Want to know how to make money on the side? Then take a look at these 14 simple ways to help you start earning extra.
Did you know that one in four UK families has less than £100 in savings? What happens if your car or boiler breaks down? Your only option may be a payday loan or perhaps even worse, your overdraft.
I think it’s something many of us are embarrassed by when really, we shouldn’t be. It’s a common problem and there’s a good chance that somebody you know is struggling.
But apart from cutting back, what else can you do?
One option is to look at earning some extra money on the side. You’ve probably heard other people refer to this as a ‘side hustle’, although I’m not so keen on this phrase. A hustle, to me, always sounds like some kind of scam.
Now, you might be thinking that you don’t have any qualifications or you can’t think of what to do. Well, the 14 ways to earn money below can be used by almost anybody. I should know, as I have tried them all at some point – or at least interviewed somebody about them.
Where to start?
So what’s the best starting point when trying to find extra ways to make money? First of all, you need to look for as many ideas as possible and get a general overview of what each job involves.
Then, you need to establish how much time you have to dedicate to earning your extra money. In this post, I cover jobs that could earn you money in minutes, hours, days, or even years.
How much can I earn?
Potentially, you can earn as much as you like. The main issue will be the time you are able to commit. Even if you have just a few hours every week to spare, you could look at earning over £100 per month.
I work 40 hours a week, have three children, and spend time writing this blog. Yet, between doing surveys and mystery shopping, I am earning over £500 per month. If you have more time, and you’re willing to travel to a mystery shop, there’s no reason why you couldn’t reach £700 – £800 every month. And that doesn’t even include money from matched betting.
And if you’re able to make a success of work such as blogging or working as an extra, there’s no reason why you couldn’t be making a full-time income.
How to make money on the side – My Top 14
There are plenty of survey sites out there, some pay better than others whilst some will send you free samples of products to try.
There are sites that will pay around 10-20 pence a survey. Not great you may think, but these surveys can take a few seconds to a couple of minutes, so ideal for people who just have a few spare moments throughout the day. These surveys cover a wide range of topics such as family life, TV and politics.
The majority of sites pay between £1-3 for each survey, lasting between 10 and 30 minutes. They generally ask about your thoughts on products and services. If you’re lucky, you can also qualify to be sent products to trial. Some of the things I have been sent include bagels, chocolate bars, toilet roll and kitchen roll. And not only do you get to use the products, you get paid too!
Many sites will pay you in cash, either via PayPal or through a bank transfer. However, some will pay in vouchers of your choice – such as Amazon or Love2Shop.
Pros: Dip in and out when you like. Great as a supplemental income.
Cons: Limited to how much you can earn. You need to find the right survey sites for you.
2. Matched Betting
This is by far the best way to make some extra money. By using special offers from bookmakers, you can make £100’s every month risk-free. In fact, some people make over £1000. You don’t even need to know anything about sport to do it.
There are people that claim to make a full-time living from matched betting, although I’m slightly dubious whether you can or not. At my peak, I would reach close to £900 each month, although I never tackled casino offers. However, most can easily make several hundred pounds every month and don’t need to spend a lot of time doing it.
If you’ve not heard of it before, I don’t blame you for being a little sceptical. After all, the bookie always wins, don’t they? But it should put you more at ease that Money Saving Expert has a whole forum dedicated to matched betting, which shows it is a genuine way to make money. If it’s good enough for Martin Lewis, then it’s good enough for me.
Pros: A great way to make money – some people earn over £1000 per month.
Cons: You will need to be willing to sign-up to plenty of bookmakers. Not a long-term earner as bookies will close accounts.
3. Mystery shopping
Like survey sites, there are plenty of mystery shopping sites out there. Another similarity is that the pay varies too, depending on where you go and what you do. Signing up takes more effort than survey sites. Sometimes there are tests with regards to comprehension and your English skills.
At the lower end of the pay scale, you will be offered jobs at restaurants. These pay no more than £3-4, plus you get another £10 towards the meal. Not a great amount, but gives you a cheap night out. At the top end, you can be offered tasks such as gaining quotes for car insurance or a mortgage. These paid £80 and £150 respectively. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to do a couple of these a month, you will be well on your way in your task to earn money from home.
Pros: Jobs are quite short and pay fairly well. You can also get some nice freebies.
Cons: A lot of your earning potential depends on where you live. Plus, you’re in competition to claim the jobs before others do.
4. Work as an exam invigilator
What could be better than spending a few hours telling teenagers to be quiet? Exam invigilating is generally one of the simpler jobs you can do and will pay around £10 per hour, depending on where you’re located. Of course, it’s restricted to when exams take place (mainly early summer), but you don’t need any qualifications or special training.
Pros: The pay is very good considering the effort you need to put in.
Cons: Limited to when exams actually take place – usually just a few months per year.
5. Work as a poll clerk
Another job that is restricted to when work is available, this is still something worth looking at. Working in a polling booth is a long day, but you do get paid for sitting around.
Or, you could decide to pull an all-nighter and help count the votes. Not the most fun of work but it’s still very important.
Pros: A good, solid income for a day’s work. Get to meet plenty of people.
Cons: Very restricted to when you can work. Places are taken up quickly.
Keep an eye out for software that can earn you money. MobileXpression is a tool you can download to your phone. It monitors your usage and you are paid in Amazon vouchers. Signing up and using it for a week will earn you a £5 voucher. Keep the software on your phone and you will earn extra vouchers every month.
