Ways you might be able to boost your income
The deepening cost of living crisis means that many people are having to look at ways they might be able bring in a bit of extra cash to help make ends meet.
Inflation surged to a new 40-year high of 10.1% in the 12 months to July, pushed higher by rising food, energy and petrol prices. Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The rise in the price of life’s essentials is causing horrible problems for millions of people, as the cost of energy and food soars. What’s even more worrying is that this isn’t the last of it. The Bank of England now expects inflation to peak at 13% later this year, and stay higher for longer. It means the pain is far from over.”
Here, we look at some of the ways you might be able to boost your income to help cover rising living costs.
Rent out a room
If you have a spare room, think about letting it out to a lodger. Under the government’s rent a room scheme, you can bring in you can earn up to £7,500 tax-free each year from renting out one or more furnished rooms in your home.
Bear in mind that if you’ve got a mortgage on your property, you must notify your lender that you’re going to be renting out a room. You should also let your home insurance provider know, as failing to do so might invalidate your cover. You might need to pay a bit extra to make sure your property is protected.
Consider a side hustle
If you have some spare time available, think about earning a bit of extra cash through a side hustle. For example, do you play a musical instrument and could you offer music lessons, or are you a keen gardener who could offer gardening services or advice?
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Local services marketplace Airtasker has a useful Side Hustle Calculator which estimates your earning potential across several categories including deliveries, furniture assembly, cleaning, tutoring and more.
Claim what you’re entitled to
More than £15 billion in mean-tested benefits go unclaimed each year, according to Entitledto, an organisation which aims to encourage take up of these benefits. If you’re working-age and on a low income, the main benefit you could be eligible for is Universal Credit, which is paid on a sliding-scale as your earnings rise. If you are pension-age then Pension Credit is likely to be the main benefit you can claim.
It’s vital you claim what you’re entitled to, as if you do qualify for benefits, then you’ll also be eligible for an extra cost of living payment to help you during the current crisis. You can use the free benefits calculators at entitledto or Turn2us to see how much you might qualify for.
Earn cashback on your spending
There’s no escaping the fact that bills are rising, but shopping via cashback sites could help you get a little something back every time you spend. When you shop through a cashback site, the site earns a referral fee from the retailers you shop from.
The two biggest cashback websites, Quidco.com and TopCashback.co.uk, are both free to join and you’ll get up to 100% of the referral fees they receive. When you’ve built up a bit of cashback, you make a withdrawal request, and you’ll usually receive your cashback in the form of a BACS transfer, PayPal credit or as an e-gift card. Average earnings usually amount to around £300 a year.
Sell surplus stuff
Most of us are looking for bargains right now, which means second-hand goods are likely to be more in demand than ever. If you’ve got unwanted items cluttering up your home, have a clear out and see what you can sell. You’d be surprised at some of the things other people might want, and what might be your idea of junk might be someone else’s idea of treasure.
Ebay is one of the most popular ways to sell items, but if you don’t want to pay any selling fees, you might want to sell using the Facebook Marketplace for your local area, or place an ad on the Gumtree free classified ads website.