Saving is Great, Adding Income is Better



There are countless ways to improve your family’s bottom line, but they can all be divided into two basic categories:

  • Ways to help you decrease your outgo
  • Ways to help you increase your income

Most budgeting advice focuses on helping us to decrease (or at least keep better track of) our outgo. This involves keeping close tabs on how much money you have coming in and where that money is spent. It also involves making room in your budget for saving and investing, both to build an emergency fund and for long term goals like retirement.

There’s nothing wrong with living within your means. However, there is something wrong with the mindset that the sum total of your means is controlled by those who pay your salary. Most of us could increase our incomes if we were willing to think outside the box and invest a little extra in ourselves.

US News & World Report lists finding a way to earn extra income on the side among its top fifty ways to improve your finances in the coming year. The sentiment is echoed by many financial gurus, including Rich Dad himself, Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump in their co-authored book We Want You to be Rich.

So, what could you do to add income on the side? The possibilities are practically endless. Kiyosaki recommends finding something you enjoy doing and figuring out a way to monetize it, then investing all or most of the extra income you receive. The theory is that you aren’t counting on the extra money for your living expenses, so this will allow you to make great headway in terms of building wealth.

Do you enjoy gardening? Consider offering your services to others planting flowers or selling some of your garden’s crop. Have you always enjoyed writing? There’s a bustling market out there for those who are willing to write blogs and articles for others. Are you an expert at something? Consider offering your services as a consultant. Even the least skilled among us could make extra money mowing lawns, shoveling snow, or picking up a housecleaning job or two.

The trick is to use the extra income in ways that help you get ahead instead of incorporating it into your operating funds. Use it to:

  • Build savings
  • Invest
  • Make extra payments on high interest debts

With a little thought and some extra effort, most people can easily make an extra $10-$20/day. Some can make considerably more, but even $10/day goes a long way towards helping you get ahead when you consistently invest it. What could you do to add a little extra income on a regular basis? How would you use the money to get ahead?

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