50 ways to make money

Whether you're struggling financially or just looking to make a bit on the side, finding additional sources of income can be invaluable. But there are so many ways you can earn a bit extra that it can be difficult to know where to start first.

Well, look no further. From renting out spare space in your home to selling goods and services, Moneywise presents 50 different ways that you can get your hands on some extra cash...

1. Find a lodger

The government's Rent-A-Room scheme allows householders to earn up to £4,250 a year tax-free by taking in a lodger. If the annual rent exceeds this amount, you'll need to complete a tax return and pay tax on the extra money.

You can find a lodger by advertising your spare room on websites such as spareroom.co.uk, uk.easyroommate.com or gumtree.com.

You'll need to tell your mortgage company and home insurer before someone moves in. Renters may also be able to take advantage of the Rent-A-Room scheme but will need permission from their landlord to sublet part of the property.

2. Operate a one-room hotel

If you don't fancy a full-time lodger, how about the occasional overnight guest? 'Social travel' websites have disrupted the hotel industry by enabling homeowners to let spare rooms in their homes to visitors for anything from a single night to a couple of months.

Some people let out their whole property while they're on holiday, while others simply host guests in their spare room when they're at home.

How much you can earn depends on what you can offer and your location: Central London apartments easily go for £100 a night. Visit airbnb.com, wimdu.co.uk or flat-club.com for more information.

3. Rent out your parking space

If you have a spare driveway, underground parking space or garage, then advertise it on a website such as justpark.com, parklet.co.uk or parkonmydrive.com. You can rent out your space by the day, week or longer-term.

Customers might be regular commuters needing a spot near the station, an owner of an expensive car needing a safe place to leave it, or one-off visitors wanting to park close to a major sporting or entertainment venue. As an example, you can earn £4 to £10 a day for an off-road parking space in areas of Manchester.

It's best to let your home insurance company know if you let out a parking space – it may impact on your insurance premiums.

Five ways to cut the cost of parking

4. Let out storage space

Storemates.co.uk and sharemystorage.com are peer-to-peer websites that connect people with spare storage space with others looking to store anything from paperwork to furniture.

Typical space includes lofts, basements, sheds and garages. A 100 sq ft loft would earn about £15 a week. The sites earn their fee by taking a cut of the money when a booking is made.

5. Use your home as a film set

Renting out your property as the set for an advert, TV programme or film can be lucrative – fees can be up to £2,000 a day.

Production companies need a variety of properties, from grotty bedsits and bog-standard terraces up to stately homes.

Properties within the M25 are most in demand. However, be prepared to have film crews of 30 or 40 people traipsing through your home - and warn the neighbours. For more information and to register your property, check out agencies such as amazingspace.co.uk, lavishlocations.com or film-locations.co.uk.

6. Take part in market research

Companies carry out extensive market research before launching a product, website, app or advertising campaign. Customer feedback is a major part of this research and often takes part in the form of small group discussions. These pay £30 to £50 for an hour or two and you'll need to fit the exact requirements to be eligible to take part. Register your details at peopleforresearch.co.uk or researchopinions.co.uk.

7. Get paid to watch TV

Theviewers.co.uk is a market research organisation that focuses solely on television. It's hired by broadcasters and TV channels to find people to take part in discussion groups and online research. Subjects include feedback on TV shows, opinions about new programmes, and marketing.

Participants typically earn £40 to £70 for a 90-minute to two-hour informal group discussion. At the time of writing, you could also earn a £10 Amazon voucher for recommending a friend who then took part in a group.

8. Be a babysitter

Most babysitters get work from friends, family or neighbours, and word of mouth. Fees are negotiable and will depend on your qualifications and experience and how many children you'll be looking after, although £20 a night is not uncommon for informal arrangements.

A good place to look for jobs is childcare.co.uk, an online platform that connects parents looking for childcare with nurseries, registered childminders, babysitters and nannies.

9. Be a mystery shopper

Fancy going undercover on a secret assignment? Mystery shopping could see you bag some freebies as well as cash.

