Maximize Your Earned Income

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I’ve been busy working on my e-book and wanted to share this sneak peek. Let me know what you guys think! Still a working draft so please forgive my grammatical errors.


That being said, here are 6 steps you can take to maximize your earned income: 

  1. Negotiate your salary

Negotiating your salary can make the biggest difference in your lifetime earning potential. According to a Career Builder survey, approximately half of workers don’t negotiate their salaries because they feel uncomfortable asking for more money. 

Sound familiar? 

On the flip side, half of the employers who participated in the survey report that their first offer is a lowball offer. A quarter of those lowball offers are reportedly $5000 less than what employers expect to ultimately pay. 

A $5000 dollar swing makes a huge impact for your lifetime earnings. Especially since all of your raises and job offers will start at your previous income level. 

“A Bureau of Labor Statistics (run by US Labor Department) news release published in March 2015 examined the number of jobs that people born in the years 1957 to 1964 held from age 18 to age 48. The title of the report is “Number of Jobs Held, Labor Market Activity, and Earnings Growth among the Youngest Baby Boomers: Results from a Longitudinal Survey.” The report is available on the BLS web site at:

These younger baby boomers held an average of 11.7 jobs from ages 18 to 48. (In this report, a job is defined as an uninterrupted period of work with a particular employer.) On average, men held 11.8 jobs and women held 11.5 jobs.”

$5000 x 11.7 jobs = $58,500 of potential lost income (not counting raises)

Negotiating your salary and raises throughout your career might be your biggest opportunity to maximize your lifetime earnings. 

Before getting to the negotiating table, do your homework and know what other employers are paying for your position on sites like Glassdoor. Know what you’re worth and don’t settle for anything less. 

2. Get Better At Your Job – Be Indispensable 

One of the main reasons people are uncomfortable asking for more money is a lack of confidence. How do you build confidence? 

Get better at what you do and become a ‘go-to’ person for inter-departmental initiatives. The better you are at your job, the more your employer and team rely on you, the more indispensable you become. 

You need to prove and validate why a company should pay you more. In the end, you get what you pay for. If you demonstrate your value, employers are willing to pay extra for you. 

Additionally, word gets out when you are a star and you will start getting recruited. Hey, you may even get a signing bonus. 

Getting better at your job means diving into it full throttle, soak up as much knowledge as you can from managers/trainers/mentors, study up and take classes or read books that will help you improve. It’s not rocket science. All it takes is a plan, effort, and initiative. 

Watch your confidence grow as you achieve and improve over time.

Recruiters will reach out to you via LinkedIn about new positions frequently. To me, knowing that I’m wanted by other companies gives me the confidence to ask for things because I know I could get it somewhere else. 

3. Get a Side-Hustle

You’ve negotiated your salary and are getting better at your job. You might be maxing out your income with your employer but you want to make more. 

A Side-Hustle is a great way to supplement your income because there are so many ways to do so in our gig economy. 

“A 2017 Bankrate survey revealed more than 44 million Americans have a side gig and almost 40% of people with a side-gig earn $500 or more per month at their second job.”

$500 a month amounts to $6,000 extra per year! Use that to pay down student loan debt, make extra payments towards your mortgage, or save up enough to invest in passive income streams. 

Investing $6,000 a year (maximum contribution allowed in 2019) in an IRA over 30 years and earning an average 7% return would leave you with a nest egg of $652,111.78. That’s amazing money for a side-hustle! 

It’s up to you to decide what you’re willing and able to do to maximize your earnings. Some of you may decide to drive for Uber or Lyft or some of you may feel more comfortable walking dogs through Rover. 

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you’re willing to commit to because life is too short to spend all your time hating whatever it is you’re doing. 

4. Invest in Your Education 

Investing in your education can be expensive if you take out loans for degrees that don’t traditionally pay out in the ‘real world.’ 

However, investing in your education wisely can increase your lifetime earnings substantially. Let’s look at statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Average Salary for a High School Diploma 

Median weekly earnings for workers with a high school diploma are $678, which, works out to $35,256 per year. The current unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma is 5.4%. 

Average Salary with an Associate’s Degree

An associate’s degree gives you a slight edge over workers with only a high school diploma. Median weekly earnings for someone with an Associate’s Degree are $798, which equals $41,496 per year. The unemployment rate for those with an Associate’s Degree is 3.8%. 

Average Salary with a Bachelor’s Degree

The weekly average for American workers with Bachelor’s Degrees are $1,137, which equals $59,124 per year. The unemployment rate for those with a Bachelor’s Degree is 2.8%. 

Average Salary with a Master’s Degree

Median weekly earnings for a Master’s Degree are $1,341. This equals $69,732 per year with an unemployment rate averaging 2.4%. 

Average Salary with a Professional Degree

Workers with a professional degree (specific to a field like medicine or engineering) have the highest median weekly earnings of $1,730. This equals $89,960 per year with the lowest unemployment rate of 1.5%. 

The bottom line is that your educational level will have an impact on your lifetime earnings. However, traditional education isn’t for everyone so there is no need to panic. Earning more from your job doesn’t necessarily translate to more retirement income. Earn the most you can but be smart with your budgeting and invest wisely. 

Also, if you have to take out expensive student loans, it’ll take you much longer to build your wealth. 

Look into community colleges, state schools, or trades schools for a cost effective way to achieve your financial goals. 

