Annual income report: how I made £45000 online + at home in 2020
Wow. What a year 2020 was. So different for all of us in so many ways.
Compared to 2019 I did have a great year financially working from home, but it didn't escape the impact of COVID-19 and my income was definitely slashed as a result.
Before we went into lockdown I had my best three months ever from January to March 2020 and was set for making a lot more than I actually did make in the end in 2020, but then the pandemic hit the UK hard and lockdown started at the end of March losing me several very lucrative clients and campaigns, slashing my income suddenly.
It continued to be a very turbulent year from then on, with some very low months, but by the end of 2020 things seemed more or less back on track and to some sort of normality, albeit it with some clients wanting to pay a third of what they used to pay me and working up to 14 hours a day!
It’s tricky times as I’m never sure whether some clients are really struggling because of the current situation, or whether they are taking advantage of it and trying to pay freelancers/self-employed less so they can just profit more themselves.
Without seeing their accounts we either have to take their word for it and work three times as hard to make the same money we made a year ago, or turn down the work if we feel we are being taken advantage of, hoping they’ll come back with a more reasonable rate. It’s a tough call and a game many of us who sell services online have to play every day!
So, for my business, the start of 2020 was amazing, then it dipped, then it picked up again, but never to the same level as the start of the year.
Who knows what 2021 will bring. I’m not sure it will be as lucrative as 2020 as no month has yet got as high as each of the first three I had in 2020 and I lost some amazing high paid campaigns when lockdown started that I might never have again. Although who knows.
Anyway, read on to see what my 2020 annual report includes and how I made so much money at home and online. Plus lots of resources so you can use these methods too!
What does my annual income report include?
This income report is my total turnover for EVERYTHING I have earnt from home in an entire year.
It’s not just my business turnover, but also my online personal selling of our preloved stuff (the kids never stop growing out of stuff!) as well as cashback, interest on savings and even money we make from our solar panels.
Last year’s income report didn’t include savings interest, solar panel income or rewards points, so it’s jumped up quite a bit more this time as I decided to include these.
I started documenting everything that was technically income or cashback as it’s so interesting to see what it all adds up to.
I was particularly intrigued to see how much value we get from our Tesco Clubcard points and Nectar points as I’ve never really known how much we get back in a year.
Note, this annual income report is turnover, not profit
It’s also worth noting this figure is my total turnover for 2020. It’s not profit.
For my actual business income around 10% of it goes on business expenses. Then I save a huge chunk towards my tax bill, national insurance, student loan repayments and also I have a retirement fund as being self-employed I have no workplace pension. All of these business outgoings and my personal tax/retirement savings total just under £1000 per month.
For the last tax year my taxable profit was around £32,500 and I’m hoping it will be the same or more for the tax year 20-21. Of course this income report is for the whole of 2020 so it’s not accurately reflecting the tax year income. The amazing start I had to 2020 for the first three months was part of my 19-20 tax return and bumped up my income quite nicely!
It’s a good income from home from my self-employment and it supports a family of four in the UK. I am the breadwinner for now and have been for two years.
The eBay selling is turnover too and doesn’t account for the loss from eBay fees, payment fees and postage. My packaging is always free as I save all our envelopes and mailing bags from our own online deliveries! However, even if all these fees and postage were 50% of the total cost (which I very much doubt) then you can still see it’s a great profit for selling preloved goods and unwanted furniture, homewares we no longer use etc.
Cashback obviously has no outgoings so this is great. That’s money straight back in our pockets from things we were going to purchase online anyway. We are big fans of cashback and check it for everything. I get cashback on my MOT and service from Formula 1, I get cashback on all our insurances each year (home, car, life, etc.), cashback on travel bookings, grocery shopping, in-store shopping, subscriptions, energy switches and online shopping!
It's worth noting that some of the income you see below is personal and not taxable. Selling preloved goods is not taxable and neither is cashback, which is seen as a delayed discount on a purchase by HMRC. Solar panel feed in tariff payments from a residential property are tax free. I like to include these in my report as its all cash back in our pockets to spend on what we like. It's money into the house and I like to include it on my annual income report to see how much we have made.
Some of my annual income report figures are halved
Most of this stuff is my personal income from things I personally do to make money at home, but some of it like some of the bank interest and solar panel income is joint as it’s mine and my husband’s, so where this happens, I have halved the total to reflect my half only.
So for example, we actually make twice as much as a couple from our solar panels, which is amazing!
Why do I share annual income reports?
I used to share a monthly report when I first started making money online and finding ways to make extra cash from home. It was a great motivator for me in the beginning and I wanted to share how I made all this cash so others could do it too.
Now I have decided to only share an annual income report for each calendar year. My monthly reports were becoming very samey and this seemed a better option.
I share income reports not to brag, but to show how you can make and save money from home too, if this interests you. It’s also to give something back.
Without online income reports, I’d never have learned how to make money online myself!
It’s how I discovered many of the methods I use today with thanks to other people sharing their online income reports.
