There are so many pros to working from home and running your own business. It’s flexible, I can be a full-time mum at the drop of a hat. I never miss any school events and I pick my own hours. I’m my own boss, I love networking and working with other small businesses and with 10 years plus under my belt, I really don’t think I could work for someone else. The word employee brings me out in a rash! But with anything there are pros and there are cons. For me, finances are a major con.
Freelancing Doesn’t Mean FREE:
If I had a penny for every time someone asked me to work for free or that popular currency “exposure” I would be rich! Sometimes there can be huge gaps between completing work and receiving payment. Freelancers dine on either steak or beans on toast! There is no in-between! When you run your own business you spend a lot of time on activities that don’t always easily generate money straight away if at all. ie accounting, social media, networking so you need to have a contingency plan in place, especially if like me you have to work around school holidays.
Saving Money for a Rainy Day:
When you are self-employed it’s really important to have this plan or even a rainy day fund. I soon decided after Charlie started school that I wanted to be able to enjoy the school holidays with the children doing fun stuff. This means I put money aside for school holidays during this time when I’m ultimately spending whilst not earning.
- Keep Things Separate: I tend to just spend the money that is in my business bank account meaning I can have a lovely pile of cash building up in Paypal for the holidays (or a new dishwasher!). However remember whether you are being paid for products, goods or services via PayPal you will have to pay Paypal fees.
- Invest in Shares: Shares can be a great additional income and savings revenue. They are designed to provide investors with both an annual income and long-term capital growth. Income is offered in the form of dividends, which is seen as a kind of reward for the shareholders, these are normally paid out twice a year. Ethical Investing not only means that you can save for the future but you stay true to your values. Wealthify has created a range of five Ethical Plans that let you invest in organisations that are committed to having a positive impact on society and our environment find out more here.
- Cash ISA: The annual ISA limit for the 2018/2019 tax year is £15,240. ISA’s are tax-free it’s a great way to put money away for the future. However, there are so many available it’s worth checking you are getting the best deal. Effectively if you are able to put enough away over the years you could happily live off the interest. Passive income at its best.
- Premium Bonds: I remember owning some of these when I was younger. You buy £1 bonds the minimum being £100 and the maximum £50,000. The interest paid is decided via a monthly prize draw therefore the more bonds you own the better your chances of winning are.
- Blogging: Although it’s no quick fix as running a blog takes work, time and commitment you can earn from blogging in the way of paid reviews, sponsored content and advertising
- Sell Your Handmade Crafts: If you’re a dab hand at card making, knitting or sewing why not consider selling your wares at craft fairs, online via Facebook or Etsy the possibilities are endless.
- Sell Your Photographs: Do you have a keen interest in photography? Or are you good at taking photos? Or maybe like me, digital photography has made it so easy to amass quite a plethora of images have you considered selling them? Sites like Shutterstock or Dreamstime make it easy for you to sell your images.
- Check and Change Your Suppliers: Especially so if you are working from home, you should always be looking to save money, by shopping around for your gas, electric, phone, internet and insurance suppliers. Also, many suppliers will provide you with a referral code to share with your friends. For example, Octopus Energy customers can earn up to £50 credit using their referral links.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Saving Money Basket:
Investing money can be risky so ensure you spread the risk factor. Consider putting small pots of cash into various schemes instead of investing it all at once.
Making Money for a Rainy Day:
Apparently, we have around £600 worth of unwanted/not needed/Justin Case clutter in our homes. There are so many ways to sell your clutter now it’s pretty insane.
- eBay: The obvious starter, don’t forget eBay takes selling fees on sold items and PayPal take a cut too. Even so, I made £80 just before Christmas, however, it can be time-consuming photographing and listing everything.
- You can list items for free on Gumtree and Facebook where people collect from your home and pay cash reducing fees
- Carboot Sales: This is a great way to do a one-off declutter in one hit, towards the end of the day you can lower your prices and hopefully go home with an empty boot.
- DVD’s, CD’s and Books: There are lots of online platforms and apps where you scan the barcode and are given a price for your unwanted bits. Music Magpie, Ziffit, Zapper to name a few. Whilst each DVD might only fetch sometimes as little as 25p if you have a large collection it can soon add up.
- Empty “That” Drawer: You know the one filled with old mobile phone handsets, iPods, cameras and games consoles. There are plenty of sites that will take them and it’s better than throwing it all in the landfill. Lots of places take the components apart and recycle them.
- Clothing: Children’s nearly new sales, dress agencies and if you still have some items left try cash 4 clothes where they pay you on weight for your clothes, it’s usually only around 50p a kilo but again it all starts to add up.
Other Resources for Making and Saving Money :
- Survey Sites: By filling in online surveys for cash and attending face-to-face focus groups you can soon top up your income.
- Boom25: Is a cashback site like no other. The great thing about cashback sites is you earn commission on your usual online purchases so it’s basically free money. However, Boom25 takes it up a notch providing you with a 1 in 25 chance to win your full purchase price back say what! But that’s not all there are limited-time deals as well, for example, a 1 in 8 chance of a win as a new customer of Tesco, a 1 in 17 chance with the Works and a 1 in 10 chance with Groupon, it’s almost like they want to give you more money, unlike traditional cashback sites where you earn pennies based on your spending.
- Secret Shoppers: A mystery shopper is a person who poses as a real customer whilst assessing customer service levels provided by a company.
- Be an Extra: Fancy being in the next blockbuster or maybe an episode of Eastenders? Did you know extras can earn up to £80 a day? Maybe I should add this to my bucket list!
- Apps: There are loads of money-making apps, I currently like Receipt Hog whereby I load all my receipts and am given points which I can cash in for money or vouchers. Although it can be slow going, unlike secret shopping or survey sites it doesn’t eat into my time. I also started using Shopmium if you use my code ys4ge5 you get a tub of Ben & Jerry’s free (rrp £4.80!) Emma Drew has lots of information on apps to help you make money.
Hopefully, these little tips will give you some ideas for increasing your income and enable you to save money. Those school holidays and rainy days happen more than we think.
Happy Making/Saving Money!
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