A wide range of companies pay researchers to pose as normal customers to find out what kind of experience they have. Tasks vary from simply buying a product to staying in a hotel or recording a shopping experience via a covert video camera.

As a general guide, these assignments pay £5 to £10 and you'll be reimbursed for products you buy. Visit Checkout (checkoutuk.co.uk), ESA Retail (esa-retail.co.uk) or Grass Roots (grassrootsmysteryshopping.com).

10. Man a polling station

The next General Election is set for 7 May 2015 and polling stations all over the country will need staff. If you're free that day you can earn up to £250 for a day's work as a poll clerk. Your job will be to set up the polling station, check in voters and make sure they know how to cast their vote.

More senior are 'presiding officers' who are in charge of the whole polling station. To be eligible for either role you need to be over 18, on the electoral roll and not a member of a political party. Contact your local authority for details on how to apply - it will need staff for local elections, too.

11. Pet-sit

Dog and cat owners often find it cheaper to employ a pet-sitter than use boarding kennels.

Pet-sitting tends to suit the self-employed, students and retirees. Most sitters work through agencies that verify sitters as well as advertising vacancies. There will be restrictions though – no parties and you can’t go out much.

Housesitting without pets rarely pays but you can earn from £10 a day upwards minding someone’s pets in their house.

Visit housesittersuk.co.uk or trustedhousesitters.com for more information.

12. Make a complaint

If you’ve had a bad experience with a company or been inconvenienced by the poor service offered by, for example, your bank or energy company, then fire off a letter of complaint and ask for compensation for your time and trouble.

Stay cool, calm and rational when complaining – this will yield better results than throwing a temper tantrum. And only complain when you have a genuine gripe, otherwise you’re just time-wasting.

What you get will depend on the nature of your complaint.

The Energy Ombudsman, for example, is able to make awards of up to £10,000 but you’ll probably receive a much smaller sum in compensation if eligible.

13. Run an ironing service

If you’re good at ironing and want to work flexible hours from home, there are plenty of people willing to pay you to do theirs. To find customers, post adverts in local newsagents or newspapers, or online. You can charge either per item or weight of clothes. Typical charges are about 80p per item or £2 for a bag weighing a pound.

Alternatively, a web-based agency such as allironedout.co.uk can find work for you.

14. Be a secret agent

The Field Agent app connects companies that need information with people who can provide it for a small fee: the field agents.

Some tasks such as completing surveys can be done at home, while others will require some travel. For example, the task might be to photograph a shop window display or check something is on sale in a certain store.

Once you’ve completed the task in the stated time limit you’ll be paid the agreed fee, normally between £3 and £6. Rival app, Roamler, works in a similar way.

15. Go on a clinical trial

A clinical trial is a medical research study to determine the safety and effectiveness of a new drug or treatment and discover any side effects.

Although lucrative, clinical trials can be time-consuming with many involving repeat appointments and in-patient stays. Requirements can be quite specific – for example, you might need to have, or not have, a certain medical condition and take specified medication.

Quintilesclinicaltrials.co.uk lists current trials for which it’s recruiting – payments are up to £2,500. Other companies include londontrials.com,flucamp.com and Nottingham-based weneedyou.co.uk.

16. Be a dog walker

Dog owners are willing to pay £10 to £15 an hour for a walker to exercise their pooch while they’re at work. You can bump up the hourly rate by walking several dogs at the same time.

Make sure you stick to council or park rules, though. You’ll need to be able to control the dogs in question and clear up after them.

Some councils have rules about how many dogs you can walk at the same time. For example, Manchester City Council sets a limit of four dogs per walker. Other parks require you to buy a licence if you’re using the park to run a business. London’s Royal Parks charge £300 for a professional dog walking licence covering all eight Royal Parks.

17. Be a TV extra

Ever wondered who all those people are milling around in the Rovers Return on Coronation Street? Or in the crowd at films scenes set at a train station or shopping centre? These people are extras – or ‘background artists’ – and they’re being paid.

