4 Ways to the $5,000 Raise You Want

If your boss offered you a raise this year, would you take it?

Of course you would!

You have some big expenses coming down the pipe, and every dollar counts. Your daughter needs braces. You need to replace your car in the next few months. And you have a family reunion this year—conveniently located on the other side of the country.

Okay, so that may not be your exact scenario. But we all have things to save and pay for, and a little extra money can go a long way.

That’s why we’re here to tell you a little secret: You can give yourself a raise this year. And not just any raise. You can probably bump your income up by at least $5,000—and all it takes is these four steps.

1. Make a budget.

Any experienced budgeter will tell you that a budget helps you find money. It’s like magic. You make a plan for every dollar—and suddenly there are more of them!

Here’s the secret: A budget shows you where you’re spending money. If you weren’t budgeting before, you might unknowingly spend $800 on groceries when it’s more reasonable to spend $400. That one decision right there could save you $400—and you’ll still be happy, healthy and full!

2. Quit paying for things you don’t use.

Are you watching all those cable channels you’re paying for each month? What about all those magazine subscriptions? Movie-streaming services? The monthly box subscription that mails you fun new chew toys and treats for your precious pooch?

If you’re paying for something you haven’t used in months or you can easily live without, get rid of it. Take cable for instance. If you cancel cable, you can save $768 a year. Just like that, you will have given yourself another raise!

3. Pay off consumer debt.

If you’re like most people, you probably have a credit card or two. But listen to this: The average credit card debt per household is over $16,000. And with the average interest rate at 16.1%, most credit card holders are paying nearly $2,600 a year in interest alone.

And that’s just credit card debt. Throw in some student loans and a car note, and you’re probably waving farewell to a big chunk of your paycheck each month.

But if you put together a plan and pay off your consumer debt, you’re going to free up hundreds of dollars each month—which turns into thousands of dollars a year!

Think about it. If you even just eliminate a $200-a-month credit card bill, you’re giving yourself a $2,400 raise. Now imagine what you could do if all of the debt was gone.

4. Review your insurance policies.

Make a point to check your insurance policies regularly to see if you’re still getting a good rate.

If you experienced any big life changes recently, you may need different coverage now than you did a year or two ago. Or maybe there’s a better deal out there that would suit your family’s needs—and that may cost only a fraction of what you’re paying now.

For example, if you have whole life insurance, you can go ahead and switch to term life. It’s a better, and less expensive, option that could easily free up $300 or more a month in your budget.

Those little tweaks in your budget will add up fast. And before you know it, you’re going to have a lot more disposable income to spend on the things in life that really matter! Start now by creating a free EveryDollar budget to see how much extra money you can find.