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Boost your balance: 6.8 million Australians are finding ways to make extra cash

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Australians are drastically looking to boost their earnings as the cost of living continues to bite, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,001 respondents revealed one-third of Australians (34%) – equivalent to 6.8 million people – have sought extra income to reduce the cost of living burden.

The research shows 1 in 7 (14%) people have started selling their second-hand items including clothes and furniture to make some extra cash.

Almost 1 in 10 (9%) have started investing in shares in the hope it would help them manage their expenses.

Sarah Megginson, money expert at Finder, said a growing number of people are feeling the pinch.

"Many have restricted their spending but that's proving insufficient, with millions needing to increase their earnings.

"A lot of this extra income is going to go straight to paying for increasing home loan repayments, rising rents and grocery bills rather than things like dinner and a movie."

The Finder survey found 8% have taken on a second job while the same proportion have started a business on the side.

Investing in cryptocurrency (7%) and freelancing (2%) round out the top 6 actions Aussies have taken to make more money this year.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows the national median income is $805 a week – there are over 9.6 million people earning below the national median income or earning no income.

Megginson said the economic climate is affecting the lives of many.

"From buying a trolley of groceries at the supermarket to filling up a tank of fuel – it's getting quite desperate for households trying to make their dollar stretch further.

"As households pay more for essentials such as food and accommodation, every extra dollar helps.

"Early action is important for those struggling day to day."

Megginson said it was critical to stick to a budget.

"Budgeting gives you financial freedom because it lets you allocate money towards "fun" expenses, without feeling guilty or that you're putting your financial future on the line.

"If you're not sure how to allocate your spending, the 50/30/20 rule is a great place to start. This is a strategy where you divvy up your take-home pay into 3 different categories: needs (50%), wants (30%) and savings (20%).

"Money management apps – like the Finder app – can help you see your income and expenses all in one place and figure out how much you can afford to spend," Megginson said.

In the past 3 months, have you started doing any of the following to increase your income stream?
Started selling second-hand items14%
Started investing in shares9%
Taken on a second job8%
Started a business on the side8%
Started investing in cryptocurrency7%
Other4%
Started freelancing2%
No, I haven’t started doing any of those in the past 3 months66%
Source: Finder survey of 1,001 respondents, June 2022
*Respondents could select all that apply

As the cost of living continues to climb, now is the best time to start a budget.

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