You don’t need to have any acting skills to be an extra but you’ll need to be reliable and often available at short notice. The official rates for extras are £84 per nine-hour day and £105 for a nine-hour night. You get paid more if you have a speaking part or have to perform a special skill such as horse riding or dancing.

To get work, you need to sign up to an agency. Try castingcollective.co.uk or londonextraagency.com (which charges £2.50 a month). Be wary of any agency that wants a big fee upfront.

18. Be a life model

Fancy stripping for cash? If you don’t have any qualms about getting your kit off in front of a room full of strangers, and you can sit still, you can earn £10 to £15 an hour (plus tips) as a
life model for art classes.

Art schools and evening classes will often be on the lookout for life models and you don’t need the physique of a Greek god to take part. For men who do have muscles to show off, there’s a growing trend for nude life drawing as part of a hen night - if you’re man enough to cope with hordes of excited women.

19. Grow and sell vegetables

If you have a big garden and green fingers, you could make extra cash selling fruit, vegetables and flowers to passers-by, shops or at farmers’ markets. How much you can make depends on how much you have to sell, and of what. Some people will attract customers by simply advertising in front of their house or selling to friends.

Alternatively, gardeners can join Big Barn’s Crop for the Shop (bigbarn.co.uk) programme. It connects people with surplus stock to sell with independent food retailers.

20. Become a tutor

One in four UK children has private tuition at some point in their education, according to thetutorwebsite.co.uk. You don’t need to be a qualified teacher to be a tutor, although it does help.

Graduates or students often work as private tutors and earn an average of £22 an hour.

21. Do other people's chores

Are you an expert at DIY? Or do you have some free time in which you can run errands for other people? If so, you can sign up to taskrabbit.co.uk. The site allows people to search for experts such as handymen, cooks, personal assistants and event organisers in their local area.

Many people simply need someone to complete a chore – for example, pick up their dry cleaning while they're at work – so you don't necessarily need any special skills to earn money this way. You can earn £11 an hour upwards doing small jobs.

22. Have an advert on your car

Have you ever wondered why some people drive about town with an advert emblazoned all over their car? It's for one reason – to make money. Vehicle ‘wrapping' means having a vinyl graphic advert displayed on your car. Middlemen such as commmotion.com and money4space.co.uk arrange for your car to be wrapped, and pay drivers a monthly fee.

Depending on how much of your car is covered, you can earn up to £220 a month.

23. Share your car

Easy Carclub (carclub.easycar.com) puts car owners and drivers who occasionally need to hire a vehicle in touch with one another. Drivers hand over their car keys to a stranger for a set period of time in return for a fee – from £40 a day upwards – and hope they don't crash.

If that seems like too big a leap of faith, blablacar.com enables drivers making a particular journey to advertise for passengers to split the costs.

24. Rent out items you own

Have you got a tent you only use once a year? Or a largely redundant wallpaper steamer? Sites such as rentnotbuy.co.uk and rentmyitems.com are part of the so-called ‘sharing economy'. They enable owners to list items that they own and are willing to lend out in exchange for a fee. For example, you can rent out a leaf blower or lawn mower for £10 a day. Taking a deposit can help protect against theft.

25. Be a casual courier

Anyvan.com puts people who need a man (or woman) with a van, or car, in touch with people that need things moved.

It works like this: customers say what they want moved and where – for example, a sofa moved from Reading to Guildford – and drivers bid for the job. The customer then picks the offer that sounds cheapest or best.

Our researcher received quotes of £40 to £55 to take an old futon to the local rubbish dump.

The secret to making money as a courier is bidding for jobs on journeys you were planning to make anyway, or combining several jobs on one journey.

26. Sell stuff online

Car boot sales are old news – these days it's all about selling unwanted possessions online or via smartphone apps. Ebay.com is the best-known auction site. It gives users 20 free listings a month and takes a 10% cut of the final sale price. Ebay's payment system, PayPal, charges UK sellers a fee of between 1.4% and 3.4% of the total sale plus 20p per transaction within the UK.

