10 Ways to Increase your Income in the Philippines

Last Updated May 20, 2024 @ 7:57 am

Quick Take

What’s the best way to increase your income in the Philippines?

The best way to increase your income in the Philippines can vary based on your individual skills, interests, and resources. Here are the top methods we highly recommended:

  1. Skill Enhancement and Education: Continuously upgrading your skills and education can lead to better job opportunities and higher salaries. This could include earning certifications, attending workshops, or acquiring degrees that are in demand. Fields such as IT, digital marketing, and healthcare offer lucrative opportunities.
  2. Freelancing and Remote Work: The Philippines has a strong freelancing community. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr can be utilized to find freelance gigs that can supplement your income. Skills in writing, graphic design, web development, and digital marketing are particularly in demand.
  3. Starting a Business: Entrepreneurship is a viable path to increasing income. Identifying market gaps and starting a small business—be it in food services, retail, or online commerce—can yield substantial returns. The key is to start small and scale gradually while managing risks.
  4. Investments: Investing in stocks, mutual funds, or real estate can provide passive income over time. The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) offers various opportunities for stock investments, and real estate remains a strong investment avenue due to the growing economy and urban development.
  5. Job Switching or Negotiation: Sometimes, the simplest way to increase your income is to seek better-paying job opportunities or negotiate your current salary. Researching industry salary standards and building a strong case can help in negotiating a higher salary.

Choosing the best approach depends largely on personal circumstances and market opportunities. Often, combining several of these strategies—such as maintaining a day job while starting a side business or investing—can lead to the best results.

Increasing your income will most likely get you closer to your goal, and help you solve a lot of problems.

Whether you already have savings in the bank or you’re still living paycheck to paycheck, there are many ways you can earn more money

It’s not easy to stay motivated when you’re facing financial problems, but the only thing you can do is persist. At the end of the day, you must combine your focus and action to hit your income goal this month and the next months to come. 

What is Income?

Income refers to the money a person or business receives in exchange for working, providing a service or product, or investing capital. 

People earn income through their salary, and businesses earn income from selling services and goods that are priced more than their production costs. A person’s income may also come from pensions, gifts, or government benefits. 

There are three different income types, and understanding them will enable you to plan your future better. 

What are the Different Types of Income?

1. Active Income

If you regularly receive a salary from your job, that’s your active income. This means that you are exchanging your energy and time, or participation for money.

Active income can stem from wages, tips, commissions, and many more. For instance, if you are working as a barista, the money you make hourly and tips you receive are considered your active income. 

2. Portfolio Income

This refers to the income that comes from investments, royalties, capital gains, and dividends.

For instance, if you’re a recording artist, you can enjoy passive income from selling your music regardless of when it was released.

3. Passive Income

This type of income is earned from a partnership, rental property, and other businesses where you don’t have active involvement. This type of income usually requires investment and time to make a profit.

For example, an investor can receive a regular income stream with little to no effort. 

Benefits of Increasing your Income

Earning more money can change your life. Whether you want to pay off your debt or take a vacation, this could be achieved if you level up your income.

We’ve gathered more long-term and short-term benefits of increasing your income below. 

1. You can achieve financial independence

If your ultimate goal is to achieve financial independence and you have very little money left at the end of each month, there’s no way you can achieve stability if you don’t change anything.

Be ambitious enough to seek more sources of income so you won’t be left empty-handed if emergencies come your way

2. You can reach your goal

Whether you want to buy a new car or renovate your house, increasing your income helps you achieve it years or even months sooner.

Remember, even making an extra Php5,000 a month more than you originally earn will make your financial goals happen faster.

3. You can get rid of your debts

Paying off your debts will help you achieve peace of mind. Although you may not get rid of all your debt in a few months, you can pay it faster if you have more income.

4. You can have money to build a business

Want to eventually leave the 9-to-5 grind but don’t have enough capital to start your business?

Earning more money will allow you to test the waters without worrying about losing all your money if you fail. 

Related: Personal Finance 101

Types of Income in the Philippines (and how they are taxed)

Benjamin Franklin said it best:

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

There are various ways to earn money in the Philippines. We’ve rounded up the types of income you can have, including how they are taxed based on BIR Income Tax Rates under Section 24(A)(2) of the Tax Code of 1997, as amended by Republic Act No. 10963. 

Earned Income 

Earned income is income you actually receive for your work. When you have a job, your effort and time are exchanged for a salary.

You can work for one company, or you can become a freelancer. Whether you have a part-time or a full-time job, it still falls in this category.

