Most of us want to earn more money. A little more money can go a long way when you are trying to make ends meet — or just trying to add more fun to your life. Whether you are trying to pay down your debt, boost your retirement savings, or take an awesome vacation, more income can help you do it in style, while improving your financial security.

If you are looking for ways to boost your income this year, here are 5 ideas for making more money:

1. Brush Up on Your Soft Skills

First of all, figure out which soft skills can help you improve your marketability. Leadership, problem solving, and communication are all desirable. You can make yourself more marketable, and increase the chances that you’ll get a raise, if you can improve your soft skills.

2. Build Your Brand

In a world of online recruiting and background checks, you need to have a good brand. Think about yourself as a brand. You don’t have to have your own business to have a brand. If you are looking for a new job, or trying to get a promotion, consider “you” as a brand. Make sure your online profiles reflect your brand, and that they are professional. Take the time to post on items of interest in your industry, and show that you make a great asset.

You’ll improve your chances of getting hired, recruited, or even of getting a raise.

3. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Few of us like to stretch ourselves. However, the only way you are going to make more money is if you take a risk every now and again. You might not be comfortable asking for a raise or a promotion, but you need to move outside your comfort zone and take that chance.

If you aren’t getting what you want out of your current work environment, you might need to move even further from your comfort zone and quit your job to find one that pays better. Really think about how you can push yourself to improve, and what you can do to become a more marketable person.

4. Build Your Network

Who you know can help you earn more money. Brush up on your networking skills, and learn how to reach out to others. Whether it’s letting you know when a job is opening up at another company, or whether it’s providing you with a new partner for a business venture, your network can be a lot of help to you.

5. Start a Side Gig

It’s not all about trying to make things work in a traditional work setting. You can also increase your income by going out there and taking charge of your earnings. Start a side gig on the evenings and weekends. You can even start an online gig that provides you with a way to make money from your home, using the Internet. Think about your skills and abilities, and consider how you can put them to work with a side gig.

What ideas do you have for earning more money this year?

Tom Drake

Tom Drake

Tom Drake writes for Financial Highway and MapleMoney. Whenever he’s not working on his online endeavors, he’s either doing his “real job” as a financial analyst or spending time with his two boys.