Clever Strategies to Increase Your Income -- Without Getting a Raise

by Kailey Hagen | Published on Aug. 7, 2021

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Opportunities to boost your paychecks could be closer than you think.

Everyone wishes they had a little more money, but figuring out how to claim those extra dollars isn't always easy. One of the surest ways to get more money rolling in is to ask for a raise. However, with a lot of businesses still recovering economically from the pandemic, that might not be a possibility for you.

Fortunately, there are other steps you can take to increase your income without asking for a raise or switching employers. Let's look at four of them.

1. Claim your full employer 401(k) match

An employer 401(k) match is essentially a bonus that many employers give staff if they put some money toward their own retirement savings. It probably won't help you right now because there are penalties for withdrawing your retirement savings before the age of 59 1/2. Your employer may also require you to work for the company for a certain amount of time before you can withdraw your matching contributions.

That said, a 401(k) match can really help you out if you're struggling to save for retirement. But it's a limited-time offer; if you don't claim it, you can't use it.

Talk to your company's HR department to learn about how your 401(k)'s matching formula works. Find out how much you have to contribute to get your full match and then do your best to contribute at least that much to your 401(k) every year. Continue to ask about vesting schedules to learn how long you must work for your company to keep your employer-matched funds.

2. Make the most of your employee benefits

If your company offers some unique employee benefits, you may be able to leverage these perks to help you save even more money.

For example, some companies offer childcare to employees or childcare reimbursements, which could save you money compared to paying for daycare on your own.

You can also look into whether your company offers job training or education reimbursement for employees interested in further developing their skills. This could be a low-cost way to open the doors to future promotions and higher salaries.

Review all of your employee benefits to see if there are any you aren't using to their full potential. Benefits can come and go over time, so don't hesitate to take advantage of the ones you have right now.

3. Carpool, bike, or walk to work

If you live near one or more of your coworkers, consider carpooling to work. This will help you reduce spending on gas, and it will cut down on wear and tear on your vehicle while also helping the environment.

If that's not possible, consider biking or walking to work if you live nearby. You won't have to worry about traffic, gas, or finding a parking space -- and you'll get a bit of a workout in the process.

4. Work overtime

If their employers allow it, hourly employees could think about picking up extra shifts to put some additional money into their bank accounts. It may not be the most ideal way to boost your income, but overtime pay might make it worthwhile. That said, it's worth noting that salaried employees likely won't be paid extra for working overtime, so they should focus on the tips above.

If you're willing to get creative, you can probably find a few ways to save some money or bump up your salary a little bit without changing your job. Start with the tips above, and then see if you can come up with more ideas on your own.

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