Get more money
When your money is not stretching quite so far, another alternative is to try to increase how much money you have at your disposal.
You could try asking for a raise from your employer. It’s not an easy thing to do, particularly in the current climate, but if you present a compelling case there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to squeeze a few extra pounds a month out of your boss! For a great guide on how to go about securing a better salary, have a read of Six top ways to pick up a pay rise.
But don’t just limit yourself to trying to increase your income from your employer – there are plenty of other ways to make a few quid extra.
Rent it out
There are many things you can rent out to earn a little extra cash. For a start, if you never use your driveway, you can rent it out to drivers by using websites such as Your Parking Space, ParkLet or Park At My House. These websites will match motorists looking for parking with homeowners who have a driveway to spare.
Depending on where you live, you could earn between £50-£300 a month, according to Your Parking Space.
Alternatively, if you have a garden that you never use or some spare storage space, you could also rent this out. Take a look at Spareground for more information.
Take in a lodger
Leading on from this, if you have a spare room, the government’s Rent a Room scheme allows you to receive up to £4,250 a year tax-free (£2,125 if you’re letting jointly) for renting out the room to a lodger. You don’t even have to be a homeowner to qualify for the scheme.
Sell your junk
Most of us have some kind of junk lurking around the house. So why not give your home and your garden shed a good clearout to see what you can find?
You can sell on your unwanted items in numerous ways. Firstly, you could try your luck on auction sites such as eBay, eBid and Amazon. If you’re selling larger items – perhaps you want to get rid of your bike, for example - you could also place an advert on websites such as Preloved and Gumtree.
You could, of course, also sell your items at a car boot sale. Take a look at CarBootJunction to find where your nearest car boot sale is located. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to stay in the warmth, you could try an online car boot sale!
Host a party
How about earning some extra money by throwing a party? If you sign up to become a consultant with The Body Shop, you can then start hosting parties and earning money by selling The Body Shop products.
The Pampered Chef, Avon, Jamie at Home, and Usborne Books operate similar schemes and are well worth investigating if you’re after an easy way to boost your income. Take a look at Make money from parties for more information.
Get a second job
Perhaps the most obvious way to up your pay is to get a second job. However, before you do this, find out whether you can get any paid overtime or an extra shift from your current employer. This will work out to be far easier.
If that’s not possible, however, keep an eye out in newspapers and online for part-time evening or weekend work – perhaps you can pick up some casual work in a supermarket or restaurant. Just make sure this doesn’t interfere with your full-time job.
What’s more, if you use a cashback credit card, you’ll earn even more money back as you shop.
Claim your benefits
It’s worth taking a look at independent advice website, Turn2Us, to see whether you qualify for any benefits. If you have children, care for elderly or disabled relatives, have health problems, or you are on a low income, you may be able to claim.
The GOV.UK website also has some useful information.