71% of Americans Are Satisfied With Their Household Income — Here’s What To Do If You’re In the 29%

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As inflation continues to take hold of many personal budgets and the job market remains rocky with “job hopping” becoming a norm, a new poll shows that, surprisingly, many people are satisfied with their income and careers.

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Gallup conducted a recent survey on satisfaction levels regarding nine factors of living and found that 83% said they were satisfied overall. Categories included family life, housing, job, education, community, personal health, leisure time, standard of living and household income. All categories ranked at 71% satisfied or higher. 

When it comes to household income, though that was the lowest ranked satisfaction point, even at 71% that’s still more than might be expected and is more than the 64% who said the same in 2019, before the pandemic, says Fox Business. 

Though, the new jump in satisfaction could be a result of the fact that fewer Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, as GOBankingRates.com recently reported. The number of households surviving on weekly or biweekly earnings is currently 60%, down from 64% a year prior. CNN also reported in late January that wages for American workers are up overall by 5.1% (though not still totally on pace with inflation), which may also point to the new development.

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But what if you are in the 29% who reported being unsatisfied with the level of income coming in? There are some options to consider to bring in more money:

  1. Apply to new jobs: According to Business Insider, now is a great time to consider switching jobs if you are unhappy in your current line of work and want to look for a salary bump. Of course, you may want to chat with your current employer first to advocate for a raise, but if they are unwilling to adjust your earnings, the job market is incredibly strong right now and may have a better fit for you. If you’re ready to take the leap, check out GOBankingRates.com’s guide to jumpstarting your search and finding the perfect position. 
  2. Add on a side gig: A side hustle can be a great way to add income without having to adjust your life too drastically. Most are flexible and allow you to work on your own schedule (such as driving for Uber or freelance art designing), and even doing so just a few hours a week could add up to more monthly income. Check out the GOBankingRates.com article about 12 side gigs you can do from home if you want more ideas.
  3. Look for passive income opportunities: Passive income is exactly as it sounds — you don’t have to do as much as a full-time job to take in more earnings. GOBankingRates.com recently compiled 20 ways to bring in this type of money, including opening a CD, starting a blog, investing in rental properties and other ideas. 
  4. Sell things you already own: Spring cleaning can be for more than just decluttering your house, it can also provide income opportunities. If you have clothes to get rid of, consider selling them on an app like Poshmark; or do the same with toys and electronics on Facebook Marketplace. You could also rent out areas of your home for some extra income – people will pay good money to rent pools by the hour, use your garage for storage space or even pay to park their car in your driveway (see this GOBankingRates article for more info). 

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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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