In this article, Peter Watton, from matched betting specialists OddsMonkey, shares five of the best ways that you can boost your salary from the comfort of your own computer.
Today, many full-time workers in the UK regularly face financial pressures that can put a strain on their income — something that’s not helped by rising living costs and uncertainty over Brexit. Whether you’re looking pay off debts, save for a deposit on a house, or just put some money away for a rainy day, these monetary obstacles can often hamper attempts to give yourself a comfy lifestyle.
This is part of the reason why the number of working Brits that have a side hustle — a secondary income that can help ease some of this pressure — has risen by 32% in the last ten years (CEBR). While these extra ways of earning money can increase working hours, they’re often adding essential funds that allow people to achieve their financial goals.
So, if you’re interested in picking up a side hustle to supplement your salary, I’ve listed five great ideas that you can get stuck into from the comfort of your own computer below.
There are now 4.8 million freelancers in the UK (ONS), many of which are doing so in addition to their day job. From accounting to photography, there are a whole host of ways you can make some extra money from home, so it’s well worth thinking about your skillset and qualifications and finding out if there’s anything you could do.
There are a couple of things to consider, however. For one, you need to make sure that any extra work doesn’t impact your day job, and you might need to inform your employer of your intentions (check your contract). You’ll also need to consider the Income Tax implications of picking up extra income, so be sure to check the Income Tax rules to make sure you’re paying the right amount.
In 2019, we’re at the point where nearly everyone shops online in some form or has at least bought something on occasion. Well, what if you were to start selling as well as buying? There are plenty of options for the savvy would-be retailer, ranging from crafts that you’ve made yourself to wholesale products that you buy cheap and sell at a mark-up.
Again, you will need to be aware of how much you’re selling, particularly if you exceed the £1,000 tax-free trading allowance enforced by HMRC. Remember to get in touch with them and pay the correct Income Tax if you go over this amount.
When you’re thinking of ways to make regular money, placing bets might not sound like the safest option — but then you probably aren’t familiar with matched betting. This technique makes use of the free bet offers from bookmakers to build up actual cash winnings and can be done on a regular basis.
What’s more, you don’t even need to know about sports or other betting markets to take advantage of this method, as bets are “matched” on more than one outcome, so there’s very little risk. Plus, because your income from this activity is classed as winnings, you won’t need to pay any tax.
If you find that you have a lot of time in the evenings, why not spend some of it sharing your opinion while filling in some paid-for surveys? Though the fees for completing one aren’t huge, they aren’t time consuming and you can answer quite a few in just one evening session, so it’ll soon add up. This is a good money-making activity that can be combined with other side hustles.
It is worth taking some time to research any site that you are going to respond to, as there are some unreliable companies out there — stick to those with a good reputation and you’ll be fine.
Rent out your parking space
While it may sound a little outlandish at first, it is possible to rent out your driveway to motorists looking to a secure a regular parking space. This works well for both parties: the commuter will save money by getting a cheaper space than other parking options, and you get to pocket the fee.
Obviously, this will only work if you live in an area with great demand for parking, such as being near a city centre or business park, but you can often earn decent money for very little effort. You also need to be sure that you will not need to use the space in the near future.
Simply have a look for an online listing service near you (there’s a few of them out there) and you’re likely to find somewhere you can advertise your driveway.
Take my five suggestions for side hustles on board and you’ll be making some money to boost your regular salary in no time at all. All that’s left is to figure out what you’ll do with the cash.
THE EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL COST OF WORKING WITH OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY
Slow Tech Could Waste 24 Hours of Worktime a Year
In this digital age, businesses are hugely reliant on technology to get work done. And this is especially the case for one-man-bands and small home-based businesses who may count on a single computer to keep things running smoothly from their home office space.
This said, if the technology at hand is slow or outdated, it could become more of a hinderance than a help. Investing in upgraded tech may seem like a steep expense, however, delays cost time and time is money. In fact, recent research looking at the impact of tech troubles in the workplace found that delays caused by slow technology could add up to a hefty 24 days’ worth of worktime a year per person.
Here’s why keeping hold of outdated tech when its past its best could cost your business in the long run.
The biggest tech hold-ups
Delving deeper into the research, it’s evident that the most time can be lost on some of the smallest of tasks. Simply waiting for your computer to boot up, for example, can add up to 8.8 days of lost time over the space of a year (17 minutes a day), while 8.5 days can be lost to opening emails (16.5 minutes a day). Slow software has the most to answer for, however, contributing 10.4 days’ worth of wasted worktime (20 minutes a day). When you think about your own day rate or that of an employee’s, this lost time all adds up to some serious money, right? Probably more than it would cost to upgrade your tech.
