No matter how much money you make, with a period of high inflation like we're experiencing right now, you feel it in your wallet.
Everything from gas to groceries, loan rates and car prices continue to rise. While everyone has their own personal inflation rate (the amount your monthly expenses have increased based on goods and services you buy), you may not want or need to cut back on certain types of spending. That doesn't mean you can't try to recoup some of the increased costs to your lifestyle somehow.
If you can make some extra money right now, it can provide more margin in your life at a minimum and possibly a better future. Let me explain.
Ideas to Increase Your Income in High Inflationary Periods (or any time)
Monetize a skillset
If you have a specialized skillset, now may be the perfect time to try and monetize it. Since 2020, we have seen the rise of what's known as the "Gig Economy." A Gig Economy is characterized by short-term contract work. Companies are hiring gig workers to cover the increased demand for services across many industries, from construction and healthcare to marketing and other service-based businesses.
Therefore, if you have a specialized skill, you may be able to earn some extra money on
the side to supplement wages that can't keep up with rising inflation and the increased
lifestyle costs since the end of the pandemic.
Cash in your credit card rewards.
Sometimes people forget they have credit card rewards points they can redeem. A Bankrate survey found that 31 percent of participants didn’t redeem any rewards in 2020.
If you are using your credit card regularly on things like gas, restaurants, travel, and groceries, you are accumulating rewards points. How good your reward program depends on your credit card, but these rewards can be redeemed for everything from a credit to your credit card statement to gift cards and travel. It is one of the easiest ways to increase your cash flow by simply exercising the rewards you earn by using your card.
Some cards also have very large bonus offers for signing up! These can be valued north of $1,000. If you have some large purchases coming up, consider opening a new credit card line from time to time to take advantage of these offers.
Are you crafty or creative? You can make extra cash by selling some of your creations on Etsy, Shopify, or Amazon Handmade. There are seller's platforms available for individuals who have a knack for homemade talent.
The amount of extra money you can make selling items from these platforms depends on what you sell, the demand for your items, and your capacity to meet demand. It is estimated that sellers on Etsy make anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 in their first year.
Sell your rental property.
Real estate is in a strange place right now. It doesn't seem to matter where you reside in the country, prices are up everywhere. Zillow reports that home prices have risen 20.9 percent in the United States in the last year. While there have been whispers that this may be a housing bubble, experts seem in agreement that we aren't experiencing a housing bubble and that home values are expected to remain high but stable for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, if your rental property isn't producing the rental income you expected or if you simply don't want to carry a rental property anymore, now may be the right time to sell because you could get a return on your initial investment in today's housing market.
Rent out things of value.
Did you know that you can rent out your stuff? I didn't! But apparently, it is a thing now.
People can rent out everything from their pool to RV and even baby gear like high chairs and cribs. The digital world has certainly created more opportunities like these to make a little extra money on the items you already own.
Monetize your social media as an affiliate.
If you happen to have an engaged and sizeable social media following, you can earn extra cash by becoming an affiliate of the products and services you support. You don't have to be an influencer for this to make you a little extra money.
If a company offers affiliate partnerships, you will be able to find it on their website. Typically you just need to sign up as an affiliate, get a unique link to share, and then anytime someone buys something through your unique link, you earn a commission.
Save MORE of your cash.
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and fee-only financial advisor, I would be remiss if I didn't encourage this last idea for earning extra money. Saving into a high-yield savings account can earn you extra money with the Federal Reserve raising rates this year.
With interest rates on the rise, savers are rewarded. As of this article, Bankrate shows some FDIC-insured banks are offering as high as 1.03% APY just for parking the cash you want to keep liquid. If you don't need to access some of your cash for 1 to 2 years, you could save it in a CD and earn as much as 2.86% APY.
A high-yield savings account is an excellent option for your emergency reserves - the money you save and have access to in case you lose your job unexpectedly or your refrigerator needs to be replaced.
Ultimately, record-breaking inflation is making everything more expensive right now. There are ways to increase your financial margin if you want to, whether you are still feeling financially comfortable or squeezed a little too tight.