How to boost your income when you’re furloughed from work

furloughed from work

If you’re wondering how to boost your income when you’re furloughed from work, then you’ve come to the right place.  We’ve complied this great list of financial hacks, to ensure you can use the time productively and generate that extra income you so desperately need.

Being furloughed from your job can be very daunting.  Whether or not your employer has decided to guarantee any loss in your income, will not prevent many people feeling concerned about their job security.  

If the company are furloughing staff, are they financially capable of riding out the storm and will there be a job at the end of it for me? This will be a common question many will be asking themselves right now.

Being furloughed however, provides a fantastic opportunity to look for new ways to boost your income and re-skill.  You’re currently in the most enviable of positions where you’re essentially being paid indefinitely to not work. 

Think of this as a positive and read on below to explore new ways to generate extra income and perhaps learn new skills that you can continue using once you’re back at work.

6 top ideas on boosting your income when you’re furloughed from work

1. Get another job

Getting a job

Ok, so let’s start with the most obvious idea to boost your income when you’re furloughed from work; just get another job!

Governments across the world are haemorrhaging money on the various schemes to keep their economies afloat.  Many have therefore unsurprisingly made it quite clear, that anyone who finds themselves furloughed are able to seek employment elsewhere during this time. 

Gaining alternative employment means you’ll continue to pay income tax and therefore help fund the significant amounts of current government spending.

In every crisis there are winners and losers and for every business struggling in these uncertain times, there are others who are doing well and need additional staff numbers to help. 

It’s no surprise that supermarkets, logistic companies and takeaway restaurants are seeing a huge surge in demand for their services and need many extra pairs of hands to continue providing their services.

Why not contact some local businesses and see if they require some extra help?  Remember, not every company have furloughed staff and with so many employees working from home, productivity levels in most businesses will be under strain. 

It’s therefore not just those businesses doing well in this crisis that need help, others might be in need of extra staff to improve the productivity that may have been lost during this time too.  

It’s now easier than ever to make contact with companies in your local area, whether that be via phone or a simple email, but as the old adage states, ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ and you have nothing to lose from asking the question; so, what’s stopping you?

2. Gig Economy (freelancing)

The gig economy

Following on from the same theme around getting another job to boost income when furloughed, the gig economy can’t be ignored.  Rather than seek a structured form of employment like working at a supermarket, why not dip your toe in the ever-expanding gig economy?

The global gig economy on many estimates is worth trillions of dollars and for many advocates of this new movement, it represents the future of work.  A marketplace where anyone can offer their skills at any value they think is suitable and those that agree can ‘hire’ that individual for the gig they need them to fulfil.  

Whether it be writing a blog post, designing a website, voice over projects and administrational work, there is almost no topic that isn’t covered in this new world.

There are various websites that have sprung up to capture this market and provide a digital platform for buyers and sellers to come together and one of the biggest is called Fiverr (www.Fiverr.com)

Founded in 2010 and based in Israel, it’s become a go-to marketplace for those looking to freelance and those looking to hire people for short term gigs.  It’s a very simple website to navigate through and is open to anyone wanting to sell their services.

If you’re currently furloughed from work and looking for ways to boost your income, then places like Fiverr provide a great option for you.  Browse their site, find your niche, estimate your value and post a gig. 

It doesn’t take long to create a job listing and you have nothing to lose.  If no-one responds then you’ve only lost the time it took you to post, whereas if they do, it could lead to an income boost that doesn’t need to finish when you go back to work. 

You might find that earning money in this way is so enjoyable, it becomes a pastime you continue for many years to come.

3. Second-Hand Selling

Seeking employment at another company or participating in the gig economy are great ways to boost your income when furloughed from work, but if you’re looking for a more instant financial lift, what items around the house could you sell?

Why not use this period of being furloughed to not just declutter your house or apartment, but use it as an opportunity to boost your income by selling your unwanted goods to others? 

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so underestimate your unwanted goods at your peril. Most households are cluttered with items that were purchased for good intentions but for one reason or another are now rarely used, if ever.

You won’t have to look hard to find a mountain of old CD’s, books, clothes, children’s toys, furniture, games consoles etc and selling these items online is a very simple process.

Why stop at your unwanted goods?  What about your friends and family, have they got items you could sell on their behalf?  Ask them to itemise their belongings that they would be happy to sell and perhaps agree on some sort of revenue share. 

