40 ways to make extra money in your spare time

Working at home

In these cash-strapped times, many of us could do with a bit of an extra boost to our monthly income.

With rising bills, frozen salaries and squeezed disposable incomes having a big effect on people's finances across the nation, every little helps when it comes to increasing the cash in our accounts.

Our Top 5 tips - have you thought about.

1. Renting out a spare room?

If you have an extra room in your home that's being used for nothing more than providing a bit of extra storage space, why not clear it out and take in a lodger?

Many students and single people look for temporary accommodation - and the money you charge for rent and bills could help you stay on top of your finances and pay off your mortgage.

2. Making money on YouTube?

YouTube screenshot

In our digital age, social media and the internet dominate many aspects of our lives - but did you know it can potentially make you some money too?

Some savvy online users have made thousands of pounds by uploading clips and home videos on YouTube. If your film becomes popular enough and you attract a large amount of hits, the company could very well contact you and offer you a share of the money they make from the advertisements that appear on your page.

One student, with 220,000 subscribers to his YouTube account, says he was making up to 7,000 a month!

3. Entering competitions?

Entering competitions could be a great way of earning some extra cash or prizes. As the vast majority of online competitions require an e-mail address to enter them, it's worthwhile setting up a separate e-mail account to avoid your inbox being clogged up with spam.

Always check the terms and conditions, stick with well-known brands and don't be put off by big prizes, as fewer people than you might expect tend to enter these competitions - which could improve your chances of winning. As the saying goes, 'you've got to be in it to win it'. Good luck!

4. Making money from your photos?

Woman with camera

Whether you're an amateur photographer, a professional snapper or just keen on capturing the best shots from family holidays, weddings and other occasions on your digital camera, some websites can turn your photos into cash.

Websites such as iStock Photo allow you to upload your digital photos and sell them - paying commission on all pictures which are sold and downloaded.

Stock photography websites will usually have quite high standards, so one consideration is that you will need a good camera - ideally a digital SLR.

If your Images sell, they could be used in a variety of different places, such as advertising boards, magazines, newspapers and websites. This means you might want to avoid submitting any photographs you would be embarrassed for people to see!

5. Recycling your old gadgets?

Do you have an old mobile phone, laptop, camera, sat nav, MP3 player or printer lying around and gathering dust?

Recycling companies could help you pocket 100s for your unwanted items - and by not simply chucking them in the bin, you'll be doing your bit for the environment too. Some recycling websites will even arrange to pick up your items free of charge.

You should compare recycling prices online to find the best deal for your gadgets.

Beyond the Top 5 - more practical money-making tips:

  1. Consider getting a part-time job in a local bar, shop or restaurant.
  2. Offer to do some jobs for friends and neighbours, e.g. mow the loan or wash the car.
  3. Recycle aluminium cans. Some recycling centres offer around 30-50p per kilogramme of cans.
  4. Sell some old items on eBay or at a car boot sale.
  5. Walk your neighbour's dog or 'cat-sit' for them when they're on holiday.
  6. House-sit while your friends are away for the weekend.
  7. Why not make your own arts and crafts and sell things at art fairs?
  8. If you enjoy getting in the kitchen, why not get baking and have a bake sale?
  9. If you have a particular skill, such as playing the guitar or speaking a foreign language, you could tutor students part time or online.
  10. Grow your own vegetables and sell them at farmers' markets or roadside stands.
  11. Think about searching charity shops for rare books, CDs or vinyl records and sell them on to specialist stockists (you could give a share of the profit to the charity shop, too!).
  12. Consider repairing computers or TVs if you're a bit of a gadget whizz.
  13. If you enjoy painting, you could start your own website and sell your artwork.
  14. Are you handy on a sewing machine? Why not do clothing alterations?
  15. Do some freelance writing for the local newspaper or websites.
  16. Rent out your lawnmower, chainsaw or other garden equipment.
  17. Why not write and publish an eBook?
  18. Start up your own blog. The more visitors you attract, the more you could earn in advertising fees.
  19. Consider having a clear-out of your attic or basement and having a garden sale.
  20. Help your neighbour paint and varnish their fence or do DIY.
  21. Write a novel - you never know, you could be the next J.K. Rowling!
  22. Think about finding or buying scrap metal, and sell it for a profit.
  23. Babysit any younger family members while their parents are out for the evening.
  24. If you're an animal lover and you have the space (!), why not get some chickens? You could sell the eggs at local farmers' markets.
  25. If you own a car, why not make your motor available for advertising space?
  26. Give lifts to friends and family if they don't have a car.
  27. Scour the sales and sell your 'finds' online.
  28. Consider selling your hair. Many wigmakers and hairdressing academies are always on the lookout for samples.
  29. Making jewellery from beads and ceramics - or even selling any old pieces you no longer wear - could earn you some quick cash.
  30. If you enjoy spinning tunes in your spare time, why not offer your DJing services at weddings and parties?
  31. Are you a 'gamer'? Why not get a paid game-testing job? It might take a bit of hunting, but these kinds of jobs are out there!
  32. Consider renting out your driveway or parking space.
  33. If you're the kind of person who has an opinion on everything, some software developers are willing to pay people for honest feedback on their work.
  34. Consider translating documents if you speak a second language.
  35. There are lots of companies offering work-from-home data-entry jobs. Always be careful and check all the details, but they could be a good way of earning some extra income.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to boosting your income. If you're looking for more money-saving tips and advice, visit our money-saving section here.

First image iStockPhotos / Stuart Rayner; second image Spencer Holtaway - CC; third image Mike Baird - CC;

Tags: money, money saving, make money, extra money, work, jobs, employment, YouTube, eBay

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