or career, consider time vs money when it comes to outsourcing parts of your personal life. It might be quicker, cheaper and easier to have someone clean the house, do the ironing, mow the lawn etc.

    How is Outsourcing Quicker, Cheaper and Easier?

    Once you have the right people in place to do the tasks you’ve chosen to outsource, it flows easily. You don’t have to think about those tasks anymore. Those parts of your business or personal life get sorted without your effort.

    It is often quicker because professionals usually do things faster and better than we do. That’s why they are the professionals getting paid for it. Outsourcing them is often cheaper because if you can do something that earns $50 to $100 an hour (as an example) at the same time you’re paying someone $25 to $45hr to do those tasks, you’re in front. You can earn more in that time than it costs to pay someone to do those tasks.

    How to Know What to Outsource First

    I outlined one way to decide how to outsource for business above. Write down all the tasks you have to do, split them into groups of things you have to do vs what someone else could do. Then order them from highest earning to lowest earning then choose things to outsource.

    When it comes to personal or business, I tend to outsource based on what I hate doing or what I need help with first. Previously, this has been gardening first. I hated mowing the lawns, weeding etc. So it was worth it to me to pay someone to do that.

    Childcare is one I have had to do at times but I do try to be there as much as possible for my kids instead of having them in full-time care.

    Work out what can be outsourced and what would free up the most time or provide the most value to you if you outsourced it. Not everyone will start with the same things, it is up to you what you outsource, how and when.

    What I Outsourced to Increase my Money

    Having 2 babies close together (January 2021 and February 2022) meant I did not have the headspace to outsource. During that time we were also focused on getting Mr Aspiring Millionaire his residency visa and commercial diving qualifications so he could work. Then the focus was on moving house and healing from the pregnancies.

    Once settled in the new house I did a full evaluation of where my time was getting wasted, costing me money. I also reviewed what was costing me mentally and physically. Too much has been left to me to do by the whole family and I was exhausted in every sense of the word which impacted my capacity to earn an income.

    1. Insourcing

    My first step was to sort out the chores and things in our home. I want my kids to have all the life skills I have and more. As such, they’re involved in cooking, cleaning, repairs etc. Once this was more organised (read What is Insourcing and Why You Need to do it to understand it).

    2. Childcare

    Next, I had to outsource childcare a little but that was difficult. Waitlists for childcare centres are 18 months, there are virtually no nannies and even getting a babysitter has proven difficult. I finally got 2 days of care starting February 2023 for my then 2 year old but I still have my almost 1 year old at home.

    As such, I had to get creative about childcare. A mix of nannies, seeking out an au pair or even getting a cousin to come over were all considered.

    Paying someone I trust to look after my kids so I can work has been huge. It was hard for me to deal with it at first but it needed to be done. Without it, I was never going to progress in my career or achieve the goals we wanted as a family.

    Plus, while I do spend most of my time with my kids and they are my priority, I needed the break mentally.

    Originally, Mr Aspiring Millionaire was going to be with the kids in the afternoon so I could work. Commercial diving varies a lot though and even though his finish time is 3pm, he rarely finishes then. It’s not like an office job where you can up and leave, it’s underwater welding, construction, repairs etc.

    Weekend work is common too, making time for me to work difficult. I have no guaranteed time I can work without finding alternative childcare.

    So I worked out a plan with some help at specific times that should free up about 20 hours a week for me. I’ll try it until the end of April and see if it can continue.

    This is where I spent the money from my $2 to $1,000,000 challenge. I needed to spend money on childcare to free up my time. I anticipate I’ll double my $3,849 within 1 month with the time I have to focus and do things such as reselling.

    3. Admin Tasks

    The next step was outsourcing more of my websites. They’ve been my ‘babies’ and I was reluctant to let go as my identity was so entwined. As a result, they have barely been touched the past 2 years while I was off having kids.

    Setting up a larger team to do various tasks them has saved me significant time to earn more.

    Reviewing my business and seeing where I make the most money and how I can increase that was crucial for this. Once I saw where the bulk of my income is coming from and the things that can only be done by me, I set to outsourcing everything else.

    This step alone is set to double my income within a month and freed up so much headspace for me. In fact, I can work less and earn more overall.

    4. Some Meals

    My kids are more than happy to cook 2 nights a week each and are keen to learn more recipes from me, which we are working on. It was a bit of a juggle, me writing out and teaching recipes to my kids so they could do more, but it was worth it.

    They also loved learning from and following HelloFresh recipes. We used HelloFresh a lot when I was pregnant. It was great as they could select the recipes they wanted to cook and hardly needed any instruction or help from me. If you want to try HelloFresh, get a free box here.

    Why Didn’t I Outsource Cleaning, Gardening etc.

    I want my kids to be good at all these chores so right now, cleaning, gardening and similar tasks are not outsourced in our home. Eventually, they will be or they might be occasionally but overall, I want my kids to still do some chores.

