1. Track down old accounts
According to the British Bankers’ Association, there is more than £15 billion sitting forgotten in bank and savings accounts in the UK, with the average balance estimated to be £600.
The good news is that tracing lost funds has become easier with Mylostaccount.org.uk – a free online service that covers all UK bank and building society accounts. All you need to do is to go to the website and type in your details.
2. Claim tax credits
It’s always worth checking that you are receiving all the tax credits you are eligible for. Research by turn2us.org.uk found that people across the UK are collectively missing out on benefits and tax credits worth more than £8 billion a year. So while you’re tracing lost funds, why not visit the hmrc.gov.uk website too and work out how much you could claim.
3. Sort your savings
Another easy way to make money is to make sure your savings are working as hard as they can. If you’ve had the same savings account for a while it might be worth shopping around because new customers tend to get the most competitive rates. Good rates come and go, but if you’ve had a savings account for more than a year the chances are the interest you are earning is not the best out there.
If you want to start a savings habit then a regular savings accounts is a good way to ensure you put a set amount of money away each month. But if you want to make deposits as and when, an instant access deal could be the one for you.
However, if you haven’t yet used your ISA allowance for the current tax year then this sort of account should be the first home for any savings. You can save up to £5,100 each tax year as cash in an ISA and this will not be taxed.
4. Mystery shopper
If you’re longing for some retail therapy but can’t afford to hit the shops, why not earn a few pounds as a mystery shopper? Websites such as marketforce.com employ mystery shoppers to drop in unannounced in shops and restaurants and rate their experience.
After you send in your feedback, you’ll be paid for your time and reimbursed for any purchases you made. You could make up to £20 a day, and get a meal or a night in a nice hotel thrown in for good measure.
5. Use cashback credit cards
If you pay off your credit bill in full each month, a cashback credit cards could be the way to go. These offer you moneyback on purchases in certain shops or on goods such as petrol.
“Cashback credit cards are a great way to reward savvy spenders,” says Andrew Hagger, from Moneynet.co.uk, a price comparison website. “You can earn extra cash without even having to change your shopping habits.”
6. Cashback sites
You can earn even more money from shopping online. Cashback websites will automatically pay you every time you buy a product or a service from selected retailers, from your weekly groceries to switching your utility provider.
7. Take in a lodger
While most of us pay a fortune for our homes, it’s possible to make your home make money for you.
According to Santander, you could make as much as £289 a month from renting out a spare room. Under the government’s ‘rent a room’ scheme, you don’t need to pay tax on the first £4,250 you receive either, which means you could charge up to £354.16 a month without being lumbered with a tax bill.
8. Rent out a parking space
If you live close to a city centre, train station or football stadium and don’t use your parking space or garage, you’re sitting on a proverbial goldmine. Renting an empty parking place to a commuter or football fan could see you rake in the pounds.
Parkatmyhouse.com is a website where you can advertise your space free of charge and let frustrated drivers get in touch. A parking space in the West End of London, for example, can fetch £500 a month, while in a leafy suburb of Leeds a space could net you £100.
We’re all guilty of hoarding items that “could come in handy one day”. But one man’s rubbish could be another man’s treasure, which is why online auction website eBay.co.uk is so successful. In fact, eBay estimates the average British house has about £450 worth of unwanted items that could be sold on the site.
10. Car boot sales
If you’d prefer money in your palm instantly, a car boot sale is the place to go. Thousands of people flock to car boot sales every weekend, with pitches costing about £10 a day. To find out where to flog your booty, check out Carbootjunction.com.
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