7 Key things you should do to earn more

Think you deserve more than you’re earning? You’re not alone. But how do you pump up the number in the bottom right-hand corner of your monthly payslip? Two things are for certain: the first is that the only person who can influence that is you, and the second is that you’re not going to do it by grumbling that you’re hard done by. Take some positive steps. You could do a lot worse than follow these seven salary-boosting steps.

1. Ask. Seriously. If you think you deserve a raise, then ask for it. Outline why you think you deserve to be paid more, and put your case. Go into the conversation with some alternative goals up your sleeve. Perhaps there’s no more money in the bank, or even if there is, the boss might not want to share it. OK; ask for more annual leave. Who couldn’t use a couple more mornings when it’s fine to turn off the alarm clock and hunker down under the duvet for a little longer? Around the world people are reluctant to take this direct route – many would prefer to visit the dentist than ask for more money, but we’d ask what you have to lose. Here’s some free Grandfatherly advice: The worst that can happen when you ask the question is that the answer is ‘no’. If it is, you’re no worse off than you would have been if you’d never asked at all.

Essentially, you have nothing to lose by asking. Be brave! But be careful too; pick your moment, like on the back of new business won, and not at a time of cost-cutting and redundancies, when you’re sure to get a flat refusal! And be realistic. Know what the market generally pays for your kind of work, and compare your own salary to it. If it’s higher, then your request is more likely to fail. And record success. The next time someone says ‘thanks’ for something you’ve done for them, get them to say so in an email, and file it. That way you’ll build a sheaf of papers that prove just how good you are.

2. Don’t overestimate loyalty. If you’ve worked at the same place for years there’s a good chance that you’re seen as part of the furniture, and your salary is influenced by some kind of financial inertia. But there’s a whole other world out there, and you could be part of it. Working in one job for a long time is likely to mean that you’ve grown into it, and you’re doing more today than you did in your first couple of months in the same role. You’ve grown your capability and experience, and could do more. Now’s the time to look for a new employer. Present yourself properly at a job interview, and impress with your capability and experience. Alternatively, go for a new job in the organisation that already employs you, if it’s big enough. The future is in your hands.

3. Think outside the box. Shopping can earn you money. That’s right. Shopping can earn you money. Stores are keen to keep our custom, and offer loyalty schemes which deliver discounts, making money go further. But there are more savvy ways to get to the end of the month with more money left over than usual. Shop with the right cards, and spending can earn credits towards stuff like utility bills. That’s a real bargain, and who doesn’t like a bargain?

4Learn to earn. Earn to learn. You’ll never know what you might be able to achieve until you try. Just because you’ve been in one job for years doesn’t mean you can never do another. Take the woman we know who was made redundant from her secretarial role in her fifties. She went to University to learn new skills, now has two degrees and has set up her own business. At the moment she’s restoring a village church, which is far more rewarding, and pays more, than any of the secretarial work. Perhaps a career change would suit you. You’ll never know until you try!

5. Start a business. Have you ever thought ‘If I were in charge…’ Working for someone else, you’ll often see things being done in ways that make no sense, or that appear wasteful. Too often they’re done to satisfy some self-serving internal rules, and add nothing for the client or to the value of the company’s processes. If it were your company, things would be different, wouldn’t they? So why don’t you start a company, like the lady in point 4? You’ll know exactly what’s going on in your business; you’ll be able to cast aside all the non-productive work and focus on what you do best – and most of all you’ll know that when you work harder, faster, or longer, there’s another invoice at the end of it, so you’ll be generating money for you, and not for the MD’s third holiday home or new car.

6. Have two jobs. Not so crazy as it sounds. If you don’t have the courage, or the savings, to leave your job and start a business, how about a part time one selling things on the internet? There are thousands, literally thousands, of things you can sell in an Ebay or Etsy shop, and its something you can manage in the evenings or at weekends. Consider this: It must be profitable, or there wouldn’t be thousands doing it.

7. Manage your spend. By knowing what you spend you’ll understand what’s costing you too much, and work our where to save. It’s called money management. It’s the opposite of earning more, but has the same effect. Using our expense manager app Solo Expenses diligently will make you into a better expense manager. Unlike some of the other money management apps on the market, Solo Expenses is free to download for its entry-level version, and paying just a few pounds a month unlocks lots of extra money- and time-saving features. Originally designed for busy sole traders, it’s flexible enough to be a great tool for personal expense management too. Download it free here, and find out for yourself.