Rent a room
Under the government’s ‘Rent A Room’ scheme, you can rent a room in your home and pay no tax on the income you receive.
In fact, you can be paid up to £4,250 a year tax-free from a lodger. That’s more than £350 a month, so it can make a big difference to your income. You can even benefit from the scheme if you rent your home yourself, as long as your landlord agrees.
Not everyone wants a stranger living in their home but you may be able to advertise for a lodger who’s only looking for weeknight accommodation near work and returns to their own family home at weekends.
Sell that unwanted phone
Do you have drawers filled with old mobile phones that you’ll never use again? With so many people getting a free upgrade every year, it’s easy to forget just how valuable these gadgets can be.
But you could sell your old phone through moneysupermarket.com. It’s easy to do and you might be surprised at how much you can make. For example, a working Nokia N97 can be worth just under £85.
Use a cashback credit card
If you clear the balance on your credit card every month, then you could earn free money by changing to a cashback credit card.
Every time you spend with the card, you earn a percentage of your spending back in cash.
For example, the market-leading American Express Platinum Cashback Card pays 5% on spending of up to £2,000 in the first three months, meaning you could immediately earn £100.
After that, you can earn up to 1.25%, depending on how much you spend. If you did all your shopping with it and spent £2,500 a month, you’d earn £424.25 a year.
This card has a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 19.9% (variable), so make sure you clear your balance every month so you don’t end up paying interest.
As well as using this card, if you tend to keep cash in your current account each month, make sure you are earning decent returns on it.
For example, if you leave a balance of £2,500 a month in the Santander In Credit Account, you’d make £125 interest over the year – that’s on top of the £100 switching incentive it offers.
Make money on your shopping
Cashback cards aren’t for everyone, but you could still earn money on your shopping through cashback websites. Sites such as CashbackShopper and quidco allow you to click through them to shop on your normal websites.
They then receive commission for directing you to their pages and you can take a cut of that commission.
If you were planning on shopping at the relevant site anyway, then it’s effectively money for nothing.
Get a better savings rate
Did you know the average savings account pays a pitiful 0.19%? If it’s been more than a year since you opened your savings account, then the chances are the returns are low, as most accounts pay a bonus which disappears after the first 12 months.
If you haven’t yet used your cash ISA allowance you could be earning a base-rate busting 2.90% tax-free with the market-leading Nationwide e-ISA.
Use online auction sites
You could declutter your home and make some cash by selling unwanted possessions on sites like eBay – instead of storing them for years while they lose value and gather dust.
Although it’s widely known as an auction website, 56% of items sold through the site go for a fixed price, so you don’t necessarily have to let things go for less than you’d like.
Rent your parking space
Is parking an absolute nightmare where you live? Parking space owners, especially in busy cities can make easy cash by renting out their spaces to commuters.
For example, the website Parkatmyhouse reports that someone renting a space in London’s Zone One could earn more than £250 a month, while people living near airports and stadiums can also earn high figures.
The website YourParkingSpace.co.uk says it’s possible to make between £10 and £60 a week, depending on where you live.
Take part in paid surveys
If you don’t mind filling out market-research polls or chatting to interviewers on the phone, then you could be making some hard cash.
There are lots of companies that pay people to take part in group surveys and discussions, and you can earn as much as £100 for a couple of hours of your time.
Try signing up with national agencies like Field Initiatives, Saros and Indiefield.
Get overpaid bills back from your energy firm
Most energy providers will collect more money from you in the summer months so that your bills don’t rocket in the winter – but don’t let them hold on to more of your cash than necessary.
If your account has been in credit for as long as you can remember, then ask for some of it back. It’s your money and it could be in a savings account, earning interest for you rather than them.
Check your benefits
The benefits system is complicated and even high earners can be entitled to some payments and tax relief if they have kids.
So it’s worth checking that you’re getting everything you’re owed. After all, your taxes pay for it.
Check out the benefits adviser service over on Directgov and be confident you’re receiving all that you’re entitled to.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.
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