Whatever your employment situation, we could all benefit from earning more and spending less.
On the surface, Australia’s jobs picture looks pretty good, with the unemployment and underemployment rate falling over the past year.
But not everyone has a job. And even if you do, there’s no guarantee your company won’t suddenly make your position redundant.
With that in mind, here are five ways you can increase your income and reduce your expenses, so that whatever the future holds, you’re in a stronger financial position.
More people in work
Australia’s unemployment rate fell from 5.6% to 4.9% between February 2018 and February 2019, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The underemployment rate also fell, from 8.5% to 8.1%.
5 ways to make more money
Selling unnecessary possessions is a great way to make quick money. We all have way too much stuff in our homes – clothes we no longer wear, exercise equipment we no longer use, white goods we no longer need. Cash in by selling it on eBay or holding a garage sale.
Embracing the sharing economy is another way to cash in on unused possessions. If you’ve got a spare room (Airbnb), parking space (Parkhound), storage space (Spacer), vehicle (Car Next Door), bike (Spinlister) or designer dress (The Volte), you’ve got a potential income source.
Freelancing over the internet is a convenient way to earn money from home, whether as a side hustle or a main job. Platforms like Freelancer, Fiverr and Upwork can connect you with clients who need services like writing, design and web development.
Doing odd jobs is another way to boost your bank balance. If you register with Airtasker, you’ll find a horde of people who want to outsource chores like mowing their lawn, cleaning their pool, painting their walls, washing their car and moving their possessions.
Tutoring local students can help you turn your knowledge into money. A lot of parents are happy to pay good money so their children nail their Year 12 and university exams. If you’re good at something, and a local student is studying it, it could be a match made in heaven.
5 ways to save more money
Cancelling your gym membership could save you $1,020 per year if you’re on an $85-per-month plan. But that doesn’t mean you need to quit exercising – running, walking, push-ups, sit-ups, planking and a range of other exercises don’t cost a cent.
Cooking your own meals could save you $2,020 per year. Instead of buying lunch at work for $20, make it at home for $5. Instead of having one $50 restaurant dinner per week, have one every fortnight.
Switching credit cards could save you $128 per year, which is the average annual fee of all the credit cards listed on the RateCity database. Instead, you could take out one of the 30-plus credit cards in Australia that don’t charge an annual fee.
Using the library could save you $360 per year. Why spend $30 per month on books and magazines when you can get your reading fix for free?
Quitting smoking could save you $7,800 per year if you’re dropping $30 per pack and going through five packs per week.
Take control of your finances
How does a $10,000 raise sound?
Well, it can be all yours if you can raise your income by $5,000 per year and reduce your expenses by the same amount.
No one knows what the future will hold – unemployment might rise, your company might go bust, your role might get eliminated.
If that happens, you’ll be glad to have another $10,000 in your pocket. And if it doesn’t, you’ll still be glad to have that extra money.