No matter what our financial circumstances, there are times when we could all do with increasing our monthly income. Earning a bit of extra money might be important because of a change in lifestyle, a planned wedding, a new baby, putting a son or daughter through college or because we simply want to reduce our debts. If you want to increase your monthly income, then you’re going to have to think creatively because new income streams don’t just appear out of thin air. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways of bringing in more cash to give you control over your monthly budget.
1. Get a part-time job
Britain is increasingly becoming a nation of part-time workers with recent figures showing that almost 8.5 million are currently working in types of employment that don’t comply with the traditional image of a nine to five job. That flexibility in the labour market means that there are more part-time jobs than ever so if you need to make more money, there has never been a better time to get a second job and work an extra few hours per week.
2. Upcycle furniture
We’ve become a nation of home addicts thanks to TV shows like The Great Interior Design Challenge. What better way to take advantage of this by trawling charity shops, freecycling websites and eBay for cheap furniture which you can refinish, repaint and then resell for a profit?
3. Become a dog walker
There are 8.5 million pet dogs in the UK meaning that one in three households counts a canine as a family member. And yet more than three quarters of the working age population have a job meaning that those dogs may be left at home on their own all day. Most breeds of dog should not be left alone for more than about five hours so many owners are always looking for somebody reliable and trustworthy to pop in and take their best friends out for a walk during the week. Dog walkers charge anything between £10 and £20 an hour.
4. Rent out your parking space
Parking prices have risen, on average, by 15 per cent over the last five years and as anybody who regularly drives into a town centre will know, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find somewhere to leave the car at busy times. Why not take advantage of this and rent out your driveway during the week when you’re not using it? There are a number of websites and apps you can sign up with and some people are earning up to a £400 extra a month simply by letting others use their driveways during working hours.
5. Take in a lodger
It may sound old fashioned but there is still money to be made by renting out a room in your house. You can charge more than £80 a week to a lodger without having to pay tax although you will have to inform your insurance company if you go down this route and you may face higher premiums.
6. Take up selling from home
The direct selling industry generates sales of £2.5 billion a year and is the largest source of part-time earnings in the UK. Companies from Avon through to Man Cave are big business and seller commissions can be as high as 30 per cent on every item you sell. You’ll need to be motivated enough to sell directly to friends and hold sales parties if you decide to try this.
Sites like peopleperhour.com and freelancer.co.uk make it easy to sell your services for an hourly fee to people who want a job done but don’t want to get into a long-term relationship with a contractor. You’ll find people wanting everything from bookkeeping to a spot of garden design on these sites where you’ll be bidding against other freelancers for jobs.
8. Turn your hobby into a profitable sideline
Enjoy baking, pottery, knitting or sewing? Are you good at any of them? Britain is a nation filled with cottage industries like these where people sell what they make at home through local shops and cafés. Remember, though, if you start making food to sell you’ll need to make sure that you comply with environmental health regulations – contact your local district or borough council. Have a look at businesslink.gov.uk for help when it comes to setting up and running a business from home as well as advice on complying with regulations and marketing yourself.
Oliver Jones has written for Solution Loans since 2015. His passion for personal finance comes through in the 150+ blog posts he's written since that time. His talent for explaining all things money means he's covered topics as diverse as...Read more about Oliver Jones