9-to-5 jobs get a bad rap for consuming most of our daily life, which could result in burnout. We have been told that this is the only way to build serious wealth, and if we want more, then we must work more. But by now, it’s clear that it isn’t true.
You can define wealth through the equation below:
Wealth = Income + Investments – Lifestyle
Where people go wrong is that they don’t realize that a 9 to 5 isn’t their only option to increase their income. You don’t have to wait until you’re 60 to achieve financial freedom. In fact, you can shorten that goal’s timeline, even while working at your 9 to 5.
5 Ways to Build Wealth While Working a 9 to 5 Job
A key element to building wealth while at your 9 to 5 is to realize your other options. There are other paths toward financial freedom that you can take. You should begin these as early as you can to make the most of their returns.
1. Invest in your company’s long-term investments
Most companies have a company-sponsored retirement plan, like the traditional 401(k), the Roth IRA, and even a health savings account (HSA).
The traditional 401(k) is a good way to boost retirement savings and allow you to improve your quality of life by providing a more financial safety net once it’s time for retirement. As an additional perk, companies also match a certain percentage of your contributions, which is 100% free money.
Your 401(k) is a pre-tax investment, meaning how much you invest in a 401(k) will lessen your taxable income. However, high-income employees (employees who earn more than $305,000 per year) cannot apply for a 401(k). The largest amount you can contribute to a 401(k) in 2023 is around $22,500.
Meanwhile, the Roth IRA is a post-tax investment, meaning you contribute after-tax income into your Roth account. But don’t worry, as those contributions grow tax-free. Your contributions can add up to $6,000 to your Roth IRA if you’re less than 50 years old and up to $7,000 if you’re older than 50.
2. Proactively ask for a raise or promotion
Asking for a raise or promotion can also help boost your income in your 9-to-5 job, but it will depend on when you ask and how you do it. It’s highly discouraged to ask for a raise if you’re aware that your company is struggling financially or laying off many employees.
As much as possible, avoid asking these things on a hectic or stressful day and choose a reasonably calm day when approaching your boss; it’s best to ask when you’re having a one-on-one meeting.
Prepare your arguments and present tangible accomplishments and evidence where you’ve consistently exceeded work expectations that would make you deserving of a salary raise.
It’s important to note that you should never say you “need more money” or that you are “going through a tough time” as reasons for your raise or that you will quit if you do not get a raise. These are unconvincing arguments that would result in request dismissals from your boss. Instead, focus on your performance and what you’ve contributed to your company.
3. Show up every day
Your work ethic matters if you want to achieve financial freedom. Showing up to work every day, doing what you say you’re supposed to do, and being a team player all play a part in growing your wealth in the long term.
All these make you a reliable employee and make a good case for that raise or promotion you’re aiming for. Yes, taking vacations and filing sick days are okay. But some employees would take every opportunity not to show up for work.
4. Limit your spending and debts
High-income debt considerably hinders building wealth, even if you earn big. This, along with your lifestyle and expenses, play an important role in how rich you become. When you have high debt, it kills your chances of saving for your future.
It’s especially true when it comes to household debt. A recent news report shows that mortgage balances rose $1 trillion from 2021 to $11.7 trillion, and credit card debt climbed to $930 billion in 2022. The average American debt is estimated to be $96,371 as of September 2022.
With a little self-discipline, you can track your monthly income and expenses, establish good saving habits, and control your expenditures by lessening your use of credit cards to attain financial security, invest for your retirement, and build wealth.
5. Get into intrapreneurship
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, but if you want to test your entrepreneurial skills without the more permanent loss resulting from having your own business, try getting into intrapreneurship. It’s a good way to build wealth because you get a support system from the company you’re working for, which most entrepreneurs don’t have.
Intrapreneurship allows an employee to be an entrepreneur within the company or the organization. For example, you can research and recommend a more efficient workflow chart for a company’s brand within a target group or find ways to benefit company culture.
The innovative skills you develop from being an intrapreneur can significantly help you once you become an entrepreneur. Notable characteristics of an intrapreneur include good leadership skills and innovative thinking to resolve issues like increasing productivity or cutting expenses within the company.
An intrapreneur can take risks and propels innovation within a business through better goods and services to offer the market. A good intrapreneur isn’t afraid to test ideas and fail often.
Start Now, Enjoy Later
As a salary earner, building wealth with your 9-to-5 job is definitely possible when you have a mindset for the future. Wealthy moguls have done it, but you will get to build wealth without the hassle and stress of owning your own business.
Participate in your company’s long-term investments, show up for work every day, develop technical and soft skills, know your worth and raise possibilities of a raise and promotion, be disciplined about your spending and lifestyle, and try intrapreneurship.
These are some effective ways you can save up and get wealthy. And if you have more time to spare, side hustles are also a great option.
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Author Bio: Darrell Armuth founded Sensible in 1994, a company that provides a simple and easy-to-understand investment guidance at a low cost. Since then, he has served hundreds of clients. Darrell is a Certified Public Accountant certified by the state of Nevada.