Millennials are often regarded as carefree individuals, but the reality is that many younger folks experience the same amount of stress as their older counterparts. In fact, in a survey conducted by acupuncture and wellness site Lhasa OMS, millennials identified finances as their No. 1 source of stress.
At the same time, 91% said that a higher income would help alleviate their stress. If you're reliant on a boost in earnings to lower your stress level, here are a couple of ways to go about it.
1. Ask for a raise
Many people shy away from asking for more money at work because they don't want to come across as greedy or demanding. But if you don't ask for a raise, you'll have only yourself to blame when your wages remain stagnant and your stress level holds steady.
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In fact, job site CareerBuilder reports that 56% of employees have never asked for a raise, but among those who have, 66% were successful. And if you prepare for that conversation the right way, there's a good chance you'll have a similar outcome.
So how can you prepare to ask for a raise? First, do your research. Dig up salary data for your industry and see how your earnings stack up. If you're statistically underpaid, that's something to present to your boss.
Furthermore, make a list of the ways you specifically add value to your company. Maybe you have an exceptional skill that no one else you work with possesses. Or maybe you're the person who's always willing to log on over a weekend to help out with emergencies. These are the things it pays to bring up during a salary-boost conversation, and mapping out what you'll say in advance will help that discussion run smoothly.
2. Get yourself a side hustle
If you're not happy with your finances and are desperate for an income boost, you may need to make that happen yourself via a second job. The good news? You can turn just about any hobby into a side hustle these days, so if you don't want to sign up to wait tables on weekends or spend your evenings plugging away on a laptop, figure out a way to monetize a pastime you already enjoy.
If you're a great cook, start a catering service or look into becoming a personal chef. You can also try bottling your homemade sauces or condiments and selling them at local markets. If you love photography, aim to score gigs locally, whether it's family photo shoots in the park, Sweet Sixteen parties, or even weddings. And if you're an animal lover, dog sit or cat sit in your spare time. The choices are virtually endless, but the more you enjoy your side work, the more motivated you'll be to keep at it.
If your finances are your primary source of stress, boosting your income can help. At the same time, it pays to examine your spending and see if managing your money more effectively might help relieve some of the worries you have. To this end, following a budget can really help, so if you don't have one already, carve out some time to set one up. This way, you'll have an easier time finding ways to cut back on spending without hurting your lifestyle. What you give up in terms of luxuries or conveniences, you might gain in much-needed peace of mind.
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This article was originally published on Fool.com