How to boost your income from home

By Holly Thomas , Tuesday 14 February 2012

Alphabet T There are lots of ways of making money from things you already have – and don’t want or need.
It's amazing what people will buy - so start thinking creatively!It's amazing what people will buy - so start thinking creatively!
Quantitative easing
is back - and it’s bad news for people about to retire because printing extra money means annuity rates are driven downwards, which means you get less income from your pension pot.

Since photocopying £20 notes at home is out of the question for the rest of the population, it’s up to you to generate more cash.

There are lots of ways of making money from things you already have – and don’t want or need.

With many unwanted birthday or Christmas presents likely to end up in the loft, the smart thing to do is to turn them into something you do want. Cash!

Of course, there is eBay, the watchword in auction sites. Using eBay you can finally clear some space and make some money. And you will be surprised about what people will buy.

For eBay, first you need to register on the site, which is a fairly easy procedure. You enter your name and contact details and set up a password. Then you arrange a seller's account and give your credit or debit card and bank information.

To sell something, you put it on the site, which involves filling in a sale form for each item.

You will have to list it in a set category, so buyers can find what they are looking for. Write a title, including likely words people would search for when they want an item, and a description, which is your chance to push the article.

Describing its history and why someone should buy helps. The more details included on this Sell Your Item form, the fewer questions you will get from buyers.

Adding pictures will attract more interest. Then you just have to choose a starting price and a date and time for bidding to stop.

Of course, there are several potential pitfalls to trading online so make sure you check out eBay's safety centre. It contains a huge amount of information for both sellers and buyers.

You could also consider using Gumtree.com which is a free online notice board – perfect for selling items.

Amazon.co.uk has a function where you can sell things – and name your price. This is handy for CDs, DVDs and books in particular as people often go to Amazon to look for them.

Once you’ve cleared a space (and hopefully made a pretty penny), you can keep earning by renting out that space to others who need storage but don’t want to pay large fees to storage companies. You can use your garage or loft space to generate income if you advertise using new website Storemates (http://storemates.co.uk/).

Your driveway could also earn you money – especially if you happen to live near a football stadium. Those that do pocketed almost £500,000 in 2011 alone from renting spaces to supporters, according toparkatmyhouse.com. Equally, you could do well if you live near a train station where you can charge slightly less than the station car park and have a regular income.

If you have a spare bedroom and don’t mind sharing your home, you could rent it out. One in 10 homeowners earns extra cash by letting a room to a lodger, according to Santander bank.

These ‘rent-a-room’ entrepreneurs are raking in a total of £3.9bn a year – an average of £182 a month. The Revenue allows you to pocket up to £4,250 in this way, tax-free every year.

Old mobile phones can of course be sold on eBay. But there are a whole host of companies who will send you a cheque for old handsets – even broken ones. An old iPhone can reach around £100 with envirofone.com

All these things require some thought, time and effort but when the money rolls in you’ll be delighted.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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  • Simone Thulin

    Posted: Thursday 16 February 2012

    Storemates.co.uk have a lot of safeguards built in including a legal contract to ensure that all storage arrangements are all above board. I've just rented out a small section of my loft to a nice couple with a child and too many books. I get £45 a month for not doing anything, literally 'Cash in my attic'.

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