3 Easy Ways to Make More Money at Work

by David Bakke

money at workOver the past year or so of all the economic uncertainty, I have had discussions with quite a few people who hadn’t lost their jobs, weren’t in any sort of dire financial straits, but were simply looking for ways to supplement their income in some fairly decent fashion.

They didn’t need or want to change careers (nor did they have the time to invest in such a project), they were already living fairly “frugal” lives, and they didn’t have all the spare time in the world. Sounds like they were just out of luck, right?

Actually, no. What I have below is a list of three ways that you can make more money at your current job. These steps really shouldn’t take any extra time, and obviously, they don’t require starting a new job or taking on a second one. They are things that most people could implement on an immediate type basis, and could bring a substantially larger chunk of cash home to your wallet each week. These steps may seem elementary and basic to some, but in my twenty some years in management, it seems to me that these are things that many people simply do not have in place in their professional lives.

Number 1-Show Up On Time. Whenever one of my employees comes to me asking for a raise, do you know what the first thing that I do is? I don’t check their performance history, I don’t check the last time they got a raise, I go and look at one thing-their timecard. And the majority of the time, I can always find some room there for some money that they are simply leaving on the table. If you want to give yourself a raise, and punctuality isn’t one of your stronger points (of course this refers to hourly employees only) why not try showing up for work on time? A quick example. Let’s say you make $15 per hour, and on average you arrive to work 15 minutes late, three times per week. That is $11.25 that you are not paying yourself, each week. Start showing up for work on time each and every day, and you just gave yourself a $585 annual raise.

Number 2—Try. Again, it seems to me that most employees that end up having to come to me (or management in general) and ask for a raise could probably solve this problem by simply trying a little harder. These people typically fall into the category of middle-of-the-road performers. Think about it. The worst performers at any particular company will usually either quit on their own or get terminated. The best performers never have to worry about anything, because management will typically always make sure they’re taken care of. That leaves the middle-of-the-roaders. If you can simply try to get yourself closer to that top performing group, you may find that the raises will make their way to you automatically. And to be honest with you, in a lot of cases, it is not even necessarily about “performance.” I guess a better word would be “effort”. Maybe you’re not the greatest dishwasher in the world, but you show up on time every single day, you give your very best effort each and every day, and you are always there to do what management asks of you. Employees with this kind of track record rarely need to ask for raises.

Number 3-Brown Bag it. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about, so I won’t go into a detailed explanation. Let’s just do the math. Say you go out to eat five times per week, and spend an average of $5 per lunch (a very conservative estimate). Let’s also say that packing leftovers or some other kind of simple lunch will cost you $1 per lunch (really a pretty accurate figure). So making the switch will save you $20 per week, $80 per month, and just under $1000 per year. Need I say more? Factor in the gas you don’t have to burn going to and from the restaurant and your savings go up even more.

There you have it-three simple ways to increase your earnings without taking on a second job, and without starting your own business. You can adopt these steps into your professional life with virtually no extra time spent and not a whole lot of extra work.

To learn more about ways to improve your personal economy, stay tuned for my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’t Be a Mule: A Common-sense Approach to Saving More, Spending Less, and Generating Extra Income in Your Everyday life.”

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