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9 ways to boost your income for faster debt payoff

Make some extra cash and put it toward your debts.

Marc Andre

Contributing Writer at Tally

April 14, 2020

If debt payoff is a current priority in your life, you’re probably trying to reduce expenses as much as possible in order to maximize the amount that you’re able to pay on your debt.

Another way to speed up your debt payoff is to increase your income so you’ll have more money to pay off those credit cards, students loans, or other debts. There are several different options for increasing your income, and this article covers 9 possibilities.

1. Get a raise

While it won’t always be possible, the most ideal way to increase your income is to get a raise. There are a lot of different ways to make extra money, but most of them involve working more hours. If you’re able to get a raise, you’ll be able to make more money without working more hours.

The best way to get a raise is to be proactive and ask for it. But you don’t want to simply ask for more money. Take some time to think about why your performance at your job indicates that you’re worth more money than you’re being paid. Put together some facts and use specific numbers and details to back up your case.

Asking for a raise is not something you’re going to want to do frequently, so make it count. Be prepared, have solid evidence to show why you’re worth more, and ask for the raise. You may get it, you may not. If you don’t get the raise, that’s OK. You can just move on to some of the other options that will be covered in this article.

2. Work overtime

Depending on your job, working overtime may be a good option. Of course, not every job will allow you to work overtime, or to be paid for it, but if this is an option for you, it’s something you should consider.

By working overtime at your current job, you’ll be able to increase your income and speed up your debt payoff without needing to start a side hustle or finding something else to do. There’s also a possibility that you could work overtime whenever you need the extra money and then just work your regular hours when you don’t need the income.

The next seven options that we’ll look at involve doing something outside of your current job.

3. Freelance

There are a lot of different services that you could offer as a freelancer, including:

  • Writing

  • Editing

  • Graphic Design

  • Web Design/Development

  • Voiceovers

  • And much more

With a freelancing side hustle, you’ll be able to use the skills that you already have to make some extra money. You’ll also have the potential to earn a very good hourly rate for your work.

Another perk of freelancing is the fact that you can start a business with virtually no start up costs. As soon as you find your first client, you’ll have a profitable business. It’s one of the best ways to make money online without an investment.

4. Walk dogs

Becoming a dog walker or pet sitter is another excellent side hustle. It’s flexible work that you can do around your existing schedule (dog walking is more flexible than pet sitting).

Dog walkers are in demand in cities and small towns, as there are plenty of dog owners who need someone to walk their dog for them. You can also earn a pretty nice income as a dog walker, and some people even do it full-time.

Rover and Wag are two apps that can help you to find clients. You’ll create a profile and pet owners in your area can find you when they’re looking for a dog walker or pet sitter.

5. Transcription

If you have some typing skills, becoming a transcriptionist is another option for making money in your spare time. There are a lot of websites like SpeakWrite and Daily Transcription that provide transcription work.

One of the best things about working as a transcriptionist is the flexibility. Most transcription jobs involve working as a contractor and you can work whenever it fits into your life, as much or as little as you want.

While the requirements will vary depending on the job, in general, you should be able to type about 70 words per minute if you want to do transcription work.

6. Odd jobs

This is a broad category and there are a lot of possibilities, including:

  • Working as a handyman

  • Painting

  • Cleaning houses

  • Mowing lawns

  • Shoveling snow

  • Pressure washing

There are always people looking to hire someone for these types of jobs. You could post your services and availability on Craigslist to start finding clients, or check with people that you know (friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors).

You may need some tools or equipment, depending on the services that you’re offering. Start by thinking of the jobs that you could do with the tools you already own so you don’t need to spend any money right away and can work toward debt payoff immediately.

7. Virtual assistant

Virtual assistants (VA’s) can offer a lot of different services, including:

  • Management of social media profiles

  • Design of graphics for blog posts or social media

  • Blog editing

  • Moderating forums or Facebook groups

  • Customer service

  • Other administrative tasks

Small business owners and entrepreneurs outsource a lot of work to virtual assistants, so there is a lot of work available.

Some VA jobs are very low-paying, but that’s certainly not always the case. In general, the VA’s that are able to demand the highest rates (sometimes over $100 per hour) have chosen to specialize in a particular service. For example, specializing in managing Pinterest profiles for clients.

One of the reasons why this is an attractive opportunity is that you don’t need particular experience or specific skills. You can design your services around the things that you’re able to do, making it one of the best entry-level work from home jobs.

8. Delivery driver

Working as a ride-share driver for Uber or Lyft is a common way of making extra money, but another option that will be accessible to more people is to work as a delivery driver.

To work as a ride-share driver, you’ll need a vehicle that will meet certain guidelines. The vehicle requirements to work as a delivery driver are lower because you won’t be transporting people in the vehicle, which makes this opportunity an option for more people.

Many people prefer driving for deliveries over ride-share driving because it means that you won’t need to have strangers in your car.

There are several different options for working as a delivery driver, including Amazon Flex, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash.

9. Sell handmade crafts

If you’re crafty, another option is to create and sell handmade goods on Etsy or sites like Etsy. This could be something that you enjoy doing in your spare time, and you could turn it into a business.

This is another flexible option because you could work on creating the handmade items whenever it fits into your schedule. You could also scale up and try to turn it into something bigger, or just keep it small for a little bit of extra money.

Final thoughts

If you’re looking to speed up your debt payoff, there are plenty of different ways to make some extra money that can be applied to your debt. This article covers some of the best options, so take a look at the details of each and see if one would be a good fit for you. If not, use some creativity, because there are plenty of other possibilities as well.

Marc Andre is a personal finance blogger at, where he writes about ways to save money, manage money and make money. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and their two kids.