    All the kids I grew up with who didn’t have to do any chores were fairly entitled and struggled in adulthood. My aim is to raise confident, intelligent, capable and compassionate adults. To do that, I have to teach them now.

    How Did This Increase My Money?

    Spending thousands on outsourcing feels weird at first but it was worth it. Outsourcing made me money by enabling me to spend time on the tasks that make me more. Plus, outsourcing to the right people means they increased the business income due to their expertise.

    I was able to earn 2 to 3 times what I was paying someone else. Meaning, for every hour of any service I paid for, I was able to earn 3 times what I paid them.

    For the things I outsourced in my business, they made double what it cost them to do what they were paid to do. Plus some of my time was freed up not having to do those tasks.

    You can’t do everything and trying to do it all costs you time, money and your health. Do a review of your life and business to see what you can outsource to make time for what matters to you.

    What Have you or Would you Outsource?

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  • Culture,  Life Lessons

    How to Review Goals and Cultural Obligations

    This past year was a mess. That is putting it mildly. We achieved some great things but so much of my life was on hold. No childcare, moving house twice, high achieving kids requiring a lot of my time to get them to and from events etc.

    I had no time for myself or for my $2 to $1,000,000 project. With 4 kids here and doing most things on my own, I can barely think.

    On top of that, there have been some big changes and issues with some cultural matters. I’ve written before about how we manage our cultural obligations (including sending money back to Vanuatu, planning to support the parents there in retirement etc).

    This means it is time to review my goals and cultural obligations.

    3 of the kids playing where we were living in Noosa.

    How to Review Goals

    If the goals you set aren’t working for you, it’s ok to change them. It’s also ok to take a break if you need to so you can reset and decide if those goals will truly get you the outcome you want.

    My $2 to $1,000,000 goal is mainly a hobby and bit of fun for me. As such, I do it when I can but haven’t focused on it as much as I would have liked.

    Some opportunities were suggested that would have worked great with that goal. However, it’s been months and those things still have not happened, so I am moving in another direction with it to ensure I can keep doubling my money.

    Making these decisions wasn’t easy. Here is how I reviewed my goals.

    1. Look at the Past, Compare the Good and the Bad

    Maybe you set a goal and it isn’t moving ahead as fast as you thought or it’s not providing the result you wanted. Look at what has been happening with it, both the good and the bad.

    Have you dedicated proper time and resources to the goal to ensure it happens? Was it a realistic goal to begin with? Did you have a proper plan?

    What success have you seen on the journey with this goal?

    Thoroughly review what you have done and can do to achieve this goal. Be honest with yourself. We often overestimate what we can do in some stages of life and at times we need to adjust our own expectations.

    For me, with a baby, a toddler, two teens, doing it pretty much on my own, dealing with other issues in the background plus needing to move house twice this year and having severe health issues due to a traumatic birth means realistically, I couldn’t do my goals.

    I achieved numerous other things but in this stage of life, with no childcare or help, I need to be realistic and accept I cannot do the things I wanted to, yet.

    2. What End Result do I Want?

    While we do need to be resilient and persist so we can grow, it’s also ok to ask yourself if this goal will get the end result you want? When life changes, sometimes goals we set are no longer relevant.

    If a goal won’t get you the life and end result you want anymore, and you are being honest with yourself that it truly won’t, it’s ok to change tactics.

    How is This Impacting my Family?

    Family is my everything so this is something I ask with every decision I make. If my goals detract from my family, cause stress or anything along those lines, it is not worth it to me.

    Due to all the other issues this year, my goals needed to take a backseat while I supported my family. Now, moving into 2023 and beyond, I can focus more on myself.

    3. How is This Impacting my Mental Health?

    If you set goals then beat yourself up because you didn’t achieve them or you feel awful because you can’t achieve what you set out to do, it might be time to re-evaluate your goals and choices.

    At times my mental health has suffered because the goals I set were too extreme. This impacts my family as well so is something I need to constantly check.

    4. Make Changes

    If a goal will still provide an end result that you want but it isn’t working for other reasons, work out what changes you can make so you still achieve it. Sometimes a few tweaks is all that is needed to make it easier or better.

    How to Change Cultural Obligations

    Let me start by saying, it wasn’t me that lead the decisions on this. Being Caucasian means I haven’t grown up with these expectations placed on me. We tried to make them work but due to various lies and other issues, we are stepping back.

    Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

    You cannot help others if you are struggling or barely breathing. As with emergencies on a plane where you fit the mask on yourself first and then help others, the same can be applied to cultural obligations.

    A lot of pressure was put on us to provide financially, for the parents to retire, for us to buy a new car for the family there (we did pay to repair theirs and then a family member messed around with it and completely destroyed the engine).

    We keep getting asked to buy a boat and so many other things.

    Yet, in the past few years we had to repatriate, set up our home, get residency, a commercial diving course, move states etc. All up, it’s been about $100,000 to get set up here with all of that. On top of regular living expenses.

