Whether you have a full-time job or stay home with your kids, it’s always handy to make some extra money on the side. For some, it’s easy to decide what to do based on talents like writing, sewing or cooking.
But for others, it’s not always clear how you can make some extra dosh.
If you live in the U.K., there are plenty of ways to get an extra few quid to spend, save or invest.
Selling Your Stuff
Do you have things you never use or wear lying around the house? If so, you’re in good company. You can make a pretty penny selling your unwanted stuff online. Depending on what you’re selling, there’s an app for it.
Zapper is designed to help you sell your unwanted CDs, DVDs, phones, books and electronics. The site offers instant valuations on your stuff either via the Zapper app or the website itself. After valuation, Zapper sends your payment either via PayPal or bank transfer.
After that, it’s up to you to package your stuff and send it to Zapper. You can drop it off at a Collect+ store for media items or the post office for phones and electronics. Once they receive it, Zapper will reuse, recycle or refurbish your items.
Gumtree is a free classified ad website. You can sell a wide variety of things, including cars and motorbikes, appliances, baby and kids’ items, electronics, clothes and Christmas decorations. You can even sell or rent out your home on Gumtree, or list services like freelance writing or tutoring.
You can offer your stuff locally or include shipping for an extra fee. It’s up to you how much you list your stuff for, though you should see what similar items are selling for and list at a similar price if you want your items to sell.
eBay is one of the best-known ecommerce sites. If you have unwanted clothes, collectibles, electronics, toys or sports equipment, eBay is a great place to list them.
It’s easy to get started on eBay. Once you have an account you can list your stuff from your mobile or desktop. You can choose whether you want to sell for a set price or via auction. And when your stuff sells, you’ll get payment via PayPal.
Facebook might have started off as a social networking site, but now you can buy and sell stuff on Facebook via Marketplace. You can list your items for free and sell them to people in your local area. For safety reasons, arrange to meet sellers in public areas rather than having them come to your house to pick up.
Car Boot Sales
Car boot sales have been around for decades. I got some of my most-loved items of clothing from car boot sales back in the day. Since they take place outside, you’ll usually find them in the warmer months. Check out Car Boot Junction to find a car boot sale near you and see who you should contact to sign up as a seller.
Gold prices fluctuate, but you can always make some extra cash from selling your gold. To find out the current price of gold, check out GoldPrice.org. You can sell your gold to a jeweller, or online at websites like Hatton Garden Metals.
Sell Your Story
If you have an interesting story about how you met your spouse or about an encounter with a famous person, you might be able to make some dough by selling it to a magazine or a newspaper. The Facebook group FeatureMe! UK lists opportunities posted by journalists looking for different types of stories. If yours matches a request, you could typically make at least £100, according to Martin Lewis from MoneySavingExpert.com.
Make Money for Doing Stuff
If you don’t have anything you want to sell (or are willing to part with), you can make money by doing things like surveys or mystery shopping.
You can typically make between 5p and £5 per survey on sites like Panelbase. All you need to do is set up an account and start giving your opinion. Once you reach £10 in earnings you’ll be able to withdraw your money, either through a bank transfer or in the form of vouchers or a charitable donation.
If you like shopping, sign up for a mystery shopping site like Marketforce or Mystery Shoppers and start looking for available opportunities. You can usually find mystery shopping jobs for restaurants, supermarkets, hotels or high-street retailers.
Cash Prize Draws
Do you have some spare time on your hands? Look into daily cash prize draws to make a few extra quid. Pick My Post Code gives away an amount each day to a different post code. If you register and yours is drawn, you and your neighbours will each get a piece of the pie.
Get a Lodger
If you have a spare room in your house, why not make some extra money from it? Renting your room to a lodger can get you up to £7,500 tax-free thanks to the U.K. government’s Rent a Room Scheme. This scheme is also valid if you rent out your room short-term via Airbnb or VRBO, or if you run a full-time bed and breakfast.
Get Money Back From the Bank
Your bank is a good place to look for extra savings or extra money. Here are a few places to start.
