Diversify your earnings

Stagnant salaries and rising costs have left working families feeling uncertain about their future, but there are ways for families to gain additional income.

There’s a growing population of families who’re ‘just about managing’ – known as ‘Jam’ families – and there’s almost 6 million of them across the UK .

Our ‘Protecting our families’ 2017 report  unveiled the worries of British families. Almost half (42%) worry more than once a month about job security of the main earner. Three in five (60%) families don’t have a plan in place for dealing with financial loss, such as job loss, serious illness or a death in the family, and more than a quarter of families (27%) have already experienced this.

The stagnation of salaries and rising costs has left working families feeling uncertain about the future of their financial health, but there are other ways that families can achieve additional income.

Diversify your income

From the comfort of your home

There are many ways people can earn money online.

Hobbies, interests and skills could be used to generate extra cash, for example by setting up a blog or vlog. Bloggers with a large following can sell advertising space on their website, and brands may offer free products to try or money for writing about them. Those with an interest in photography could sell their images through a photo stock website.

Although these small earners may not seem like much to start with, overtime it could help to pay any unexpected costs or to build up savings.

The borrowers

As families have less disposable income, they’re less inclined to pay for products or services they may only use a few times. This has led to a rise in ‘the sharing economy’: “the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations. ” 

Any unused space around the home could be a potential earner, such as an unused car parking space, a spare room to rent out or even the garden or garage, if it’s big enough. Vehicles could be rented out by businesses as advertising space. 

Use your existing skills and spare time

One way families could make use of spare time is by helping others with their household chores. Helping people with their laundry or household cleaning could be one earner, or even housesitting and dog walking.

Take skills and interests to the next level, such as selling home-made items online like crafts, food and drinks. Become a part-time tutor on specialist subjects, for example teaching a musical instrument, languages or academic subjects. 

Organise, recycle and refresh

Decluttering the home of unnecessary items is a great opportunity to not only raise funds, but to have a spring clean. Sorting the home and unessential items could be the beginning of a long or short-term savings goal; there’s many auction and recycling websites to help declutter the house.

Any unused electronics around the home could potentially be a big earner, depending on quality and demand.

If there’s a sought-after item of value in the home, like a rare vinyl or ornament, make sure to thoroughly research the market and demand before selling – it may be more or less valuable than you first thought.

Preparing for financial uncertainty

Our recent report highlighted that more than a fifth (21%) of families would exhaust their available savings or assets within a month – and this rises to 36% for families on a low income. This is why it’s important families protect their finances against unexpected costs or times of uncertainty; income protection insurance or life insurance are ways to offer financial help in these times. 

Don’t forget that any extra regular income needs to be declared as earnings, and earnings aren’t taxed under income lower than £11,500 per annum .

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