For individual citizens earning purely through compensation, and those engaged in business and practice of possession, here’s how they are taxed. Based on the table below, taxing starts for individuals who earn more than P250,000 per year. 

Amount of Net
Taxable Income
OverBut Not Over
P250,000P400,00020% of the excess over P250,000
P400,000P800,000P30,000 + 25% of the excess over P400,000
P800,000P2,000,000P130,000 + 30% of the excess over P800,000
P2,000,000P8,000,000P490,000 + 32% of the excess over P2,000,000
P8,000,000P2,410,000 + 35% of the excess over P8,000,000

Profit Income

Income is the money you get through a business. This is the second most popular source of income in the Philippines.

For example, you can have a franchise business, a restaurant, a bakery, a clothing shop, or providing professional services. When it comes to this type of income, you can either be self-employed or be an employer.

Profit income for businesses and individuals is taxed differently, but it can still fall between 0% to 35% just like earned income.

Interest Income

This type of money is something that you earn by letting someone borrow your money and then charging interest.

Aside from lending to the government, institutions, or people, it could also be derived from a time deposit, LTNCD, or savings account. While interest may not be the most lucrative source of money, it can still give you an incredible source of passive income.

This profit is charged between 0.25% to 1% (from banks). Meanwhile, interest income from a depository bank under the Expanded Foreign Currency Deposit System is 0% to 10%.

Interest IncomeTax Rate
Interest from currency deposits, trust funds and deposit substitutes20%
Interest Income from a Depository Bank under the Expanded Foreign Currency Deposit System15%
Interest Income from long-term deposit or investment in the form of savings, common or individual trust funds, deposit substitutes, investment management accounts and other investments evidenced by certificates in such form prescribed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Upon pre-termination before the fifth year, there should be imposed on the entire income from the proceeds of the long-term deposit based on the remaining maturity thereof: Holding PeriodExempt

Dividend Income

Are you a shareholder of a company? If so, you may be earning dividend income from the investment you made.

This type of passive income can be from stocks, mutual funds, UITF, property dividends, and many more. Many Filipinos earn income through the Philippines Stock Exchange (PSEi). This is usually taxed at 10%.

Rental Income

Rental income is one of the wisest sources of passive income. This can be from properties you’re currently renting, fully own, and those you own under a partnership.

Rentals are not only limited to real estate, but also cars, gears, and other equipment. This type of income is taxed at 3% to 12%.

Royalty Income

If you’re an artist, or you have an intellectual property such as a patent, learning royalties can be your source of passive income.

For example, you can still get paid royalties from your song years after you released it. To give you a picture, Kate Bush reportedly earned $2.3 million after her song “Running Up That Hill” was used in the Netflix series Stranger Things. So if your song is used for a teleserye or movie, you can earn big bucks from it. 

Franchise business owners are also paid by franchisees for using their logo, business name, marketing, and processes.

In the Philippines, royalty income is taxed at 10% to 20%.

Capital Gains Income

This money is something that you earn from selling, exchanging, or disposing of other capital assets in the country, including pacto de retro sales, as well as other forms of conditional sale.

This type of income is like having a business, but the difference is you’re not selling a low-cost product. Instead, you’re selling properties, websites, and cars, among many others. By investing for a lower price and then selling for a higher price, you can earn money.

If you sell your stocks from a company listed in the PSE, it will be taxed 0.6%. Private-listed company stocks (not included in PSE) are taxed at 15%. Meanwhile, real estate properties are taxed at 6%.

Residual Income

Residual income is when you create something and it continues to generate money for you. It could be through:

  • Book you’ve published
  • Display ads or sponsored content from your YouTube channel, podcast, or blog
  • E-book or online course.

Affiliates also earn residual income from the products they promote and sell using a unique link given by companies like Lazada, Shopee, Zalora or other affiliate networks.

Thanks to the internet, earning residual income has now become easier. Your residual income is taxed the same way as earned income which ranges from 0% to 35%.

Want to lower your taxes? Check out our in-depth guide on Tax Planning here.

10 Ways to Increase your Income

A lot of people think it’s impossible to earn more money than what they are already making, but that’s not true. It may be challenging at first but it will be worth it.

Check out these ways to increase your income. 

1. Side Hustle

A side hustle refers to any employment you have aside from your full-time job.

Freelancing on the side is very common for those who want to have supplemental income. Side hustles are not the same as part-time jobs because having a part-time job means you’ll have an employer who will decide your working hours.

With a side hustle, you control your freedom. 

