How to Make Extra Money – Legitimate Ways to Boost Your Income

by Ryan Guina

Last week I wrote an overview of how to reach millionaire status. The nature of the process is simple: earn money, spend less than you earn, save and invest, and repeat the process.

The Million Dollar Question – How much extra money do you need to earn to become a millionaire?

How to make extra money

How much do you need to earn to become a millionaire?

Obviously, The more money you earn, the easier it is to become a millionaire, provided you spend less than you earn and are able to save and invest the difference. But how much do you need to earn?

As I mentioned in my earlier article about how to become a millionaire, you don’t necessarily need to earn six figures to become a millionaire. A New Jersey man became a millionaire several times over and never earned more than $11/hr. He amassed his fortune and decided to donate over a million dollars to a local college. He made his millions through hard work, simple living, and wise investments including real estate and stocks.

While it is very difficult to become a millionaire on $11/hr, especially in today’s society, it is possible to become a millionaire on much less than a six figure income. The important thing is to start young, live well within your means, make wise investment decisions, and repeat this process over many years. If you want to speed up the process, you can do one of several things: earn more money, save more money, and receive better returns on your investments. In this article, we will share some ways to make extra money.

How to Make Extra Money

Many people only think about earning money in terms of their day job – be it a salary or an hourly wage. For most people, this is probably the majority of their income. But there are many ways to earn extra money outside of your day job. The best way to supercharge your income is to combine these strategies and increase your income from your day job, and find additional ways to make extra money through part time jobs, consulting, investments, and other opportunities. Here are some ways you can increase your income for your day job and outside your day job.

Increase Your Income from Your Day Job

Depending on your type of employment, earning more money from your day job may be as simple as working overtime or obtaining additional education or certifications to get a raise. It could be as simple as asking for a raise during your next performance review. Sometimes the best way to get a raise is to find a new job.

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to earn more money from your day job. Some jobs, especially those in the government or public sector, are locked in to raises based on the cost of living or other factors. If you can’t easily earn more money from your day job, there are other ways to earn more money.

Earn Extra Money from a Business or Side Job

There are many ways to earn money through a small business or part time or seasonal jobs. You can make money from your hobbies, start a candy vending machine business, do freelance consulting or writing, hang Christmas lights on houses, write a book, or do other odds and ends. The possibilities are limited to your creativity or abilities. They key here is the willingness to work outside your day job. If you need the money, the sacrifice is worth it.

Invest for Cash Flow

Cash flow is one of the most underrated aspects of a strong financial plan. Cash flow is defined as how much free cash you have each month after you account for your income and expenses. You can determine your cash flow with a cash flow chart to help you visualize your earnings.  Why is cash flow so important? Because it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everything that comes in goes right back out. There are plenty of people earning a six figure income who have very little to show for it except a stack of bills and a few nice toys. What you do with your money is much more important than how much you earn. Because of this, investing for cash flow should be part of every good financial plan.

Examples of investing for cash flow include investing in dividend stocks, rental income, operating a small business, buying a franchise, investing in peer to peer lending, and similar investments that make regular cash payments.

Earn Money from Alternative Income Sources

Alternative income is loosely defined as income not from your day job. Last year I made over $4,000 without working. My main sources of alternative income were earned interest from savings accounts, dividend earnings from stocks and mutual funds, bank account sign up bonuses, credit card sign up bonuses, and other sources of free money. These are all little things that anyone can do if they are willing to save and invest, or have decent credit and half an hour of time to set up an account on-line. Even though most online bank accounts have lower interest rates than a few years ago, I hope to improve on my $4,000 earnings from last year.

There are other forms of alternative income as well. Rental income, royalties, and patents, are just a few of many sources of income outside a traditional day job.

The key to financial health is spending less than you earn. But sometimes the better solution is to earn more than you spend. If you want to earn more money, go out and do it.

Here are more ways to increase your income:

Published or updated March 13, 2013.
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca

Another great way is through craigslist!

a) look up the recent “free items” posted and consider fixing it up and take it to the pawn shop (or sell it) for small amounts due.

b) Search for a job needed done today! I’ve seen many posts for babysitting emergencies, personal assistant needed for a day, etc.

Never forget that this isn’t to make into a habit! Just to help out in times of stress – afterwards I would suggest sitting down and considering what is truly important to you and what expenses are in line with your values.


2 Ryan

Rebecca, Interesting idea about getting free items on Craiglist. I’ve never though of that. I agree, it’s probably not the best habit to get into, but it could help someone through a difficult time.


3 Ralph

Great post. It’s humorous to me that Rebecca mentioned Craigslist, because we bought some living room furniture on Craigslist and then after I refinished the pieces, we decided the end tables were just too big for our living room. We ended up making some nice extra money when we sold them.

Keeping with the idea of a temp job, now is the time of year when people are dealing with lawn maintenance. You could also pick up some extra money towards that minimum payment by doing some odd jobs along those lines.


4 Jeff@My Super-Charged Life

Great suggestions! Becoming a millionaire really just takes discipline. Most people think that millionaires become so through some get rich quick scheme. This usually isn’t so. It just takes time and a decent plan no matter what your income.

Thanks for the link!


5 MoneyEnergy

LOL, that’s a funny question: how much do you need to earn to become a millionaire?

One way or another, you need to earn a million bucks:)!


6 Ryan

Beg, borrow, steal, earn, invest, inherit… I think there are dozens of ways. I guess I should have clearly stated something regarding salaries. 😉


7 Richard Morgan

Compared to all other sources of making extra money, I would personally prefer to go with freelance writing as it is a fairly simple way of adding some extra cash to your monthly income. I have yet to come across any other such method that is as hassle free as freelance writing.


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