On January 1st, 2015, I made a single, simple resolution – I was going to triple my income in 2015. And I did.
It was a big, scary, audacious goal, but I made a plan to make more money and followed it through to completion.
If you too are considering an income-related resolution for 2017, let me offer my advice – Aim high. And pair it with a plan.
When I hear from readers about their financial goals, I generally see two issues – they’re either aiming too low or they don’t have a plan.
Wherever you are on the income scale – an investment banker earning six figures or a student barista making $10 an hour – know that you can earn more money next year.
Here are 40 ways to make more money in 2017. Pick and choose which strategies work best for you, your goals and your timeline. Just don’t make excuses…
Make More Money At Work
1. Ask for a raise. This is the most common and direct way people make more money. They ASK for it from their employers.
And most of the time, they’re successful.
75 percent of people who ask for a raise, benefit from some sort of salary increase.
Unfortunately, only 43 percent of people have ever asked for a raise in their current field. Which means that most of us are leaving money on the table!
If you think your work is adding significant value to your organization and you’re not being fully compensated for that value; or if your role has expanded far beyond what you were originally hired to do; or if you’ve exceeded expectations, contributing substantially to your employer’s bottom line; consider asking for a raise.
But before you knock on your boss’ door, do some market research and consider your negotiation strategy. Here are some tips to keep in mind…
2. Raise your rates. If you’re a freelancer or self-employed, consider raising your rates. Not only will this net you more money, it’s also great way to practice your negotiation and client-management skills. In fact, consider raising your rates even if you don’t need the extra money. Without the added pressure of needing the money, you may find it’s easier to ask for more. And c’mon, who doesn’t want more?
3. Get a new job. The average raise a salaried employee can expect in 2017 is just 3%. But switching jobs can net you an average pay increase of 10% – 20%.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Might be time to update that resume!
4. Become an entrepreneur. If getting a new job is the easiest way to explode your earnings, becoming an entrepreneur is probably the hardest.
But is it the most rewarding? I certainly think so. And if your goal is to create passive income, becoming a digital entrepreneur could be the way to go. (Starting a blog is always a good place to start.)
5. Take part in work perks. A lot of companies offer work perks that you may not be taking advantage of. Check with your manager or HR department to learn about potential cash perks for getting certifications, taking additional trainings or being a top performer.
And whatever you do, don’t dismiss the value of your benefits. The value of insurance, retirement plans, employer matches and other tax-deferred savings plans can add as much as 30 percent to the value of your salary. Find out what you have access to so you can take full advantage of it.
Make More Money In Your Spare Time
6. Buy real estate. You have to spend money to make money, isn’t that what they say? Well, if you’re feeling motivated to spend a lot of money – think about buying an investment property.
If you do it thoughtfully, you could build a nest egg for your retirement AND start bringing in additional monthly income right now. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not an expert on real estate investing. But my dear friend and real estate investment extraordinaire Paula, from Afford Anything is – check out her amazing post on income properties.
7. Make cocktails. Or wait tables. Or serve coffee. Working in service is a flexible side gig and, depending on where you work, can pay really well. A bartender’s average hourly wage is $11.59. But that doesn’t take into account the tips. And tips. And tipssssss.
Even if you’re not planning on spending every night slinging cocktail shakers, this is a reliable way to line your wallet on free nights and weekends.
The pros: convenience, flexibility, easy entry into the field. Cons? Hidden costs, safety risks and increased road rage. My friend Martin at Studenomics shares more on the ins and outs of making more money with ridesharing.
9. Babysit. Babysitting was my go-to side hustle when I was building my blog. Though I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of children (don’t hate me), it paid pretty well. I made anywhere from $15-25 an hour. The best part was when the kiddos were in bed and I got paid to hang out and work on my blogging side hustle.
10. Work on TaskRabbit. Have any basic handyman, lawn care or personal assisting skills? TaskRabbit is a service that connects people who need help with someone like you. You can offer services that range from furniture assembly to standing in line for the latest iPhone.
11. Deliver groceries. According to Postmates, you can earn up to $25 an hour delivering food. And that doesn’t include tips. Or the pleasure of smelling pad-thai for twenty minutes as you drive across town.
12. Clean. The digital economy means that every Jane (or Joe) Schmoe can use his or her house-cleaning skills to make cash. Check out services like Handy where cleaners can make up to $25 an hour.
Like other service apps (Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Postmates, etc), you get to decide where and when you work by choosing the jobs that are the best fit for your skills and schedule.
13. Teach a class. Fluent in Spanish? Have an accounting degree? It’s time to brush up on your skills and start make money for sharing what you know. Local community centers and online programs are always looking for experienced, knowledgeable professionals to teach courses. More of a gym rat? Think about teaching a bootcamp or Zumba class.
15. Become a virtual assistant. If you don’t have the time to become a personal assistant, or you want to make money on your own time while lounging around in your pajamas, consider becoming a virtual assistant. This was another one of my go-to side hustles when building my blog.
Starter VAs can make $20 – $40 an hour from the comfort of their couch. Get 20% off this e-course on becoming a VA with promo code: STEFANIE.
16. Make some furry friends. Here’s a great resource on how you can make $400 a week as a pet sitter.
17. Be a house sitter. Live like a millionaire, and get paid for it. Find out how to get paying house-sitting gigs here!
18. Get artsy. If you’re the kind of person who brings her knitting project into the movie theater, or is always making handmade gifts for her friends – consider making your hobby into a profitable (and tax deductible) business. Worst case scenario, you still get to write off your yarn.
