Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How much are you worth?

Everybody has a certain amount of earning potential, determined by their education, experience, ambition and need. Most people don’t maximize their potential because they don’t need to make more money. They choose to spend their time on more enjoyable endeavors. However, if you are in debt or have a specific financial goal, increasing your income, even temporarily, will help to speed up the process.

It doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but working a part time job 12 hours a week at $8.50/hour is $102 per week. Which translates to $408/month and $5304/year. What could you do with an extra $5K a year? Pay down debt? Build up your savings? Take a nice vacation?

With my part time job, I am able to bring in more money to attack our debt. I work 2 weeknights and both Saturday and Sunday for a total of 20-24 hours each week. Yes, it is grueling at times, but I am able to bring in an extra $600-800 every month. It all goes straight to the credit cards. (Although we did use the part time money to go on vacation in February – in cash.) I work in retail, but there are tons of options to earn a little extra dough:

Raise: Don’t want to take on another job? Make more money where you are. This may take a while to implement, but it’s all for your career. Making more money and moving up on the corporate ladder.

Retail: Lots of stores are hiring now for Christmas, and there are plenty of advantages retail. Most notable are the flexible hours and employee discounts, which come in handy for holiday gifts as well. One caveat is trying to resist the temptation to buy thing for yourself.

Restaurant: There is a lot of potential to earn extra money as a waitperson, and, depending on your personality, it can be a lot of fun, too. If you're a people person, this is ideal for you.

Resell: Ever feel like you have a ton of stuff? You can purge and make some extra cash at the same time. Fall is ideal for yard sales and garage sales, and there is a buyer for just about everything on eBay or Craigslist.

The bottom line is that your top line is negotiable. If your budget isn't working or you want to expedite your goals, sometimes it's easier to make more than to spend less.

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