The holidays are just around the corner and if that makes you think twice about your spending habits today and the future expenses headed your way, well, I’m right there with you. So, now might be a good time to start thinking about ways you can either put more money in your pocket — or set yourself to make more in 2018.

featured image via sugar paper

photo via vogue

Ask For a Raise

Before you walk into your annual review in January and take whatever pay raise is given to you, start creating a strategy for asking for the raise you want and you deserve today. As women, it’s even more important that you start advocating for your raise before your annual review because chances are you’re already underpaid. In an analysis for The Huffington Post, Ariane Hegewisch showed that women are working for free for 11 weeks and three days every year, while their male counterparts are being paid for every day of their hard work. This means that women make, on average, 77.4 percent of what men make in a year. And what does this mean for you? It means it’s time to ask for a raise.

Take Action:

Start by researching typical salaries in your position, talking to your peers and mentors who are both men and women, and use this free GIMMIE script to prepare your ask. By starting this process today, you’ll be able to take action and ask for the raise you deserve before annual reviews, which allows you to set the salary “anchor” in the conversation with your boss. For example, if your boss was thinking about raising your salary from $48,000 to $52,000 but you prepare this information and use the GIMMIE script and ask for $56,000 then the salary anchor has been moved from $52,000 to $56,000. The anchor is where your negotiations can start.

photo via the blog market

Invest Your Money

This might sound counterintuitive, but investing is a key ingredient to making more money. For every dollar you put in a 401(k), mutual fund, or stock, you’re planning long-term — watching your money grow while you’re off growing your career. Simple, and yet research shows we’re just not doing it. Though female investors actually earn higher returns than men, there’s a glaring gender investment gap: only half of women have started saving for retirement, compared to 65 percent of men. We’ve accumulated less than half the funds that men have — and we’re more likely to rely on low-risk, low-reward investments, like cash.

Take Action:

Take a women-centered investment approach with Ellevest’s personalized investment plans for free. Tell them your basic info — your age, salary, education level, number of kids — and the site will help you pick and prioritize your financial goals. From there, their team of female advisors will give you a customized portfolio that’s tailored to those goals, whether it’s funding your retirement, starting a new business, or those shopping sprees. Investment advice by women. For women. For free.

photo via decor8

Launch a Side Hustle

Do you have a hobby you just love and might love even more if it made you some extra cash? There are so many creative ways to make money each month (here’s a list of 29) without leaving the security of a full-time job or committing long hours to it that it seems like everyone has a side hustle these days. And an additional perk that many of us get from our side hustle? A boost in creativity. I have a friend who teaches yoga outside of her 9-5 job and gets so much joy from the social interactions and change in gears it gives her brain to create yoga lessons vs. legal briefs. The extra income doesn’t hurt either but she would argue that she’s better at her 9-5 because of her side hustle now.

Take Action:

Figure out what type of side hustle you’re looking for including the weekly commitment, extra income amount, and what skills or hobbies you have right now. Next, find someone who’s already doing this side hustle to learn about their experience and how they got started. This is a key step because you can learn from their experiences and you’ll gain a new contact that you can bounce ideas off of in the future. And lastly, create a schedule for launching this side hustle so you stay accountable and can fill in any resource or skills gaps.

I’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you make more money — especially with the holidays around the corner?

Check out more Work Life posts here!

3 comments
  1. 1
    Amy | November 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for this- it was helpful. I’m curious about Ellevest and would love to hear your perspective on how this is different from Wealthfront which you’ve recommended before (thank you!)- is there a way the two work together best, should I choose just one, are they actually more different than I am realizing? Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Career Contessa | November 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Amy— Ellevest takes gender differences into account and provides online guides and resources to help women take financial control.

      Reply
  2. 2
    Lorraine | November 5, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Are there any companies like Ellevest in the U.K.

    Reply
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