Let’s not beat around the bush, 2020 was rubbish for most things. However, it has forced many businesses to adapt to remote working, opening up new possibilities and more opportunities for making money. But what can you do to make more money while working from home?
Make sure your tax is right
It may not be a groundbreaking amount, but if you’ve been working from home, then you could claim up to £6 a week tax-free to help cover your additional costs. If you haven’t had this money directly from your employer, then you can claim it from HMRC.
It’s also worth noting that you may also be able to claim tax-relief towards to cost of your household bills or other work-related expenses. While this isn’t exactly a ‘side-hustle’, it is additional money that you may be entitled to.
Visit HMRC to find out more: https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home
Start a side hustle
If your life hasn’t been overtaken by childcare, baking banana bread, and Zoom calls, then you might have thought about starting your own business. But you don’t have to dive headfirst into your new venture. Many people are launching businesses these days as a ‘side hustle’, essentially supplementing your income by earning money on the side. This could be a stepping stone into launching your own business, or just a way of earning a bit more pocket money.
You may be surprised by just how easy it is to start a side hustle, and you don’t need a brilliant idea or tonnes of experience to get started. A side hustle can be anything from writing closed captions for videos to help those who are hearing impaired, through to delivering for a takeaway.
Save your expenses
Anyone who has recently started working from home may notice that their general costs have gone down – you’re no longer paying for transport, parking, sandwiches on lunch, takeaway hot drinks etc. At the end of the month, you may notice that this reduced cost means that there’s more left in your bank account.
Unless you do something with that money, it can be difficult to hold onto it. In fact, if you leave it sitting in your current account, the likelihood is that you’ll spend it on other things. Once you know how much you’re saving by working from home, you could put this money aside somewhere. This could be a savings account, withdrawing it and physically keeping it in a savings jar, or even investing it in a Stocks and Shares ISA. Over time, this amount could really start to add up.
Get paid to review
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that make it easy for you to get paid to review, critique, or be an online product tester. While the money might not start flowing in immediately, it can be a nice way to earn some extra pocket money just by completing simple tasks. All you’ll need is a smartphone or a computer, and a connection to the internet.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, it’s worth searching around to find an option that best works for you – they range from paying you just to search the web, through to recording you and your reactions when using a website as a product tester.
Check your energy tariff
Spending more time at home does mean that you’re likely to use more energy than when you were out of the house going to the office. Sometimes, saving money is just as important as making money, and switching energy supplier could make a huge difference but most people don’t do it. We saw the highest number of people moving energy provider in 2019, but that only accounted for 24% of people who had switched in the last 12 months.
Those who haven’t switched provider may find themselves on the default energy tariff and could save up to £305 each year just by moving to a better deal. While that may not exactly be a way of making money while working from home, it could definitely help you to save money, and that’s not a bad thing in my book!
Have a clear-out
If you’re anything like me, lockdown probably made you realise your house is too small and you have too much stuff. Well, the good news is that you can make money off some of that stuff you no longer want anymore. Thanks to the internet, you can literally sell everything and anything. As they say, one person’s trash is another’s treasure.
Clothes, furniture, bric-a-brac, random electrical items, books, can all go straight onto eBay or other similar websites. Obviously, some things will be in more demand than others, but it’s always worth seeing if you can make some money off it before confining it to the bin. Another option could be a cash-for-clothes company, who pay you per kilo for things like clothes, soft toys, belts, handbags and shoes.
What about that pile of DVDs that pre-dates streaming services? If you’re not watching them, they could be worth money too. There are plenty of stores that are still happy to buy DVDs off you – tidying up your house and earning money for something you no longer use.
Rent out your space
This isn’t for everyone, but you could rent out your spare room or parking space. If you live near a train station in a commuting town or live in a busy city, then you could make a tidy profit from your unused driveway. There are websites out there designed to connect drivers to driveways – Your Parking Space – for example, which could earn you a pretty penny each month.
Another option is to rent out your spare room (if you have one). This can be a bit more invasive as you may have to share your space with a stranger, but through sites like AirB&B you could do this on a short term to see how it fits with your lifestyle.
Become a dog walker
Dog popularity seems to have boomed throughout 2020, which could provide a potential income for anyone happy to go out and about whatever the weather. The cost of dog ownership is already rising, so why not offer dog walking services and see if you can capitalise on this opportunity? There may be other opportunities available to entrepreneurial minds, but we’ll leave that up to you – don’t want anyone stealing ideas!
Make your money work harder
Do you already have some money saved up in savings accounts? With inflation rates being at all time lows, it could be worth reconsidering what you’re doing with that money. There are plenty of options available to you here – for example, you could invest in property. With the current housing market, it could be risky and it does require having a good chunk of money for a deposit and probably need a mortgage as well.
Another alternative could be investing. If you have the time, and inclination, to research, manage, buy and sell your investments then you could take a DIY approach. However, if that sounds like too much hassle then you could also think about using a robo-investing company like Wealthify. We have a team of experts who will do all the hard work for you, carefully building, managing, and trading on your behalf. All you need to do is decide how much you want to invest, pick an investment style that best suits your needs – we’ll do the rest and your money will be working harder before you know it!
Your tax treatment will depend on your individual circumstances and it may be subject to change in the future.
With investing, your capital is at risk, so the value of your investments can go down as well as up, which means you could get back less than you initially invested.