Other sites are product specific: ASOS Marketplace (marketplace.asos.com) for clothes, Music Magpie (musicmagpie.co.uk) for CDs, DVDs, and games, and We Buy Books (webuybooks.co.uk) for books.

If you want to sell items via your smartphone, download Shpock for free from either the App Store or Google Play.


27. Be a direct seller

Direct selling is basically face-to-face selling outside a normal retail environment, either on a one-to-one basis or at specially held parties.

Companies such as Avon, Betterware and Herbalife use direct sellers who work flexibly around other commitments. In most cases, getting started only requires a modest initial investment, usually about £100. Watch out for scammers, though – such as companies demanding a big fee upfront or promising untold riches.

28. Sell real-life stories

Did your mum sleep with your boyfriend? Maybe your boss is a psycho or you've spent £50,000 on cosmetic surgery. If so, why not sell your story to a magazine or newspaper?

Women's and ‘real life' magazines often pay four-figure sums for the right story. Take A Break and Real People, for example, both pay up to £2,000.

Spilling the beans about your romance with a celebrity can earn you much more – if you can deal with the aftermath.

There are third party agencies that can help you negotiate the right deal for your story. Check out talktothepress.co.uk, featureworld.co.uk or sellusyourstory.com.

29. Sell photos of news events

If you're in the right place at the right time and have your smartphone to hand, you can make money by selling pictures of breaking news to newspapers and websites. You can either approach the news outlet directly or go via an agency that will negotiate with the press for you – and take a cut of the money.

Featureworld.co.uk, talktothepress.co.uk and cavendish-press.co.uk all deal with general news, while thesnitcherdesk.com specialises in celebrity pictures.

A picture of an A-list celebrity behaving badly can pay thousands of pounds.

30. Sell police auction goods

Police forces end up with lots of ‘recovered property' they are unable to reunite with owners, so they sell it off cheaply at auctions. The most popular police auction site is bumblebeeauctions.co.uk. You don't need to pay to join but you need a nochex.com account to pay for items.

Common items are bikes, cameras, vehicle accessories and tools. You can make money by bidding for cheap items and selling them on elsewhere. Bikes in particular go pretty cheaply – from about £10 upwards.

31. Sell photos online

Budding photographers can upload their work to a stock library – this is where newspapers, magazines and advertisers go to buy images.

The biggest stock library is alamy.com. It's free to list photos, Alamy sets the prices and you get 50% commission on each sale. Prices for buyers start at £15 for a photo to use in a presentation up to £149 to use it as part of a big marketing package.

However, you'll need both a decent camera and good photography skills to pass Alamy's quality control tests.

Other stock libraries include istockphoto.com and gettyimages.co.uk.

32. Go on a game show

TV game shows often offer big money prizes – and they need contestants to win them. A handful of shows such as The Million Pound Drop, The Cube and Deal or No Deal offer six-figure sums but plenty of others have prizes of a few thousand pounds.

To find out which shows need contestants and how to apply, visit Be On Screen (beonscreen.com), or follow @CastMe on Twitter.

33. Be a TV stand-in

Some TV production companies pay people to take part in ‘run-throughs' of new quiz shows. They do this to finely tweak a show's format, see how contestants would behave in real life situations, or record a pilot episode to pitch to TV stations.

A paid run-through can be a fun way to earn some cash. Participation could also potentially increase your chances of eventually getting on the show.

Shows looking for run-through contestants list their requirements on beonscreen.com and @CastMe on Twitter. Expect to earn about £20 for a couple of hours.

34. Be a pub quiz whizz

A crack team of experts with knowledge of everything from 1980s music to the monarchy could see you triumph – and cash in – on the pub quiz circuit.

Cash prizes vary and often depend on how many teams enter but many offer rollover jackpots to keep quizzers coming back week after week. You'll normally need to pay an entrance fee – and a few drinks – but quizzing can a moneyspinner if you're clever enough.

Visit quizbritain.com to find quizzes in your area.