The best thing about side hustles is it can be related to your passion. Here are some of the most common side hustles for Filipinos:

  • Freelancing
  • Insurance agent or financial advisor
  • Sharing economy (ie: Grab)
  • Home-sharing/vacation rental services
  • Buy and sell

For more information on side hustles, check out this in-depth guide

2. Side Business

Building a business is a dream for many. But if you can’t risk leaving your full-time job to do this, why not start with a side business?

Being your own boss will allow you to earn more money, and thankfully, there are tons of businesses you can start even without a huge capital.

Our favorite side business ideas include:

  • Blogging
  • Sell food
  • Offer storage rental
  • Resell furniture
  • Sell art
  • Photography and videography business

For a more comprehensive list of business ideas, check out this guide

3. Go back to school

If you are serious about becoming more successful in your chosen industry, you should consider going back to school.

While this is considered a more long-term approach, it will make way for more working opportunities. When you have a doctorate or master’s degree, you will be considered to fill higher-level positions. 

Before you go back to school, research which field will be the most rewarding in the future. This way, you can put your time, money, and effort in the best academic track.

If you don’t want to go back to school, you can also consider trying the next tip.  

4. Upskill & get certification

With today’s hypercompetitive climate, many people have become inspired to use their spare time to improve their skills.

Upskilling involves learning additional competencies and skills. This not only boosts progress in your chosen career but also improves your employability. Upskilling can also grant you more earning opportunities. 

There are many ways you can upskill yourself. One of the most common is to do online training.

Recommended: 100+ free online courses for Filipinos & Top free TESDA online courses

When deciding the best online course to take, think about which skills you want to improve that could potentially benefit companies.

For instance, taking courses like Instagram Management and Branding will enable you to understand how to use the said social media platform for business.  

5. Ask for a raise or promotion

Are you hitting all your quota at work and you think you’re due for a promotion or raise? If so, why don’t you talk to your boss about it?

This may sound easy but a lot of people feel nervous at the thought of starting conversations that involve a promotion or raise. 

Before you do this, be realistic. Make a rational evaluation of your performance in the past year. If your performance is subpar, skip asking your boss for more benefits.

You need to have a solid performance to be considered. You can also gather evidence that will support your promotion or raise. Metrics and reports will prove that you are outperforming your co-workers and adding more value to the company. 

It is also important to ask in advance. By the time the year ends, your superiors have likely made decisions on pay increases and promotions.

More importantly, be mindful of your attitude and know the fine line that separates being assertive and being rude. 

Related: High-Paying Jobs in the Philippines

6. Build Passive Income stream

It’s every person’s dream to earn money while sleeping. Having a passive income will allow you to earn money even when you still have a full-time job.

This type of income stream includes self-charged interest, rentals, and other businesses where you don’t have to materially participate in it. More specific examples of passive income include:

  • P2P lending
  • Cryptocurrency mining
  • Selling digital products
  • Becoming a silent business partner
  • Collecting royalties

Want to get more passive income ideas? This guide will help you

7. Cut unnecessary expenses

What you may need is not an additional source of income, but to decrease your unnecessary spending. Before you can do this, you should track your spending habits to know where your money is going.

Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how much you’re spending on eating out, buying new clothes, vices, transportation, or monthly subscriptions you aren’t actually utilizing. 

After you have done this, clearly separate your wants and needs, and create a budget based on that.

When doing chores like grocery runs, make a list before going to the store so you won’t be tempted to get extra items. This way, your spending will be more manageable. 

Related: Big Money Mistakes Filipinos Make (and How to Avoid them)

8. Work from home

Working from home is not just convenient, it’s also a great way to save money. When you don’t have to go to the office, you will spend less on transportation.

You’ll also avoid the temptation of going out for meals and coffee, or buying work clothes. These may seem like small expenses but they can add up and give you extra money that you can use to pay off your debt or save. 

9. Make money with your hobbies

Think about what you love doing in your free time. Whatever your hobbies are, there are ways you can earn money through it if you’re serious enough. 

For example, if you love scrolling through social media, you can apply to become a part-time social media manager and put all your knowledge to good use.

If you love taking photos of nature, you can sell framed photographs.

For those who love baking, consider opening up pre-order slots so other people can taste your creations.

The sky’s the limit with transforming your hobby into a money-making machine. 

10. Income Investing

Income investing refers to building an investment portfolio that is focused on generating funds or earnings that you can live off of1.

This can include bonds, stocks, real estate, and mutual funds that will generate high income with low risk.

Although this type of investment strategy is more popular with people nearing retirement, it’s better to start it while you’re young. This way, you’ll have more chances of developing a steady income flow faster.

Read Next: How to Protect your Income


  1. The Balance

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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