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Tackling debt is, at its core, about two things: living within your means so you can make payments consistently and finding ways to increase your income in order to reduce the amount you pay in the long term. For working professionals with marketable skills and a modicum of spare time, one of the most effective means of paying debt quickly is to boost your income by creating professional opportunities through freelance work and short-term side jobs.
In a marketplace where workers can advertise themselves and their skill-set online, the prospect of earning a little side income to increase financial stability has never been more attainable. Over 53 million Americans did freelance work last year; or one in three American workers. Based on the rise of this trend over the past few years, the number (either full-time or as a supplement to another job) is projected to hit 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2020.
There are countless websites that help businesses outsource their professional needs to private parties, opening up new opportunities for workers in a host of different fields to take on one-time or long-term gigs to earn some additional cash.
By using your spare time for a part-time job, you can boost your income to pay down your debt a little faster. And for debts accruing interest, increasing the amount of principal you pay now can tremendously reduce the total amount you have to pay back in the long term.
Using Freelancing Websites
There's a whole host of websites available to connect you to employers in search of part-time help and freelance labor. Here are some excellent options to start your search into opportunities for extra income:
Upwork is an excellent site with a large variety of jobs from entry to expert levels. With a large selection of professional categories, there’s something for everyone here.
Build a Network to Create Professional Opportunities
When looking to create opportunities for part-time work, and especially freelance work, opportunity starts with having a strong professional network. Utilize social media – including Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and more obvious choices like LinkedIn to advertise your skills and areas of expertise. Any website that allows you to list your skills or field in a public-facing way is an opportunity to advertise and generate business opportunities.
Use Freelance Work to Build Your Professional Portfolio and Boost Your Income
Whether it’s designing a logo, drafting a business plan, or creating a website, freelance work offers many avenues to strengthen your record of professional accomplishments. This can increase your salary in the long term, allowing you to reach your financial health goals. Creating an aesthetically pleasing record of your accomplishments ideally showcased on your own personal website, LinkedIn profile, or other easily accessible portfolio allows you to demonstrate value to potential clients. Great options for creating a personal website to showcase your talents include Squarespace and About.me.
Traditional networking combined with utilizing new online opportunities can form the core of a solid debt-reduction strategy. While you gain professional experience and expand your professional network to drive future earnings up, you simultaneously build up your financial resources for a short-term cash influx. With a little hard work and responsible money management, this is an excellent way to make earlier, faster payments on your outstanding debts so you can pay less interest and reach your financial goals.