You’d be providing a much-valued service and I’m sure many would be happy for you to sell their items and share the resulting spoils.

Ebay (www.Ebay.com) is now the most globally recognised way of selling second hand items online, but you’ll also find many similar local providers and social media groups that offer the same service but tailored for those that live in your surrounding area.

Most websites today are designed to be intuitive and Ebay (www.Ebay.com) is a very simple site to navigate and post items for sale on.  If you’re looking for a quick and relatively pain free way to boost your income now you’re furloughed, look no further than those items you’ve been meaning to get rid of for a long time now.  Go ahead and find them a new home and get them generating a much-needed income for you in this uncertain time of your life.

4. Cut Costs – Be Frugal

Often people fall into the trap of thinking that to boost their income they need to generate money by producing or selling something.  Arguably however, the easiest way to boost your income is to simply reduce your current costs and expenses. 

Reducing your outgoings by default provides you with an instant financial boost, that can help fund the income you are potentially losing whilst being furloughed.

Have a look at your monthly outgoings and question which are essential, and which could be swapped for a cheaper alternative. 

Start with your weekly food shop, which for many of us represents one of the largest outgoings each month.  Are there expensive brand items that you’d consider swapping for a cheaper alternative?  How much fresh food goes to waste each week in your household and should you therefore think about buying less of it? Do you need that many ready meals; how about utilising your time and cook more, since batch cooking and freezing is a great way to learn to cook and eat for less.

Next up are the subscription services you use.  Most of us have monthly subscriptions that are potentially eating into our income at a time when we could do without them. 

Fortunately, many are paid month by month, so why not cancel some of your monthly subscriptions for the period of time you’re furloughed.  The time you have now saved by not using that service for a month, can be spent on more productive projects, like exploring the other ideas on this blog perhaps?

5. Upskill

A great way to boost your income at any period in your career is to upskill and learn new skills, that add value to you as an employee and make you more attractive to a broader spectrum of Employers.

When you’re employed full time, one of the biggest hurdles faced when trying to upskill is finding the time to learn a new trade or skill in the first place.  Being furloughed could be the only time in your career that you have a significant period of spare time to learn those new skills, that make you more valuable going forward.

The internet is the greatest resource of our time in providing a wealth of information to help you learn new skills.  You’ll find a plethora of websites and platforms that will provide this information for free, so for many skills, you won’t necessarily have to pay anything to acquire the skills you’ll use going forward to boost your income.

The options are endless and for the most part are not limited to your current skillset.  Anyone can learn anything and start at any level, so what do you enjoy doing that perhaps could generate an income if you could become better at it?  Horticulture, computer programming, teaching, digital marketing, plumbing – the list is indeed a long one.

Even in a world of growing artificial intelligence you have in your head the most powerful computer that’s ever been ‘developed’, your brain. Unlike real computers, it takes time to download new skills to your onboard computer, but being furloughed provides that time you need to start downloading!

6. Be loyal and get rewarded

Look after the penny’s and the pounds will look after themselves.  Whatever currency you use, that proverb is true the world over.  If you’re savvy financially and look after the small pots of income you can make, they can amass to a more substantial value.

Loyalty is a valuable commodity for every business and you’ll find many will offer various loyalty schemes that will pay you in tokens or vouchers. 

Look at your spending habits and ask if by virtue of changing the way you spend your hard-earned money, could that itself generate an income boost? 

Do you always fill up at the same petrol station? Do you always shop at the same supermarket? Do you use a credit card and if so, what rewards does it offer you when using it?

The economy of tokens and rewards based on your loyalty and attention is currently going through a renaissance, that will slowly become more embedded into so much of what we spend and how we spend it.

The Brave browser is one of the many services at the forefront of this trend, where you are essentially paid to simply browse the web. 

If you’re agnostic about what browser you use to surf the internet (Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox etc) then why not check out www.Brave.com.   It’s not going to generate the kind of money you need to retire, but it will certainly add some of those pennies we spoke about earlier.

By making slight adjustments to the way you spend and utilising loyalty rewards wherever possible, you can slowly build up a steady stream of little value pots that together can supplement any income you receive via other sources.  

Conclusion

You now have all the tools you need to answer your initial question around how to boost your income when you’re furloughed from work.  Whether you look to implement some, or all of our suggestions, they should help you produce a great income boost at a time when it’s needed the most.  What are you waiting for?

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