Facing redundancy? There are lots of ways to make money when times are tough. Here are a few examples of how other people have managed to make some extra money and boost their income after losing their jobs.
- Get all the benefits you’re entitled to
- Rent a room
- Sell unwanted stuff
- Home working
- Take on a new job
- Benefits and tax – a word of warning
Get all the benefits you’re entitled to
“I didn’t look into it for weeks. Well, I was embarrassed wasn’t I? It’s bad enough losing your job, but to look for hand-outs… Eventually, Reena convinced me I wasn’t looking for anything I wasn’t entitled to. We did it online, and it took no time at all. Turned out, we were eligible for tax credits, which make a huge difference to the weekly budget.” – Hiten
- It can take less than five minutes to check.
Next step: Use a benefit calculator on the GOV.UK website to find out what you might be entitled to.
Also consider: Claiming a tax rebate, or claiming on any insurance you took out to protect a mortgage, loan or credit card payments.
Rent a room
Did you know?
You’ll need permission from your mortgage provider or landlord to have a lodger and you should let your buildings and contents insurance companies know.
“To be honest, the spare bedroom was just a place to put the laundry. But when Phil got a six-month contract at Jill’s work and was looking for somewhere to stay Monday to Friday, it seemed like the perfect solution. The rent really helps out while I’m looking for work, and Phil’s an okay bloke. We even get the weekends to ourselves.” – Frank
- With the government’s Rent a Room scheme, you can receive up to £7,500 each year tax free.
- You’ll have to forgo a degree of privacy. If you are renting your home, your landlord might not agree.
Also consider: Taking in foreign students, or renting out your car parking space if you live in the city.
Sell unwanted stuff
“I’d been meaning to clear out the loft for years but when I lost my job I had no excuse. I spent a day up there, and then a day putting it all on eBay. Dad’s old football programmes, my old 45s… I even sold an old-fashioned sewing machine that hadn’t worked for years. The money made a big difference at Christmas. Now for my wardrobes!” – Priya
- Get cash for stuff you never use and de-clutter your home.
- Unless you make a big effort, the returns aren’t great.
Next step: Do your research online or check out car boot sales to see what’s selling.
Also consider: Websites for recycling mobile phones, laptops, game consoles and other electricals.
“I used to enjoy ironing – it was my time to switch off and listen to music. Who would have thought it would get me through these last few months. I started by taking in ironing for neighbours but word soon spread. I’m now working nearly four hours a day, but I’m always here when the kids come in from school.” – Margaret
- You can often work when it suits you, and there are no travel costs.
- Motivation can sometimes be difficult at home. So is finding the space!
Next step: Do your research, then start spreading the word.
Also consider: Turning a hobby into a sideline.
Take on a new job
“I wasn’t going to go to the cosmetics party because I’d just been made redundant and I didn’t want to be the only person not to buy anything. But I’m so glad I went. Elaine told me all about the company and how running one party a week makes a real difference to her family’s income. She helped set me up and it’s been going great.” – Anne
- Getting out of the house to work again can boost self-esteem.
- Be prepared to work evenings and weekends and to sell to friends and family.
Next step: Make a list of all the sales parties you’ve been to, or know about, and check them out online.
Also consider: Being an election clerk or school exam monitor.
Benefits and tax – a word of warning
Making money is all very well but it could affect any benefits you receive.
And don’t forget that the taxman will want his share if your income goes over your tax-free allowance (£11,850 in the tax year 2018-19).
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.
Some important information about Rest Less Money
We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.
When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.
Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:
We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.
No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.
Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.
A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested.