5 Steps You Need to Take Before You Can Earn More Money

By Kim Galeta
March 30, 2017

Most of us wish we had more money. And, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to think about what you could do with an extra $3,000 per month or even $1,000. If my income doubled today, one of the first things I’d do is book a three-week trip to the Caribbean for some much needed R&R. I’d also pay down the remainder of my debt because one of my goals is 100% debt freedom.

The question then becomes: How do you get from wanting more money to actually making more money? The answer is not so simple as this takes much more than just sheer grit. Here are 5 steps to take before you can earn more money.

Make decisions based on where you want to be.

Are the career moves you’re making putting you one step closer to your goals, or one step further away? This is a pretty deep question. So, let’s break it down into some more manageable questions to ponder:

  • How important is a work-life balance to you? For example, do you mind working 80-100 hours a week? Or is 50 hours per week your limit?
  • What’s your end goal? For example, do you want to be a chief technology officer or do you want to be a solopreneur or a creative entrepreneur?
  • What do you need to do to get there? Do you need to switch careers, get some certifications under your belt or even go back to school for an advanced degree? Or, do you need to start networking like crazy and join a professional organization or two?

Remember, the way to make money by doing what you love is to, well, do what you love. Yup, you read that right. Find out what you’re most passionate about and turn that into your career.

Ask for what you want.

Most people are uncomfortable asking for a raise because they don’t want to come across as being too pushy. Or, perhaps being turned down is something you don’t want to face. But did you know that the odds of receiving a pay upgrade are actually in your favor? A 2015 study published in Time Magazine showed that 44% of people who asked for a raise got the amount they wanted while 31% got less than they asked for. Hey, those who fell into that 31% are still better off than if they hadn’t asked at all.

Keep in mind that if you just started your job or took on a new client, chances are you won’t get a raise until you have proven your worth. Think of it this way – when it’s the right time to ask for a raise, you don’t want your boss or client to think twice about whether or not you deserve it.

Write down all your accomplishments at your job for the past six months. Figure out what a reasonable increase would be based on researching your industry and the strengths you bring to the table. After you’ve done this, go for it!

Take on more responsibility.

Now that you’ve asked for more money and hopefully received it, you’ll probably be expected to take on more work. You could even be asked to take on a leadership role and manage other employees. However, make sure you can handle any extra tasks. If you say yes to every extra assignment, you may quickly find yourself on the brink of burnout.

Ensure that you’re agreeing to an extra workload for the right reasons and that you have the bandwidth to take them out on. Have an honest and open discussion with your supervisor or client about expectations and timelines. Then, get these expectations in writing if possible.

Scale back your lifestyle.

When was the last time you spring cleaned your finances and trimmed the fat from your budget? If you’re struggling to remember, then it’s probably time to take action. Challenge yourself to find some areas in your life where you can scale back. Chances are, there are many ways to pare down and “find” money in your budget. Here are three possible options:

  • Cancel that gym membership that you swore you’d start using at the beginning of the year.
  • Cook more meals at home instead of eating out. Millennials spend close to $3,000 a year on eating out according to a recent study in Forbes.
  • Find a cheaper place to live or if you have a spare room, consider renting it out on Airbnb.

Review your spending over the last 90 days and separate wants from needs. Figure out where you can scale back and start living below your means. The idea is to start developing healthy financial habits so that you can start building wealth for your future.

Create a solid plan to save more money. 

One big motivation for making more money is achieving financial freedom. However, making more money will not get you closer to this goal if you squander it away. Instead of spending it all on shoes or vacations, it’s time to get serious about your money and your future. That’s right, I’m talking about saving most, if not all, of your pay increase. Use this extra money to pay down debt, build an emergency fund or save for retirement.

With a Chime bank account, you can save when you get paid and automatically direct a percentage of every paycheck into your savings account. This way you can put your savings on autopilot and achieve financial goals faster. As a bonus, if you use your Chime card to make purchases, Chime will round up each purchase you make to the nearest dollar, and transfer the round-up from your Spending Account to your Savings Account. How awesome is that?

To recap, before you can start making more money, you need to remember these five strategies: Create a vision for the future, ask for what you want, understand the extra responsibilities, live below your means and start saving when you get paid. Now it’s time to go after your goals and make it happen!

Kim Galeta has been a professional writer since 2009 focusing primarily on personal finance but also dabbling in tech, health & wellness and small business. She holds an MBA in finance and corporate strategy from the University of Florida.

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