Dramatically Increase Your Income Using These 3 Simple Steps

Income, Income, Yay, Yay. Who doesn't like more income? I am here to tell the tale of how I managed to increase my income over 60% (!!!) from January to June of this year, and how you can increase your income with three steps, a little bravery, and a lot of grit. To start, let's go over the example from my own life. I want to talk about income diversification because it's been a hot topic around here lately since my post on how I'm saving 40% of my income went live on Learnvest, and then another post I wrote about increasing my income 60% appeared on The Huffington Post. The two go hand-in-hand, and I wanted to piece it all together for you today.

  • I am able to save 40% of my income because I earn enough to save 40%.
  • I am able to save more money because I have multiple streams of income.
  • Having multiple streams of income is called income diversification.

Everyone always wants to earn more. Right? Duh. Money makes the world go round. I'm not being braggy, that's just the way it is. Saving is not without sacrifices, but it was really impossible to save even half of a percentage of my salary a year ago, before I started really freelancing and took on a new, better paying, job. But I didn't truly learn the importance of having different ways of earning money until I was unexpectedly laid off on Valentine's Day of this year.

  • My total income in January 2014 was $3950.00 for the whole month. (All of the dollar amounts indicate take home, after tax income…)
  • In May 2014 I made $6481.00 for the month, which is a 64% increase over the six months prior.

Not too bad, eh? Since this is the biggest income increase I've been able to leverage well…ever..I decided to break down just how I was able to make such a sizable jump.

First Why It's Important to Increase Your Income & Diversify It

Here is what my income looks like right now. (You know I get turned on by a good Excel pie chart.)

June Income


Having income outside of my 9-5 pay also makes it easier for me to save, since I don't factor that money into my monthly budget.  I made money from my freelancing, renting a room in my house, selling old furniture/things I didn't want on ebay, and my regular job.

Ideally, I'd like my freelance income to be a bigger portion of this (UPDATE: It did!), and add blogging/affiliate advertising revenue back into the mix. I'm not going to worry about it though, unless the pie chart starts looking like this.

june income bad

See how #1 is preferable? So, for all of you income diversification newbies out there, don't get bogged down in the numbers. Just try to visualize making your pie chart a little bit healthier. See how many different slices you can carve out.

Start earning like a boss A.S.A.P. Click here to enroll in Financial Best Life’s FREE course, Side Hustle Success

How to Increase Your Own Income in Three Steps

#1 – Increase Your Salary 

Back in February, when I was unexpectedly laid off from my job, I found another one with relative ease. Total time unemployed? Two weeks. Still, even though I wasn't planning on losing my job, it ended up being a blessing in disguise, as I was able to negotiate a large increase in salary.

Changing jobs is the best chance you have of increasing your monthly take-home pay (especially for women), so I stuck to my guns and negotiated for exactly what I wanted. Thankfully it worked out, and I am now surrounded by amazing new co-workers and friends. But this is something to keep in mind in case you, yourself are looking to increase your income: you either need to get a raise, or get a better paying job, as this is the largest chunk percentage of my overall income increase came from.

Related:  5 Ways to Make More Money at Your Day Job, The Best Job Sites to Help You Find (And Land) Your Dream Gig

#2 – Get a Side Hustle

I count “blog income”: (click here to read how to start a profitable blog of your own!) advertising revenue for the site differently from revenue I get from my freelance clients. Extra money is always nice when you can get it, and I make money on the site in many different ways including affiliates and sales of my own products.   The side hustle is an extremely important part (if not MOST important part) of increasing your earnings. Not to mention that if another emergency were to happen again and I found myself without a full-time gig, I'd still have close to 40% of my total income stream to rely on.

One of the best ways to increase side hustle income without working more is to adjust your prices. Read my piece on how to do this here. 

Thinking of starting a blog of your own? I recommend setting up a WordPress site (like this one) using Hostgator. Using my link you'll get hosting for less than $3/month.Here's my step-by-step tutorial on how to get started!

#3 – Leverage Existing Assets

Finally, finally..I was able to increase income by leveraging assets I already had, namely my house. I was able find a renter for the third bedroom in my home. As you can see I was making 0 dollars from tenant income in January, and now it accounts for about 7%. If you have spare bedrooms in your home, you could be leaving cash on the table. I won't lie, sometimes I think the additional privacy would be nice, but having that extra sense of security is nicer.

If you can do the math on the after-tax take-home pay from May, it means I am inching closer and closer to that six-figure (before tax) salary. I had wanted to hit this before I turn 30, but if things continue to go well, it looks like I may hit that well before.

Start earning like a boss A.S.A.P. Click here to enroll in Financial Best Life’s FREE course, Side Hustle Success

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Learn how to increase your income without working more! You heard right, see how you could keep more cash where it belongs - in your bank account!


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  • Lizzie
    June 26, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Do you have an article on how to start side-hustling?

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 26, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      No, but given the interest, I guess I should start!

  • JD
    June 24, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    What a fantastic article! Keying into all sorts of sensory evidence! I loved it.

    I want to take a moment to say a quick thank you because I am frustrated with my student loan situation and my side hustle success. It’s nice to know that it is possible and I really hope to be able to obtain the added income I seek to be debt free. Thinking a personal finance blog may very well help keep me in check with my goals!

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 26, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Aww, Thank you! I didn’t start getting really accountable with my finances until I started a blog, and my net worth updates both terrify and keep me more responsible than I would be on my own.

      I think it’s really cool you’re thinking about a side hustle! It can be frustrating at first (especially the growing a client base part) but I try to look at it as any extra income is money I didn’t have before. Keep in touch!

  • Kassandra
    June 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Great job Lauren on having multiple streams of income. It’s the way to go in my opinion!

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks Kassandra. Couldn’t agree more!

  • Melissa
    June 24, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Very cool, thanks so much for the inspiring article. We do have a spare bedroom, now I’m intrigued… not really sure my fiance would go for it though!

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Initially when I was living with my then-ex, he wasn’t too crazy about it either. We compromised and said we’d only do it until we got married. Show him the total amount you’d make doing it for x amount of months- he might change his tune!

  • Debs @ debtdebs.com
    June 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    That’s really great! I’m interested to know more about the writing income as my perception was it is not that lucrative, but not according to your figures. We rent our basement to a student and it sure helps too! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Writing income is separate from my blog income, although my blog was how I got my freelance clients. I work as a freelance contractor for a social strategy firm, and I handle social media for two companies. It’s not mind-blowing money, and I still have to pay taxes on it, but for the amount of work I put in, it’s a great, low stress way to earn side income. I spend about 10-15 hours per month for that $1850.

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans
    June 23, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I’m so glad I negotiated my salary before coming to my current job! Makes such a big difference!

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 24, 2014 at 10:22 am

      Preaching to the choir. Definitely!

  • Nicola
    June 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Great post and I love how it shows that with hard work, your income can increase 🙂 I need to step it up a notch!

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 24, 2014 at 10:25 am

      It’s a tweaking process. Even a small increase monthly can increase your percentage and diversify your income streams.

  • Addison @ Cashville Skyline
    June 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Great post, Lauren! Congratulations on the significant increase in income – very impressive! You’ve definitely inspired me to step it up a notch.

    • Lauren Bowling
      June 24, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Thank you Addison! While the results from that month are impressive, it varies from month to month depending on my freelance and rental incomes.

  • Frank Moreau
    June 23, 2014 at 4:41 am

    A very inspiring article. It illustrates how hard work, some creativity and getting out there to market yourself yields rewards. A 60% increase is most impressive.