As we snatched all manner of bargains in the New Years sales, most of us watched our bank balances dwindle far faster than we would like.
Although we would like to be able to save more, that’s not always an option – bills have to be paid and gifts have to be bought – so to stay in the black, we need to think of other ways to earn money.
We’ve put together 15 simple ways to earn money on the side this New Year. With a small amount of effort, carefully deployed, you can not only make more money this year, but put yourself on a sounder financial footing every year ahead.
15 Easy Ways to Earn Money on the Side
1. EBay Your Junk
All of us have things under the bed or in a cupboard we don’t need or want: the pair of heels that don’t quite fit, the soft toy from an ex-boyfriend, and that box of china which belonged to Granny.
Even if you think they’re worthless, put them online: there is someone out there who wants them.
Ebay’s great as you pay nothing unless the item sells, and a few pounds for each item quickly add up. Your home will look less cluttered too!
2. Use A Dress Agency
If you’ve got designer or other high quality clothing which you no longer wear or doesn’t fit, try selling it through a dress agency.
The shop will take a commission on the sale, but you’ll still get a good price and sales may be more steady than via eBay as women can actually try on the item before they buy it, negating the risk of the sale.
3. Negotiate A Pay Rise
Optimise how much you are getting paid for the job you are doing. If you have colleagues who are being paid more for doing the same job, ask for a pay rise – raise the issue politely with your line manager.
Draw attention to the value you provide the company and your expectations for remuneration.
4. Work Overtime
If you are paid by the hour, or have the option to earn overtime, take advantage of it.
You shouldn’t work to the point you are exhausted, or that it has a detrimental impact on your relationships with your friends and family, but if you can reasonably pick up another couple of hours of work each week, it’ll have a significant, positive impact on your pack cheque at the end of the month.
All manner of skills are in demand, from photography to graphic design, proof reading, web development to marketing consultancy, and using sites such as upwork.com you can work from wherever you like in the world.
This is one of the best ways to earn money on the side if you are good at what you do. You can read our handy guide on how to kick-start a freelance career.
6. Take A Temp Job
If your existing job gives you paid holiday, why not give up a week of that time to earn some extra cash?
Working through a temping agency you can find all manner of short-term posts, and it’s also an opportunity to network and gain some more experience for your CV, both of which could help you negotiate a better salary in the future.
7. Car Share and Rental
Your car is a hugely valuable (and costly) asset, especially given that most of the time you aren’t using it.
Make extra money by car sharing. Sites such as easyCar Club, GoCarShare.com and turo.com make it quick and easy to find other people going the same way as you who want to pay for a ride, or to rent your car.
Unlike with car clubs, you have guaranteed availability – it is still your car, after all – but the car makes money for you rather than being sat on the drive.
8. Pet Sit
If you’re fond of furry creatures (or winged or scaly ones), turn your hobby into an income stream. Pet owners would often far rather their pet was cared for in a home rather than in kennels or cattery, and they pay handsomely for this.
You can host pets in your own home, or pay the animal daily visits. In a similar vein, dog walking is a great way to exercise and get fresh air whilst making extra money too.
9. Host A Billboard
A creative way to earn money on the side is host a billboard.
Advertisers pay good money to the owners of buildings where their billboards and other advertising hoardings are displayed.
If you own your home or office, and it is in a prominent position where lots of other people will see it, JCDecaux.co.uk will rent your outdoor wall space to put up an advertising board.
Rates depend on the location and size of the board, but it is one of the best ways to earn money on the side from your property.
10. Rent Out A Room
If you have a spare room, or couch, think seriously about letting it out. If you’re looking for a long-term arrangement and/or company, take a lodger, but you’ll make more money per night if you offer short lets through airbnb.co.uk.
11. Google Ads And Pay-Per-Click Advertising
If you have a website or popular social media account, capitalise on it to make more money. All that is required to start a blog for example is to get a domain name, a self-hosted WordPress blog, install WordPress and get a WordPress theme.
A great way to start a self-hosted WordPress blog on the cheap is to buy your domain and hosting from Bluehost for £2.65/month.
Installing Google ads is straightforward, and depending on the model you choose, you can make money from the number of impressions or the number of clicks.
It’s also worth examining Amazon’s referral sales options as you can earn a healthy commission every time someone sees a product on your website and goes on to purchase it.
12. Crowdfund Your Idea
Got an idea which will change the world, or a product which will net you millions? Don’t worry about saving every penny to prototype it, or taking a loan from the bank.
What is crowdfunding and how does crowdfunding work? Find our in our interview with crowdfunding expert.
13. House A Visiting Student
Foreign language students visiting the UK love to stay with local families as immersion in an English speaking environment is the fastest way to improve their language skills.
If you have a spare room, get in touch with local language schools and offer to host a student.
Students can be adults as well as teenagers, and demand is especially high for short periods in the summer months, so you don’t need to make a long-term commitment.
14. Take Online Surveys
Market research companies will pay for your views. Filling in online surveys doesn’t make you a huge amount of extra money – depending on the survey you can expect to earn £0.10 to £2 – but if you have a laptop and plenty of spare time, you can expect to buy yourself a few extra treats.
15. Invest Your Savings
If you are fortunate enough to have savings, make them work for you. UK banks are currently paying very low interest rates on savings accounts, so look into other ways of making a return.
You could invest in property, stocks and shares or start a regular savings plan from as little as £50, or with a £1,000 lump sum with Fidelity. Capital at risk.
Is Fidelity Safe? Fidelity is authorised and regulated by the by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They have licences that are regulated in the same way as high-street banks. They are also covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
However, if the risks concern you, go for a guaranteed option like the NSI Premium Bonds. You don’t earn interest on these, but you’re entered into a monthly, tax-free draw for prizes worth up to £1m.
Over to You
If your finances are in a depressing state, don’t despair: there are plenty of simple ways to earn money on the side. What assets do you have which you can utilise? Make this year count! And how can you maximise your effort and return on investment this year?
Photo by Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net