5 ways freelancers can boost their income

29th August 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Articles

In the UK, increasing numbers of workers are turning to freelancing. Between 2008 and 2015 alone, the number of freelancers rose by 36%, according to figures from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed.

However, even though more people are taking advantage of the freedom and flexibility going solo offers, many are also being introduced to the leaner financial side of being self-employed. For instance, the median wage for a full-time self-employed worker aged 35–44 stands at £352 per week, while an employed worker of the same age will earn £574 (ONS). This snapshot highlights the disparity in income that many freelancers need to face, which can require a lot of adjustment if you’re switching to self-employment for the first time.

In this article, we’re going to cover five ways that you, as a freelancer, can give your income a boost and ensure your finances are a little more robust for the future. Read on to find out more.

Think about taking on extra work

Putting more time into your work is the most straightforward way of boosting your income, but it may not be the preferred solution for everyone. Adding an extra client or taking on extra projects is a sure-fire way to increase the amount of money you make, but you’ll probably need to consider how it will impact your lifestyle. You don’t want the quality of your work to suffer, either.

If you’re looking to put in some extra hours but you don’t really want to do it in your current field, it could be worth taking advantage of any other expertise you have. For example, if you’re a freelance graphic designer but also have skills in web development, there’s nothing stopping you from adding this service to your repertoire and taking on additional work.

Consider investment opportunities that pay income

When people think of investments, they often think of something that will pay out much later down the line, which isn’t really an income booster. But, there are quite a few flexible investments you can make with your cash that offer immediate returns to supplement your income.

Guaranteed Income Bonds from government-backed National Savings & Investments are one example of a secure investment that offers regular monthly interest payments to boost your income — you also get your original outlay back when they reach maturity.

Another low-risk investment that offers a regular income boost is peer-to-peer (P2P) lending. This online model allows you to invest cash that will be offered to those looking for a loan, with interest paid directly back to you. Because there are no banking overheads, lenders can enjoy higher rates of return than other similar investments. And, established platforms, such as Lending Works, allow you to withdraw this interest as a regular income, so you can boost your finances in the short-term.

Take advantage of cashback offers

Cashback is a popular way for consumers to get back some of the money they spend, but you might not be aware of the huge range of offers you can find. And, you can really take advantage of this if you know where to look, especially on large expenditures such as cars, insurance policies, and flights. By taking the time to find the best deals out there, you could earn some of your money back and boost your income.

To make life easier, you can use websites like Quidco and TopCashback to browse and search the very best cashback deals on the market. So, if you know you’re due a large expense, it’s worth taking a few extra steps to get some money back and soften the blow.

Get extra money through renting

In recent years, the potential to make extra cash through renting is increasing. In 2016, a report for the European Commission valued the “sharing economy” in Europe at €28 billion, identifying over 275 platforms that were allowing people to financially benefit from shared ownership or renting. So, it might be worth considering this as a solution to make some extra money alongside your freelance work.

From hiring out your driveway for parking to sharing ownership of garden tools, there are now opportunities to boost your income everywhere. For instance, becoming a part-time landlord or host is now easier financially thanks to the Government’s Rent a Room scheme, which allows you to earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free for letting out a furnished room in your home. This removes a lot of the stress if you want to take advantage of listing sites like Airbnb or FlipKey on a loose basis.

Share your knowledge — for a price

If you’re a skilled freelancer but you don’t really want to take on extra work in the usual capacity, then you could earn some money by teaching others. Whether you’re a freelance artist or an accountant, there will be others out there looking to develop their skills and you could be the person to offer them personal tuition. Teaching others can be a nice change of pace from your other work, so it could be a chance for you to make extra income without committing to new clients or projects.

And, thanks to the advances in technology over recent years, it’s easier than ever to reach people worldwide, giving you access to a larger audience. There are even platforms like Pinboard and Superprof that allow you to advertise your skills and offer remote or in-person tutoring to thousands of potential students online. Sharing your expertise and making some extra money at the same time has never been so easy.

Boosting your income when you’re a freelancer doesn’t have to be difficult if you know the best ways to do it. Just remember to plan any additional ventures in advance so that they’re never in danger of affecting your day job. Good luck!