There’s a growing population of families who’re ‘just about managing’ – known as ‘Jam’ families. There’s almost six million ‘Jam’ families across the nation1, and amongst them are growing concerns that’s putting more stress and strains on their personal health and finances.
Our ’Protecting our families’ report2 unveiled the worries of UK families showing a shortfall in financial stability. Almost half (42%) of families worry more than once a month about job security of the main breadwinner. 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, so we explored other ways that families can achieve additional income.
Diversify your income
From the comfort of home
There’s many ways people can earn money online. Although these little earners may not seem like much to start with, overtime it could help to pay any unexpected costs or to build up savings.
Hobbies, interests and skills could be that extra cash needed to help secure financial prospects, such as 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. Another idea is to use some free time for websites that offer money or vouchers for watching videos, completing surveys and competitions.
Before starting online, it’s important to dedicate a separate email address for these accounts, as websites will send out a lot of notifications.
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 organisations3.” This provides families an opportunity to gain an additional income.
Any space around the home could be potential earnings, such as: an unused car parking space, a spare room to rent out for a tenant or storage, or even the garden or garage if it’s big enough. Vehicles could be rented out by businesses as advertising space. Personal items like designer clothes and accessories can be borrowed – even sports equipment like bikes and extreme sports gear.
Anyone can get involved if they’ve got something to rent, and there’s many different websites that can help with getting started.
Utilise existing skills and spare time
As highlighted before, the rising ‘sharing economy’ means more people are diversifying their time spent on work, and where their income is from. For those who’re already working part time, or are fortunate enough to have spare time, there could be an opportunity to get extra money each month.
One way families could make use of spare time is by helping others with their household chores. Helping others with their laundry or household cleaning could be one earner, or even childminding, 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, like an instrument, languages or academic subjects. People with a passion for cooking could host dinner nights at other peoples’ houses, or host product parties for retailers and specialist products.
Part-time, temporary and event work is another way families could earn additional income if they’ve got the time to do it. Freelancing existing skills can be advertised for on various specialist websites.
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. Also a second or multiple income could be the help that secures a family and their finances for the foreseeable future. Don’t forget that any extra regular income needs to be declared as earnings, and earnings aren’t taxed under income lower than £11,0004 per annum.
How to create a household budget
Budgets are a useful tool for anyone who wants to keep on top of their in and outgoings. Read our extensive guide on creating your own.
A guide on investing into yourself
Our current economic climate has cast a shadow of doubt over people’s future job security. Find out how you can secure your future here.
Aviva’s ‘Protecting Our Families’ Report 2017