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How to top up your earnings with supplemental income

Read on for our guide to supplementing your income. Get ideas for creating a side hustle, learn how to generate income, and understand some basic tax and legal conditions for your new undertaking.

6 min read

Want to bring home a little extra bacon each month? Then read on for our guide to supplementing your income! Get ideas for creating a side hustle, learn how to generate passive income, and understand some basic tax and legal conditions for your new undertaking. Ready? Let’s get started.

Additional incomewhat’s it for?

 Additional income is a source of money that supplements your main income. Anyone can earn supplemental income—including students, retirees, freelancers, and even regular employees. Adding another revenue stream to your life can help you save up money, which you can then use in a variety of ways. For instance, you might want to: 

  • Finance a project. Whether you’re looking to fund your travels, finance a mortgage, buy a car, or set up a business, a little extra money never hurts when you’re starting a new venture.
  • Improve your quality of life. Whether you’re earning minimum wage, studying full time, or living on a limited retirement budget, the freedom that comes from having some extra income can significantly improve your quality of life. 
  • Pay off your debts. If you’re currently not earning enough to pay back your debts, or you want to kick your repayment plan into high gear, then adding another revenue stream is a great investment in your financial future.

Now that we’re clear on the why of supplemental income, let’s talk about how you can start earning extra income regularly.

Getting a side job for additional income

There are certain side jobs that are the go-to standard when it comes to making cash quickly. The reason for that is these jobs don’t usually require complicated qualifications—meaning just about anyone can pick them up, regardless of what you’re trained in. Consider the following mini jobs, if you haven’t already:

  • Babysitting
  • Pet sitting
  • Services of all kinds (like sewing, DIY jobs, cleaning, moving, gardening, and computer repairs)
  • Delivery driving—if you have a car—with platforms like Uber and Deliveroo
  • Private lessons. These can range from school subjects like math or science, to extracurriculars like art or music.
  • Hospitality. Pick up shifts as a waiter, bartender, host/hostess, etc.
  • Filling out surveys

It's up to you to choose based on your interests, skills, the time available to you, and the type of work that suits you best.

Doing freelance work to supplement your income

 Do you have advanced skills and experience in a particular area? Why not supplement your income by working as a freelancer? Unlike side jobs, freelancing or consultancy work requires a certain level of knowledge, and it’s only accessible to those with training and experience. Companies can recruit you for the duration of a job or for a specific project without hiring you long-term. The work you do might include:

  • Web design
  • Community management
  • Project management
  • Translation
  • Graphics, web design, and other web developer activities
  • Marketing
  • Writing

As well as making additional income online, freelance work allows you to build a portfolio and find your first clients—a real plus when you’re a student or looking to go freelance full-time.

To do freelance work alongside a primary job, people generally opt for something called the microenterprise scheme. This means, rather than shift your career focus to freelance, you maintain your day job while moving a part of your work into the freelance sector. In 2018, out of 1.39 million micro-entrepreneurs, nearly 40% were also employed in typical employee roles. For some, work on the side can also be a way to make a bit of extra money following your passion, without putting pressure on yourself when it comes to turnover. It’s a great way to get your feet wet and see open up other avenues of income—that might one day lead to even more profits! 

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Renting out your property for additional income

Going on vacation and leaving your home and car behind? Why not earn a little cash while you’re away by renting them out? Short term property rental is a booming industry, thanks to the growth of the sharing economy. It allows you to supplement your income without taking on additional work. You can also extend the concept to numerous other objects in addition to your home or car, such as:

  • Your DIY tools
  • Your bike/scooter/motorbike Your attic, cellar, or any space that can be used for storage
  • Your equipment—lawnmower, coffee machine, ski equipment, etc.

To rent out your home, try posting a listing on AirBnB or LeBonCoin. As for your car or vehicle, there are now several carpooling sites like Getaround and Ouicar. And for your belongings, you can use specialist platforms like Kiwiiz. Check out the platforms and see how much other people are charging for comparable places and things, and set your prices from there.

Selling items to top up your income

Not only does it free up space around the house, but selling your items is a source of additional income that doesn’t require much time or skill. When it comes to selling items, (almost) everything is on the table. You can sell:

  • Your clothes. Vinted is the premier online platform for selling used clothes.
  • Your furniture. As well as LeBonCoin, you can post ads on sites like Mymobilier.
  • Your books, CDs, and DVDs, on sites like Momox.
  • All kinds of miscellaneous items like toys, cooking and gardening accessories, IT equipment, etc.

Selling online isn’t the only way to offload your possessions for cash. You can also try some in-person options that might be more accessible, like a yard sale or flea market.

Find out more about selling used items.

 💡To find out whether you can make a profit selling your old items, don’t forget to take seller fees into account. This shipping costs if you’re mailing your items, registration fees for a place at a yard sale (expect to pay €10 to €30). In addition, some sites like eBay and Vide-Dressing charge commission, and fees apply for PayPal payments.

Additional incomethe legal side

Depending on the type of additional income and profits earned, you’ll need to declare your extra income to the tax authorities and possibly pay taxes on it, filling out form 2042-C.

When it comes to the side jobs mentioned in the first paragraph (tutoring, DIY, pet sitting, etc.), as well as renting out goods or your accommodation, you’ll definitely need to declare your income from these activities. If your total income is less than €72,600, you can choose the “micro-BIC” scheme, which is the simplest and best suited to additional income. You’ll have to pay tax on this supplemental income if it exceeds €305. You’ll be taxed on the income tax rate of 50% to 66% of the money earned.

By contrast, selling second-hand items isn’t subject to tax if the amount doesn’t exceed €5,000 per year, with the exception of selling cars or household appliances.

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