Although inflation continued to fall during July (reaching 6.8%), the cost of living remains disproportionately high in the UK, while the retention of a base interest rate above 5% (5.25% at the time of writing) is also inflating the cost of loan and mortgage repayments.
While saving money and adopting a more frugal lifestyle is often considered to be key during times of economic tumult, such measures are less effective when inflation is running so far above the central bank’s 2% target. In such instances, optimising your earnings and creating new revenue streams can be far more effective, especially when combined with solid time management and organisation skills.
Of course, we’ve endured a strained economic climate since the great financial crash in 2008, which may go some way to explaining the rise of the so-called “gig economy” (more on this below) and the relative ease with which money can now be earned from home and similarly virtual settings.
But what are the best and most effective ways of earning money from home in the current economic climate? Let’s find out!
Consider the Respective Merits of Trading and Investing
Ultimately, achieving passive income is the goal for most individuals who want to make money from home, especially those of you who already hold down a full-time job.
In this case, your best bet may be to enter the global financial marketplace, which is a huge and complex entity and one that’s also home to a diverse range of asset classes. Such a breadth of markets even underpins different ways of making money, with a clear distinction to be drawn between the practices of trading and investing.
When it comes to the former, you can earn a supplemental income from practices such as forex trading, which is a highly speculative and flexible vehicle that enables you to trade without assuming ownership of the underlying asset. As a result, you can profit directly from depreciating prices, while leveraging the market’s innate volatility to your advantage rather than attempting to negate this.
Conversely, investors tend to seek out more tangible and secure stores of wealth in exchange for their capital, in the form of dividend stocks, government bonds or commodities like gold. Such assets suit more risk-averse individuals with a long-term outlook or desire to earn reliable returns, but once again, you’ll be able to build passive income streams over time
The good news here is that you select a passive income stream and vehicle that best suits your needs, depending on your capital holdings, appetite for risk and desired returns. Just remember, trading vehicles tend to require a greater time commitment and focus on analysis, as you’ll have to pre-empt price shifts and trends in real-time in order to achieve even incremental profits.
It’s also crucial that you’re agile and continue to diversify your investment portfolio over time, in line with your successes (or failures) and the wider market conditions. I’d also recommend identifying the best forex platform when trading, especially as this may also offer access to alternative asset classes and markets through a single platform.
Marketing Your Skills and Experience as a Freelancer
If you already have a 9-5 job, you may also want to consider leveraging your existing skillset to create additional earning opportunities through freelancing.
I’ve already touched on the rise of the gig economy, which is powered by around 1-in-6 UK adults and contributes approximately £20 billion per annum to the wider economy in the UK. Interestingly, almost half (48%) of all gig economy workers also hold down a full-time job, with this number having continued to grow markedly during the digital age and as the wider economic condition has worsened on these shores.
So, there’s clearly an opportunity to take your existing skills and market them successfully to an army of motivated employers, who are increasingly keen on the notion of flexible hiring and minimising labour costs in line with real-time work needs and projects.
The most important element of this is networking, as you should use sites such as LinkedIn to promote your work and network effectively with potential employers. It’s also important to understand which niches experience the highest demand for freelance workers, with the creative industries offering a particularly interesting case in point.
This means that content designers, copywriters, SEO technicians and graphic designers are always in high demand among employers who are striving to hire freelancers, enabling you to build new and flexible income streams from the comfort of your own home.
Embrace the Great British Side Hustle
If you do decide to freelance your skills and experience, you may achieve significant success and become highly accomplished in your field (if you weren’t already thought of in this way).
In this case, you may be able to scale your freelance operation into a sole trader entity or successful business, which may be managed either as a lucrative side hustle or full-time and fully functional commercial venture.
For example, those of you with SEO expertise could gradually scale your endeavours to offer such services as a limited company, while recruiting talented employees to expand the depth and range of your capabilities. This may mean expanding into other and related fields, such as website design and outreach.
Of course, such a business can be managed largely from home, although there’s obviously a risk associated with transitioning from a paid employee or freelancer to a business owner whose entire financial solvency may be dependent on the success or failure of such a venture.
However, owning a business can be rewarding both from a financial and human perspective, while there’s no doubt that owning and operating a cost-effective business venture is easier than ever in the digital age.