career

6 ways to boost your income in a big way

Save more with every raise
By Jean Chatzky

Budgets and penny-pinching are all well and good, but if you're looking to give your income a serious lift, there is no substitute for entrepreneurial grit.

Many turn talent and expertise into a second source of income, providing consulting services on the side, for example, while maintaining their full-time jobs.

Others put more skin in the game, making major investments to start local franchise operations or purchase rental property in pursuit of passive income.

But all who call themselves successful share similar character traits: a rock-solid work ethic and a willingness to roll up their sleeves.

If you count yourself among them, the following money-making opportunities might help give you the raise you deserve.

Share knowledge for profits

The obvious first step is to use what you know to create part-time gigs you can do on nights and weekends. Speak a second language? Offer classes at your local library or community center. Great at math? Start tutoring, which can command up to $60 per hour. Start a home decorating service, become a fly-fishing guide, offer workshops on creative writing, cake decorating, wedding photography -- the opportunities are limitless and those who differentiate themselves can generate an extra $500 per month. You can double that figure if you're handy with computers. IT consultants charge $80 per hour or more, while Web designers charge anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars to create company websites.

Franchise to freedom

You could also make a bundle by buying a franchise, in which you pay for the right to use a company's trademark and name. That includes food chains, health clubs, hair care studios, cleaning services and financial support service firms. Typically, the franchisor provides startup expertise, marketing strategies, management guidance, financial assistance and training -- making it easy to hit the ground running. But most also require minimum cash on hand to even start the discussion -- which can come from savings, home equity, 401(k)s or stock portfolios.

Subway sandwich shop, for example, requires franchisees to have $12,500 in available cash, according to Franchise Solutions, and estimates the overall investment to establish a restaurant ranges from $92,050 to $222,800, which can come from cash and business loans. Some franchises, including YoNaturals, which stocks organic snack vending machines, even cater to the home-based crowd. Just be sure to do your homework before signing on and find a product you can sell. It's hardly a sure thing, but successful franchisees can easily clear six figures a year.

Drive for money

A less conventional, but potentially lucrative way to generate extra cash is to drive recreational and specialty vehicles to the dealerships where they're sold -- including school buses, RVs, Greyhound buses, armored vehicles and ambulances, which don't fit on the back of car carriers. Most manufacturers that hire drivers require a commercial driver's license, which requires a small investment of time and money on your part. Full-time drivers can earn upward of $50,000, says Craig Chilton, founder of TravelForPay.org, which connects drivers with hiring companies. But, the estimated 10,000 drivers who make Saturday and Sunday deliveries can pocket $300 per weekend. The job is particularly well-suited to college students and teachers who have summers off, as well as retirees, says Chilton.

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