19. Resell on Amazon and eBay. There are plenty of people out there who make money by finding products and reselling them on Amazon and eBay. In some cases, you can even become a wholesaler and get access to lower pricing by purchasing large quantities of a product, then selling them for more individually.
20. Start a blog. This isn’t exactly a get cash quick strategy, I admit. But speaking from experience, starting a blog is one of the most flexible, low cost ways to build a sustainable extra income stream. Check out my free 5 days to a better blog email course to get started on the right foot.
21. Sell your media. And they say that social media is waste of time! If you’re an Instagram celebrity, now’s the time to make it work for you. Sign up for Twenty20 and get paid for your pics.
22. Offer a digital gig. What can you do for $5? Design a logo, record a quick voice over, make a customized meal plan? Whatever it is, try listing it on Fiverr to make some $$ in the digital ‘gig economy.’
23. Proofread. If you’re a master proofreader and editor, you can work remotely, correcting documents on Scribendi.
24. Become a Turk. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a service that pays you small amounts of money to do simple tasks like taking surveys and answering questionnaires. But keep in mind, it’s hard to crack minimum wage working as a Turk. Consider using Turk tasks as a way to make use of time that you’d otherwise spend playing candy crush or scrolling through Instagram (think, on the bus or waiting in line).
25. Take online surveys. If you’ve ever wasted time taking quizzes like Buzzfeed’s “Which Hot Sauce Are You?”, you might like this one. Sites like SwagBucks, Opinion Outpost and Nielsen Digital Voice will pay you to take online surveys.
Again, this shouldn’t be your sole income strategy, but it’s a good way to make more money in your otherwise idle time.
Make More Money At Home
26. Get a roommate. If you’re living in New York City, you’re probably already taking advantage of this one, but even if you’re not a big city dweller, having a roommate is a great way to make more money (and/or save on your rent).
27. Rent out your garage. Not only will you make money by renting out your garage, but you’ll be forced to go through all the stuff that’s been piling up in there since the 90’s. Who knows, you might even be able to rent our some of the items you unearth. (See #28).
28. Become a vacation host. If you know your house is going to be vacant for a certain period of time, consider renting it out on VRBO or AirBNB. Or, if you have a friend or significant other to bunk with, sublet your apartment on the weekends, or when you take vacations. Just be sure to check the housing rules and regulations in your state and city.
29. Rent out your car. This is a genius way to make more money off your car that would otherwise be sitting around, unused. On sites like Getaround or Turo, you can rent your car directly from your office parking lot. While you’re on vacation, you can rent it out for weeks at a time, making more money to help offset those vacation costs.
32. Rent out your clothes. If you’ve got any designer labels hanging around in your closet – tops, shoes, dresses, handbags – you can rent them out for extra cash on the fashion sharing platform, StyleLend.
33. Do some spring-cleaning. Ready to downsize or get rid of that unopened Cuisinart sitting on your pantry shelf? Well, feel free to give it to me…. or sell it.
For DVDS, CDs, books, games and tech, try selling on Decluttr to make some quick cash. If it’s old clothes you’re trying to get rid of, try selling on Swap.com. For the odds and ends there’s always Craigslist, (and garage sales).
Make More Money: Odds and Ends
34. Become an expert thrifter. If you’re already spending your weekends digging through thrift shops and vintage stores for amazing finds, it might be time to take your skills to the bank. Find brand name clothes and rare vintage collectibles, then resell them online on ThredUp or Poshmark.
35. Resell concert tickets. This is for all you music geeks out there who always know about the hot new artists before I do. Buy tickets to shows that are going to sell out, and then resell the tickets before the show at 2-3x the price you paid. Here’s how to do it – legally.
36. Participate in a focus group. Instead of sharing your unsolicited opinions for free on Facebook, start sharing your opinions for money. Companies and research centers pay a lot for focus group participants, and all you have to do is show up and talk.
37. Be a mystery shopper. This sounds like one of the most fun ways to make extra money! Get paid to hit up restaurants, fast food joints, big box retailers, car dealerships, and more by answering a few questions about your shopping experience. My friends over at His & Her Money share how they made over $400 as mystery shoppers in this video.
38. Lay down the law. Help lawyers identify flaws and strengths in their legal cases by serving as an online juror. Here are some sites to get you started.
39. Be a long distance driver. Take Uber on a road trip. A new service called Roadie connects long distance drivers (or road trippers) with items and pets that need delivery. In other words, you can paid to go on trips you’re already planning!
40. Become a tour guide. Offer an insider’s guide to your home city by becoming a tour guide with a unique offering on Vayable.com. Here in New York, offerings range from Chinatown food tours to sunset sails on the Hudson. Consider what kinds of experiences you can offer visitors – and get paid!
I’m confident you can use at least ONE of these ways to earn more money this year!
Let me know which looks the most appealing to you in the comments, and give me a shout out if I’ve missed one of your favorite ways of making extra cash.
Ps. If you’re interested in building SCALABLE income (that is, revenue streams that can grow to net you more than a few hundred dollars per month), check out my scalable income series. Starting with, How to Make Your FIRST Extra $100 a Month.