10 Ways to boost your income

Overview

Some helpful ideas that you might like to consider to increase your current income.

Remember to consider and check any tax or benefit implications that might be triggered by extra taxable income coming into your household. If in any doubt, it is best to contact HMRC direct to ask them.

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be lots more ideas that may be more suitable to you, here are just a few to be thinking about.

10 Tips to boost income

1. Rent a room

Do you have a spare room in your house? If yes, you could consider renting it out to a lodger.

HM Revenue & Customs introduced an optional scheme called the ‘Rent a Room Scheme’ allowing owner occupiers and tenants the opportunity to receive tax-free rental income by renting out their furnished accommodation to a lodger, in your only or main home.

It allows you to earn up to £7,500 a year (the annual rent a room limit for the tax year 2018 to 2019) tax-free. If you are letting jointly with someone else, this figure is reduced to £3,750.

Visit our web page ‘Rent a Room Scheme’ for further details.

2. Rent your parking space

If you have space on your driveway (using your parking permit is not allowed) you may be able to earn money renting it out to someone. If you live in the city or a large town, particularly where finding a parking space is difficult or the costs expensive, you may find someone happy to rent from you for half the costs they would normally spend.

It would be a good idea to set up a short contract agreement that states your terms to terminate the lease of your driveway, here is a sample template to consider.

Other important things to check

  • If you have a mortgage, you need to check the terms to see whether you need permission from your lender, if in any doubt check with your lender
  • If you have buildings insurance, you need to check the terms to make sure you will not invalidate it by leasing your driveway
  • Some local authorities say that renting out your driveway is a ‘change of use’ and will ask you for a £385. Planning application fee. The government advise that you should challenge the local authority if this happens.
  • If you are a tenant, you need to check your tenancy agreement, and speak with your landlord

The government advise that anyone renting out their parking space does not require planning permission from their local authority, provided that in doing so you are not causing a nuisance to your neighbours. Visit: www.gov.uk/government/news/pickles-takes-on-town-halls-new-driveway-tax for a background news story.

Visit; www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/cheap-parking-rental/ for examples of websites that you are able to list with as well as the pros and cons.

3. Rent your loft or garage space

You may have available space in you loft or garage which you can rent out for storage. Storemates is one of many websites where you can list your space, but you need to make sure, whoever you list with, that you read the terms and conditions first. You can register for free with Storemates and they will charge you 17% of the monthly rent once you have found someone willing to rent your space. Visit: www.storemates.co.uk. They also provide a template agreement for you and the other party.

NB. It is important to contact your insurance provider first, before renting out space in your home as otherwise it could invalidate any claims you make at a later date. In addition depending on what you store may affect your insurance too.

Other important things to check

  • If you have a mortgage, you need to check the terms to see whether you need permission from your lender, if in any doubt check with your lender
  • If you have buildings insurance, you need to check the terms to make sure you will not invalidate it by leasing space
  • If you are a tenant, you need to check your tenancy agreement, and speak with your landlord

4. Renting out your home as a film set

Film and TV production companies are often looking for properties of all shapes and sizes to be used as part of their film set.

There are various online agencies that you can sign up to, for free, for example Lavish locations, and ShootFactory. They will take commission if your property has been chosen. You should always investigate first what the upfront fees are and also if there are any other hidden costs.

Other important things to check

  • If you have a mortgage, you need to check the terms to see whether you need permission from your lender, if in any doubt check with your lender
  • If you have buildings insurance, you need to check the terms to make sure you will not invalidate it by leasing space
  • If you are a tenant, you need to check your tenancy agreement, and with your landlord
  • The agency you use may have insurance to cover any breakages etc. It is important to contact your own insurance provider first however as renting out your home for business purposes may invalidate your cover, and some insurers will invalidate any claims where 2 policies exist for the same purpose.

5. Tax relief for uniforms, work clothing and tools

Extra costs for repairing and replacing items you need for your job can be very costly. Whilst you cannot claim before you buy ‘tax relief’ may be able to compensate you afterwards providing you keep all of your receipts. You may be able to agree the actual amount or an agreed fixed amount (a flat rate expense or flat rate deduction).

The following are examples of what you may be able to claim tax relief for:

  • Repairing or replacing small tools which are necessary to do your job
  • Cleaning, repairing or replacing specialist clothing necessary to do your job (for example, a uniform or safety boots)

Visit: www.tax.service.gov.uk/claim-tax-relief-expenses/who-claiming-for to see if you can claim.

6. Foreign exchange students

Local secondary and grammar schools are often looking for families to host exchange students and you can sometimes find an advert in the local paper too. It is not necessary to speak the same language as a student you will be hosting!

You should contact the schools in your area for information and their vetting processes and how you can apply.

What you earn will vary depending on the level of accommodation you provide, but as a rough estimate you can expect to receive £80 per student a week.

7. Ironing services

Ironing is not everybody's cup of tea, but if you don’t mind it, it can be a nice side earner to boost your current income.

You could try advertising your services, on social media, in local shops or newspapers.

It is worth researching locally to see what others charge for the same service but generally ironing businesses will charge by the item, with 20 items costing approximately £10.00.

8. House sitting and pet sitting

Providing you don’t have any other commitments, this can be fairly straightforward task. Often people need their homes maintaining for several months at a time whilst they are away or need someone to look after their pets during working hours.

If you sign up to an agency you are more likely to be appointed as you will have to provide references, background and criminal record checks. Examples of companies available include; Animal Angels, Platinum Petcare and Nina's Nannies for Pets.

9) Helping out during elections

Another earner (albeit only occasional) is helping councils during election periods, counting votes and staffing polling booths. Examples of roles advertised include:

Poll clerk

The main purpose here is to help run a polling station. Tasks may include; setting up, and handing out ballot papers. You will not be permitted to leave during polling hours, in order to maintain the secrecy of the vote. Therefore it will be a long day, as stations will open from 7am to 10pm, and you'll need to be there earlier to set up

Counting assistant

  • Once the polls have closed, you may have the mammoth task of counting the votes. This may take a very long time especially if a recount is required, you could potentially be there overnight

Runner

  • Runners will collect ballot boxes from polling stations and then take them ready to be counted

Speak to your local council or visit their website, if you’re interested to see if they are recruiting. The pay may vary with each council, but previous adverts have quoted £110-£170 for a counting assistant and £135-£245 for poll clerks.

10. Be a life model

If you’re able to hold a pose and not too shy to disrobe, being a model in a life drawing class may be the job for you.

There is an obvious expectation to be naked, but for a few hours work, the pay is normally good and it doesn’t matter what size or shape your are.

Adverts for life models may be found online, at universities, schools, adult education classes and the Register of Artists’ which lists jobs throughout the country: http://www.modelreg.co.uk/index.php