Living on a debt solution

6 ways to boost your income

Posted 26 January 2015

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Covering your bills and debt repayments every month isn’t always easy and a little extra money coming in could be useful. Have a read of our helpful tips that may give you some ideas on how to boost your income.


If your finances are stretched and you’re struggling to make your bills or debt repayments every month, or don’t have much left once these are paid, you could think about doing a little bit extra to boost your income. We’ve put together a few easy ways that could help you make a bit of extra cash to make the days before your next payday a bit less stressful.

Check you’re getting all of the benefits you can

Even if you’re in employment, you might be eligible to claim some government benefits or grants if you’re on a low-income, disabled, or supporting a child. Check out the government’s benefits calculators and put in details of your savings and earnings to see if there are any benefits you are entitled to. There are also various grants available if you’re struggling with money, including the WaterSure scheme. If you qualify, your water bills could be capped at a certain level.

Sell some old stuff on eBay

If you’ve got any unwanted mobile phones, laptops, DVDs or even clothes lying around the house, you could make some extra money by selling them online. You can register for eBay or Amazon Marketplace and you’ll just pay a percentage of your sale. You can also sell your goods to a trade-in site like Music Magpie, which takes CDs, DVDs, games, and devices, or a physical store such as CeX. Keep in mind that trading in usually gives you a lower price than you’d get by selling on eBay or Amazon, but you’ll have the money in your pocket more quickly.

Get cash for your jewellery

You could potentially make some extra money by selling any unwanted jewellery. You’ll need to find a reputable jeweller in your area and take in any jewellery you want to sell to see if it’s worth anything. However, this isn’t a long-term solution to any financial problems you may have, as once you’ve sold the jewellery, it’s gone. Think carefully before selling anything that has an emotional connection too, such as a family heirloom, as you could regret selling it afterwards.

Do market research

If you’ve got some free time, you could sign up to be part of a market research group and earn money for giving your opinion on various subjects. You can usually only do a couple of these a year, regardless of which company you use, but some of the more well-known ones are Research Opinions, Saros, and Focus4People. The amounts you can earn from each session vary quite a lot … from £30 up to about £200.

Work a second job*

Depending on the hours you work at your regular job and your situation, you might be able to consider getting a second job to bring a bit more money in. According to recent research** carried out for us, one in six adults now have a second job, with a third of these doing so to help cover their costs and bills. Depending on your skills, you could also do some freelance work … useful if you’re trying to fit in some extra work around a busy schedule.

Take online surveys

You can sign up to do online surveys or tests where companies will pay to hear what you think. They include Ipsos i-Say and What User Do. Although these won’t bring in the big bucks, and often have a pay-out threshold meaning you’ll have to earn a set amount to get any money out, they can still give you a little bit extra money every month.


Boosting your income in these ways can help with smaller debts, but if you feel like you’re struggling with your finances, you may want to think about asking for help. Speaking to your lenders to let them know your situation could help, as you may be able to work out a solution. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your lenders yourself, a third party such as the Debt Advisory Centre could do this on your behalf, or they can simply offer advice on the steps you need to take.

*One important thing to keep in mind is that you will have to declare any extra income you’re making and register for self-assessment with HMRC; otherwise you may have to pay a fine. Personal allowances for the 2014-2015 financial year are £10,000, so if you earn less than this in total, you will get it tax-free and won’t need to declare it.


** OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 21st November and 28th November 2014, of whom 636 were Scottish residents.

by Sarah Symons

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