There is a plethora of literature available detailing strategies for gaining financial independence. Investing in stocks, bonds, and real estate is the most common solution purported for multiplying wealth significantly. Needless to say, the average person can’t even consider these investment options for one main reason: the money just isn’t there. I can only speak from a Jamaican perspective because that’s where I’ve lived all my life. In Jamaica, the average net salary is roughly 2,337 USD per month. Compare this to a median American salary of 4,328.25 USD and you will realize that there is a great disparity.
Those who are able to live comfortably in Jamaica were either born with a gold spoon in their mouths or live their lives on one basic principle: work harder. This is,essentially, the foundation of this article.
The only way to truly earn a ridiculous amount of money is to have more than one job.
I have read multiple articles related to managing finances authored by bloggers around the world. The common thread that unifies these articles is the fact that each individual worked beyond the 40 hour work week. It can’t be avoided if you truly want financial freedom. The most recent article I’ve read on the topic emphatically highlighted this fact.
I’ve observed some of my closest friends who are trying to live comfortably in this harsh economic climate.One of these friends is a software engineer; the other is an actuary. Both professions offer salaries on the higher end of the pay scale. However, even the higher salary was insufficient to cover their living expenses. So, equipped with their master’s degrees and arsenal of knowledge and wit, they both found part-time jobs as lecturers. One of these friends even freelances on Outsourcely.
The thought that may be running through your mind now is, “How can I find another job? I can barely manage the one I now have.” Working multiple jobs is a balancing act. I’m not going to lie to you…it’s exhausting and can oftentimes be overwhelming. However, there is a bigger picture to consider. If you want true financial independence, you have to become a master at this balancing act. There are three ways to find additional income.
Invest in a Higher Degree
There is no denying the fact that higher education is terribly expensive. For many people, however, investing in a higher degree opens more doors of opportunity. The two friends I previously mentioned would not have been able to acquire their lecturing part-time jobs if they didn’t have master’s degrees. Granted, it took a lot of sacrificing to ensure that they were able to complete those degrees on time and some debt was incurred. However, their part-time jobs have given them more leverage and capital to work with.
Weekends were created for relaxation and household chores. Going out to do more work is a less than appealing thought. Volunteering, however, can put you in the path of some truly influential people who can provide you with the right job(s). Time is your most valuable asset. Use it wisely by participating in weekend volunteer activities. The more you put yourself out there is the more likely opportunities will come your way.
Freelancing is the way of the future. At least 33% of Americans are freelancers in one way or another. As the Jamaican government strives to create more access to internet connectivity throughout the country, the possibilities for freelancing economy growth are endless. It’s easier to focus on creating profiles on one or two of the leading freelancing platforms. I focus on UpWork and Fiverr. However, there are other freelancing websites available such as Outsourcely, Toptal and 99 Designs.
Success as a part-time online freelancer requires strategic planning and time management. Ensure that you download the apps for the websites on your phone. This helps you keep track of the messages and offers sent by clients. Learn how to control your responses. Clients are generally difficult to deal with, especially since they’re expecting that you’re doing freelancing full-time. Respond to them graciously and attempt to meet their needs as best as possible. Ensure that you take some time for yourself at least bimonthly so that the pressure doesn’t eat you alive.
So, you’ve decided to follow at least one of these tips. What’s next? It can be tempting to view all the extra money you’re earning as a reason to splurge on life’s guilty pleasures. The key is to always remember that that’s not why you’re working so hard. By all means, indulge once in a while, but don’t make it a habit. How you use the money you earn means the difference between success and failure. Efficiently using the money requires frugality and discipline.
Learn to live within your means. Save at least 20% of what you earn and minimize your expenses as much as possible. Ensure that each penny you save goes towards some investment that will make your money work for you. For instance, you can save enough to purchase a sizable amount of stocks. Although you’re earning more, live on a shoe string budget.
Frugality, however, doesn’t mean that you should neglect enjoying life. You just have to teach yourself how to enjoy life on a budget. Spend more money on memorable and inexpensive experiences instead of the latest gadgets and fads.
Nothing about this is going to be easy. There will be times when you just want to say f*** this and throw in the towel. You’re better than that. You’re a champion and champion’s never give up regardless of how daunting the task. Keep your head high and your eyes focused on the road ahead.
Putting it All Together
Depending on your full-time job to bring in real money is futile. You can only earn more money by working more hours. Provide yourself with the skills necessary to take on additional jobs. Invest your time in meaningful activities that will help you meet the right people. Create strong profiles on the top freelancing profiles and make freelancing work for you. When you start earning the extra dough, still live within your means and be frugal and disciplined. The blossoms of financial freedom are within your reach.