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5 ways to boost your personal income

5 ways to boost your personal income
September 29
11:50 2017

You got your nice little bonus last year, right? A slice of the record £46.4bn according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, up by more than 6 per cent since last year while normal pay growth stutters? No? You’re not alone.

While those working in financial and insurance businesses received a welcome extra of just under £15,000 per person, at the other end of the scale, health and social work professionals received virtually nothing.

But if you don’t happen to get a fat cheque during bonus season, you can still boost your household earnings by hundreds of pounds at a time.

Second job

Work more to earn more – it’s the obvious choice for those keen to boost their income. But pick your role carefully to maximise your second job income potential.

Recruitment firm Reed suggests the best-paid part-time roles include web developers on around £25 per hour for experienced professionals, social work at around £28 an hour, accountancy at £15 an hour for entry level workers (or around £20 an hour if you have more experience), and hair and beauty professionals earning upward of £15 an hour.

Elsewhere, the growth of online retail sales forums, from eBay to Etsy, makes selling products from home easier than ever. Even the traditional direct sales market in the UK is enjoying somewhat of a resurgence as new companies shake up the industry with new products attracting younger sales agents, franchisees and customers.

If you’re considering supplementing your income with home sales, check that any business you plan to deal with is registered with the UK’s Direct Sales Association, which also offers tips on getting started.

Rent out almost anything

A driveway, your stuff, above all your home. This year’s allowance under the Rent-a-Room scheme means that you can earn up to £7,500 a year without being charged tax at your usual rate or £3,750 a year if you’re letting jointly.

The accommodation has to be furnished and in your main home (in other words not a holiday let or other property), but many people don’t realise that you don’t have to own the property to be eligible. As long as your lease allows you to, you can take advantage of the scheme as a renter yourself.

That’s not all. Economic heavyweights like the World Economic Forum predict that by 2030 we won’t really own anything, instead preferring to rent the things we need at the time we need then rather than cluttering up our ever-diminishing living space with stuff.

Millennials are, of course, leading the way in the own-nothing lifestyle shift, and businesses and asset-rich individuals are already making money by hiring out their belongings – from bikes, tools and drones to children’s buggies and hot tubs through lending platforms such as Fat Lama.

Get your money back

Brits leave an extraordinary amount of money unclaimed and ignored. The Unclaimed Assets Register, owned by Experian, warns that billions of pounds worth of life insurance policies, pensions, investments, unclaimed Premium Bond prizes and the like are left languishing in dormant accounts for the most mundane of reasons – often failure to notify a company that you’ve moved house.

It costs £25 to search the database of lost assets for anything that belongs to you, and the results are usually available within two working days.

Then there’s the tax credits we fail to claim. These are big numbers – the estimated total just for the Department for Work and Pensions is £13bn a year – including pension credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance and housing benefit.

Check your entitlement at www.hmrc.gov.uk

Cashback

With savings rates languishing in the doldrums, current account holders are getting creative with their cash, particularly when it comes to switching incentives.

We all know about cashback sites offering a percentage return on our everyday spending. Conducting larger transactions, particularly buying insurance policies, mobile, broadband and other contracts, can offer a double-digit cash injection on one-off purchases. But there’s no doubt that bringing in a reasonable income from such schemes relies on high levels of spending, not to mention parting with some valuable personal data.

Right now though, there are excellent cashback incentives for switching current accounts, such as Smile’s £150 reward for transferring your account, or First Direct’s £100 offer.

And while most current account cashback deals demand a certain number of direct debit switches and/or a minimum amount paid into the account in a bid to make it your main current account, there’s very little else stopping you from opening several at once and pocketing the financial incentive, as long as you can meet the minimum requirements for them all.

Investing for income

The idea of making your existing money work harder for you was made for investments and right now, with some of the UK’s biggest companies set to pay dividends worth more than £8bn, the buzzword is “income”.

“Most people look at investments from an accumulation perspective. They worry about the bottom-line figure more than how much income is produced,” says Alex Neilson, Investment Manager for Click & Invest.

“Most investments produce an income of some sort, however the variation between different assets is vast, and if you are looking to specifically target income you are best creating a portfolio tailored to this.

If you’re thinking of going down this route, selling and buying back income-producing assets, beware of any Capital Gains Tax implications, and remember you’ll be giving up investment growth that may otherwise come from reinvesting income.

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