A quarter of Brits boost earnings with secondary income

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22 October 2021 - One in four Brits have taken to boosting their earnings with a secondary income stream – bringing in an extra £530 each month.

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Research of 2,000 employed adults found that 58% of those working more than one job are motivated by making ends meet, and over a third (38%) want to increase their disposable income.

43% simply want to feel more confident about money, while 16% like the idea of being more productive in their spare time.

However, 37% have turned to an additional income as a direct response to rising bills, and 23% want money in the bank as a back-up plan. Paying for Christmas is also a concern for 25% of adults.

And for one in 10 adults earning extra, having a side income which is different to their main income is simply a way to pursue a particular passion.

Andrew Lindsay, CEO of Utility Warehouse, which commissioned the research, said:

“Whilst having a secondary income is increasingly common, an astonishing two thirds of people think it is either the norm, or soon will be.

“We’ve seen the rise of the second income first-hand with growing interest in our UW Partner opportunity, as more and more post-pandemic Brits are seeking work that can fit into the nooks and crannies of their lives, outside of the 9-to-5 and that can be done from anywhere.”

It emerged that the most popular secondary incomes are selling items online (19%), closely followed by baking or catering (17%). 

16% have offered services to others such as dog walking or cleaning and one in six have taken up home improvements such as handywork or gardening.

Other avenues popular among those who have found alternative incomes include wedding planning, referring products and services to friends and family, and becoming a social media influencer.

The study also found the average person with a side job spends around 10 hours a week making it work.

Of those who have ever had a secondary income, the study shows doing something you enjoy is the biggest tip to make it a success (34%).

Other tips include dedicating a set amount of time to the job (27%), focusing on tasks which are most likely to generate income (24%), using word of mouth for marketing (22%), setting long term goals (20%), and building a strong social media presence (18%).

As many as 35% of adults have considered turning their side income into a part time role but would need as much as £2,738 a month to give up the day job, which is equivalent to £32,856 a year.

However, of the 2,000 respondents polled via OnePoll, a whopping 72% admit they wouldn’t have a clue about how best to start up a new company of their own.

Andrew Lindsay from Utility Warehouse added:

"With the cost of living set to continue rising, it's no wonder we're seeing more people looking at alternative ways to earn.

“Whether it’s additional income on top of a main job or taking a more flexible approach to earning, resourceful Brits are reinventing the single, traditional job model to make working life work better for them.

"And the right kind of flexible working can really pay off. In 2020, UW Partners earned over £25 million by helping their friends and family save on their household bills, working in their own time and on their own terms.”

For more information about the UW Partner opportunity


1. To help with finances
2. To increase disposable income
3. To feel more comfortable about money

4. To keep up with rising energy bills, inflation and National Insurance rates
5. To help pay for Christmas
6. For a back-up plan
7. To go on nicer holidays
8. To spend more money on myself
9. To cover cover all my monthly expenses
10. To do something I enjoy
11. To be productive in my spare time
12. Because I feel insecure in my full-time job
13. To be my own boss
14. To make the most of my skills
15. To work more flexibly, outside of the 9-to-5

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