According to Indeed, 50% of police officers claim that their salaries are enough for the cost of living in their area . That’s a great number, considering the economy and all. But what about the other half?
It is true that most law enforcement officers (LEOs) make enough to get by and sometimes even support a comfortable lifestyle. But there are other LEOs who may need a big pay raise to afford the better things in life, like a home close to work in a nice neighborhood, travel for vacations, and reliable savings.
And to be honest, no one minds earning an extra buck.
Therefore, in this article, we are sharing some top ways law enforcement officers can make extra money while still managing a complicated work schedule.
If you read till the end, you’ll also find some insightful tips that can help you save money.
Tips for Making More Money
There are a lot of things that you have to afford. Car payments, mortgage, debt installments, insurance, bills, and the list goes on. Add to the list the idea of saving for your kid’s college, a nice holiday every year, or a comfortable retirement, and it starts to make sense why anyone would want to make more money if they could.
Below are some tips to help you earn more. If you notice, we have arranged these tips in the order of ease. The first one might be easiest for you to implement, while the last one may demand a bit of effort.
Rent Your Car
If your car is sitting idle in your garage, why don’t you let it work and make money for you?
There are many car-sharing marketplaces out there that can help you rent your car to people for any amount of time you like . Some of these marketplaces offer car insurance as well, making it easier for you to host guests in your car  and make some money out of it.
This is like an Airbnb, but you are sharing your car instead of a part of your home.
According to a car-sharing marketplace, people can make up to a thousand dollars  by renting out one car.
Of course, there are a lot of factors influencing how much you can earn through car rental marketplaces, but the figure is enough to give you an idea of the earning potential of renting your car.
Implementing this idea can help you have another income stream without adding more hours to your already tight work schedule.
Negotiate a Pay Raise with Your Supervisor
Okay, you may not like this idea that much if you hate going up to your supervisor to ask for anything. But trust us, this may work in your favor if your supervisor is nice, you have good negotiation skills, and you can muster up the courage to talk to them.
You will have to sell your skills and let the supervisor know your value. You may even have to pick up some extra responsibilities to justify the pay raise, but given the amount of extra money you may make, it might be worth it.
Police1.com suggests asking your supervisor for a performance evaluation. Not just once but every six, nine, and twelve months. This way, even if you don’t get a raise, you will get feedback on your performance and may find areas to work on for a potential raise in the future.
If your supervisor isn’t nice, or you don’t feel like negotiating a pay raise, try searching for what others in a similar position as yours get. If there’s an opportunity that pays better and does not throw your routine out of whack, you may consider switching.
Get a Degree
A law enforcement officer’s pay varies a lot based on their experience and qualification, among other factors.
While a high school diploma is often enough to get you an entry-level police officer job , you may need a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree for more lucrative positions .
Entry-level police officers earn an average of $50,000 per year . Compare this to the $99,708 per year average of a police lieutenant , a job that requires a Bachelor’s degree. You can see how getting a degree can help you earn more.
If you are thinking, “how in the world am I going to pay for a degree?” Well, we have an answer for that.
Entry-level police officers may be eligible for tuition reimbursements . That means you may be able to get help in paying for college.
So, if you can manage your studies with your work schedule, getting a degree might help bump your earnings up.
Oh, and if you already have a bachelor’s degree, there are certain police roles, like Chief of Police, which pay better but require a Master’s degree . Of course, that’s not the only requirement, but it is one of the first steps to becoming eligible.
Get A Side Job
We understand that getting a side job while working as a law enforcement officer might be tough. But there are police officers who pick up low-effort side work to supplement their primary income.
There are many side jobs you can consider, some of which include:
- Freelancing. You get to manage your own workload and work from home. According to freelancing platform Upwork, freelancers in the US can make up to $20/hour . Not too bad considering the flexibility, right?
- Parole officer. This job uses your transferable skills and knowledge, so picking it as side work may not be that much of a hassle. Parole officers can make around $29/hour .
- Personal trainer. If you are physically fit, you may have some solid physical-health knowledge. You can monetize it and help other people with their health and fitness goals. Again, this job also gives the flexibility of managing your workload. But you will have to put in some work to find good clients and get a personal trainer certificate .
Of course, regardless of how much money you make, the real financial impact may manifest only with thorough financial planning and well-disciplined savings. So, here are some tips on how you can have better control over your money and stretch your legs a little wider within your income.
Avoid Micro Spending
Micro spending is when you spend a small amount regularly, thinking it’s insignificant.
This small amount can quickly add up, leaving a very significant dent in your earnings.
Identify the areas where you micro-spend (that $5 coffee every morning on your way to work) and try to cut down. This can help you save some of the money that can be put to better use.
Leverage LEO Discounts
Many places offer great discounts to law enforcement officers . These places include all sorts of shops and brands, from clothes to food, sports, and more.
You can leverage these discounts and potentially save a good amount of money if you put what you save in your “savings” envelope.
Talk to a Financial Professional
Managing your finances yourself may seem easy. But in reality, DIYing them may leave a lot of money on the table.
Financial professionals can help you identify areas where you can save some money, like taxes and effective debt management. Apart from that, they can also help you build a financial action plan that can help you meet your financial goals.
At Dayton and Sydney, our financial strategists work with law enforcement professionals like you to develop personalized financial plans and give tailored advice. Discuss your financial situation with our strategists today and let’s begin creating a personalized financial action plan that is appropriate for your goals.
This information has been obtained from outside sources and is provided for general informational purposes only. Please be advised that this document is not intended as legal or tax advice. Equitable Advisors, its affiliates and financial professionals do not provide tax and/or legal advice.
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