By Jack Sheppard - Last updated:
In part one of this article we looked at making money by selling things you own, but there are obviously many other ways to make money besides selling stuff you have lying around the house. Whether it be renting out private spaces, creating a new business, or simply asking for a pay rise, there are literally hundreds of ways to make a bit of extra cash, and although some may can be quite complicated, the following six ideas are simple to implement and don’t require any up-front costs.
Probably the easiest tip on this list, but it might be worth asking your boss for a pay rise if you think you’re due one. Obviously you’ll have to ensure that your pay rise is above the current rate of inflation, otherwise you’ll actually be losing money rather than gaining it.
You should also ensure that you take advantage of any benefits your company offers. Things like childcare vouchers, gym membership and season ticket loans are often offered by companies to their employees, so it’s worth checking with your employer to see what benefits are being offered.
Thirdly, you may be entitled to tax credits or benefits that you are not claiming. Every year, 48% of families don’t claim the tax credits and benefits they are entitled to, often because they don’t realise they qualify. Turn2us.org.uk has an online benefit calculator, which will tell you whether you’re entitled to any benefits, and if so, how to claim them.
If you have a spare room, one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a lot of money is to rent it out. The government’s “rent a room” scheme means that you don’t pay tax on the first £7,500 you earn when renting out a furnished room to a lodger. If the income you receive from a lodger is above this threshold, you’ll need to fill out a tax return. By choosing to opt into the scheme, you’ll only pay tax on income above the threshold.
If you don’t fancy having a full-time lodger, you can also list your spare room for tourists on Airbnb. Airbnb and other similar sites link home owners with travellers and tourists looking for a place to stay for a short period of time. You have the potential to make as much money as when you rent to a lodger, if not more, but you have greater control over how long your property is available by choosing to list it only for certain dates.
The government’s “rent-a-room” scheme also applies to properties listed on Airbnb, however, the company takes a 3% commission on any transactions made using its site.
If you don’t have a spare room, another option is to rent-out any storage space in your house. Whether it is loft or basement space, a spare room, garage or simply a spare cupboard, storemates.co.uk allows you to list any storage space online for free. All you need to do is enter the details and some photos of the room, and include a weekly rental price, which Store Mates recommends be about 50% of the price of local self-storage companies.
Once you get interest from someone, you then need to sign a contract with them, confirming your storage agreement, and in return Storage Mates offer a protection guarantee, which offers up to £10,000’s worth of protection cover should anything happen to your house or your customer’s stuff as a result of the storage agreement. In return for all this, Store Mates charge a 15% commission on all deals done through their company.
If you have a private parking bay or driveway that you don’t use, you can also rent that out on justpark.com. This can be a great way to make money if you live near a city centre, airport, train station or sports ground and don’t use your parking space. You can rent by the day, week, or month, and you can add restrictions for when it’s not available, meaning you can still make some money even if the space isn’t empty all year round.
JustPark sorts out the contracts and payments themselves, and transfers you the money via PayPal or bank transfer, ensuring that you get paid even if the driver doesn’t use the space. It’s free to list your parking space on the website, but they charge 3% commission on all sales. For long-term agreements lasting more than two months, they charge 20% for the first month, and 3% thereafter.
Everyday companies take millions of pounds from customers when they have no right to. Whilst many people would wince at the amount of effort required to reclaim, it is now easier than ever to get the money you deserve back, and the rewards are well worth it. If you’ve recently experienced a train delay of over thirty minutes, you can claim your money back.
Similarly, if you’re using an oyster card and forget to tap out, you can claim back the money you lost as a result. Some people have managed to get over £70 from this. You can also reclaim on any credit lost if you switch to contactless or get a new oyster card. Trains aren’t the only thing you can claim on if faced with a delay.
If your plane is delayed by more than three hours, you could be entitled to claim between £110 and £550, and often the process is free and painless. However, you can only claim on flights since 2011, and on those flying either within the EU or on flights with an EU based airline, that either take off or land from an EU airport.
Although we’re all sick of seeing the adverts, you could potentially claim back thousands on mis-sold PPI. If you have or had a loan, or a credit or store card over the last ten years, it’s possible that you’ve been mis-sold PPI. Payment Protection Insurance was sold when taking out a loan or credit card repayment, in order to cover your repayments for up to a year in the case of an accident, sickness or unemployment.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing; however, many people were mis-sold it and now have an opportunity to reclaim on that pointless expense. Despite what the adverts might tell you, you don’t need to give your case to a PPI handler. These companies will often charge around 30% commission on any successful claims. It’s a lot cheaper to handle the claim yourself, and although it may take more time and effort, it means you’ll keep the thousands of pounds you’ll otherwise have to give to a claims company.
The Financial Conduct Authority has set a deadline on making claims for the 29th August 2019. Although this may seem like ages away, there’s likely to be an influx of complaints just before the deadline, so it’s safer to claim now rather than later.
Companies are always looking for people to talk about and try out their latest products. Online survey sites pay for every market research survey you fill out. The amount per survey is small; however, a dedicated survey-filler could make over £200 a year! Face-to-face focus groups often pay more, with a two hour session yielding anything from £30 to £160; however you can often only attend a limited number of these each year.
If you’re a bit of a couch potato, you could even get paid to watch TV! Theviewers.co.uk is a market research company for broadcasters and programme makers. It’s free to join if you’re over 16, and you could get paid between £40 and £70 if you attend one of their focus groups.
They also have online surveys and tasks for their participants which pay around £3 for 10-15 minute survey and they also offer various prizes on an ad hoc basis. Participants could be asked to do anything from giving feedback on TV programmes before they air, to talking about their favourite TV personalities, and so it’s a great way to make some money if you love watching TV.
It’s often considered work for teenagers, but if you’re after a bit of extra cash, looking after someone elses kids for an evening is a great and simple way to do it. A good babysitter could make up to £8 an hour; however you’ll have to create some credibility for yourself before then, so ask to babysit for your friends and family before advertising your services to strangers.
If looking after small children isn’t for you, you could also consider house-sitting. Much easier than baby-sitting, this requires you to maintain someone’s house and look after their pets and plants for any amount of time up to three months. One of the easiest ways to do this is to sign up to an agency.
The pay you’ll receive will vary, but a typical rate is around £30 a day. The amount you’ll need to work will also vary between agencies, with some demanding you work full-time, and others happy to offer work on a more casual basis.
For both babysitting and house-sitting you’ll need to have a DBS check. You can often complete these online for a small fee, and if you’re working for an agency, they may pay for it for you.
Remember that any extra income you earn has to be declared to Revenue and Customs, and if you earn over £11,500 you may need to pay tax on it. Its best to inform HMRC as soon as you start earning extra income, either via the HMRC website or by calling 0300 200 3504.
You’ll also need to ensure you return a self assessed tax return each year by the 31st January online or the 31st October by post as you can face a £100 penalty if this is not done. Any money you spend on business expenses is tax deductable, so be sure to keep all your receipts and visit the HMRC website to see what you’re entitled to claim back on.