Step #1: Work on Making More Money

How much money you make isn’t the sole factor in becoming rich — which is why we have multiple steps in this course. In-fact, in the book, The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Thomas Stanley reveals that the average American millionaire household only made $90,000/year. While that’s true, it took those “average” income earners longer to become millionaires compared to their counterparts that made $250,000/year or more.

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Having said all of that, making more money will make it a lot easier for you to build wealth, and will allow you to save MORE of your monthly income.

More Money Made = More Money Available to Save

Think about it. If you make $100,000/year (assuming you don’t live in San Francisco or New York City), it’s plausible to think that you could comfortably live off $60,000 while saving $40,000/year! On the other hand, it would be nearly impossible to live off of $20,000 if you’re only making $30,000/year.

Make More from Your Full-Time Job

For the majority of people that are reading this, the easiest way to increase your income is by getting paid more at your current job!

There are a number of ways that this could work for your particular situation:

  1. If you get paid by the hour, then work as much overtime as you can.
  2. Consider going back to school to (1) get a degree, (2) get additional certifications, or (3) get advanced degrees. With each of these options, you make yourself more valuable to your current employer (therefore demanding higher compensation) and/or you open up new opportunities for career advancement.
  3. Whether you’re salary or hourly, you could simply ask for a raise. Here is a good post we wrote about how to ask your boss for a raise.
  4. Look for a new job — while you may not want to change careers or leave your employer, it might be a necessary step to increase your income. While it’s not something I’m proud of, I was able to increase my income by 250% over the course of 3 years simply because I bounced around from a few companies and leveraged my opportunities.

If you’re lost in terms of where to go in your career, or you’re not sure what you should be doing in life, then check out my favorite career book and the one that led me to becoming a financial advisor (which led to me starting WorkSaveLive and therefore the reason you’re reading this): 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller.

Earn Money on the Side

Making extra money from a good side hustle is a GREAT way to get hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in additional money coming in each month! All of which you can use to save, invest, and build wealth!

Here are a few great ideas (and some I’ve tried myself):

  1. Take surveys online: read our post where Amanda did a great job of breaking down how they made money from surveys and which companies they used.
  2. Start an online business or sell things on Etsy or Ebay
  3. Start a website: you may think it’s crazy but it’s possible to make decent money from a website. It will take a lot of time, hard work, and dedication but you could easily pull in $1,000/month (if not a lot more) after 6-12 months worth of hard work. If you’re interested, check out everything I used to get started: How to Start Up a Blog
  4. Find a part-time job. During the time I was working to get out of debt, I worked 7 days/week for an entire year. I worked my normal 9-5 job M-F and then on the weekends I worked at a gas station. Even to this day my wife works two jobs: a normal 8-5 (M-F) job where she makes great money and then she just works every 3rd weekend for her old employer. It’s not a large time commitment but it’s an extra $700 we’re able to stash away every month!
  5. Become a delivery driver. My idea is different than you think: check out my friend’s post on how she pocketed $500 by delivering flowers for local florists on Valentine’s day.
  6. Become a freelance writer. If you don’t have the desire to start a website, then it’s arguable you can make more money writing for other people.
  7. Offer dog walking services, start detailing cars, or do some landscaping for an hourly fee.
  8. A friend of mine is making 100s of dollars every month by buying slightly used clothes by the pound (for $.25/pound) and reselling them on Ebay.

If you need more creative ideas on low-cost ways to start a business then invest $20 and buy this e-book by Dan Miller (it has some GREAT ideas): 48 Low or No Cost Business Ideas, and also check out this free resource from 40+ Passive Income Ideas and Ways to Make Extra Money.

Maximize What You Already Have

While this method won’t make you the type of money that a good side hustle will, it’s still possible to make $1k-$3k year by maximizing what you already spend and making money while NOT working.

Just last year alone, I made over $2,500 in rewards and cash-back between my debit card and my credit cards. It doesn’t take a lot of work as it simply involves picking the right card. We were able to use that money to buy a new washer/dryer in addition to a new (fairly expensive) camera.

Although I spent the money, it still saved me $2,500 that we were going to spend anyway and therefore freed up money (from our budget) to be invested. While $2,500 won’t change your life today, if you save $2,500/year for the next 20 years (earning an average of 7%), you’ll have accumulated $112,000!!
That’s a lot of money and a great step to becoming rich…all for doing nothing other than maximizing the money you were already going to spend.

Here are my favorite cards that you need to check out:

  1. U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card – if you plan on (or want to) travel, then this is a great way to save some money by getting a free flight. At the time of writing this they were basically giving away a free flight for spending $500 in the first 90 days.
  2. Discover it Card – this brand new credit card offers some great features and is one of the best all-around cards on the market today. Not only do you get a great 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers (which makes this the best balance transfer card available), you also don’t have to worry about annual, over-the-limit, or transaction fees! To top it all off you get great 5% cash back rewards on certain purchases and 1% on everything else.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

How Much More Can You Make?

While I’d never encourage anybody to work a job they hate (or pursue a job) solely for how much you get paid, reality is that the more you make, the quicker you can become rich. Realizing that to be true, I’d encourage you to find your true passions and pursue career paths, or open part-time businesses, along those paths.

At this point, I want to you think about (and begin to implement) ways to increase your income. It can be one of the things I mentioned above or a combination of a few of them. Increasing your income is a very important part to building wealth, which is why it’s the 1st part of “How to Become Rich”

Did you know:

  • If you invested $20k/year (and earned 8%) you would have over $1,000,000 in 20 years? In 30 years, you’d have $2,600,000!
  • If you invested $30k/year for 20 years (and earned 8%), you’d have $1,600,000! In 30 years, you’d have $3,900,000!!

So, what are you waiting for? Go make some more money.

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About the Author

By , on Mar 31, 2013
Andy Tenton
Andy is a 30-something New Yorker who turned his financial life around. He took charge of his finances, got out of debt, and is now working his way toward financial success. He is the publisher of

How to Become Rich e-Course

Budgeting 101


  1. Kelly says:

    I think that earning money by engaging in side gigs is one of the best ways to make more money that a lot of people don’t take advantage of. It could be as easy as selling unused items or doing some freelance writing projects. While earning more money at a full time job is first choice, side jobs can make you a good amount of money over a year.

  2. School is always a complex option of investment. Thanks for weighing the pros/cons so insightfully.

  3. I agree that the best way to make more money is to increase your salary at your full time job. Additionally I have noticed in my industry the best way to make more money is to acquire a skill then go to a different company. For some reason it is my experience that another company will value your experience and expertise while your current company does not.

  4. I’ve been working pretty hard on growing my career and building up a portfolio of income producing investments. Now I’ve also added a blog to my list of income streams. No idea if the blog will ever make more than beer money, but every little bit counts.

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