35. Write letters to magazines

Many magazines, especially women's weeklies, pay for readers' letters and the odds of the editor choosing your submission for publication are good.

Your letter might be a comment on a previous article in the magazine, a funny story or just your opinion about something in the news.

Take a Break compiles ‘brainwaves', which are generally household tips. It pays £50 if it publishes your tip and photo, or £25 for just a tip. Rival magazine Bella pays £50 per ‘star letter'. Moneywise pays £50 in Marks & Spencer vouchers for its star letter of the month, and for the best question submitted to its panel of experts in the Sorted: Your Finances Fixed section. You can email your letters to editorial@moneywise.co.uk and questions to advice@moneywise.co.uk.

36. Become a ‘comper’

Magazines, newspapers, websites and hundreds of companies give away both cash and prizes in competitions each month. For the advertisers that provide the prizes, it's a cheap way to get people to learn about their product, visit their website or collect contact details for marketing purposes.

For consumers who have the time to enter, competitions can be lucrative – around £300 million worth of prizes are given away in the UK every year.

Compers News magazine (compersnews.com) lists more than 400 competitions and prize draws each issue.

37. Have a hit on YouTube

Google-owned YouTube is the world's biggest video-sharing site.

To encourage users to upload videos it operates a profit- sharing system where video uploaders receive a cut of the revenue raised from ads shown next to their content.

To monetise your videos, you need to become a ‘YouTube Partner' and sign up to the site's rules. A handful of people have made six-figure sums by uploading seemingly trivial videos.

Howard Davies-Carr made more than £100,000 when he posted a clip called ‘Charlie bit my finger – again!' featuring his sons Harry and Charlie. The video's been viewed more than 760 million times.

38. Complete online surveys

There are numerous survey sites that encourage you to sign up then alert you when a suitable survey becomes available. Participation is normally rewarded in cash or vouchers.

One of the best known is Ipsos. Once you've signed up for its i-Say (i-say.com) service, it will send suitable surveys and polls in your direction. A typical survey pays £1 and takes about 15 minutes.

Payment is in shopping vouchers and it will pay out once you've accrued £10 in your account.

39. Design an app

Apps are big business – last year saw teenager Nick D'Aloisio sell the Summly news summary app to Yahoo! for an estimated £18 million.

Once you've had a unique idea for a useful app, or game you need to get it designed and made. FanStudio.co.uk says hiring an app developer to do this costs from £1,000 upwards.

The app will need to be submitted and approved by a mobile operating system such as Apple App Store, Google Play, or Windows Phone Store.

Once it's listed and people start downloading it, there are several ways to make money: charge each user to download it (from 69p on the App Store), sell in-app purchases or subscriptions, flog space on the app to advertisers, or sell the entire app to someone else.

40. Write an ebook

The rise of ebooks means you no longer need a publishing deal to publish and sell a book – you can do it for free online. Writers such as EL James, who wrote 50 Shades of Grey, and Amanda Hocking, whose novels include Switched, have become millionaires this way.

Although you can publish for free, there are various services you can buy to increase your chances of success: for example, an 80,000-word novel will cost about £2,600 to copy edit, proof-read, format, design and advertise.

Next, you need to get it listed on Kindle Direct Publishing (kdp.amazon.com). There are other publishing platforms but Kindle is the biggest one.

Kindle allows you to set your own sale price and royalty level. Authors receive 70% of the sale price providing the cover price is between roughly £1.80 and £6. So if you set a sale price of £3, you'll receive £2.10 per download.

41. Give Google helpouts

If you have a skill to sell – from anything from teaching Spanish to changing a wheel on your car – you can apply to be a provider on Google Helpouts (helpouts.google.com).

The site connects people who need help with people who can offer assistance over a live interactive video. You need to request an 'invitation code' and then Google Helpouts will process your request. You list your services and set your own fees, charging either per minute or session. Yoga teachers, for example, charge about £30 an hour.

Payment is only by Google Wallet and Google takes a 20% cut of the fee.

