Ever since I was a teenager I was always on the lookout for ways to make extra money. I baby-sat my cousins, taught the piano, tutored younger kids at my school… the list goes on. What I love about extra income is that there is always an endeavour that can work around your schedule, whether you are a student or a full time worker.
At the moment, I have three blogs that generate extra income every month, but those took a long time to build up, so today I will focus on ways you can earn extra money right now.
Market Your Skills
When I talk to my friends about ways to make extra money, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is “I don’t have any marketable skills”. Wrong. Everyone does. Think about what you do on weekends as a hobby. I play the piano, so I have been teaching it for a few years while in high school and at university. I also enjoy writing, so I have been a freelance writer for the past 9 years. I speak French and Spanish fluently, so I also offered my services to translate website and simple documents.
If you like tennis, you could teach young kids how to play. If you enjoy dogs, you can pet sit. The list goes on. So look for something you enjoy, and try to find a way to market it.
For freelance positions, sites like Elance and Odesk are the place to go online, although I generally have had better luck asking my network for local work. Online you will be competing with people from all around the world, including countries where £1 per hour is a very decent salary.
Another channel I use to market my skills are local ad boards, whether online, on sites like Gumtree, or at the adult learning centre, the library and the local stores. That works for tutoring, baby-sitting, gardening or cleaning gigs.
Rent a Room in Your House
This one may not be for everyone, but what I really like with renting a room in my house is that it is little sacrifice, with zero start-up costs and even a tax rebate. That’s right – with the Rent a Room scheme, you can receive up to £354 a month tax free if you take in a lodger. If you are a live in landlord, rules are also more flexible in terms of eviction if a tenant doesn’t pay.
I also rent my parking space since I don’t have a car, and I know people who rent extra office space, or even their yard to store RVs and boats for the winter.
Take a Minimum Wage Second Job
If you are not the entrepreneurial kind, chances are you will make more money with a guaranteed 4 hour shift every night than with your own side project. While that seems counter intuitive to make extra money, it is ideal because your full time job is already demanding and part time jobs should not be. The perfect basic job has to tick a few boxes to be worth it in my opinion:
– Close to home, or close to your other job, so you add zero commute time
– Punch card so every extra minute you work is paid to you
– Ideally some perks, like a free meal if you are waitressing, or something you value, such as a 30% discount if you work at your favourite shop
– No thinking required once you hang your uniform and leave for home
Look for a job that would be nice to have even if the pay is low. Like doing security at a concert and getting to see said concert for free, or working at the gym and getting a free membership.
Whether you are ready to start a side business or just want to make a bit more with the security of a paycheque, you just need to look around. There are lots of opportunities to fit your schedule and help you earn a little extra.