With living costs rising dramatically in recent years and wages struggling to meet them, it has become necessary for many families to look into additional work to continue living at the level they have become accustomed to. Far better than taking out a long term loan, earning extra income can help you boost your savings and will keep you out of long term debt – which is one of the most dangerous situations to be in considering the current climate.
Juggling your responsibilities
Of course, if you are working a full time job and have a family to take care of, it is difficult to find extra work that can fit around your busy life, as you will not want to take on evening or weekend work that takes up too much time. Think about the times in your life when you do not have much to do and would otherwise be wasted watching television or sitting around. Perhaps you do food shopping and cleaning at the weekend but Monday-Wednesday nights don’t do very much. Even one night a week of taking on extra work can make a big difference to your financial situation, and it is worth bearing in mind that taking on too much work will find you being taxed substantially anyway. You must declare any additional income to the tax-man, even if the work is cash in hand, or risk huge penalties, and second incomes tend to be taxed more harshly than your main job.
Some genius idea’s
- Take a look at renting out your home for an extra income. If you have a spare room think about taking on a lodger, many foreign students will need a room during term time and you could make a decent income for this without it taking up much of your time. For a more glamorous way to rent out your home, television companies are always looking for locations to film television programmes and adverts. Often these will be normal homes, so if your house is not a mansion or breathtaking apartment overlooking the Thames don’t worry. It is always worth looking into as they will take on all costs and pay a substantial amount for using your home for a brief amount of time.If renting out your home isn’t an option, perhaps renting out your parking space is! If you live close to or in a busy town or city, and aren’t using your parking space, business people and those travelling in and out of your area on a regular basis would jump at the chance to rent a parking space for less than the expensive rates of multi storey car parks, and this can bring you in an extra monthly income without you needing to do anything!
- Focus groups and mystery shopping are another way of picking up decent income for a little labour. These tend to be infrequent but pay well and focus groups can be on anything from the type of washing powder you use to your weekly food shop, to your ideas about television! They will take a couple of hours and often pay very well for a short space of time. Mystery shopping can be brought into your every day routine as you will go into a shop chosen by the company, buy a couple of items and report on your experience. You will be refunded for your items and paid for the whole experience, making it a fun and easy way to make some extra cash.
- If you are looking for some extra cash in the short term, and don’t want the commitment of a long term loan, small loans can be perfect for bridging the gap between pay days. You can apply online for any amount between £100 and £1000 and the money will be deposited into your account within 24 hours. These loans are perfect for when you have a critical purchase and there is still a while to go until your next payday, or for topping up your income if you are short on cash one month. They should not be used every month, but would be the perfect solution to a short term financial crisis.
Ask your boss for a raise
If you are looking to make a large purchase, or just want some extra money to play with every month, the best way to go about that is to ask your employer for a raise. If you have worked at a company for a long enough time (say a year) and have not yet received a raise, this could be the perfect time to go about it, especially if you are coming up to a review with your manager. In order to go about asking for a raise there are a number of factors you will need to look into first.
Firstly, find out what others at your level in your field are earning. This is easy to do over the Internet for a general idea, or if you work for a large company and have close friends at the same level as you asking politely might work. Do be aware though, that earnings are a private matter and if they do not want to answer you should never push them. If you find that you are not earning as much as others at your level then you are in a prime position to ask for a raise. You may still want to ask if you find that you are earning the same as others in your position, but you will need to go about it in a much more careful way.
Doing your research
Take a look at your employer’s financial situation. In the current climate many businesses are having to make cutbacks to make ends meet. If there are redundancies and cuts being made in your company then you will need to have a very good reason for wanting a raise, and should prepare yourself for still being told no in this situation. If your employer is in a healthy financial situation and seems to be taking on more employees, this may give you an opportunity to ask to take on more work in order to receive a raise. This would be the best way to go about asking to have your salary boosted, as you are offering more in terms of skill and labour to receive more financially.
Matching you expectations with your experience
Consider your own experience when preparing how to ask for your raise. If you are in a skilled position and have more experience and assets to the company than you are being given credit for, make a note of them. Perhaps someone else in your team is at a higher level and has less experience, try to work out how you can make the most of your skill and experience to benefit the company, and present this as an argument for a higher position and thus more pay. If you find that you are less experienced than others at your level, take into account what you have done and are continuing to do for the company on a day to day basis and use this as your jumping off point.
When preparing your argument, don’t talk about what you need in order to live on, as this comes across as desperate and unprofessional, but talk about what you deserve with regards to your skills and workload. Let your employer state their case to you and have counter arguments prepared to demonstrate a higher value and make your argument seem convincing and appropriate. Decide in advance what you are going to do if you request for higher pay is rejected and let your employer know what this case will be. You do not have to go as drastic as threatening to leave your job, but reaching a compromise saying that you will ask again after a specific amount of time, or asking to be considered for promotion in future.
What if your request is rejected?
If your request is rejected and you still need extra income, take a look into part time or weekend work to make ends meet. There are plenty of jobs you can do online or in your spare time that need not take up too much time or energy and will make you a little extra cash. Sales representatives for Avon or even Ann Summers can host one party per week and earn enough commission for a healthy amount of savings, or babysitting and dog walking could earn you a little extra cash.
In the long term, wait a couple of months and then ask your employer for a meeting to discuss a possible raise again. If your request is rejected more than three times over the space of a year, it may be worth looking into a new job!