There are bound to be times when, for one reason or another, you need to boost your income. Perhaps you are paying off debts or saving towards a particular goal. We have had to be creative at times to earn more money and make sure we stay on track financially.
I have taught yoga, sold stuff on eBay, flogged makeup door to door and even appeared in the newspaper to earn more money. We also make good use of our spare room, taking in lodgers and language students.
Here are my ideas to boost the coffers and earn more money.
If you have a spare room, even if this is only some of the time, have a look to see if you have a language college nearby. If you do, the chances are that they will need host families. I have worked with our local college for many years now. We take in students from all over the world, usually for a week or two at a time. However, it is possible to host for up to a year.
My advice is to set ground rules from the start. It is your house, not a hotel. With the youngsters particularly, I always make it clear what time I expect them to be home in the evening, when their meals will be ready and that they are to text me if they are going to be late.
Under the Government’s Rent a Room Scheme, you can earn up to £7500 per annum. If you cross this threshold you will need to complete a tax return.
Take in a lodger
We also take in lodgers much of the time. The advantage here is that they can sort their own meals, do their own laundry and clean their own bedrooms. It is also a more dependable form of income.
You need to be pretty easy going I think. Whilst your lodger is living with you and paying rent, it is their home too, so you can’t constantly hog the TV remote and need to be prepared to share the kitchen and bathroom.
Taking a lodger also comes under the Rent a Room scheme rules.
If you have a particular skill, you could try teaching it to others. As I mentioned, I have taught yoga on and off for many years, both for the local adult community college and in leisure centres.
You used to be able to teach pretty much anything from sewing and cookery to woodwork and photography without a qualification. However, the adult colleges are increasingly insisting on a teaching diploma. It’s worth asking what their requirements are. For very specialised leisure courses and workshops it may still be enough just to be a subject expert.
If you have a degree in something like a language, maths or English you could do home tutoring. I know some teachers who are now out of the profession but still do this. If you have a grammar school locally, there is usually good demand for 11+ coaching. Be creative. If you are a great guitarist or pianist, you might also be able to teach one to one in your own home.
I have a friend who is a native French speaker who used to earn more money running small after school clubs in French. My kids loved that! She just asked around in the playground and had a lot of interest.
I have a work colleague who hasn’t paid for a holiday in years. He usually wins at least a couple of breaks every year, as well as household goods, days out, tickets to events and all sorts of other goodies.
Competitions are his hobby. For fun, he sits for a couple of hours each evening and enters as many as take his fancy. He recommends that you set up an email account just for comping. Otherwise, you will start to get overwhelmed with junk mail.
He uses Loquax and MSE to find his competitions. You will also find more to enter and advice at Super Lucky Di.
Obviously cash prizes are the only ones that will directly give you money in the bank, but they will certainly save you some and you could sell some of your unwanted prizes.
Matched betting can earn more money
Having heard stories of people winning thousands with matched betting, I did attempt it. However, I just couldn’t get my head round it and didn’t have the patience required.
However, I have come across other bloggers who are so good at it they regularly bring in an extra couple of thousand pounds each month. If you want to try it, I recommend looking at Katy Kicker for information on how to get started.
A lot is promised by survey sites but can you really earn decent money? Skint Dad reckons you can, although he admits that surveys can be time consuming. He suggests that if you sign up to multiple sites and do a few each day you could earn as much as £200 extra each month. His guide is here.
I don’t have time to do that many but I do pop onto Prolific from time to time as they seem one of the best payers. I got fed up with answering loads of questions before being screened out on some of the others.
When my kids were still at school I signed up to do some mystery shopping. I had to go to a café in a department store and order a particular meal in one case, then had to enquire about opening a new bank account for another.
What I really wanted were some fabulous three course meals with wine or a stay on a hotel, but it wasn’t to be!
Emma Drew reckons you can make some decent money and have some fun experiences as a mystery shopper. She published a blog post called Everything you need to know about mystery shopping in the UK, which also lists some of her favourite mystery shopping companies.
Rent your driveway
If you live near a town or city centre, you could find your garage or driveway is easy to rent out to commuters. I have a colleague who does just this. She uses her car to get to work so her driveway is empty all day – or rather it isn’t as a lady in an office nearby pays her to park there. She undercuts the local car park!
As with everything, there are several websites where you can list your parking space if you do an internet search, or ask businesses near to where you live to pass the message to their employees.
Regular readers will know that I am a big fan of eBay. I buy and sell on there. You can easily make a few pounds clearing out your house or garage and selling your things on. You can also use Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace.
As well as those having a declutter, there is a growing army of entrepreneurs making a living out of reselling on eBay. They source items cheaply via auctions, boot sales, charity shops, etc and then sell them on at a profit.
Feature in the press
Would you believe it, the press aren’t only interested in stories from celebrities! They are frequently looking for ordinary people to write about and will often pay you as well. You could submit your story to publications like Take a Break, although they tend to focus on the tragic or the sensational.
If you prefer something more run of the mill, I recently discovered a Facebook group called Feature Me, run my Daily Mail journalists. Every day they make requests for people (mainly women) to take part in stories. They usually pay £100-200 upon publication.
I recently did this and they came to my house to give me a makeover and take photos. That was fun, although they have yet to use the piece so I am still waiting to get paid.
Go on a game show
Work as an extra
This isn’t going to make your fortune, but if you like the limelight you could meet some interesting people and see your face on TV or film. There is an interesting article here about how to get started.
Francesca Mason of From Pennies to Pounds makes money dog boarding at home. She gets paid to look after cute dogs whilst their owners are away. If I was at home more, I would definitely go for this (although I’m not sure the cats would approve)!
It may not work if you already have a dog, however.
There is no reason you couldn’t offer this service for other creatures too. Francesca uses an organisation called Tailster. You can sign up for pet boarding, dog or cat day care and dog walking as well.
Help at the local elections
Your local council regularly recruits polling clerks for elections. I worked as one during the general election last year to earn more money. It was hard work and a long day, but very interesting. I plan to do it again in May for the local elections. I worked a 12 hour day, so it’s not for the faint hearted.
You can progress to being a presiding officer, which pays a bit better. Rates of pay seem to vary between councils, so approach yours for more information. Now is a good time as many will have parish and council elections coming up in the summer.
Don’t forget your tax obligations
When you earn more money you are, of course, obliged to pay more tax. Keep good records and receipts and be prepared to complete a tax return. Go to Gov.UK for more information on self assessment.
What are your ideas to earn more money?