Morning! Please welcome Liz who will talk about how she made more money at her day job taking advantage of opportunities offered by her employer. You can find Liz on Twitter as well.
Hey everyone- My name is Liz and I blog over at budgetingformore.com. Thank you Pauline for letting me guest post today!
I dream of being able to quit my full-time job one day and pursue a career as a freelancer and entrepreneur. However, I am working slowly towards this dream and it will be a few years before I can seriously pursue self-employment. For now, I am a salaried, full-time tax accountant.
While this isn’t my dream job, I try to look on the bright side and be thankful for my employment and stable paychecks. I’ve also found several ways to make more money at my full-time job. In the last year and a half I’ve earned more than $8,000 in “side hustle” income. Here are some ways I’ve made money:
Exam Bonus: $5,000 – As an accountant fresh out of college I was first employed at a public accounting firm (I’ve since switched jobs). We were strongly encouraged to pass the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. For anyone not familiar with this exam, it’s a rigorous four-part exam that requires hundreds of hours of studying and practice. To motivate us to pass, the employer offered a $5K bonus to anyone who passed all four exams within the first year of being employed. Needless to say, I was motivated. I worked really hard sacrificing many nights and weekends to study. I passed an earned the bonus.
Exam study Materials – $1,500 – In addition to the exam bonus, my employer also provided us with state of the art study materials for the CPA exam. It’s absolutely necessary to have a study program to pass the exam and these programs don’t run cheap. Having the employer purchase these materials on my behalf saved me $1,500.
Referral Bonus – $1,500 – This is an incentive for employees to find and recommend candidates for open jobs within the company. If the candidate you referred is subsequently hired, the employee receives a bonus. Score!
I watched the job openings carefully and one day noticed a position that would fit my husband perfectly. I referred him and he applied. As fate would have it he was hired and I received the bonus. Not only that, but the employer also offered him a sign-on bonus of $2,000. In total the new job brought us around $3,500 in extra income. What a great deal!
Other Ways to Earn Extra Money – Another program offered at my first job was a fitness subsidy. For this program, my employer paid half of your fees related to gym memberships or exercise equipment up to $1,000. That means you can receive up to $500 to use on improving your health. I wasn’t going to let this great deal go to waste and purchased myself a new bike. The subsidy paid for half of my new bike and saved me $300.
Tuition is another avenue some employers will offer to help out with. Some employers will actually pay for you to go back to school. Sounds pretty amazing to me! While I haven’t utilized this program yet, I’m seriously considering doing so in the next year.
What You Can Learn from My Experience
On a general note, your employer wants you to be happy because happy employees do better work. Every career/employer is different in terms of benefits available. It’s important that you understand what kind of opportunities you have to earn extra money. Some programs may not be well communicated and require some research. For example, the fitness subsidy program that I mentioned was totally under the radar. I actually had to call human resources to figure out how the program worked.. Someday I hope to be self-employed but in the mean time I plan on continuing to utilize my benefits as a full-time employee and enjoy the ride!
Have you ever earned extra income at a full-time job?
Editor’s note: On a related topic, I wrote about how you can make more at your day job during the holidays.