You’ve Heard of Job Security, But What About Income Security?

by Miranda Marquit · 7 comments

Job security. Despite recent improvements in the employment situation, this remains an issue of concern for many Americans.

Are You Worried About Your Job?

If the pandemic taught consumers anything, it’s that your job isn’t as secure as you would like. Layoffs can happen to almost anyone. And, even if you’re not laid off, your hours could be cut significantly, or you could face a furlough. These are situations that result in lower earnings from your job. With many Americans concerned about job security, reduced hours, and unpaid leaves, the country is increasingly becoming the “have” and “have-nots”.

If you’re worried about your job, it makes sense to do what you can to prepare yourself and your finances for the possibilities of a layoff or hours reduction.

How to Improve Your Income Security

Even if you think your job is secure, now is the time to improve your income security. It’s important to separate the idea of your job from your income. If your day job is your only source of income — especially if you’re not building up an emergency fund – you could be in trouble down the road.

What would you do if you lost your job or if your hours were cut? Do you have another source of income to fall back on?

Relying entirely on your job can put your finances at risk in a big way. What you need instead is income diversity. When you have other sources of income, it’s not as big of a deal when your day job runs into problems. You can use your investment account, or other income sources, to help you through the tough times.

If you aren’t sure about your job security, now is a good time to start looking for other sources of income. Diversifying your income, or adding multiple income streams, is a great way to protect yourself in a down economy. If you lose one source of income, you can simply turn to another to get you through hard times.

My quest to diversify my income has gone beyond the financial protection aspect – I actually enjoy it. I’ve experimented with several income-producing methods: everything from working two-day jobs to freelancing to building my own products.

But I’ve never found that one thing that just hooks me. So, I continue to experiment. And because of this, I’ve now built up multiple (albeit small) income streams from activities I enjoy.

If you’re looking to build multiple streams of income, but don’t know where to start, let me break it down for you. Here are three sources of income anyone can obtain:

Your Day Job

Source number one is your day job. This is something you picked by 1) getting a degree or 2) applying for, so I’m hoping you’re happy with it. Your day job is going to be your most stable form of income (at least in the beginning), so you should definitely keep it.

Try paying all of your expenses with your day job income, so you can put sources number two and three to work for you.

Your Side Hustle

My favorite source of income is the side hustle. You control what you do, how much work you put in, and to some degree, your level of success.

Here are the requisites for picking a side hustle:

  • You enjoy it (a must!)
  • You’re good at it
  • You can make money with it

Remember: This is a mini business you’re creating in your free time. You absolutely must enjoy doing this – or it won’t work out.

Unfortunately, it would take several posts for me to cover the ins and outs of getting your side hustle up and running. But take it from me: The hardest part is getting started. Once you start, everything else will come naturally.

And just in case you’re stumped for ideas, here are a few:

  • Walking dogs
  • Babysitting
  • Reselling items on Amazon, eBay, etc.
  • Painting houses
  • Freelance writing
  • Consulting
  • Teaching or tutoring

Keep in mind that what you enjoy doing and what I enjoy doing are different. Research and experiment until you find a profitable side hustle.

Your Passive Income Pursuits

The almighty passive income is what most people strive for. According to Wikipedia, passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it. It is closely related to the concept of “unearned income.”

Your passive income could come from investing in the stock market, owning rental properties, or selling digital products.

Not all of these income streams are as passive as they seem, however. Let’s look at real estate. If you find a positive cash flow rental property, you’re still going to have to find tenants, deal with them, and handle maintenance and repair issues. Or, you could hire a property management company to do this for you, thereby making this a bit more passive.

Bottom Line

How diversified are you? These three sources of income can be achieved by anybody. Hard work and determination will be required – but the earlier you get started, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the rewards.

Many of us have learned that what the “experts” see happening on Wall Street doesn’t necessarily translate into solid gains for those of us on Main Street. You need to look at your individual finances and take appropriate action to keep your income safe.

Have you considered income security before? What are you doing to ensure it?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • John Edward says:

    thanks for the helpful informative article

  • John Edward says:

    thanks for the helpful article

  • Bob Falbo says:

    thanks for the helpful informative article

  • Alex says:

    Rental property income is a good one, I’ve been doing it for years, but you have to know how to fix little things like leaky faucet, flexibility to leave work at moments notice for emergencies, and etc.. it’s not for everyone for sure.

  • Donna says:

    Various income sources is definitely a need throughout your life….even in retirement. Social Security, pension, your own investments were the three legged stool. Now pensions and investments are evaporating due to corporate restructure and greed. Now even Social Security is in danger thanks to our politicians who are beholden to the rich more than their constituents. We need to be a nation of entrepreneurs more than employees as this danger increases. Then what will Wall Street do? I try to have multiple sources of income but I age frugality, which can be a source of income if you think about it, is more required to keep those other sources working. Like emergency funds. In retirement I have been use the web to create income. Maybe not much–but it helps to have that $50-$100 extra each month to pay bills or buy groceries. Social Security(widow) pays most of my fixed bills because I own my home and have no debts. But stuff happens. Medical bills, car repairs, etc. even taxes. The larger your RMD requirements are the more taxes you pay–even on Social Security. I figured it out. If I have a large IRA and do not need the money to live well. I still need to take money out and pay taxes on it. When I do that extra withdrawal almost exclusively can be the amount in taxes owed! So why did I save in the IRA. If I did not have to withdraw anything then I might not have to pay taxes or would pay less. It is looking more like I saved to pay taxes–not to enhance my retirement. So I am waiting until 70 as long as my health is good to collect my Social Security and living on my IRA now to reduce it. That way I am training my self to live on the amount I will get from Social Security later. That way my taxes will lower and my RMD I can reinvest in taxable stocks to grow after taxes paid of course. Then my chances of having an emergency fund and not running out of money to pay taxes will increase. Creating those multiple incomes takes some real thinking and talent…especially when retired.

  • Marbella says:

    Quite right, you should try to have multiple sources of income, I’m real estate agents full time and works as a freelancer with SEO for business websites, Both incomes can I live if I would lose one job.

  • John S says:

    I think the economic climate of the past few years has brought a number of people to seeing the need to work towards having that income diversity. We see it ourselves with our business, in wanting as many clients as we can handle, and in as many industries, so we could better weather any potential storm. But thankfully we have a healthy EF to use if it did truly hit the fan – not that we ever plan on using it though. 🙂

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