If you can't get a good pay rise at work, you can give yourself a pay rise at home. These tips could give you a permanent boost to your income.
See how much you're spending and if you can cut back
The first thing to look at is how much you're spending each month. Write down exactly much money is coming in and going out. Don't leave anything out – otherwise you won't know the full picture.
If you're spending more than you're earning, then you definitely need to take action.
Even if you're not, you can use our free, secure Track budgeting tool to look at your spending for where you can make cutbacks. These could be temporary or they could be permanent, such as switching where you do your food shopping, cancelling magazine subscriptions, ditching a gym membership you never use or taking a packed lunch to work.
Save on your travel
If you have a costly commute, either by road or rail, are there any opportunities to drive down what you spend?
If you're a driver, could you work from home at all to save on fuel costs? Or share your journey with friends or colleagues? Could you walk, run or cycle part of the journey?
For example, instead of getting a season ticket from station A to station B, you buy two season tickets, one from station A to station C, and one from station C to station B.
There isn't a decent split ticketing website or app for season tickets so it's a case of doing some playing around with the National Rail Enquiries season ticket calculator. Local knowledge is also invaluable here too so ask your fellow commuters.
Make money from your home
If you have a spare room, you can rent it out tax-free using the Government's Rent A Room scheme, providing you don't make more than £4,250 in any one tax year.
If you fancy something less permanent, why not try the likes of Airbnb, which advertises rooms for short stays?
If you have parking space at your home and you live near a town centre or local amenity, such as a rail or underground station, airport or football stadium, you could rent out your driveway.
Sites such as Parkatmyhouse and Parklet can advertise your space and deal with the admin for a monthly fee.
Similarly, if you've got space to spare, why not rent it out? So if you've got a spare shed/loft, advertise it on Spareground and see if you get any takers.
If your garden is of no use to you, it might be useful to someone else. Check out Spareground to see whether there's any interest – perhaps someone could use your garden to grow their own fruit and veg?
Claim all your benefits
If you're entitled to benefits such as Tax Credits, make sure you're claiming them.
Similarly, if you have children, don't miss out on Child Benefit (currently paid to households where each parent earns less than £50,000 a year) and Child Tax Credits.
If you're a pensioner, you could be entitled to Pension Credit if your income is below a certain level, but you'll need to claim it yourself.
You can find out more about all of these benefits on the GOV.UK website.
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