40 simple ways to boost your income

boost your income

Nowadays, we’re all feeling the pinch. So why not give yourself a little pay rise with these simple tried and tested ways to boost your income!

1.  Get paid to take in a lodger: According to Elaine Clark, Managing Director of award-winning online accountancy practice www.CheapAccounting.co.uk  you could earn up to £4,250 per year tax free under the ‘Rent a Room’ scheme (correct as at 2013), which applies to owner occupiers and tenants who receive rent from letting out furnished accommodation in their home. Full details can be found on the DirectGov website at directgov.co.uk (under tax on property and rental income). However, one word of caution. Elaine says, “you should check that there are no restrictions on sub-letting your home e.g. from your mortgage provider or landlord. It would also be a good idea to check your home insurance.”

2.  Get paid to shop with a Cashback Credit Card: Use a Cashback Credit Card, and you could get back a percentage of what you spend. Top tip is to set up a direct debit to pay off in full each month so that you don’t incur any interest. Check out your favourite comparison website for the best Credit card deals.

3.  Declutter and flogit: What better way to declutter than to bag a few pounds while you’re at it. Car boot sales, garage sales, Ebay and Gumtree are great options. Alternatively, if you have unwanted gadgets, see item 4 for recycling ideas.

4.  Recycle Unwanted Gadgets. Websites such as Mazuma.com or Envirophone.com will give you cash back for your old mobile phone. There is also Gadgetpanda and Sellyourgadgets for gadgets such as your Nintendo DS, laptops and even SatNavs.

5.  Sell unwanted books and CDs on Amazon or Gumtree.

6.  Rent your driveway or garage: If you live near a railway, football stadium, or similar hotspot, rent your driveway to commuters who will be glad for the saving in hefty parking fees. Register your driveway or garage at Parkatmyhouse.

7.  Sell your story: If you have an unusual story to tell, sell it to the press or a women’s magazine. Talkttothepress and Sellmystory deal with well known media outlets

8.  Rent out your car: If you don’t need to use your car every day, rent it to someone else. Whipcar is an innovative service which lets you decide how much to rent your car for, and the people who want to use it must be DVLA vetted.

9.  Rent your house as a film location: Yes, your home could be in the next soap or blockbuster movie. It doesn’t have to be a grand listed building. Remember the humble little terraces of Gwen and Uncle Bryn in Gavin and Stacey? Fans queued up to buy it because of its notoriety.

10.  Get paid to complete online surveys: You need at least twenty minutes per survey, but if you have some time on your hands, it’s an easy way to earn a little on the side. Try Surveycompare.

11.  Become a house sitter: This might not suit you if you have young children, but if your darlings have left home, treat yourself and your partner to a holiday elsewhere as a house sitter. You could become international house sitters! Try Safehandssitters.

12.  Take in foreign students: Put your spare room to work to house short-term stay foreign exchange students.

13.  Get paid to be a mystery shopper: Perfect if you have time on your hands during the day. You’ll be asked to anything from trying out hotels, restaurants, petrol stations or even train timetables, but apparently, the pennies soon stack up if you’re able to do some serious shopping.

14.  Become a pet sitter: Get paid to pet sit for someone while they are away – and we’re not just talking cats and dogs. Animalangels has a cute gallery of their ‘clients’ which includes a goat or two!

15.  Take Stock Photos: Profit from your photographs by uploading your digital snaps to sites such as Istockphoto, Fotolia and Dreamstime. You’ll earn a small royalty for each one sold.

16.  Solve problems for pay: Register on Ideaconnection and get paid to solve a vast array of problems online. You are grouped into teams to collaborate with others, so it’s also a great way to meet new virtual friends. Sums are generous, $10,000 plus!

Items 17 to 26 are from the Citizens Advice Bureau. Please check Adviceguide.org.uk for further details.

17.  Council Tax Benefit: This provides help meeting your council tax.

18.  Housing Benefit: Provides help towards your rent.

19.  Education costs: For help with school meals, clothing or financial support for sixteen year-olds staying on at school or college.

20.  Child Tax Credit: Paid to people responsible for at least one child.

21.  Working Tax Credit: Paid to people who work at least 24 hours per week.

22.  Disability Living Allowance: For people under 65 who have personal care needs or problems with walking because of a physical or mental disability.

23.  Fuel Grants: Some Energy suppliers have set up charitable trusts to help customers with fuel arrears. The British Gas Energy Trust, EDF Energy Trust and EOS Foundation websites can provide further details.

24.  Social Fund: Help for people on a low income with large unexpected or one-off expenses, such as bereavement costs, crisis loans, maternity grants etc.

25.  Ex-members grants: Charities which give grants to ex-members of certain professions. Turn2us.org.uk, Charitysearch.org.uk, and Family-action.org.uk.

26.  Tax/National Insurance: Make sure you are on the right tax code and paying the right National Insurance.

27.  Claims or Compensations Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is designed to cover you in certain circumstances. Check your policy to see if you can make a claim

28.  Make and sell your crafts.

29.  Reclaim PPI: PPI was missold in some cases, but £1,000s have been successfully reclaimed.Consumer champion Martin Lewis has more details on his MoneySavingExpert.com/reclaim/ppi-loan-insurance.

30.  Reclaim money in lost or inactive accounts with this free service at Mylostaccount.org.uk.

31.  Reclaim unclaimed life assurance, investments or similar assets through the Unclaimed Assets Register at Uar.co.uk.

32.  Change Childcare for an au pair. A live in au pair is cheaper than paying for full-time nursery.

33.  Take up Direct Selling/Party Planning, but always use a member of the dsa.org.

34.  Sell your time: If you are at home all day, offer to take in deliveries or let in repair men for your neighbours.

35.  Set up as a Freelancer or Virtual Assistant.

36.  Sell your expertise: Teach others a skill.

37.  Get paid to shop online: Sign up to cashback websites such as Quidco.com or Topcashback.com.

38.  ‘Wrap’ your car with advertisements and earn up to £200 per month with Com-motion.com.

39.  Deliver leaflets/directories: Register with Deya.co.uk or Mailboxnationwide.com

40.  Make everyday savings by shopping around and ‘Switch’ providers with sites such as Uswitch.com or Moneysupermarket.com.

Do you have any tips of your own you would like to share?
photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc


I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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