10 Tips To Make More Than Minimum Wage

By Zach Buchenau

Last Updated: March 11, 2020

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How To Make More Than Minimum Wage | Be The Budget

Are you wondering how to make more than minimum wage?

You’re not alone. The job market these days can be quite the competitive beast. And whether you’re a recent graduate, in the middle of a career change, someone without much (or any) experience in the workforce, or just young, it can be hard to land a job that pays a decent wage.

But that doesn’t mean you have to accept your current circumstances. If you have a strong work ethic, and the willingness to do what it takes to increase your income, then you are halfway there. Honestly, you might just need a little direction. And that’s exactly why I created this post.

So, if you are tired of making minimum wage, and ready to start fulfilling your earning potential, then keep reading. What follows are my 10 best tips to help you make more than minimum wage.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Start Your Own Business

If you are tired of making minimum wage, and you have even the slightest desire to start your own business, then I highly recommend you do so. Now, before we take another step, I want to preface this tip with one statement: if you choose to start your own business, do not quit your minimum wage job until you are billing enough to replace your current income and benefits. That would be foolish.

Starting your own business is riskier than going out and getting a job, but the potential reward is huge. Think about it, if you start your own business, your earning potential is only limited by your work ethic and desire. In other words, instead of asking your boss for a raise, you just have to get out into the world and drum up some more business.

The best news is that these days, with the reach and power of the internet, you can start all sorts of businesses without much overhead; which is perfect when you’re working a minimum wage job.

You see, here at Be The Budget, we never encourage our readers to go into debt; especially if you are starting a business. Seriously, despite what you may have heard about entrepreneurship, you don’t need to dig yourself into a financial hole to get started. I mean, isn’t the point of starting a business to MAKE MONEY? Debt is the opposite of that, and it will only hurt you.

In fact, here are a few business ideas that don’t require much money to get started:

Start A Blog

If you are working a minimum wage job, and you have the energy to spend a couple hours writing or vlogging before or after work, then blogging might be right up your alley.

Though, just to set your expectations properly, blogging is a slow-burn kind of business. It takes time and consistency in order to reap your blogging reward. But, if you stick with it for a long time, blogging has a huge amount of upside.

In fact, many bloggers make more than 7-figures per year. Sure, in most cases it took them a few years of hard work to get there, but in my opinion, that is well worth the consistent effort.

If blogging sounds appealing to you, then be sure to check out these posts to help you get started, Blog On A Budget: 10 Low-cost Resources For New Bloggers, and How Do Blogs Make Money (10 Proven Ways).

Become A Freelancer

If you have a passion for writing, photography, videography, graphic design, or web development, then you should start freelancing, immediately. There are so many small businesses out there that need help in all these arenas, and they are willing to pay a pretty penny for them.

Honestly, if you want to supplement, or replace your minimum wage income, freelancing is one of the best ways to make more money.

To give you a couple examples, one of my best friends makes a solid income running his own freelance videography business on the side. My sister and her husband are talented photographers, and they run a successful freelance photography business. And since I am a full-time web developer, I can tell you for a fact that freelance web development can net upwards of $5,000, or even $10,000 for a single project.

Start An Ecommerce Business

If you are a crafty, artsy, or fashion-minded person, then you might consider starting an ecommerce business. This is a great option if you have the ability to create a product people would be willing to pay for online.

For example, if you are a talented painter, you could sell your paintings on etsy. If you like sewing, you could sell custom quilts, pillows, blankets or clothing through your own website. Or, if you have a talent for woodworking, you could set up a little website and sell your custom furniture pieces.

If you’re interested in starting an ecommerce store, we recommend either Shopify, or Etsy. These are phenomenal platforms that many people have used to start and grow successful businesses, and there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Related Post: 25 Ways To Make Extra Money On The Side

Teach Music Lessons

I have mentioned this side hustle in a couple other posts, but it’s because it helped me pay my rent in college. If you want to make more than minimum wage, and you know how to play an instrument, then you should think about starting a music lesson business. There are tons of people out there that will pay for music lessons, and you can make a solid living this way.

This requires almost no overhead, which means more profit for you.

2. Don’t Let Job Requirements Deter You

If starting a business isn’t for you, and you are just looking to get a better, higher-paying job, then don’t let a single job requirement scare you. I’m serious, if you see a job that sounds interesting, then apply for it.

You never know, you may get an interview and be a great fit for the people that work there and the company culture.

Ok, obviously there are limits to this. For example, if you have never written a line of code in your life, then it would be a waste of time for you to apply for a senior developer job at Google.

All I’m saying is that if you find a job that requires skills just outside of your current abilities, don’t shy away. You might just be passing up on the opportunity of a lifetime.

10 Tips To Make More Than Minimum Wage | Be The Budget

3. Network Like Crazy

Have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?