There are plenty of apps that give you rewards when you scan receipts or give you cashback when you buy certain items. Here is a list of the best receipt scanning apps.
Pros: Simple to do and requires very little effort.
Cons: Not the biggest earner and will need to be combined with other money making ideas.
7. Bank account switching
This is far easier to do than you think. You can earn up to £250 from swapping accounts, and it usually involves very little effort. Plus you can find added benefits, such as increased interest saving rates and cashback offers. And you can always have more than one current account at a time. Some people have made over £1500 from switching accounts alone. Offers come and go, so it’s best to pounce when you see them.
Pros: A simple way to make money, sometimes as little as 10 minutes work.
Cons: If you don’t want to lose your current bank, you will need to set up a spare account to switch from. Switching offers are also limited.
Most people start blogging because it gives them a chance to write about something they enjoy. Many are able to earn a small income from their blogs, and a select few can earn a pretty impressive wage. Emma Drew now takes home a six-figure sum from her blog. Okay, so for the vast majority of us, this type of money would be impossible but it does show the potential. Write about something you enjoy and others will find useful or interesting and the rest will follow. Setting up a blog doesn’t have to cost you money and is surprisingly easy to do.
Pros: You get to write about what you enjoy and this can be your own personal space. Plenty of people make a full-time living from blogging.
Cons: This is a long-term project and will need a lot of work. Can you offer something new?
9. Sell your talents
If you have some special skills that other people could use, then why not sell them? Sites such as FiveSquid will help people connect to each other. You can either advertise your skills and wait for people to contact you, or you can search for people who are on the hunt for a particular skill set. This is particularly good for people with strong IT skills or who know their way around social media.
Pros: Simple to do with very little overhead costs. Work just from home.
Cons: It’s a competitive market and you’ll be working against plenty of people who will undercut you.
Instead of going straight to your favourite shop and making a purchase, just visit a site like TopCashback or Quidco first. From there, you click on the shop you want to visit, and you earn money back from your purchase. It’s as simple as that. You will often receive a few % back, which adds up over a year. Sign up to a new broadband provider and you could earn up to £200!
Or, instead of earning cashback for yourself, why not for your children? KidStart allows you to collect cashback that can be paid straight into your child’s savings account. Plus KidStart pays cashback when you shop at Amazon and Smyths, unlike Quidco and TopCashback.
Cashback is an easy way to make extra money. Using sites such as TopCashback and Quidco when you shop online means money back. There are plenty of shopping apps too. Using these means you can earn money back on your groceries when you complete your weekly shop.
If you want to take it one step further, you could sign up for a cashback credit card which would mean even more money when you shop.
Pros: Another simple money making method. It just takes a couple of seconds to do before you shop.
Cons: Can sometimes take several months before cashback is payable, so not an instant winner.
11. Work as an Extra
Fancy mixing it up with the stars? The good thing is, nearly anyone can work as an extra. You don’t need to be a great actor or good looking, you just need to follow simple directions. Some days can be long but you’re fed, watered and the pay isn’t bad either. It is possible to make a fairly decent income from working as an extra. The downside is that you cannot guarantee the frequency of the work.
Pros: The pay is quite good and you get to meet plenty of interesting people. Plus, you may one day appear in a major film!
Cons: The amount of work available varies. A lot of the work takes place within the M25 area, so you may need to travel.
12. Keep an eye out for coins
This is a simple one that anybody can do… although it does involve a bit of luck. How often do you actually take any notice of your change? The fact is, there are plenty of coins out there that are worth more than face value. The 50p coin for example is used to commemorate lots of different events such as the 2012 Olympics and the anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth. And there is a 50p in circulation that is worth in excess of £150. It’s just a matter of finding it!
Pros: A potential for a great profit with hardly any effort.
Cons: You need to spend a bit of time researching to see how much your change is worth.
Now, this can either be a full-time or part-time job, depending on how much time you have and how much you enjoy it. The beauty to becoming a childminder is that you don’t need to study and complete lots of exams before you start. You can choose you hours, how often you work and can do it all from home. But, it’s not all roses and you have to give up parts of your family home.
Pros: Can pay well and you work for yourself.
Cons: You lose some privacy and a lot more paperwork than you expect!
14. Sell, sell, sell
I’m sure if you look hard enough, you’ll find things around your house that you no longer need or use. Take a look in your loft and the bottom of your cupboards. You may think that a lot of it is rubbish but you’ll be surprised what kind of things people buy.
One easy option is to take it to a boot fair. This works for some people but involves getting up early and how much you sell can be dependent on the weather and location
The easiest option is to sell online, usually through sites like eBay, Gumtree or Facebook. Even if you only earn £1 for something, at least you’ve cleared some room and you’re slightly better off. Plus, you never know when you may find a real gem. Some old phones are very popular and can sell for over £100! Take a look at this guide for selling your phone.
Pros: A great way to declutter and make a bit of extra money whilst you’re doing it.
Cons: Buyers! There are some very unreliable people out there who promise to collect and item and never arrive.
My favourite way of making money on the side?
This may be a surprise, but my favourite method of earning money is through surveys. It may not earn as much as some of the other money-making ideas I have listed above, but I love the fact that I can earn money sitting in front of the TV or during my lunch break at work. And if I get fed up with doing it, I can take a break for as long as I like.