Everyone wants to earn more money, right?
Of course, who wouldn’t?
But let’s ask a different question: Will you earn more money this year?
If the answer is a definitive yes—great! Maybe you landed a new job, negotiated a significant raise, or got yourself a side hustle.
If the answer is no—why not? What’s your excuse?
I read a Lifehacker piece recently about why you might not want to follow financial advice when you’re broke. The reason? So much financial advice assumes that you have money, you’re just using it wrong—spending too much on food and not saving enough.
But what are you supposed to do if you don’t have enough money to begin with? You’re not squandering $500 or $1,000 a month on unnecessarily luxuries, you’re paying your rent, your utilities, and your student loan, and you’ve got $200 left to buy some combination of food and anything else you might need in the course of the month.
Of course, saving a little is better than saving nothing. Even $50 a month is a good start, but if you literally only have a couple hundred dollars with which to eat and buy other necessities, trying to save isn’t realistic—You’re going to need that money sooner rather than later.
Side hustle—a new name for an old trick
As I’ve explained before, I truly believe finding ways to earn more money in your twenties is the answer to a lot of our financial issues.
To be clear, I’m not talking about get-rich-quick schemes. I’m talking about concrete ideas that anybody with a bit of drive can implement and supplement their income.
If you have the skills and desire to start a side business, great—you have the potential to earn a ton more. If not, that’s fine—there are plenty of ways to earn money on the side as an employee, too. Moonlighting has been around as long as underpaid jobs (forever). But the idea is so popular these days that it has a new name: the side hustle.
My side hustle story
Years ago I was in this exact situation. I didn’t earn a ton of money but I had been buying whatever I wanted on credit cards until I finally maxed out and had to come face-to-face with reality (and my very expensive mistakes).
Paying off my debt based on my current income alone would’ve taken a lifetime. And that’s assuming I could manage to keep paying down my debt without turning back to credit for unexpected expenses.
I had a choice: Accept that I would be broke and indebted indefinitely or figure out a way to earn the money I needed to pay it all off.
I choose option two. Rather than trying to pinch pennies I worked nights and weekends at Starbucks, I found a new day job that paid more, and I began blogging (and teaching myself how to leverage a blog to earn income online).
Between these three sources, within a year I had doubled my annual income. And by keeping my expenses low, you can imagine how quickly that enabled me to pay off my debt.
I had gone from the prospect of being in debt for a decade or more and instead I was free and clear within three years. There are, in fact, many side hustles that can make you a lot of money; definitely worth thinking about.
Take action or make excuses, it’s up to you
We all make excuses every day. I’m no different. I eat junk I shouldn’t, skip workouts, and procrastinate on stuff. And behind every poor decision, there’s an excuse.
It’s easy to make excuses for earning too little money—we blame our employers, we blame the government, or say things like “It’s just the way it is. English majors don’t earn much” or “I can’t find a job in my field, so I’m resigned to not earn much.”
Now, of course there are external forces that influence our situations. When we make excuses, this is where we focus. But when we take action, we focus on the things we can control.
If you’re reading this blog because you want to have more money and create freedom for yourself, here’s what I encourage you to do:
Leave a comment and share:
- One thing you want to do this year to earn more money. It could be picking up catering gigs on weekends, asking for a raise, or starting a freelance business. Maybe it’s something crazy — even better!
- Why you haven’t done it yet. What’s holding you back? Are you taking steps towards earning more right now, or are you waiting for some reason?
Whatever it is—big or small—share one way you’re going to earn more money this year.
Side hustles—whether that’s working a second job or starting your own business—offer a way to make extra cash when your full-time job just isn’t cutting it.
You can make excuse after excuse, or you can spend those nights you’d be at home watching TV doing something that will actually make you some money…it’s your choice!