42. Recycle your old mobile

Numerous companies offer cash for old mobile phones and, sometimes, other gadgets too. You'll get the most money for smartphones in full working order with little or no cosmetic damage.

Sites such as envirofone.com, mazumamobile.com and fonebank.com enable you to enter your phone's make and model and get an immediate quote. If you accept it, most will send you a freepost jiffy bag to send it in – then you get your cash.

You can compare what the different sites will give you for your phone at comparemymobile.com.

43. Complete tasks online

There are a number of websites that pay users to do various things from searching the internet, to playing online games.

Swagbucks.com is a popular site. Its members complete online tasks, mainly in exchange for gift cards. Tasks include surveys, polls, watching videos and web searches. Playing a game on the site will earn you between 1 and 5 Swagbucks. One Swagbuck is worth between 1p and 5p.

44. Start a blog

Pete Cashmore was a teenager when he set up the Mashable blog (mashable.com) in his bedroom.

Now aged 28, he's worth £60 million. Blogs make money by attracting lots of visitors and then using visitor numbers to convince companies that buying advertising space on the blog is worthwhile. The more popular your blog is, the more advertisers will want to get involved and the more they'll be willing to pay.

As well as ads, blogs also feature 'sponsored links', which means the advertiser pays the blogger to publish a post in which there is a link to their website.

A survey by Optimus found fashion bloggers earn an average of £1,116 a year.

45. Get paid for ads on your website

If you have a website or blog, whether business or personal, you can add adverts for other companies. The ads are in the form of 'affiliate links'.

Rather than approach individual companies to negotiate affiliate marketing deals, it's best to join an affiliate marketing scheme such as Google AdSense (google.com/adsense) or Amazon Associates (affiliate-program.amazon.co.uk).

Depending on the scheme you sign up to, you'll be paid per click, sale or lead. Fees range from a few pence per click to commissions of around 30% on resulting sales.

46 Write reviews for cash

Dooyoo.co.uk is a review site where the reviewers are the website's users and are paid for their contributions.

Different products earn different amounts of 'Dooyoo Miles' but it works out to between 10p and 60p per review. Once you reach £20, you can receive an Amazon voucher but you'll need to earn £50 if you want the money in cash.

47. Be a Giffgaff guru

Giffgaff.com is a mobile phone company that works in a slightly different way to rivals – it pays its customers to act as both salespeople and troubleshooters.

To get involved you need to sign up to a Giffgaff SIM card deal. Then you can earn 'payback points' in various ways, and then convert the points into cash.

The main way to earn points is by persuading other people to join Giffgaff – you'll get 500 payback points (£5) per activated SIM. Tech experts can also earn points by answering users' questions in the Giffgaff online forum.

48. Get better savings rates

Some savings accounts pay a paltry amount of interest, often as little as 0.1%, so you can make money by moving your savings to a better paying account.

Visit savingschampion.co.uk and go to 'rate tracker'. Enter the name of your savings account and the site will tell you whether or not you're getting a good deal.

If not, it advises you which account you should opt for. Once you've moved your money, Savings Champion will keep an eye on the interest rate and notify you when you should switch accounts again.

If you had £1,000 in an account paying 0.1% it would generate interest of just 10p a year. An account paying 3% would pay £30.42.

49. Switch bank accounts

It's now fairly easy to switch your current account to a different bank – and you can earn money for doing so.

First Direct, the Co-Operative Bank and Halifax all offer £100 for switching to their respective current accounts. M&S Bank offers £150 in vouchers to customers switching to its Premium Current Account.

But before you switch, check overdraft and other charges to make sure the move is worthwhile.

50. Buy premium bonds

Premium bonds pay out prizes from £25 up to £1 million each month tax-free. You can save up to £40,000 in National Savings & Investment premium bonds and once you've bought bonds, they're entered into a prize draw each month. Unlike the Lotto, you don't lose the
money if your bonds don't win and you can cash in your bonds at any time. But premium bonds don't earn interest, so over time inflation will eat away at the real value of your money.

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