Finding ways to save money  and pinching pennies is a great plan to be able to put more money towards debt, or better yet, put more money in a savings account to prepare for the future. But increasing your income  is another vital piece of the puzzle for improving your finances. If you spend less  and earn more, you’ll be able to climb out of debt or bulk up your savings account significantly faster than just cutting back alone. Many people think they are earning all they can, and it’s not feasible to earn more money. But actually, it is much more realistic than you think if you’re willing to work for it.
Increase Your Current Salary
Many times earning more money doesn’t seem like a reality when you’re earning a fixed salary at a job, but it most definitely is. Research what other similar positions are getting paid using websites like Glassdoor.com  and Salary.com , which offer an analysis of salaries. If there’s a chance you can be earning more in your current position, go for it. If you can, speak to your employer and negotiate a raise. The best way to get a raise or increase your salary is to market yourself, make your skills known, share all the great things you’ve been doing and what else you plan to do for the company, and prove you’re an asset in that position.
Here are some ways that may help you achieve a higher salary at your current work:
- Learn new skills applicable to your position and industry by using online tutorials or visiting the library.
- Take any classes offered by your employer.
- Seek additional certifications and take classes offered at a community college.
- Volunteer in your field to strengthen your current skills.
- Offer to take on additional work, more responsibility, or work more hours to increase your income.
- Take advantage of any employer reimbursed tuition. If your company offers to pay for you to go back to school to get a degree, consider going for it to increase your value as an employee. If they didn’t value education, they probably wouldn’t offer to pay for it. This proves that you are eager to better yourself and want to contribute more to the company. College is expensive so taking advantage of this feature alone can be like a several thousand dollar a year bonus. But do remember that going back to school will take a lot of time and hard work.
- If you don’t think you can get paid any higher at your current position, you can also consider searching for a higher paying job. Don’t quit your job until you find a secure, promising, higher paying position elsewhere. When considering salary, also keep in mind benefits that can be a good financial bonus too.
Earn Additional Income
Whatever you career is or whatever your skill set is, chances are you can start to freelance. Freelancing is a good way to earn additional income on a flexible time period. You can get paid per hour or per project, depending on what you’re doing and what you and your client agree on. Some common things people do to freelance include writing, photography, copy editing, or even consultant work. You can get started by making a profile on E-lance , a website that connects freelancers with employment opportunities. Use social media, especially LinkedIn, to get your name out there that you’re now offering freelance services.
- Get a part-time job.
Consider taking on a second, part-time job to increase your current income. If you have a full-time job already, you’ll need to be sure moonlighting  is not going to impact your current job. Getting a part-time job  on top of what you’re already doing can be a sacrifice, but if you’re looking to increase your income, it’s a great option. To make it easier for yourself, look for a job that is close to your first job or home or that has a flexible schedule so you can plan your schedule around your other priorities. Another way to keep a part-time job, is to find something that goes along with your interests and passions, like working at a book store if you love to read.
- Start doing side/odd jobs.
If taking on a regular part-time job is too much for you, consider taking on some odd jobs. Side jobs, or odd jobs, are things like walking dogs, babysitting, cleaning a house, doing yard work, mystery shopping  or tutoring. To find these types of jobs, consider looking on local community boards, spreading the word with neighbors and friends that you’re looking, or even looking on Craigslist. A new website called Task Rabbit , allows you to sign up to do odd jobs for people like grocery shop, be a handyman, assembling furniture, or even returning items to the store for people. The site is in 10 cities right now and is expected to grow further.
- Earn money with a hobby.
Try turning in your interests and hobbies into extra cash. Play an instrument? Give lessons. Do you crochet or make other crafts? Sell your items at a craft fair, and set up a shop on Etsy. Like to write? Try starting a blog to make money  with advertisements. Anything you’re an expert in, chances are there is someone that would be willing to pay for you to teach them what you know.
- Sell items you don’t want.
Another way to increase the money you are bringing in is to sell items you no longer use. You can sell clothing to second-hand stores and resale shops or on eBay . Sell books and textbooks on Amazon . Bring unwanted gold jewelry to a reputable store that buys gold. You can list anything else on eBay, have a yard sale or sell items on Craigslist . Baby clothes and toys can be sold at the store Once Upon a Time, that buys and sells gently used baby items.
What are other ways to increase your income? How have you asked for a raise or earned extra money?