I started my self-employment in 2012, trying a few failed ideas, until I entered the world of blogging in 2013 and realised in 2016 I could make serious money from it! Once I started making money from blogging it took me six months to start making a full time living from it and in January 2017 I decided to go for it and decided I would make blogging my full-time career, leaving my then part-time employed job in May 2017. I’ve made a full-time income from home ever since and this is with thanks to other people sharing income reports.
It was from reading other blogger income reports and online income reports that I realised I could make money from my blog. Without other bloggers sharing their income reports I might never have realised!
Many money bloggers shared other ways to make money online and shared their income. It’s what led me to matched betting as a profitable side hustle and many of the other side hustles I use to make money nowadays.
In total I’ve made money from around 70 methods at home and click here to learn 60 ways to make money online that I have personally tried and tested.
So, basically, I have to thank all the other wonderful bloggers and online community who shared their income reports on blogs and in forums for making me realise I could do it too, and how.
Now I share my own income report to do the same and help others. Perhaps you are looking for a way to make money from home or a cashback site that works and my annual income report can help you discover a way for yourself. Or even inspire you to see it’s possible to make a full-time living from home, if you want to.
To understand more about why I share my income reports online then click to read my blog post why I publish income reports.
Annual income report - how I earned £45000 from in 2020
This is where you will see my exact turnover from all my money making activities for the whole of 2020.
I am a full-time self-employed blogger and I also do lots of side hustles from website testing to completing academic research questionnaires. I also love to get more money back in our bank from cashback and loyalty cards.
I used to do matched betting too which was so lucrative at first, but I stopped at the start of 2019. You can read why I quit matched betting, but why I still recommend it too! If you want to make money quickly from home, on the side, then you should give my matched betting blog a read!
This income report shares all the ways I’ve got money back into our bank. Money I’ve earned and money I’ve got back through different methods. Money we can spend. For this reason I haven’t included my LISA bank account for retirement as although it makes me a 25% bonus on everything I save, it’s not money I can actively spend right now, so I only include ways to make money and get more money right now!
Here’s a look at all the different ways I earned money online and at home in 2020, grouped together by category.
I will go into more detail about each method and side hustle below, sharing resources and links if you want to learn more or sign up to certain websites to do the same!
Here’s a look at how I earned money from home in 2020. This is my total turnover for the year, not profit:
Links and resources so you can earn money from home using my same methods!
£41,121.04 - BLOGGING, SOCIAL MEDIA & AFFILIATE INCOME
First up, my online passion - blogging!
I’ve shared a lot of blog posts before about how I accidentally became a blogger. I was actually trying to get more visitors to my online fashion website and fell in love with blogging. Realising a few years in, thanks to blogger income reports, that I could actually turn my three year old blog into a money maker!
If you want to learn more about how I came to be a full-time blogger, after starting my online business journey with an Etsy store, then click to read the story of Lylia Rose.
I have a few blogs I make money from and social media too. Here’s a look at some of the services I sell and how I’ve made money thanks to blogging and social media in 2020:
- Blog writing
- Sponsored blog posts
- Brand collaborations
- Hosting giveaways for brands
- Website ads
- Social media ads
- Competition cash prize winnings related to entering my blog or giveaways in blogger networks I use
- Media features
- Blogger outreach
- Affiliate campaigns
- Sharing affiliate links
When I first started blogging I only thought you could make money by having ads on your website. How wrong I was!
There are so many ways to make money from a blog once you have enough visitors or good enough metrics like a high DA (domain authority) score.
If you have associated social media accounts, or standalone social media accounts, then you can also sell services on these too, such as doing brand partnerships on Instagram.
Blogging professionally opens up many ways to make money online.
Affiliate income was amazing for me in 2020. I did some really well paid campaigns that took off and I had my first proper success with affiliate links.
Next year it won’t be as good! Once coronavirus hit, I lost these campaigns as they were stopped and so it’s just been a fluke for 2020 that I made so much. However, I still make over £100 per month regularly from my normal affiliate activity which is great!
Here are loads of resources to see how I make money from all these methods:
Huge list of websites to find paid blogging opportunities for your blog
Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
6 secrets to make more money from your blog
10 ways to make money blogging
Is it really possible to make money blogging?
3 ways to make money online in the UK with Profit Accumulator
Best refer a friend schemes UK
3 ways to make money with Curve
You’ll find loads more blogging tips and affiliate programme recommendations in my top menu too, if it’s something you are interested in!
Where do I get my affiliate and referral income from?
Here are some of the main websites and networks I made affiliate income / referral income from in 2020 and regularly recommend:
My Money Pocket (no longer exists)
Boom25 (no longer exists)
I’ve been a customer of all of these myself or used them to make money successfully from home. If you are interested in affiliate marketing or making money from referrals, then it’s definitely much easier to promote and recommend companies you are familiar with and can recommend personally.
£2,239.39 - PRELOVED SELLING
I’m always selling our outgrown goods. With two young kids, toys and clothes are constantly being grown out of.
I’m always trying to clear our attic, shed, cupboards and drawers to lead a more minimal lifestyle. It’s a bit of an obsession!
We’ve also converted a reception room in our house to a bedroom, so we had a lot of stuff to sell from this room during the process.