Well, in the world of job searching, contacts are everything. And one of the best ways to meet new people — especially people with connections to business owners and hiring managers — is networking.

So, join some meetups in your area. Or, if there are some networking groups in your community, step outside your comfort zone and put yourself out there. All it takes is one interaction with a person that sees your potential, and you could end up making bank at a job you love.

You gotta network.

4. Don’t Be Entitled

One of the most off-putting qualities in a job candidate is entitlement. I don’t care if you are the smartest, most qualified person on the planet. If you are entitled, you aint’ gettin’ hired!

Nobody wants to work with that entitled little rich boy that got everything he wanted when he was a kid, and therefore assumes that’s how the world works. Additionally, when you go into an interview, your main focus should be the benefits you will bring to the company interested in hiring you, not the other way around.

So, if you are even slightly entitled, get over yourself, and show some humility. You will be much more appealing.

5. Work With A Recruiter

Working with a recruiter is a great way to find job opportunities you might not otherwise find. I mean, think about it, a recruiter’s entire job is to pair talented, qualified people with quality companies that compensate their employees well.

You can find a good recruiter by searching LinkedIn, or by simply searching for recruiters on Google.

Seriously, why wouldn’t you choose to work with a recruiter.

6. Ask For A Raise

If you want to make more than minimum wage, then why not just ask for a raise. This might seem a little obvious but most people just don’t have the guts to do it.

If you compile a list of all the wonderful things you bring to the table, and you can back them up with your actual work performance, then it will be hard for an employer to turn down your request. Most companies — at least the good ones — value good, hard-working employees.

So, if you are confident that you bring more value to your employer than they are currently paying you, and you can prove it, then go ahead and ask for a raise. Oh, and don’t just go in there asking for an undefined amount. Be clear with your boss about how much you would like to get paid.

Be confident, and straight forward. There’s nothing worse than an employee that dances around the point.

7. Eliminate Distractions

If you are tired of making minimum wage, but you spend all of your off time playing video games, scrolling through instagram, or hanging out with friends, then nothing is going to change.

If you want a job that pays a good amount of money, then you need to put in more work than everybody else that’s looking for a job. Once again, I don’t care how qualified you are. If you are wasting a bunch of valuable job-hunting time on meaningless distractions, then you might as well just embrace your minimum wage income.

Put away your video game console. Take a break from social media. And clear any other distractions that are keeping you from being your best. Your income depends on it.

8. Expand Your Job Search To Multiple Industries

Just like you shouldn’t shy away from job applications with requirements beyond your current skill set, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to one single industry when applying for jobs.

Unless you just graduated from medical school, law school, or some other very specific industry, your skills are probably applicable in multiple industries.

For instance, if you are transitioning from a career of selling cars, you might want to consider selling new homes, or becoming a real estate agent. If you have good interpersonal communication skills, and you don’t fear public speaking, you can apply for just about any sales job out there.

If you want to make more than minimum wage, then don’t limit your job search to a specific industry.

9. Learn A More In-Demand Skill

If you just can’t seem to find a job with your current skill set, then you might need to learn a new, more in-demand, marketable skill.

If you’re a college graduate, that might be kind of hard to hear. But, as they say, the market sets the price. In other words, just because you have a college degree in a specific subject, doesn’t mean there are a lot of job opportunities out there.

If that’s the case, you might need to go out there and learn a more marketable skill. The good news is, there are plenty of in-demand skills that you can learn through online courses that won’t bust your budget.

If you need a few ideas, here are five of the skills I personally know that companies are willing to pay big money for:

  1. Search Engine Marketing
  2. Social Media Strategy, Management and Paid Advertising
  3. Website Development
  4. Sales
  5. Content Marketing (Written and Video Content)

10. Be Responsive

One of the biggest problems companies have when it comes to hiring, is that many people are just plain unresponsive to their emails and calls.

So, in the midst of your job search, make it your personal goal to respond to every single email or phone call within the hour. Or, at least when you take a break or get off from work.

Also, when you send an email to a potential employer, be sure to use proper grammar and spelling. We are all bound to make mistakes here and there, but every time you forget a period, or misspell a word, you are poorly representing yourself. Seriously, take an extra 2 minutes to edit your emails before you send them. It’s worth it.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make more than minimum wage, there are all sorts of things you can do. Whether that means starting your own side business, or attending every networking event you can find, you have the power to make a wonderful income.

So, get out there and employ some of these tips. I hope they help on your journey to make more than minimum wage.

Also, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe to Be The Budget to stay up to date with all future posts, tips and recommendations.

How To Make More Money Than Minimum Wage | Be The Budget

Zach Buchenau

About The Author:

Zach Buchenau is a self-proclaimed personal finance nerd. When he isn't writing about budgeting, getting out of debt, making extra money, and living a frugal life, you can find him building furniture, fly fishing, or developing websites. He is the co-founder of BeTheBudget, and Chipotle's most loyal customer.

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