How to tackle your debt by increasing your income

Last Modified 16th of February 2021

If you have created a budget and you are really panicking about the level of debt you have or the length of time it will take you to be debt free, there are many ways to increase your income.

The easiest way to increase our income can also be the hardest to do – if it has been a while since you had a pay review ask your employer for a pay rise or, if this is not an option, see if there is any overtime available.

Other ways to earn some extra cash can be split into two important categories:

Tax-free income

A very popular way to earn some spare cash tax-free is by selling your unwanted clothes and accessories on eBay. However most items will only sell for a small price, so it is likely this won’t clear your debt entirely.

Sell your old phones, Mp3 players, cameras and games consoles for a tidy sum. You get significantly more money if the items are working, particularly vintage or near-new. Money Saving Expert has a comparison tool that looks at what retailers will offer you the highest amount for your item.

Unwanted books, games and CDs can be sold to other consumers on Amazon or for a quick sale Music Magpie will buy your CDs and games (but at a much lower price). But it can earn you hundreds if you have a huge collection of unwanted items.

It might be a good idea to go to a carboot sale. Pitches range from £5 – £10 per car and you can sell all sorts. Make sure you arrive early as most carbooters are set up and selling by 8am! Check out Carboot Junction to find your nearest carboot sale.

Taxable income

You can earn additional income from a variety of sources.

  • Apply to be a delivery driver with your local supermarket or takeaway
  • Become an Uber driver in your spare time
  • Deliver leaflets, newspapers or directories
  • Creating jewellery or art and sell online or bake and sell at carboots or craft fairs.
  • Sign up to be a mystery shopper
  • Join Upwork where employers advertise a job and you can place a bid for the work.

Earning income that is taxable should be considered carefully. It is a legal requirement you inform HMRC that you are self employed within 3 months (even if this is part time alongside your main job) or you could incur a penalty. There is a simple official form that you will need to complete and send to HMRC called a CWF1 form.

You may be required to pay Class 2 National Insurance and you will need to complete a self assessment each year and pay tax on your earnings. The tax year runs from the 5th April and self assessments are due for the previous tax year by the 31st October by paper and 31st January online. Failure to submit a self assessment on time incurs penalties of £100 + interest. For more information please visit Working For Yourself on the government website.