Productivity can suffer too
Glitchy tech may not only cost your business time and money; productivity can take a serious hit too. According to the study, a third of workers admit losing motivation when they have to wait on tech to respond. And this comes as no surprise. When faced with freezing programmes and buffering browsers every day, frustration can build up. And when someone’s suffering frustration, productivity and motivation can drop. As a result, it may turn out it’s not just the tech that is slowing down tasks, but a reduction in employee efficiency too.
Tech expert and anti-futurist, Theo Priestley, argues that the issues caused by outdated tech at work can even have a negative effect on someone’s work-life balance and wellbeing. He explains, “not being able to complete work or feel productive or have a sense of accomplishment in a task can be a stressful experience. And depending on the nature of the work, more often than not, employees will need to work additional hours to compensate for the wasted time, which has a knock-on impact on personal and family life.”
Outdated tech can put your business at risk
Beyond the costs to your business, outdated tech can also put it at increased risk of cybercrime. The older the technology, the easier it is for hackers to exploit it. What’s more, if you don’t update your security software regularly, it won’t be equipped to address the latest security threats.
Priestley explains “outdated technology and software means easy exploitation from inside and outside the organisation. If you’re not using the latest versions of operating systems, or software that you’ve invested in, then there’s greater chance for someone to exploit known weaknesses in that system and expose or steal data or valuable company information from them.”
What is the solution?
Regularly assess what condition your hardware and software are in and where delays are occurring. If you find yourself waiting on the same problem day in day out, it’s probably time to do something about it. But how often should you be upgrading your IT equipment?
In general, a computer being used for business could do with being upgraded every two to three years for optimal performance. Alternatively, sometimes simply upgrading the memory or hard drive can help applications run more quickly. Any other equipment such as printers, keyboards, etc. only really need to be replaced when they break.
As for software, upgrade it regularly. While it can be a temptation to stick with older versions that you’ve grown accustomed to, the newer versions will offer improved capabilities, efficiency and security.
While computers slowing down over time seems inevitable and something that we’ve accepted will happen, it’s important for businesses to recognise the problem can have a bigger knock-on effect than you may think. By investing in updated, efficient technology, the savings experienced via productivity are likely to vastly outweigh the price of the tech itself. So, next time your computer freezes, perhaps consider whether it’s time for an upgrade.
OFFSHORE COMPANY FORMATION TACTICS FOR SMEs
James Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little
Starting a business brings with it its own set of challenges, as well as opportunities. But when setting up a business, the where is often as important as the how, and knowing what to expect in terms of company formation regulations and requirements is key, so you can start your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot.
James Turner, Director at company formation specialists, Turner Little, takes us through what we need to consider when it comes to offshore company formation, and the benefits it can offer start-ups and SMEs.
“Despite what the media will have you believe, there are numerous legitimate reasons to use an offshore company. Offshore companies can often provide SMEs with access to better infrastructure and legal frameworks. Regulations in different parts of the world could prove to be restrictive for businesses by preventing foreign entities from launching factories, buying property or investing in local companies. In this instance, setting up an offshore company can help in completing transactions and provide you with the ability to hold any local assets necessary,” says James.
“However, one of the fundamental reasons for setting up an offshore company is often privacy. Moving assets or setting up a business is often done in a country that offers more tightly protected data security, has a robust legal framework and a network of service providers that streamline the setting up process. Switzerland is often the country of choice when it comes to privacy, as it’s synonymous with security and data privacy. Another reason SMEs should consider setting up an offshore company is tax efficiency. Tax advantages are offered by different jurisdictions. For example, Singapore has one of the lowest corporate tax rates, while the Cayman Islands might be more ideal for freelancers who are looking to minimise the effective tax rate on their businesses,” adds James.
“Offshore companies provide SMEs with the ability to mitigate risks that arise from political instability or currency volatility. We have already seen businesses starting to register European entities in order to limit their exposure to the fallout that may result from Brexit. Whatever the reason, spreading your operations across jurisdictions may be the best long-term business strategy SMEs can adopt to secure future growth,” adds James.
Turner Little specialises in creating bespoke solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes. The knowledge and expertise of their specialists will be able to assist with any enquires, no matter how complex.
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