Cheerful man with laptop

Boost your income


Most of us are feeling the pinch and who wouldn’t like a little cash boost to make ends meet or pay for a treat now and again? There are plenty of ways to do it and sometimes all it takes is the decision to get ourselves better off. 

Bringing in some extra money comes down to three questions: What can I sell? What can I do? What am I entitled to?


Don’t have a Rembrandt in the attic or an antique sideboard in the living room? No worries. What we think is old junk is often a little treasure to other people. There are people out there to buy old phones, CDs and DVDs – any stuff with might think of as clutter and junk. There are even some saucy options but not for the faint-hearted.

The Big Issue, the magazine that used to only be sold by homeless people, is now open to long-term unemployed people and social tenants struggling to make ends meet. For others, growing, making things or hosting parties as a product rep can bring in the bucks. Got a spare room or parking space? What about renting them out?

For the right people with the right gear, selling stuff can boost the bank balance. Get the full low-down here.


In many ways our most precious asset is our time. Our opinions are worth money. Bloggers and reviewers make a living this way but market research companies will pay us too. Serial competition entrants play a numbers game and often come out on top.

Like animals? Try dog walking. Love kids? What about babysitting? Art classes need life models, festivals need stewards and nightclubs need door staff. Production companies are often looking for extras to stand in the background on film sets saying ‘rhubarb rhubarb’, so for those of us who like to dress up, that could be the answer. We may need to provide references, at least, or sometimes a criminal record check (DBS check), though.

For anyone able to work, a shift at a local pub or café, or a few hours overtime if we’re working already, could make all the difference to our bank balance.

For more on how to turn our time into ready cash, click here.


There are almost £16 billion of unclaimed benefits sitting in government coffers each year, which means that millions of households are missing out on money they are entitled to. Anyone on a relatively low income should do a benefits check – it’s so easy. Check out our Benefits page here.

There are also grants and other help available for those of us on low incomes, especially pensioners. Local trusts, energy companies and local councils can all help. 


Everyone in the UK should be paying tax on anything they make over £12,501 (2020/21) and the government expects us all to declare our incomes. This can be tricky but we need to understand how it works.

Same goes for declaring earnings while on benefits, although UC promises to make it easier to keep more of what we earn. It’s a system still in development though and some of the losers are currently those trying to go self-employed.

If we’re renting and making money working from home, or making money out of our home (renting out a room or parking space), it’s important to check the tenancy agreement. If you are renting from councils and housing associations, they may be able to offer advice on this.

For more info on what to consider and where to find help, click here.


Check out our Quids in! Readers Club for new tips every month how to make cash (join free here). There are other money email services like SkintDad or Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert.