How we increased our income by £10,000 in ONE year

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Are you looking for ways to make extra money?

While we’re always on the lookout for ways to increase our annual income, the very first year we decided to live debt free, we actually managed to increase our income by a whopping £10,000. It’s crazy, I know!

Let me start by telling you that around about the first week we made this debt free living thing a life choice, I believed that we had no spare income, no way of making any extra income and would not be able to live debt free. I’d read all the same articles you’ve probably seen, and believed that it just wouldn’t happen for me and my family. It happened to other people.

Except that it didn’t, and I very happily found out that you can make extra money in addition to your day job if you’ve got one, in your spare time. And not that much spare time either. With 3 kids and a house to run, I don’t have that much spare time.

If I can do this, anyone can. Really.

So how did I start off?

Full of motivation and excitement for our new life goal, I got stuck in straight away. The feeling that we were really going to do this, start making extra money and finally begin living a debt free life, carried me forward and I started researching ways to bring in extra income.

I came across loads of articles with names like ‘make money online filling in surveys’ and earn extra money dong XY&Z but honestly? I already knew they wouldn’t really make much of a dent in our pretty huge pile of debt.

That’s not to say that you can’t make money from doing these things, you can, but I felt my time could be better used doing something that netted us more money. I was right.

Being a natural planner, I knew I needed a strategy. This came in the form of other bloggers income reports like this one who, from what I could see had already done the hard work of finding out which online money making hustles work well and which ones, well, not so much!

So I simply made a list of the top things that seemed to make people money online. I’ll admit now, it wasn’t a very complicated strategy! I also added my own non-internet based side hustles if they worked well enough, since wasn’t especially picky, I just had a goal.

And that goal was quite simply to make extra money!

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So what were the 3 things that gave us £10,000 extra cash in year one?

I’m very happy to share :)

Matched betting for extra money

Hmmm…..matched betting. There’s just something about it that’s a little off putting isn’t there. I wish this was called another name, because if it was, I wouldn’t have held off trying it for, maybe 18 months! I’m not a gambler. I like to make money, not lose it and I know the odds are stacked against the customer at a bookies. I’m trying to tell you that gambling just isn’t me.

So it was with a little caution that I ventured into the matched betting world, but what can I say, I’ve honestly never looked back.

I’ve talked about matched betting before and laid out the in’s and out’s so I won’t bore you with the details again here, but I will tell you that since I started doing this I’ve consistently made over £500 (& sometimes a lot more) a month. And it’s tax free. Yes, totally tax free.

It took me a couple of hours to get myself in a comfortable place and I felt like I knew what I was doing, and after that, I was off. I would say that the money is best when you first start off.

This is because of the sign up offers that you get. They’re pretty lucrative to draw you in…..and they can make you a tidy profit in the world of side hustles.

After you’ve made your way through the sign up offers matched betting has to offer, you can move onto the reloads. These are simply where you’ve not placed a bet for a while and the online bookies (you never have to step into a real bricks and mortar bookies!) try to lure you back with new offers. Naturally this works and allows you to pocket more profit!

I want to be super clear here…..there is NO financial risk to matched betting, despite it’s name.

I used this site to help me learn matched betting, but there are others, several actually. You can also make money from matched betting without using a subscription service at all. I wasn’t confident enough, but many people do. The one I used is £17.99 a month and I consider it worth it because I make so much more than this.

If you sign up and forget about it, you’re obviously going to be throwing that cash down the drain. And that is not the idea here folks. So make sure you only keep it whilst you’re using it!

We Buy Books (making money on the side reselling pre-loved/ secondhand books)

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Do you have a love of books? Have an eye for picking out unusual or rare books form the secondhand book shop? Even if you are just happy to mooch round a secondhand book store, you’ve got a way to make some cash here.

I love this money making side job I found accidentally one day. It’s not online, and you do have to leave your house, but you know, it’s good to get out once in a while :)

We Buy Books basically buys pre loved, or second hand books from you. Simple as that. Except you can make a tidy profit from it, long after you’ve cleared out your house of unwanted books. Extra money coming in from book selling? Well I love books and I love extra money so naturally I was keen…..

I’ll tell you now that they pay your postage for the books, as they’re h e a v y and the postage costs would wipe out any profit. You download a pre-paid postage label. You do have to lug them to the post office, but you know, rope the kids in to help you.

So how does this work? Read on….

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Download the FREE app and sign up. You’ll see they have a scanner for the books ISBN number. When you scan this, you’ll get one of two things. You’ll either get a ‘no thanks’ message (they have enough fifty shades of grey, they tell me!) or you’ll get an offer price for your book.

So this here is a screen shot of some books that I scanned in to show you what you can expect to see.

So. Make your way around your house and anyone else’s who’ll let you, scan every book in sight and see how much you can get. The books need to be in a reasonable condition, although I’ve never had anything returned. But be aware that they could return books to you if they’re too shabby.

They like non-fiction books best I’ve found. Cook books, biographies and reference books get a fair price here. I found an Indian Vegetarian cookbook for 50p in a secondhand shop and they offered me £5.41 for it. Yes please! While you don’t often get these huge prices for books, it’s great when you do.

So where do you get books from once your supply has run dry?

Well, there’s a number of places. Where we live, there is a Charity book shop (they only sell books) that sells all their books for £1. There are branches of this type of shop all over the country, This is more than We Buy Books will often offer you, so these shops are better for reference books and I’ve often found some of my higher paying books in these shops.

Regular charity shops are also a great source of secondhand books where you’ll be able to make some extra cash. Remember, you’re scanning the books with the We Buy Books APP before you buy, so you know you’ll make a profit before you spend a penny.

The summer months are amazing for car boot sales. I find that books are not great sellers. There are people who tend to be looking for something specific at car boot sales, ignoring the others.

This is perfect for us, since we don’t care what the book is, only the price We Buy Books is going to give us for it. If you go towards the end of a boot sale, sellers are often happy to sell their books for 10 or 20p each,because they don’t want to have to carry them all home again.

If I’ve found enough, I’ll offer the seller a reduced price in exchange for me buying say, 20 books. They’re happy and I’m happy.

Monthly, I make between £100 and £150 depending on the luck I have finding high paying books. I tend to go to secondhand books shops while I’m in town anyway, meaning I’m not really going out of my way. I’ve got to know the bookshop workers, some of them do this now as well!

Keep you eyes open where you live for secondhand books. There are tens of MILLIONS of books given away each year. Some of those will be being given away where you live :)

Selling a physical product on Amazon

We had sold stationery on eBay for a while. Some months were better than others and it just ticked along, mostly as pocket money for my teenage son who would pack and ship the orders. When we started looking seriously to increase our income, we decided to add Amazon to the mix and start selling on there as well.

The stationery would come typically from AliExpress which for those who don’t know, is an online Chinese wholesaler where you can purchase very small quantities of goods, rather than having to buy a whole shipment of product, as used to be the case.

Sometimes if we saw something in a shop that was on offer, for example colouring pens or pencils, we’d get them if we thought we could make a profit, but in general, we stuck to AliExpress.

The actual products tended to be all the same type of thing. I found that we had a lot of repeat customers who’d come back to us several times because they knew we sold stationery they liked.

There a literally millions of things you can sell on AliExpress. Once you start having a browse it’s hard to stop, and picking a product is even harder. (I only settled on stationery because of some odd childhood and now life long obsession I have with stationery!).

How do you go about setting up an Amazon shop?

It’s straight forward and pretty easy. There are two ways of doing it.

Per per sale or pay a higher monthly subscription to sell as much as you like. With most things I’m very cautious, so for me, I was more comfortable selling where I paid a % of each product I sold.

I wanted to test the water first!

All it took was 2 months before I upgraded our account to a monthly fee instead of & per product, happy I was that we were selling more than enough to cover these costs and still bring in a nice profit.

So monthly (after month 3, I think) I made never less than £300, after we’d paid the amazon seller fees. This includes money we earn from eBay where we still also sell online.

Extra money ideas that really worked for us

I hope you’ve got a couple of ideas from here that have sparked an idea for you.

Honestly, I didn’t believe that it would be possible to increase our income by this much in just a year.

Like a lot of people, I thought that I needed a raise at work to be able to earn more, but it turned out that a few extra hours were all I needed.

Let me know how you get on!

(side note: I am NOT a financial professional and am not qualified to give financial advice. Selling on online market places is a business and so you’ll need to pay tax on any profit)

4 thoughts on “How we increased our income by £10,000 in ONE year”

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