If you’ve lost track of an old savings account, you can find it by using My Lost Account. You can also use this free service to find lost National Savings and Investment products, like an ISA or premium bonds. The service covers more than 30 accounts and 43 building societies.
When you fill out the form on My Lost Account, you’ll have to choose which banks or building societies you would like to query. You’ll get results either via email or in a letter through the post.
Cashback Credit Cards
Most banks these days offer some sort of rewards for signing up for their credit card products. Look for one with cashback rewards to get free money back when you spend on your card.
Make the most of this offer by putting most of your monthly expenses on your credit card and paying it off in full at each statement date. That way, you’ll be getting maximum cashback without having to pay interest or go into debt.
Switching Bank Accounts
Some banks will pay you a bonus if you open an account with them. Unless you’re thrilled with your bank, consider switching so you can take advantage of free money perks.
Check out MoneySavingExpert.com’s list of the best banks, which is updated weekly and includes how much the banks will pay you for making the switch.
Refer a Friend
Some banks will pay you a bonus if you refer a friend who signs up for a new account. Nationwide Building Society will pay you and your friend £100 each, and you can refer up to five friends per year. That’s £500 a year just for getting your pals to sign up for a new bank account.
Lost premium bonds were mentioned briefly, but they should also be mentioned as a good way to potentially get free money. You can win between £25 and £1 million in NS&I’s monthly Premium Bonds prize draw.
It’s easy to get started with Premium Bonds, and just £25 will get you an entry in the prize draw. The more money you invest in Premium Bonds, the higher your chances of winning. The prize money you win is tax free and you can either withdraw it or reinvest it in more premium bonds to help your chances of winning again.
In addition to selling your stuff or finding lost bank accounts, you can make money by utilizing your skills or your interests. Check out some of these miscellaneous ways to make some extra dough.
Take In Ironing
I don’t know about you, but I hate ironing. I’d happily pay someone to do my ironing rather than do it myself. (Luckily, I save time and money by refusing to buy clothes that need ironing in the first place.)
But if you love linen or have to wear button-down shirts or blouses to work, ironing can become a huge pain in the you-know-where. For those who like to iron, that creates a great money-making opportunity. You could make around £10 for 20 items of clothing. Do some research to see what similar businesses charge, and match or beat their prices to attract customers.
You can advertise in the local paper or put a flyer in the newsagents to let people know they can bring their ironing to you for a small fee. Ironing (if you enjoy it) is something you can easily do while catching up on EastEnders after work or on the weekend.
Do you love dogs but your living situation won’t allow you to have one of your own? Consider pet sitting to make some extra cash. It’s a win-win because you will get to enjoy cuddles and playtime with new four-legged friends while being paid for the privilege.
You can advertise locally on your own, or sign up for a pet-sitting service like Animal Angels or Nina’s Nannies for Pets. The latter pays an average of £30 a day for you to stay at a client’s house while they’re away and take care of their pets.
Make extra dough and impress your friends by becoming a TV extra. The best way to do this is to go through an agency like Universal Extras or The Casting Collective. Most will let you sign up for free but will take a commission out of your pay. You can expect to make £50-£100 per day.
You have a smartphone, so why not use it to make some extra money? Some smartphone apps will pay you for doing things like taking pictures of job listings, confirming product prices in supermarkets, taking surveys or reviewing restaurants. Which? Money made a list of the eight best smartphone apps that will pay you.
Advertise on Your Car
You’ve probably seen cars with business names emblazoned on their doors. But did you know you can actually sell advertising space on your car? Websites like Car Quids will match you with businesses looking to get their name out there through car adverts.
Website owners are always looking to see how they can improve their layout and design to be more appealing. You can make money by checking out various websites and giving your honest opinion of their look, feel and content.
Sites like WhatUsersDo make it easy and free to sign up. You’ll need to download some recording software on your computer, but once you’ve completed that step you can start claiming assignments and helping out website owners while making a little extra money.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many more ways you can make extra money in the U.K. Ask your friends for tips and scour your local paper’s classified section to find more opportunities that suit your schedule and interests.
Catherine Hiles is a British writer living in the U.S. She’s a huge fan of making extra cash by selling clothes, freelance writing and smartphone apps.