by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
A client came into my office today, worried about how in the world she’s supposed to set money aside for retirement, when she is living paycheck to paycheck. A highly relevant question, I’d say. Because let’s face it. No matter how savvy an investor you are, or how genius your financial planner is, if you don’t have money to invest, none of that is going to matter. And while a lucky few receive huge sums of money at an early age, for the grand majority of us, this money is going to come from employment and/or business endeavors. So what are the best ways to maximize your earnings?
Well, the first, obvious one, is to chose a lucrative career. You are more likely to make the big bucks as a doctor than as a nurse, and as a lawyer than a paralegal. But for those of us who have already chosen a profession and completed the education, there are plenty of ways to make the best out of it, such as
1. Being a fierce negotiator. If you can make yourself indispensable to the company you work for, you will find yourself in an ideal situation for negotiations. Be tough – although not ruthless or rude – and you just might find yourself with a bigger paycheck.
2. Playing the field. Even if your boss is not willing to raise your salary, chances are another company will value your skills more. Keep your eyes and ears open, and a better opportunity may fall into your lap.
3. Having a side business – or going out on your own altogether. Only you can determine when the time is right for this, but if you play your cards right, you may be able to multiply your income.
4. Scoring some investment income. It is no secret that many people made a killing in real estate a couple of years ago. Other people make it big time from trading art. For creative and hungry investors, there will always be interesting opportunities out there.
Get creative. The more money you make, the more money you can invest, and the brighter your future will look.