I think this amount will slow down now in 2021 as our house is pretty much complete and how we want it to be, so there’s no furniture to sell or anything very profitable to sell, unless I can convince my husband to sort out his corner of the attic!
I use eBay and Facebook Marketplace to sell our preloved goods. Facebook Marketplace being great as there’s no fees or postage! But there are a lot of time wasters on there.
Here’s my 2020 breakdown for each:
- Personal eBay £1,774.59
- Facebook Marketplace £464.80
£531.88 - CASHBACK
We love cashback and this is just my cashback income for the whole year. As a household there will be even more as my husband has his own cashback accounts too. This is just the total figure from my own cashback accounts.
Here are all the places I got cashback from in 2020:
- Top Cashback
- Receipt Hog (no longer open to UK residents)
- Airtime Rewards
Discover even more ways to earn cashback and my reviews in these cashback articles:
Save money online with this list of UK cashback sites
List of 8 apps that turn UK receipts to cash
Save money on your mobile phone bill with Airtime Rewards
Top Cashback UK review: £1266 free cash back in 3.5 years
Win the whole cost of your online shop with cashback site Boom25
Combine cashback and discount with My Money Pocket
ZIPZERO app review: snap receipts to save money on household bills
Make money at home from receipts with Shoppix
HuYu– earn gift cards with your supermarket receipts
SnapMyEats–Amazon gift vouchers in exchange for your food receipts
How to save money at the supermarket with Shopmium
Save money at the supermarket with coupon app GreenJinn
Money saving hack to get online cashback in UK stores
Storewards invite code + review
Save money online shopping with Honey
£465.53 - SIDE HUSTLES
I use a lot of different side hustles to make extra cash, some of these only take a few seconds a day and the money adds up.
Check out my blog post 60 ways to make money online + at home UK for loads more ideas!
Here are the side hustles I took part in this year and cashed out.
I didn’t use as many as I usually do - mainly due to lack of time or the kids being home in lockdowns. You’ll find loads more side hustles I’ve tried in my make money at home section.
I have been quite sporadic with my use of User Testing this year. It’s a way to test websites and answer questions in return for payment. You have to record your screen and voice. Having had the kids at home for several months during lockdown, I couldn’t participate for much of the year. Hopefully more in 2021 when they are back at school.
More info: Make money online testing websites with User Testing
I used to get a lot of tests from these, but I’ve had nothing for months now so I’m not sure if they are still sending them, but the website is still active. It’s a website testing platform.
More info: Intellizoom review
My favourite survey(ish) website. It’s academic research and ranges from surveys to playing online games to assessing adverts. All sorts of varied questions, surveys, tests that take from two minutes to 30 minutes and pay varying amounts.
More info: Make money at home with Prolific
This is a great website to make some extra cash from by completing tasks or signing up to free trials (which you can then cancel). It’s known as a ‘Get Paid To’ website with lots of different ways to make some extra cash online, including some super-fast pay-out offers.
More info: Make money online with OhMyDosh!
Loads of ways to make money online from surveys to watching videos and more!
More info: Swagbucks
Quick, pretty much one minute, or even a few seconds, questions. Give design feedback on apps, games, websites and more.
More info: UserCrowd review: make money online giving design feedback
Check out my blog post 60 ways to make money online + at home UK for loads more side hustle ideas I have tried and testsed!
£162.75 - LOYALTY CARDS
We use Tesco and Sainsbury’s credit cards to buy all our shopping to get the points, then we pay them back.
I use the Tesco points to pay my mobile phone bill and we share the Nectar points, usually spending them in Sainsbury’s or on eBay.
Here’s the value of our points for the whole of 2020:
- Clubcard vouchers converted to Tesco Mobile vouchers for my phone bill: £129.00
- Nectar points, my half: £33.75 (so we actually had £67.50 as a couple)
£153.29 - BANK INTEREST
I decided to see how much money we got from bank interest in 2020. It’s money we have technically earned and can spend immediately if we want. Another interesting figure to look at for a whole year.
My savings: £82.40
Joint savings (the figure is halved to represent just my half): £ 70.89
Cash savings are pretty poor at the moment with their interest rates. Take advantage of banks who offer special bonus savings rates. I have a few accounts with NatWest that pay a bonus if you deposit at least £50 per month. Some of these accounts let you have one for you solely, and another as a joint account so you can maximise the benefits!
Chip have one of the best deals on their savings accounts. Click here for your Chip+1 VIP Pass Code so you can access their savings account and to learn more.
£525.31 - SOLAR PANELS
We luckily bought a house with solar panels on the very first feed in tariff deal, so we get over £1000 a year in payments. These are tax free too which is a bonus. My half is shared here.
Previous annual income reports
Wondering how much I’ve made from home each year since deciding to go full-time with this online money making career choice? It’s always fun to see the progress or compare.
Here are my previous annual income reports and you can see how much I made and with what methods.
- How I made £26000 from home + blogging in 2017
- How I made £35000 from home + blogging in 2018
- How I made £31000 from home + blogging in 2019
- How I made £45000 from home + blogging in 2020
Thanks for reading and I hope you find some useful ways to make money from home, or get more money back into your bank account with cashback or loyalty points.
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