Here's What to Do if You Don't Make Enough Money at Your Job


Do you believe you are underpaid? Are you fed up with not earning enough? Or, is your lack of income creating financial difficulty for you and your family?

Going to work every day and being paid less than you are worth can be emotionally and financially draining. Though you may not be able to secure the raise you think you deserve, you actually may have more control over your income than you think. Here are several things you can do if you don't make enough money at your job.

1. Create a list of achievements

Though you don't get the final say on whether you get a raise, you can take some actionable steps to bolster the process of raising your income. One way to prove to your boss that you should get a raise is to keep track of your accomplishments.

If you don't already track your work achievements, now is the time to start. Look back on the past year or so. What stands out as impressive? Did you improve a process or system? Save the company money? Take on an additional project?

Often, managers aren't aware of exactly how much value their employees are providing to the company. They may be impressed, or even surprised, to find out just how much you have accomplished for the company. By creating a list of achievements, you are one step closer to earning a raise.

2. Research salary data

What does someone with similar job responsibilities in your area earn? It's important to have access to up-to-date salary data when making your case for a raise.

Every position has a going market rate. To avoid being unrealistic in what you're asking for salary-wise, do your research in advance by using websites such as Glassdoor and Payscale. (See also: Are You Underpaid? How to Figure Out What Salary You Deserve)

3. Take on additional work

Could your boss use help on some additional projects? Do you have the opportunity to earn overtime? Would taking on additional work help solidify your request for a raise?

Volunteering for additional projects often shows how serious you are about your career and helping your company succeed. And by asking for extra work, you are likely to grow your skills by working on something that isn't a typical part of your job duties.

4. Talk to your boss

Talking to your boss about your salary can be intimidating. But it doesn't have to be.

Depending on your relationship with your boss, you may already have great rapport. Most managers expect that their employees want to be paid more, so the conversation won't be as shocking to them as you may think.

Simply ask your boss how you can work to increase your value to the company. Sometimes, just knowing that you are interested in taking on more responsibility is the boost you need to get the salary increase you desire. (See also: 5 Times You Should Demand a Raise)

5. Create an additional income stream

Creating an additional income stream outside your regular job is a great way to increase your income relatively quickly. Plus, you can typically earn money while doing something you enjoy.

Whether you choose to sell clothing, baby-sit, start a blog, do woodworking, or something else, there is no shortage of ways to earn money on the side. (See also: 14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash)

6. Slash your expenses

What's the quickest way to find more money in your budget? Slash your expenses.

Take a look at your current monthly spending. What could you do without? Are there any expenses you could cut entirely? If you can't cut them out, are there at least expenses you can lower? (See also: Are You Spending Too Much on "Normal" Expenses?)

7. Start searching for a new job

What do you do if your current company won't give you an increase in pay? It might be time to start searching for a new job.

You owe it to yourself to earn what you think you are worth. Sure, there are things you may enjoy about your current employer. But if you're not earning enough to live comfortably, it's time to see what new and better opportunities could be waiting for you elsewhere.

8. Save all you can

If you are barely making enough money to cover your bills, you will need to budget very wisely and save whatever you are able to.

Emergencies happen, and if you aren't earning enough income to comfortably make ends meet, it will be even harder to bounce back from an unexpected expense like a leaky roof or medical bill. Prepare yourself and protect your own finances by saving everything you can in an emergency fund. (See also: 6 Fast Ways to Restock an Emergency Fund After an Emergency)

9. Network

You never know who could help you land your next gig. No matter where you are in your career, networking is key.

Start by going to a few networking events in your area, or getting involved with a new organization. Don't forget to nurture your current network by keeping up with your peers and friends on social media and LinkedIn. (See also: The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40)

10. Ask for support

Emotional support is one of the best, but most underrated tools at your disposal. Without having someone to encourage and push you, your mental health could suffer.

Talk to your family, friends, or partner about your finances, your goals, and your current position. Ask for their advice and let them know how they can help hold you accountable. Though it might not feel like it, everyone has gone through some financial stress in their life and can offer you some sort of emotional encouragement.

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