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Quick cash: How to make money fast in the UK

Life is full of surprises and they’re not always pleasant. If you’ve found yourself with an unexpected bill or have something you’re desperate to save up for in a short time, then take a look at some of the best ways to quickly make money in the UK.

make money fast in the UK

How to make money fast UK

We’ve all been there. The car has packed up and it’s going to cost you £1,000 to fix it. Or, your friends are all going out to dinner in a couple of weeks and you haven’t got enough money for your weekly shop, let alone a meal out. No matter what the occasion, we’ve all been left short at one time or another.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can make money online or offline fairly quickly. Of course, some methods are far easier than others, but there should be something for everybody. And the best part is, you can continue many of these money-making ways into the future, so you can make sure you’re never short of cash again.

How to make some quick money – where to start

So, what are the easiest ways to raise some extra cash?

Selling your unwanted items

If you have little money in the bank, this is a great idea to get started.

Now, we all have things sitting around the house, either in a drawer or collecting dust on the side. But if you have something that hasn’t been used in years, then now is the time to look at selling it on. And before you write anything off as tat, you’ll be amazed at what you might class as rubbish and what others think of as treasure.

Some of the best items to get rid of include old mobile phones, clothes and toys.

Even if you think you have an old phone that’s worth nothing, people seem to feel quite nostalgic and will pay over the odds for a 15-year-old Nokia. Or they may just be after that spare charger.

If you have a newer phone, you don’t even have to sell it privately. There are companies out there that will give you a price depending on your phone’s condition. Just send it to them to be checked and they’ll send you the cash. But remember, the longer you hold on to your old phone, the more likely it is to drop in value.

Take a look at the best places to sell your phone.

Clothes can be a little harder to get rid of (even if they are new with tags) but can be easier to sell if sold in bulk. There are even companies that will pay you money for old clothes, just by their weight.

Toys can shift quite well, depending on the time of year. Lego is always popular, with completed sets often attracting good money. For incomplete sets, you can sell legos (like clothes) by weight. If you have some dotted around the house, see the best places to sell Lego.

There are lots of options you have when it comes to selling your old items. eBay is often people’s first choice, but it does come with fees. You could sell through your social media accounts to friends or a wider audience with Facebook Marketplace, which is free to use but doesn’t have quite so many customers compared to eBay. Or, if you don’t want to use an online method and you’re happy with early mornings, why not take a look at car boot sales?

Sign up for bonus offers

This is possibly the easiest way to make money as you can do it all from your own home and some of these offers can be done quickly in your spare time. Companies want to hook you in as a customer for life, so they will offer you a tempting reward for joining. With some offers, you may have to spend big before you receive your bonus, but not always.

For all of the offers below, your bonus will usually be paid within a couple of days.

  • Wombat – £10 when you open an account
  • Stake – one free share. Fund your account with $50.
  • Monzo – £5 for opening an account

For full instructions on claiming these bonuses, look at my post about claiming free stocks and shares. What I love most about shares is that they can give you a passive income. Many pay dividends, meaning you get paid a share of the profits yearly. The more you have, the more you can earn.

Please note that when you invest, your capital is at risk.

Refer your friends

On the back of you getting a bonus for signing up for new deals, in most cases, your friends can too. All of the above companies will give you a unique referral link if you’re a customer. If you share that link with family members or friends, they’ll receive a bonus for joining.

But even better, you’ll also receive a bonus for your recommendation. Sometimes, this will be a credit to your account or a choice of gift cards

For example, tell your friends about Vodafone and you can both earn a £25 Amazon gift voucher. Or, share your link for GiffGaff, and you’ll get £5 off your phone bill.

My favourite has to be Octopus Energy. If you switch to Octopus, you’ll get £50 credit to your account for your effort.

These bonuses are rarely capped, so you can refer as many people as you like.

Take a look at some of the best refer a friend schemes available.

Matched betting

Matched betting is a way that you can earn a lot of money in a short period of time. It’s also my favourite side hustle.

If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a handy method of covering both possibilities of an event so that you can gain a free bet from a bookmaker. And then, you can turn that free bet into cash. In the early stages, it gives you quite a lucrative income in your free time, with many matched bettors earning £1,000+ per month from new customer offers. And the best part is, it’s all tax-free.

