Do you have a driveway but no car, a spare room or even an old power drill you never use? What about a hidden talent for arts and crafts or cooking?
Over the past few days we’ve explained how to turbo-charge your nest egg, make £2,000 by switching suppliers and protect your pocket against rising mortgage rates. Today, in the final part of our Spring Clean Your Finances series, it’s all about simple ways to boost your bank balance.
Use your property to prosper
If you have a spare room, consider renting it out. Under the Government’s Rent a Room scheme you can earn up to £7,500 in rent a year tax-free. For anything over this you will have to fill out a tax return.
If you don’t want a permanent lodger, you could rent out a room for a few weeks a year via Airbnb. Airbnb estimates the typical UK host earns around £3,000 from renting their space for 36 nights a year.
However, you must check with your mortgage lender and home insurance provider that you would be covered if something happens. If your insurer won’t extend your cover, you can buy top-up insurance from a pay per day firm such as Inlet.
If you can’t bear the idea of sharing your home with anyone, why not rent out the extra space for storage?
Websites such as storemates.co.uk let you list spare rooms, basements, attics and even garage space. You specify the size of the space and what it would be suitable for storage-wise, then set a price per month. The website will take a 15 pc cut.
Get dosh from your driveway
Anyone who lives near the city centre or train station and doesn’t have a car could make some serious cash by renting out their driveway online.
Figures from yourparkingspace.co.uk show someone with a single driveway in Brighton could make £1,150 a year, while a homeowner with two spaces in Edinburgh could earn more than £1,500 a year.
You can let spaces for a day, a week or a month and you set your own price. Try searching for other spaces up for rent in your area to get an idea of what you could get. YourParkingSpace takes around 20 per cent of the charge.
Cash in with your car
Make money by renting out your car via networks such as easyCar Club (carclub.easycar.com).The site estimates someone renting out a two-year-old Fiat 500 for five days a month could make £103 — or £1,236 a year.
If you fancy company on a commute, try liftshare.com. Enter the route, time and day of travel, and suggest a contribution towards the cost of petrol and the running of the car.
Typically, car insurers don’t mind if you share lifts as long as you are not profiting, but check first. Liftshare estimates someone going from Stockport to Manchester five days a week could save £696 a year in travel with an extra passenger, based on a contribution of £1.50 per trip.
Or let a company advertise on your car through sites such as carquids.com, which match your location and car to firms.
Tell your insurer as some may consider advertising a type of modification, which could invalidate your policy.
Earn from old items
Use rentmyitems.com to help you hire out many of those household items you don’t use all the time, such as tools and appliances.
Current listings on the site include a week’s hire of a car bike rack for £6 and a day’s hire of a sewing machine for a fiver. Spending a day clearing out the loft could also reap rewards.
Vintage toys or unwanted exercise equipment can be sold on sites such as eBay or Gumtree, and you can often ask buyers to collect bulky items to save you getting stung on delivery costs.
Or, if your shelves are stocked with books, CDs, DVDs and games, try out musicMagpie.
You just scan the barcode of items you want to get rid of using a phone app or enter the details on its website (musicmagpie.co.uk). It will then calculate how much they are worth.
Some will only earn you pennies but the site has extended the list of items it is interested in, and an iPhone 6 64GB in good condition could fetch £101.
The site will even pay £4 for 1kg (about 2lb) of Lego bricks.
Once you’ve logged your items, you box them up and send them postage-free or drop them at a local shop to which they will direct you.
Alternatively, musicMagpie can send a courier.
Make a favourite hobby pay
Whatever your interests, there are ways to profit.
Budding photographers could make money selling snaps to stock photo websites, while aspiring chefs can make cash by hosting dinner parties through organisations such as Eatwith.
Animal lovers can even earn extra income by looking after pets when owners are away with dogbuddy.com or pawshake.co.uk, for example.
Homeowners should be sure to check with their home insurer first, and remember to get the pet’s insurance and vet details.
Creative types can set up shop on websites such as Etsy, where entrepreneurs sell craft products such as stationery, soaps, art and accessories.
Meanwhile, those with a photogenic property could make money hiring their home out for film or TV shoots through JJ Media or Shootfactory — as long as there is enough space for a film crew.
Georgie Frost, consumer advocate at GoCompare, says: ‘There are so many ways to make a bit of extra cash on the side and lots of apps and guides to help you get started, but you can’t ignore the tax man altogether.
‘Selling unwanted clothes or books on eBay or Gumtree is fine, but if you’re actively buying and selling or making items, renting out your driveway, or taking in people’s pets for holidays, then you do need to declare it to the Revenue.’