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11 Steps To Create More Income Sources

11 Steps To Create More Income Sources

My grandfather once said that people had three chances in their lifetimes to strike out on their own and “make it” – the first time, they were too young to realize it; the second time, they were burdened with family responsibilities and were afraid; and the third time, they were too old. He was a smart man and made a million dollars as an entrepreneur. If he were alive today in the current economic landscape, I can imagine him telling me to generate multiple income streams, in order to prepare for the eventuality of job loss and outdated career skills.

The individual who has planned ahead for job loss and has developed other income sources, may take loss of a job as an opportunity to focus on other streams and develop new ones. Here are 11 clever tips that will help you be that person.

1. Don’t quit your day job (yet)

You may dream of striking out on your own, but you do have to eat and keep a roof over your head. Begin your other income streams gradually, one at a time, until you have enough income to at least replace what you are earning now.

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2. Identify what you have passions for

Find out what specific skills and talents you have and then do some research about what income streams are available for you. Here’s a case in point: A friend of mine was quite a successful mortgage underwriter, but began to have concerns about the industry quite a while before it collapsed in 2008. She was also a skilled pianist, and decided to use that skill to generate another income source. She began to work for a music school evenings and weekends – teaching keyboard classes to young children and taking on private students as well. She saved all of her second income and, over time, was able to rent a small space for her own studio. Ultimately, she lost her underwriting position, and took her show “on the road,” marketing her teaching skills to day care centers who were thrilled to have someone come in during the day and teach music classes. Today, she has a huge day care business, with two other teachers working for her, and maintains her studio as well, not to mention that she has also taken a position as a church music director. One talent – 3 income streams! Now that the housing market has begun to pick up, she also freelances as an underwriter for two small mortgage companies. A busy lady, but one who loves the variety.

3. Acquire new skills

E-business is a wonderful thing, and there are so many ways to make money online. Take some online or evening courses in web and graphic design, or read some SEO tips to get started with your own online business and website. World Web is opened for you – find some peculiar skills you would like to develop. Check online for matches between your skills and talents and income opportunities, to determine viability and demand for your current skills or those you intend to acquire.

4. Determine your market

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    Who wants or needs what you have to sell? This may take a bit of research, but you can visit freelance sites and quickly discover what services are in demand for freelancers. If you have product(s), who will want to buy them? Part of making money quickly is to locate potential customers as quickly and cheaply as possible, insert yourself (and your product) into that market.

    5. Start marketing your service or product

    This may be the most difficult endeavor. If your skill or product will be sold locally, you go to potential consumers and sell yourself or that product. If, however, you are looking for consumers online, your activities will be very different. If you are not an online marketing specialist/expert, getting help from a professional will be money well invested. If you have some expertise and the time, look at the marketing strategies that successful online businesses use and emulate them.

    6. Set up a blog, a website, and social media accounts

    Whether your business is local or more widespread, you need these things. At a local level, you can spend lots of money placing ads in mailers or getting a few radio slots; you can distribute flyers and place an ad on Craigslist. But people are tech savvy and mobile – they tend to throw mailings and flyers away. You have to “meet” them where they are, and that is online. If you are uncertain about how to start a blog, check out the numerous free help guides on the web. You can do so many things with a blog. Of course, you will provide great information and education about services and products related to your business. You can link your blog to all of your social media accounts (you must have these) and to your website (you must have one).

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    Once you have your blog, website, and social media accounts, drive people to your website by offering freebies – a sample, an e-book, etc. You will get their email addresses and this grows your email list, steadily and efficiently. Offer to give webinars or face-to-face seminars related to your services. This may serve two purposes – either obtaining new clients or, as your business grows, bringing in others to work for and with you. On your website or on your blog, run a survey, and find out what your potential/actual customers still want or need. Use the results to expand what you offer.

    7. Embrace the power of networking

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      Join a local business networking organization of your Chamber of Commerce. You can develop contacts with other business owners and set up mutual referral activities. Members in these groups come from all types of businesses, organizations, and enterprises, and when their customers are looking for what you offer, they will refer you. Of course, you will do the same thing for them.

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      8. Set up both active and passive income streams.

      There are only so many hours in a day. If you are still working a “day job,” you may only be able to develop one or two other streams in which you must play an active role. But part of security in income is developing passive income sources as well. If you have some additional cash to invest, look for safe and reliable places to invest for a return. Several years ago, I placed money with a real estate investor who purchased foreclosures for rental property. I do nothing but receive a monthly check based upon rental incomes from the properties he and I partner on. He takes care of leasing, maintenance and repair, takes a percentage of the income for that, and I get the rest.

      9. Get help from others

      Use the experience of those who have successful streams of income. Learn how they began and how they grew their streams over time. To get started I would advise browsing Pat Flying’s Smart Passive Income blog and podcasts and Tim Ferris’ iconic book and blog – the Four Hour Workweek. Need more guidance? There are plenty of mentors and business coaches available online these days. Just make sure you have read reviews about them or talked to someone using their services.

      10. Do not be afraid to ask

      Ask current customers for referrals, testimonials, and to act as references to potential customers/clients. Satisfied customers with whom you have developed a good relationship will usually be happy to do these things. Pay for them to join Angie’s list and write good reviews about your services/products.

      11. Sell Ads

      As you gain popularity on social media and through your blog and website, sell advertising on your blog and/or site for related businesses. There are some hugely popular bloggers who have a lucrative income from their advertising. Contact related businesses and enterprises and offer paid ads on your website, blog and social media accounts. The more popular your online presences become, the more people will want to advertise with you and establish long-term partnership.

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      Elena Prokopets

      Freelance Writer

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      Last Updated on June 6, 2019

      The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

      The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

      Are you on track for retirement?

      If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

      Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

      But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

      If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

      What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

      Saving for retirement is tricky.

      Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

      Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

      Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

      Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

      20’s – $16,000

      During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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      Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

      30’s – $45,000

      At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

      Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

      40’s – $63,000

      This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

      50’s – $115,000

      During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

      60’s – $172,000

      By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

      Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

      The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

      Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

      First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

      Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

      Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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      How to Save Money Each Month

      By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

      But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

      Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

      Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

      Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

      Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

      Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

      To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

      How?

      By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

      Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

      If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

      Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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      Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

      Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

      When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

      Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

      Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

      If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

      Why?

      You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

      Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

      Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

      Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

      After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

      You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

      By starting a side-business.

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      This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

      The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

      So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

      Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

      Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

      What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

      My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

      Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

      For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

      If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

      Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

      Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

      Reference

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