6 tips to get more cash and beat the crunch – without starting a side hustle

5 min | 08 April 2024

Rebecca Chuks
Rebecca Chuks

We’re all feeling the cost-of-living pinch. As we watch our bills climb and costs soar, our natural reaction is to save as much as humanly possible. And that’s a very sensible response. But there’s something many of us overlook. How about we try to make more money?

When you hear “earn more money”, you might think, “Ah, another person is telling me to start a side hustle.” But even though 43% of working adults in the UK have a secondary income, starting up a business on the side may not be for everyone. Whether its time, energy or skill constraints, there are plenty of valid reasons to opt out of starting a second job. So, is it still possible to increase your earnings without making a side-hustle segue?

The short answer? Yes, of course. There are more than a few ways to ramp up your cashflow. Let’s explore some cash-turning techniques.

1. Negotiate a raise

Rather than starting up a new gig on the side, a sensible place to start your quest for cash is the job you already have. Generally, you might want to wait at least six months after starting a new job before broaching the topic of a raise. Remember, just wanting more money probably isn’t a valid reason for most managers. So, come prepared with competitive salary examples for roles like yours, quantifiable evidence that your performance warrants a raise and a clear path that you and your manager can take to get what you want.

2. Move to a new job

If a raise isn’t an option in your current role, it might be worth considering moving on. Research has shown that people who change jobs, compared to those who stay put, can enjoy higher pay growth over time. And this is especially true for those who move to entirely new companies, rather than swapping jobs within the same firm. After all, you could potentially negotiate higher salaries with each new job that would outstrip any annual bump if you stayed in your current role. Again, research is key to knowing exactly what’s out there.

3. Review your sector and skillset

Now, if the idea of changing things up suits you, then you might consider retraining or upskilling. This could either allow you to move to a more profitable sector or into a role that commands a higher compensation. For example, if you work in the charity sector – an industry that understandably isn’t known for high salaries, you might see if your skills are transferable to a similar role in a sector with higher average salaries, like legal professionals or finance officers. Alternatively, you could add to your skills or qualifications, possibly opening you up to senior or higher-skilled roles, with potentially higher salaries.

4. Amp up your interest

OK, you’ve optimised your earning power. Can you do the same for the cash you already have? If you have money just sitting in current accounts or low-interest savings accounts, you may well be missing out. If the interest rate is lower than inflation, your cash is actually depreciating. You can make your money work harder for you by moving it to high-interest savings accounts, so it can earn interest without you having to do anything. Remember, interest is basically free money, so it’s a good idea to maximise it wherever you can.

5. Free cash for your future

Speaking of free money, have you explored any government-led cash incentives recently? If you're saving for your first home or have an eye towards retirement and are under 40, the government offers a 25% bonus on your deposits into a lifetime ISA or LISA (deposits are limited to a maximum of £4,000 each year). Yes, you may have to wait a while before you can spend it on a house purchase or your retirement, but it’s still effectively free cash. And if you haven’t already, you might want to check if your employer offers a contribution match to any workplace pensions. Again, this is free money that you can use towards the future, not to mention the tax advantages.

6. Purge your stuff

As well as making your cash work for you, you can do the same with your possessions. Whether it’s an annual purge or a quarterly audit, it’s a great habit to go through your belongings and set aside anything you no longer want, wear or need. There are plenty of apps and sites that let you sell your items easily. And if you have electrical goods in working order, you could consider renting them out – if you search “rent my stuff” online, you’ll find marketplaces where you can do just that.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice. Tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. We do not offer any tax advice.

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