Once the new offers have dried up, you have to look a little harder for your free bets. These may come from recurring offers or by betting on certain events. But there are companies such as that will find these offers for you and will take you through the whole process for a small monthly fee.

But if you want to do it for yourself, take a look at my guide about matched betting.

Take surveys

Since 2016, online surveys have helped me earn several thousand pounds yearly. I love them because you can do as many or as few as you like. They tend to get a bit of a bad press because they don’t pay you big bucks, but where else can you earn easy money from home while watching TV?

There are lots of sites out there to join, with some paying cash and others rewarding you with vouchers or a gift card. But as we’re interested in taking home some fast money, here are the sites that will pay you with cold, hard cash.

Qmee – one of my favourite sites to earn from. You can use the Qmee app or the main website to complete surveys. They are usually just a few minutes long and will pay you instantly. And the great thing about Qmee is that you only need 1 penny in your account to withdraw to PayPal.

Oh, and use this link and you’ll get a 50 pence bonus just for joining.

AttaPoll – another decent site if you want to earn quickly. Although AttaPoll only has an app that you can use, minimum withdrawal amounts are as little as £2.50 and you can use Revolut or PayPal.

Use this link for a 40 pence bonus when you sign up.

Branded Surveys – this site has a constant stream of surveys available, so it’s great if you want to sit there and earn away. Payment is made in US dollars but will be converted to UK pounds when you withdraw to your PayPal account.

Using this special link will give you a $1 bonus when you join.

Be warned though, some survey companies don’t pay as much as others and require a lot of effort for not much money. If you want to see the best places to earn, check out my post about the most popular survey sites.

best online survey sites that pay cash

Focus groups and interviews

Another popular way to make extra money is to take part in focus groups held by market research companies. These groups usually involve you joining another 4 or 5 people online and discussing certain topics over a video call. Although they sound daunting at first, they’re actually very easy and can be quite fun. They usually last between 90 minutes and 2 hours and pay very well – normally between £40 and £60 per hour. If you could find a couple of these to do each day, it would even replace your full-time income.

Interviews work in a similar way to focus groups, although it will be just you and an interviewer. They generally don’t last for longer than an hour but pay slightly more than a group task. Some interviews require you to chat about past brand experiences, what you want from a company or just to test websites to see what you think of them.

You can take a look at some of the best online focus group sites.

Join GPT sites

Earning from Get Paid To (GPT) sites differs slightly from surveys. Although you’ll often find a lot of surveys on GPT sites, your main source of income here will be from signing up for trials. This may be a subscription to a TV service, a trial of a product or joining a casino site. When you do this, the GPT site will earn a commission, and they will pass some of this on to you. It can be anything between £1 and £50, depending on the offer.

Now, some of these offers are completely free and won’t cost you a thing. Others will require you to spend some money. So before you do, make sure that it’s worthwhile for you to do. But the benefit is, that they require very little effort.

Bear in mind that some GPT sites pay out far quicker than others. Swagbucks can pay you within a few days after completing some offers. OhMyDosh can take much longer. So, if you want some fast money, Swagbucks should be your GPT site of choice.

Mystery shopping

Make quick money from mystery shopping

A great way to earn quick money is to become a mystery shopper. There are many different sites out there that you can join, with some requiring far more effort than others. Although they pay more, you will need to complete training and wait for the jobs to appear in your area… unless you’re willing to travel.

But your best bet is to try a few apps to get you started with mystery shopping. These allow you to complete small jobs with minimal effort. Although they don’t pay huge amounts, you can quickly earn decent sums by finishing more tasks in a short time.

A couple of apps that you should try are:

Streetbees – and use the code 7850SP when you join.

BeMyEye – use the code wvq9p3 for a £1 bonus. Download the app for Apple or Download the app for Android

But if you can wait for your money and want some bigger paying jobs, find out more from my guide to mystery shopping. Although they require more effort, you can sometimes earn well over £100 from just one job.

Rent out your property

Another real way to make fast cash is by renting out parts of your property. If you have a spare room in your house, then why not put it to good use and rent it out? It will give you a good monthly income and a chance to meet new people. And if that’s not enough, another good reason to do this is that you can make up to £7,500 each year without paying tax, thanks to the government’s Rent a Room Scheme.

