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Sometimes, making a little extra money isn’t always easy. Whether you’re already working, managing a family, or your circumstances mean you’re unable to commit to regular employment, it is possible to make a little extra on the side with some effort and commitment. (I’ve dubbed these methods easy because there are no barriers beyond your own limitations, and they’re the perfect place to begin earning some extra cash.)
1. Lose before you can gain
It’s a magical word: Declutter!
Believe it or not, most of us have a huge number of possessions that we rarely use or have even forgotten are there. There are unloved clothes languishing in your wardrobe and your drawers. Jackets hang by the noose on the coat rack and the back of your bedroom door. Forgotten shoes lie neglected on the cupboard floor, while crumpled bags suffocate beneath a heap of paraphernalia; none of them having seen the light of day for months.
There are kids toys that are no longer played with, the party outfits the little people wore once and grew out of, the soft toys gathering dust in the wicker basket in the corner. Have you looked in your loft lately? Old records, baby furniture; cots, bouncers, activity tables. What about your drawers? How many unused electrical items/old mobile phones do you have that still have some life left in them?
There’s something deeply cleansing about decluttering. Your space feels calmer; life is simpler. Your mind is clearer. Tidy house, tidy mind. However, before you begin throwing all of your unwanted possessions away, consider the possibilities of actually making some money with it.
There are so many options these days, from car boot sales, to online auction sites (eBay) and selling sites (Shpock, Amazon, Vinted, to name a few). To keep things simple, a car boot sale is often a great way to make some quick money selling off your old stuff. Everything can be put up for sale in one location, and people from all walks of life will pass by and potentially purchase that telescope you never used, or the miniature ride-on that is now too small for the kids. Don’t expect to make a fortune, though; most people tend to want a lot for not a lot these days and won’t pay over the odds for second-hand items (unless they’re worth it, of course!). Bear in mind, too, that you’ll need to pay sellers’ fees, which vary by location. But, if you put a bit of effort into thinking about who might buy what, and consider where you’re going to display your items, too, you could make a nice tidy sum. After our entrance fee, we made £35 at our last car boot sale which is not bad for a couple of hours’ work! Depending on which car boot sale you go to and what you’re selling, you could easily make more.
Once you’ve exhausted the car boot sale option, think about where else you might sell your unwanted items. Sites such as eBay, Facebook, Shpock or Vinted are great for selling clothes, shoes, bags etc. And if you’ve got unwanted DVDs and CDs, try sites such as Music Magpie, Ziffit,or Zapper. These are super-easy to use, as you can simply download an app onto your phone, scan the barcode, and you’ll see how much your item is worth. Once you’ve reached the minimum value, you just pack them up, print a label, and send them off. When they receive your goods, they get checked and within a couple of days you receive your money. You can also sell old mobile phones on places such as Envirofone, Mazuma Mobile, and again, Music Magpie. However, it’s worth checking with the mobile phone supplier to see what price they might offer. Music Magpie wouldn’t offer anything for a broken, smashed, non-functioning Samsung, however Samsung recycle offered £81. It pays to shop around.
2. Get paid for your thoughts by taking short surveys
To me, taking surveys used to be a massive waste of my time. But with technology evolving, there are a number of survey sites out there that you can download onto your mobile device and take surveys when you have a few spare minutes. Three of my favourites include Qmee, Global Test Market, and YouGov. They tend to tell you how long each survey will take, so you can decide in advance whether it’s worth your time. Some survey sites have instant pay-outs, whereas others have a minimum points/money threshold that you have to reach before you can cash-out.
3. Get paid to eat, shop, and review
This is one of my favourite ways to earn money, because as a stay-at-home mum, it means I have a great excuse to leave the house without spending any money (other than petrol costs, and any outlay, which is usually refunded). You’re generally given a window of when you can complete the job, so you can work it around your own time and commitments. Two sites that I currently use are RedWigWam, and Marketforce. RedWigWam tend to pay £7 – £7.50 per job, and tasks have ranged from checking and purchasing a product, to online purchasing and reviewing items. Roles via Marketforce can include visiting a retail outlet, a bar, a restaurant, and checking things such as staff appearance, customer service, the quality of your food and the cleanliness of surroundings. You’ll often be required to fill out/write up a report following the visit, although this doesn’t take long and gets easier the more you do it.
4. Get paid for completing small tasks
Similar to mystery shopping, tasks can be completed via your smartphone while out and about. These range from checking street signs to going into a supermarket to check stock levels. You’ll need to be prepared to take photos and upload them, and some task apps such as Roamler require a level of training to be completed before you can gain access to higher paid tasks. The range of pay varies depending on the task and the level of work required, but as an example, I’ve earned £3 from checking and confirming a street name was correct, and £2 for confirming the stock level of various teas in a Tesco. I currently use Roamler (you need a code to join by invitation, which you can get via TheMoneyShed after a minimum number of forum posts), BeMyEye and Vypr (Vypr is great – you earn points through ‘steers’ for giving your opinion on whether or not you would buy an item in a supermarket. There are also steers to be completed within a supermarket, which award higher-value points). It’s worth checking these apps on a regular basis, as the tasks get filled pretty quickly.
5. Make money when you spend it
If you’ve never used cashback sites, you’re seriously missing out. I’ve earned £750.29 so far just by purchasing things like car insurance, home insurance, utilities and broadband deals through cashback. I use Quidco and TopCashback, although I always do a comparison first to find the best deal, I then search the cashback sites to see if I can get said deal through them AND earn cashback. For example, last year I found the best broadband deal for us was with EE and was able to utilise Quidco as they were running an offer for cashback with this retailer for £165. I made the transaction via Quidco and got paid £165, simply for changing broadband providers. It works by using cookies to track your purchase (and therefore your browser history, so ensure you clear all your cookies/delete your history first if you’ve been comparing deals, otherwise the cashback won’t be paid). You can also use cashback sites for other online purchases; simply search for your favourite retailer via the cashback site and you can earn back a specific amount, or a percentage of what you spend.
Other cashback options include using apps such as Shopmium, GreenJinn and Checkout Smart. These apps can be downloaded to your phone, and if you’re a fan of branded items, they offer cashback on products purchased in the supermarket. All you have to do is take a photo and submit a copy of the receipt once you’ve purchased the product, and they’ll refund you the money. Shopmium often have products available to try for free in return for a brief review.
So, there you have it! 5 easy ways to make money. Anyone can do it; the only limitation to how much you can make with any of these is how you apply yourself to each task.
I’d love to know how you get on, so feel free to pop me a comment below or send me a message on email or via any of my social channels.