10 Guaranteed Ways to Limit Your Earning Potential

No Earning PotentialSure you make good money and certainly aren’t hurting financially, but you might be dissatisfied with your monthly income if you knew how much higher it could be. You may very likely be holding yourself back from enjoying a higher cash flow and not even know it. There are several common behaviors that can put a cap on your earning power, so avoid the following 10 ways to do so:

1. Hoard your stuff.

When was the last time you fit into those khakis? Do you really need three bean bag chairs? All this needless junk is doing nothing for you but taking up room. Fortunately, there is someone out there who would love to have it.

Selling on Ebay is a great way to de-clutter and make money at the same time. Or if you don’t want to worry about shipping, Paypal and the like, Craigslist is an easy alternative. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can sell things on Craigslist. Don’t want to touch a computer? Have a good old fashioned garage sale instead.

2. Stay inside.

There are tons of outdoor activities that are easy to do and can be enjoyable, but many people don’t have the time or energy to actually do them. They’d gladly pay someone else to mow their lawn or walk their dog and that someone could be you. With enough clients, a few side jobs here and there could add up to quite a bit of extra cash at the end of the month.

3. Skip the stock market.

Why would you risk losing money in the market when you can simply dump everything you have into one savings account and still earn a little interest? Because you’re cheating yourself out of a much higher return. Right now, you’re lucky to find a savings account interest rate that nears 1% APY, but you could expect to get 7-8 percent out of a solid, well-diversified portfolio.

True, there is more risk involved with investing, but a proper portfolio plan and long-term strategy will guard against it and yield you earnings that actually outpace inflation.

4. Do the bare minimum.

If you have no career goals or work ethic, plan to keep seeing the same numbers on your paycheck for many years to come. No one gets ahead by being average.

If, on the other hand, you show your employer you love your job and are willing to do whatever it takes to improve your performance and move your company forward, you will be rewarded with pay raises, bonuses and/or promotions to higher paying positions. This is sometimes the quickest, easiest money you can earn.

5. Stifle your creativity.

Everyone has a talent, including you, but it’s not necessarily the same ability as the next guy’s. You can make extra money by providing your talent as a service to others who just can’t do it as well as you.

If you’re a great writer or editor, freelance on a part-time basis. If you are particularly artistic and computer-savvy, try designing web logos.

6. Bank… wherever.

Why is it that some banks can provide their customers pitifully low interest rates on deposit accounts while others consistently offer fantastic earnings? As long as people fair to compare financial institutions and choose accounts based on their superior benefits, such as interest rates and low fees, these banks will stay in business.

Don’t open an account just because the bank logo is visible from your driveway or your mom banks there, too. Comparison shop for the best rates and research where the best high yield checking and savings accounts are.

7. Stop learning.

You got your Bachelors degree and your job, so you’re all set. College is over and it’s time to focus on generating that paycheck.

This kind of attitude, while common, is also very limiting. Employers usually encourage employees to have goals of advancing their education and it’s even a requirement for some positions. You don’t necessarily have to go out and get a PhD in your field, but taking courses and obtaining higher degrees that will enhance your knowledge base will not only make you better at your job, but will also often qualify you for a higher salary. Even better, many employers offer some sort of tuition assistance.

8. Fail to budget.

You don’t even have to generate more money to have more money. Sometimes all it takes is identifying where you’re spending too much and then eliminating those costs. You probably won’t notice these little money pits until you write them down. Do you budget?

By devising a budget, you will become aware of habitual overspending. Maybe you’re going out for lunch more often than you need to or constantly forgetting to pay your credit card bill on time. Create a better financial plan and put your new-found extra cash to good use.

9. Quash your nurturing side.

If you’re not the type of person who feels all fuzzy inside when around other people’s kids and pets, you might want to start spending more time with them anyway. Babysitting and pet sitting can be a lucrative side job, even if it’s only a few hours a month.

10. Be a loner.

It’s really hard to pick up freelance and side jobs if you don’t know anyone that would hire you. You don’t have to be a complete social butterfly, but it helps to participate in gatherings where you have the opportunity to network every now and then. Meeting like-minded professionals can open up doors that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

This article was written by Go Banking Rates, bringing you informative personal finance content and helpful tools, as well as the best interest rates on financial services nationwide.

Last Edited: May 8, 2014 @ 2:40 pm The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.


  1. Definitely agree with the hoarding and being a loner ones. Great list (even if it is a little depressing).

  2. Great article. I can’t believe how many people I know that “do the bare minimum” and then spend half the day complaining about all the things they want and don’t have. I always want to smack them in the face and say, “Then get to work!”