10 ways to make more money in 2014
Whether you're looking to pay off debts or top up your income, there are plenty of easy ways to boost your coffers without tightening your belt.
1. Rent out a room
If you have a spare bedroom, it can easily be turned into a great little earner. Take in a lodger and you can earn up to £4,250 a year tax-free under the government's Rent a Room Scheme.
Or, if you don't want to share your home permanently, you could try renting out your spare room as holiday accommodation via a website such as Airbnb. Simply list your spare room on the site and you could be running your own miniature bed & breakfast in no time. Again, your income is tax-free up to £4,250.
2. Rent out your drive
If you haven't got a spare room or don't fancy sharing your home with strangers, your property could still pull in extra cash. If you have a parking space, driveway or garage you don't use, you could rent them out. List your space on ParkatMyHouse and you could make anything from £50 to £400 a month.
Spaces close to railway stations or city centres are popular. But there is also demand for parking close to hospitals, airports, sports stadiums and concert venues.
3. Become a personal trainer
If you love the gym why not become a personal trainer so you can keep fit and earn some money as well? To get started, you'll need to get a personal training qualification and professional accreditation from a recognised board such as the National Register of Personal Trainers or the Register of Exercise Professionals.
Once you are qualified, advertise online or in your local gym to get clients and you could earn anything from £15 to £75 an hour.
4. Become a doula
This is one for parents. If you have had a child and think your experience could help others, you could make some extra cash as a doula. Doulas work as a companion for women who have just given birth or they can even act as birthing partners. It's all about passing on your first-hand knowledge and helping a new mum in those hectic first few weeks.
You can make around £15 an hour as a post-birth doula or up to £500 a birth as a birthing partner. To qualify, you'll need to take a short course, which costs around £350 to £500. You can find out more at doula.org.uk.
5. Cash in with childcare
With more parents working full-time, demand for childcare far outstrips supply in many areas of the country so setting up as a childminder can be very rewarding. There are a few hoops to jump through – you'll need to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check, an Ofsted inspection, a complete childminding training course and a first aid course. But once you are up and running, you can look after up to six children at a time and charge around £3 to £5 an hour per child. That is potential daily earnings of £240.
6. Take up tutoring
Teachers or people with degrees in maths, sciences or foreign languages can make a handy second income as a tutor. Parents are increasingly looking for one-to-one tuition to help their kids pass entrance exams and get the best exam results. According to a recent survey by the Sutton Trust, 24% of secondary school pupils get extra tuition. Get yourself CRB checked and set up as a tutor and you could make up to £80 an hour.
7. Sell your fruit and veg
Keen gardeners could up their income by selling their produce. When it is time to plant your crop, though, be tactical. Do some research into what is selling well but is under-supplied in your area - take a trip to a few farmers' markets. Then plant only one, or maybe two, types of veg. Come harvest time, sell your crop to a local greengrocer or at a farmers' market.
8. Set up as a handyman
If you are good at DIY, you could develop a second income as a handyman. With more people living on their own, and the buy-to-let market booming, there is ample demand for people who can put up shelves, assemble flat-pack furniture and fix simple problems around the home. If you are reliable and build up a good reputation, you could charge around £40 to £60 an hour.
9. Move your savings
You don't necessarily need to work: sort out your personal finances and the money you already have could earn you extra cash.
Check what interest rate you are getting on your savings accounts. Many accounts these days have an introductory bonus that bumps up an interest rate to lure you in, but once that bonus runs out your savings could be earning a paltry interest rate - below 1% in many cases. See what you are earning and compare it to the best rates on the market.
10. Get a cashback credit card
Cashback credit cards work just like credit cards, except when you use them you will earn money that is usually paid back to you annually as a lump sum.
The best cards pay up to 5% cashback for an introductory period and then around 1.25% on everything else. For example, spend £500 a month on the American Express Platinum Cashback card and you would earn £130 in the first year. Make sure you pay off the balance in full each month. Otherwise, the interest you will be charged could quickly wipe out the benefit of the cashback.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
Cashback credit cards
These reward you with a small percentage of cash back on your total spend on the card, either each month or annually. Cashback cards carry high APRs and ONLY work if you pay your balance off in full every month. If you miss payments and have existing credit card debts, leave these well alone.
The catch-all term applied to investors who buy properties with the sole intention of letting them to tenants rather than living in them themselves, with the proceeds from the let usually used for the repayment of the mortgage. Buy-to-let investors have to take out specialised mortgages that carry higher interest rates and require a much bigger deposit than a standard mortgage. Other expenditure can include legal fees, income tax (on the rental profits you make), capital gains tax (if you sell the property) and “void” periods when the property is unlet.