Of course, having a stranger in your home isn’t for everybody, so why not rent out your parking space? With parking in such great demand in certain towns and cities, it might be far easier and cheaper for commuters to rent a drive or parking bay each month. Although this probably won’t make you as much as renting out a room, it’s less invasive.

And if you don’t fancy property, why not look at my post on the best items to rent out?

Finding property

This can be a very fast way to make some money. With a property shortage in the UK, there’s a lot of money to be made. And if you find an empty or derelict property, just take a photo of it and send it to YouSpotProperty. In return, they’ll send you a £20 voucher.

And it doesn’t stop there. If they decide to purchase the property, you’ll receive a 1% commission on the final price.

Deliver food locally

If you have a car and a few evenings free each week, why not take to delivering food? Most independent fast-food restaurants are always on the lookout for more drivers. You will usually be paid per delivery, although some may give you a set amount for a shift.

Remember though, you will need to pay for your own fuel and ensure you have the correct car insurance. A standard policy usually won’t cover you for making deliveries.

To see if there’s any work available, either check in with your nearest takeaways, join local Facebook groups or check job sites.

Delivering food isn’t restricted to just small businesses either. Large companies like Mcdonald’s and KFC will offer delivery jobs in your local area through third-party sites such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. It can be hard work, but it’s a good way to earn quick cash.


Earn money from babysitting

Yes, people are paid to sit on babies*. Babysitting can be quite big business (unless you’re in the middle of a pandemic) and can be a real relief to parents stuck at home. Although you won’t earn a massive amount, it can be an easy way to make an extra income as it often involves little more than ensuring everybody is in bed and behaving – and you can catch up on your favourite TV programmes.

Again, local Facebook groups are a great place to find work. Find out more about how much you should charge when babysitting.

*Please do not sit on babies… Cat in the Hat reference.

Cash in your loyalty points

If you belong to one of the major loyalty schemes such as Nectar, Tesco or Boots, there’s a good chance you have some points lying around in your account. You could put these towards your shopping, although that doesn’t give you any cash.

But if it’s money you’re after, why not use your points for items you can sell? And if you don’t fancy selling, you can ask your friends and family if they want anything. They can give you the cash and you can buy whatever they want.

Check your cashback accounts

I love cashback sites because they are an easy way to make money when you shop. If you’ve ever opened an account with TopCashback, Quidco or one of the many other sites available, then it’s a good idea to log in and check your membership as there’s a chance you have some money languishing around. Then, you can withdraw it to your bank account or PayPal.

Switch bank accounts

This might not be the quickest way of making money but it does depend on the bank you choose to switch to. Banks are always desperate to attract new customers as they know that you’re unlikely to leave once you join. And to do this, they offer a rather nice bonus of between £100 and £200.

Usually, all you have to do is to join the new bank using the Current Account Switch Service and close your old account. This can be done within seven days, so it could be quite a quick way to receive a decent lump sum.

See what kind of bank switch offers are available.

Start your own blog

This does require a little more patience, but you can certainly make money quickly with a blog. First, choose a topic you care about and enjoy, this could be video games, pets, movies or my favourite, the best ideas to earn money.

Then, build your blog. It may sound daunting at first, but thanks to programs like WordPress, creating your own site is actually very simple. You will need to pay for a host, but companies like Bluehost charge just a few pounds per month.

You can then start driving traffic towards your blog through search engines and social media accounts. As people visit, you can earn an income through affiliate marketing (where people click on links on your site and you earn a commission) or through people seeing adverts on your sites from companies like Google Adsense.

The skills you develop from blogging can also be useful for other online jobs, such as a virtual assistant, freelance writer or making your own YouTube channel.

Take a look at how much I make from blogging.

Which are the best options to make money quickly?

This is really up to you. I do like to switch banks because it gives me over £100 and takes only 15 minutes. But for the longer term, matched betting is a good earner, especially when you run it alongside something like surveys. And you never have to leave your house! But mix any of the ideas above, and you could earn the same amount as a part-time job with much less effort.

Why not take a look at some of the best free money ideas?


Do you need to declare your extra income?

If you earn more than £1,000 per year from a side hustle, you will need to declare it to HMRC. This may mean you will have to pay income tax on your earnings.

Are savings accounts a good way to make quick money?

Generally, no. Although interest rates have increased recently, they are still generally less than inflation. That means your money is losing value.