5. Build Multiple Streams of Income 

Most people still only have one source of income so it can be financially devastating if loss of employment happens. You don’t have to rely on one source of income, nor should you. The wealthy don’t exchange time for money and neither should you. 

Sources of Passive Income  

When you’re establishing your passive income, it’s important to be realistic about what will work well for you. Not everyone wants to be a landlord. Familiarize yourself with sources of passive income to chose the one that is best for you. 

Real Estate

Real estate investing is a perfect example of an investment that generates income (from rentals) and grows your net worth (as your tenants pay down the mortgage). 

• Buy below market value to have a property that has built-in equity. 

• Chose properties that will be cash-flow positive by having a rental income that exceeds the mortgage and upkeep expenses. 

  • Research the fastest-growing communities, so that you will always have demand from renters. • Buy property that you would live in so it is desirable to good renters 


Interest is money paid for borrowing money. It stinks to pay it, but it’s great if you’re the one lending. You can earn interest from a variety of loans, individuals, companies and municipalities through peer-to-peer lending, notes and bonds. 

• Lending Tree, Prosper, and Upstart are some popular peer-to-peer platforms. • Fundrise and Realty Shares are crowdfunding sites that only deal real estate. 

• Certificate of Deposit (commonly known as a CD) is money lent to the bank, which has a set term and generally a higher interest rate than savings accounts. 

• Municipal bonds are issues by governments and pay interest. 

Savings Builder


There are a few different ways to earn money through investing in the stock market. 

• Dividend income is earned when companies that you have invested in distribute their earnings to shareholders. 

• Only some mutual funds and stocks pay dividends, so invest in those that do. • Increasing stock prices also increase your worth. 


Royalties are payments that you receive when your work is purchased or used. If you publish a book, sell stock photos, compose music or do other creative work you might earn royalties. 

Business Income 

It is possible for business income to be passive. The key is creating a business model that needs some upfront work but less time investment once the business is set up. Blogging, laundromats, and multi-level marketing are all businesses that have some level of passive income. 

Choose the Right Source of Passive Income 

Not all passive income streams are created equal. Some take more “active” hours than others. For instance, rental income will take more hours of work (for repairs, maintenance, collecting rent, etc.) than getting dividend payouts from stocks. Some have higher barriers of entry — for example, real estate requires a 20 percent downpayment unless you’re a first time home buyer who qualifies for an FHA loan (5 percent down). 

If you want to have exposure to real estate but don’t have enough money for a downpayment yet, crowdsourced real estate funding might be a better choice. Sites like Fundrise and Realty Shares offer multiple real estate investment options with various levels of minimum investment. 

If you don’t understand the stock market but would like to make money from it, use a rob-advisor. A robo-advisor is a digital platform that provides automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with little to no human supervision. A typical robo-advisor collects information from clients about their financial situation and future goals through an online survey and then uses the data to offer advice or automatically invest the client’s assets. Using this system, sites like Betterment and Wealthfront give everybody access to intelligent investments without the typical 1-2% fees with traditional advisors. 

Blogs are an example of passive income streams that require more active work. You’ll be actively creating content and building a loyal following that you hope to monetize years down the road. On average, it takes bloggers 3 years to making any real money. Blogging is passive income that you need to be patient with, but it does not require a lot of upfront capital to start. 

Publishing electronic books is a popular way for bloggers and influencers to build passive income. This requires some up front work but once the product is finished you will make royalties for each sale. 

Online course creation is something I plan on pursuing soon. Preview alert! Platforms like Teachable and Udemy make it easy to create an online course to sell. The great part is that you can sell your course for whatever you think it’s worth. Once your course is ready for sale, you simply collect checks. 

Put your Passive Income to Work 

In order to really make money from your passive income, you need to reinvest in yourself. Use the power of compound interest to grow your wealth exponentially by investing the profits from your rental units, online courses, ebooks, etc. in less time-intensive passive income generators like index funds, robo-advisors, dividend paying stocks, peer to peer lending, or real estate crowdfunding. This allows you to make additional money off the profits you already made from an earlier investment, for as long as you want. 

How do you know if your money is working for you? A quick way to calculate how long it will take to double an initial investment is the rule of 72: simply divide 72 by your annual rate of return and you’ll find the number of years it will take your investment to double. For instance, if you are earning 9 percent on an investment, it will take you 8 years to double. 

The average annualized total return for the S&P 500 over the last 90 years has been 9.8 percent. If you invest in an Index fund that mirrors the S&P 500, you would double your initial investment in 7.34 years, without having to spend any time actively working for if. It’s important to note that, this calculation doesn’t account for any money you are adding to the investment every year. 

This is why investing really pays off. 

M1 Finance

6. Apply for that New Job 

A common occurrence in corporate America is getting ‘stuck’ on the corporate ladder. You are great at your job and have communicated to management about your career ambitions. All of this but nothing has happened and you don’t see upward opportunities anytime soon. 

If this is you, it may be time to start looking for a change in employment. The average raise to move to a new job averages between 10-20%. 

Optimize your LinkedIn profile and update your resume. Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that you don’t think you’re totally qualified for. Be confident with what you can bring to the table and employers will think outside the box for their next hire if the status quo hasn’t worked. 

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My goal with this blog is to provide insights and tools that our educational system fail to teach us and show you how to navigate this modern world, become financially secure, and be your best self!


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