    We did send money back, paid for house repairs, car repairs, new phones, education and more. But we have goals here that aren’t happening because of the pressure and expectations from Vanuatu.

    It is ok to put yourself first.

    How much more could you do and how much better off would everyone be if you got your own life sorted first? One thing I noticed, with the financial expectations from family is how they expected us to improve their life before even being set up here.

    Getting a house here, a second car, childcare and other things mean we can then develop more in Vanuatu. So we have started to say no and set proper boundaries.

    Let Them Know

    This was hard. Letting them know we won’t buy them a boat, a car, pay for retirement right now or anything else as we have other things we are focusing on was tough.

    Not everyone handled it well and there were some things said and done that showed true colours. That also helped solidify our decision though.

    Decide how you will let family know things are changing. You don’t need to go into a lot of detail. Set a time to call or if you are going to see them in person, it might be better to do it then.

    Outline the changes. Make it clear these boundaries are firm. Then stick to it.

    Stand Firm

    Family will push back and try to guilt you into doing what they want. Stand firm on your boundaries. If you let them keep pushing you around, you will never achieve your financial goals.

    As hard as it can be, if they behave this way, you might need to step back for a while. Don’t let them suck you into drama.

    Be clear on the life you want, the plan you have for your finances and stick to it.

    What tips do you have for reviewing goals and financial obligations?

  • Life Lessons,  Motivation

    How to Achieve BIG Financial Goals

    Whether that goal is a new car, saving for a house or maybe something smaller such as dental work or a PlayStation, what you need to do to achieve it is similar.

    1. Set an Achievable Goal

    One of the biggest mistakes people make is setting unrealistic goals. If your goal is a new car, decide the type of car you want and can afford, work out the budget and whether you will save or get a loan for it. 

    We might want a brand new Landcruiser but if you’re on the average Australian wage, a brand new one is probably unrealistic for now. A more realistic goal would be either an older model or a different type of car. 

    As an example, we need a 7 seater car. After reviewing our options we’ve decided on a Hyundai Sante Fe. Our budget is up to $30,000. 

    Knowing what we want in a car made it easy to eliminate many others and not get distracted by others, as well as makes it easy to set a realistic goal.

    2. Create a Realistic Plan

    Once you decide what you want, how will you make it happen? 

    For the car example above, we were considering finance but instead have challenged ourselves to make and save as much extra cash as possible by the end of the year. We’ve done this before with huge success, resulting in $30,000 within a few months for Mr Aspiring Millionaire’s commercial diving course.

    Maybe you are saving for a house deposit? If so, you need to work out how much you need, create a budget and saving plan then look at ways to make more to achieve what you want. 

    3. Break your Goal into Easy Steps 

    The simpler you make your goal and plan to achieve it, the more likely you are to make it happen. 

    As mentioned, with the house deposit, you need your budget and a saving plan but you can make even smaller steps. Save bundles e.g. $1,000 as your steps. Get a graph to colour in to keep it visual and to keep you motivated then work out how you can make it happen.

    I like to start with breaking it into small steps and setting it as a savings goal, then I take it a step further by looking at every possible way to make more money to put towards the goal too. Check out 22 ways to make money in 2022 for ideas.

    4. Look for Opportunities

    You’ve got your goal and a plan but that doesn’t mean things will go smoothly or that it’s the only way to achieve your goal.

    For example, I needed a new MacBook and had started saving for it while using my eldest child’s laptop. I planned on having it by the end of September.

    Well, as I had made this known to a few people, recently, someone surprised me by giving me a brand new MacBook! My goal was achieved in a completely different way from what I expected.

    Another example, I wanted a holiday and was offered one in exchange for doing some social media for a tourism company.

    Be open to opportunities and think outside the box. Your plan is definitely what you should do but be open to opportunities.

    Ms Aspiring Millionaire getting paid to holiday in Fiji!

    5. Work on it Daily 

    Small, consistent changes will make a huge difference over time. Too often we view our big goals as unachievable or we pin our hopes on winning the lotto instead of taking small steps every day.

    I wrote about how small changes can make a big difference, including 10 examples of habits to change. By actively working on your goal a little bit every day, you are making progress. That daily action takes you one step closer to your goal.

    6. Make It Visual

    Create a vision board of your goals, write them in permanent marker on your mirrors, add inspirational quotes. Change your passwords to be connected to your goal so when you use them you get reminded.

    Make digital images related to your goal to use as screensavers and backdrops. Do what you can to make your goal front and centre. Doing this will make your subconscious brain work towards achieving it even faster and often in ways you might not have considered.

    When my goals are right in front of me and I am working on them daily, they become much easier.

    What Big Goals are you Working on?

    Ms Aspiring Millionaire reading poolside in the Solomon Islands while Mr Aspiring Millionaire (not pictured) is with friends, while both being paid to be there.

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