You’re grateful for everything you have and all that you’ve earned in the past year. Yet, even with those extra numbers at the bottom of your annual bank statement, you still like it’s not enough. You need discretionary income!
What with the way the economy is, not to mention mounting responsibilities (especially if you support a family); it seems that what you have will not be satisfactory, whether you try hard enough or not.
Yet, short of robbing a bank, you can’t think of any other way that would help you sustain your income, after all taxes, social security charges and cost of basic living necessities are deducted!
But what if we told you that by making small changes in your spending habits, you can save a lot more than you thought?
Improving Your Discretionary Income – Important Tips to Follow
Here are some tips on improving discretionary income.
Increase Your Overall Income
It’s easier said than done, sure. But do you really think that with all your hard work, you’re getting the salary you deserve?
If yes, then talk yourself into asking for a raise. It will be an awkward conversation, but what’ll help is if you make your case when speaking with your boss. Showcase your achievements, the benefits of your positive influence, how the company shows its faith in you as a valuable employee. Be gracious about having been given the opportunity to work for them, then ask for a raise in pay.
If need be, talk to the HR department or someone else who might’ve been successful in getting a pay raise before. Ask for tips on how you should state your case.
It’s not just for the good of the environment. With a sustainable lifestyle, you get better quality, reusable products, and items that help you save money in the long run.
For example, instead of using plastic cling film to pack your lunches, use reusable beeswax wraps. Don’t waste money on plastic straws, or Tupperware. Cook food at home, instead of eating out. Grow your own vegetables. Buy organic ingredients.
Swap iridescent light bulbs in your home for energy savers. Throw out any candles, detergents, cleaning products that use dangerous chemicals and opt for eco-friendly mixes, or make them at home. You’ll notice the difference once the bills start going down.
Contribute to Your 401 (K)
401 (K) saving is the most feasible option.
Putting some money away before getting taxed not only lowers your tax liability, you get a lot more than what you put in, considering that the company matches the amount you contribute.
And if in future, you ever leave the company, all you have to do is have your account transferred to your new employer, and you get to continue putting a set amount toward your little nest egg!
Adjust Your Lifestyle
The average American spends about $1,100 a year on coffee alone. But do you really need that $3 cup of coffee each day when you can make a Cuppa Joe at the office or home anyway?
Your basic lifestyle habits can put quite a burden on your wallet. Instead of spending money willy-nilly when you know there are good alternatives available, make the effort to save some cash. Get a flask and make coffee at home. Pack your own lunch for work. Cut down on booze. Switch to a better phone deal. If need be, go shopping once every 2–3 months and before buying anything, ask yourself thrice, “do I really need this? Will this make a difference in my life?”
Re-evaluate your choices and get the best deals.
Bring in Cash through Your Hobby
There are plenty of freelancing opportunities to be had. All you have to do is dip your toe in the waters!
Sign up on websites such as Etsy.com or Fiverr.com and put up your talent for sale. If you’re good at label designing, copywriting, any software, add that to the mix and show your portfolio so people can take an interest. Find survey sites and spend your free time taking surveys. If you’re a good driver, sign up for Lyft or Uber for a few hours.
If not, think about taking up a second job. But dial down your efforts. You can work in a store on weekends. But pushing yourself to work the evening shift each night after your basic 9–to–5 is just going to push you to the brink of your sanity.
Conclusion: Creating More Discretionary Income
As you can see there are plenty of ways through which you can increase your discretionary income. Just take the first step. Eliminate any unnecessary expenses, keep track of your spending habits and be ruthless with wasteful spending. In addition, use a repaye calculator to find out how much you can pay off each month from your student loans, to have more money left over. Analyze your budget and try your best to incorporate the above tips into your lifestyle.
Having more discretionary income gives you ways to pay off student loans faster. Learning how to pay off student loans faster can also help your overall credit situation, thereby assisting with discretionary income.