The art of the ‘side hustle’ – making a little bit extra after working nine to five – is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury as the cost of living rises.
Internet services group Fasthost has found that searches for the phrase ‘make extra money’ have risen 132% since this time last year, with browsers hoping for information about evening jobs and tasks that will top up the coffers.
‘The current crisis is causing people to find other sources of income and help where they can, like selling clothes or setting up online stores for some extra financial security,’ says Michelle Stark, sales and marketing director at Fasthosts.
Whether you’re looking to start a new business that might eventually replace the day job, or simply trying to make a little extra cash, there are more ways than ever to make the money you need.
‘Side hustles could help pad out your bank account quite significantly in the long run,’ says John Stirzaker from moneysaving website NetVoucherCodes.
‘There are hundreds of ways to boost your monthly income and earn extra money, and a lot of it can be done from the comfort of your sofa.’
Here are ten ways to make extra cash, and how to get started….
Start a blog
If you have expertise in a certain subject, or even an interest and focus, a blog could help you to make extra cash surprisingly fast. Jenna Farmer, who runs blogging site The Bloglancer, says that blogging can earn you income from advertising, but also help you to show off your writing skills, which could lead to more money elsewhere.
‘Focus on blog content that is going to be useful for others – this is the easiest way to grow an audience but also means you’re more likely to be found on Google,’ she advises.
‘Being known for a clear niche is also really useful – my first blog, A Balanced Belly, was solely about life with Crohn’s disease and other gut issues.’
Even blogs with few readers can make you some money.
Jenna says that, even before she had a lot of traffic on her blog, she was still able to make money from affiliate income, which is where you are paid a percentage commission for products you refer your readers to.
‘Before I had much traffic, I still made around £30 a month in affiliate income thanks to just one blog post I’d written,’ Jenna says.
Some bloggers are also paid by brands that want coverage on their blogs. ‘When it comes to getting paid by brands to create advertisements, there really is a huge scale of payment and this will depend on your blog’s metrics,’ Jenna explains.
‘Many bloggers may earn £50 a post in the beginning – but this can easily rise to hundreds or thousands of pounds when a blog becomes more successful.
Tax requirements for side hustles:
If you have a side hustle and a regular job, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay tax on your extra income.
You can earn £1,000 a year from your side business, but after that you will have to start paying tax.
That means you will need to keep receipts and bank statements and fill in a tax form.
You will need to register your business with HMRC if you earn more than £1,000. You can register either as a sole trader or as a limited company. The former is a simpler way to operate.
You will then be responsible for filing accounts and paying tax by January 31.
Sell craft items
If you have a crafting talent, websites such as Etsy allow you to connect with buyers.
Fees can be steep, with Etsy charging listing, transaction and payment processing fees. This means it is important to get the pricing right if your side hustle is to make you money.
Jeweller Ruth Chipperfield, uses Facebook Marketplace to sell her crafty items, to avoid fees.
‘The key to getting it right is to take pictures that show potential,’ she says.
She also recommends posting in Facebook groups related to what you are selling – for example she recently sold some factory bobbins to use to display jewellery, having posted them in jewellery industry groups.
Tutor children or adults online
If you’re a teacher or have a marketable skill, tutoring online could gain you extra cash working from home.
The Tutor Website says that the UK average for tutor’s fees ranges from £15 to £45 per hour, and you can use online platforms such as Zoom or Teams.
Former teacher Danielle Baron now tutors for entrance exams to prestigious private schools as well as providing therapy for children with high-functioning ASD.
‘Don’t try to tutor for everything. Niche down and become an expert at something and you will get the best clients who appreciate you,’ she suggests.
‘Investment is key. Many tutors are scared of investing in a course or resources or something that may enhance their business because of the risk factor.
‘But it is important that you continue to grow as an individual and as a business and investing in the right products and services are key. They keep you at the top of your game.’
She also suggests that you consider the amount of time spent preparing and providing service when deciding your prices.
‘Value yourself and the time that you commit to providing an excellent service.
‘This includes time spent outside direct teaching. Take this into account and charge accordingly,’ she says.
While almost everyone is searching for how to make more money, some people’s tactics are more legitimate than others and it pays to stay vigilant.
UK fraud agency Action Fraud says that scams are a real threat for anyone who is worried about their income.
Scammers will offer those seeking a side hustle seemingly easy money but may ask them to pay upfront.
Adverts suggesting you can earn a specific or minimum amount of money by running your own business are a red flag, the organisation says. Other bad signs could include being asked to call a mobile number (beginning with 07) or to respond to a web-based email such as @yahoo or @gmail.
Similarly, if you are given a reason to pay up front, such as to register, buy customer leads, set up a website, buy products to sell, or get an instruction manual, this should make you worry that you are being taken advantage of.
If you are concerned about a work from home scam, you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report your concerns online.
Rent out your home’s driveway
If you’ve got a parking space in a key area, such as near an airport or sportsground, you can make money renting it out.
Websites such as Just Park, and Your Parking Space, allow you to make extra cash from the space you aren’t using.
Retailers and restaurants rely on ‘mystery shoppers’ to check that customers are getting the service they expect.
Michael Foote, at moneysaving website Quote Goat, suggests signing up with agencies such as Grass Roots and Retail Maxim, which will pay you to visit shops or eat at restaurants to check the quality of your experience.
The amount you get paid will vary depending on the length and difficulty of the task, and sometimes will amount to little more than a free meal, so it is important to scrutinise the job and money offered carefully and weigh up whether it is worth it.
Become a social media manager
Managing social media for a company or brand can be fitted around work hours, especially if you can schedule Twitter and Facebook posts.
Courses such as the popular Digital Mums, aimed at those with young children, could help you to get started with this.
Walk dogs or feed pets
If you like animals and getting out in the open air, becoming a dog walker or pet sitter could help you to rake in the cash.
Ironically though, a job like this is not simply a walk in the park.
You will need to ensure you have insurance for your pet business as well as be marketing yourself in the local area. If you have a vehicle you are transporting the pets in, you will need special insurance for this as well.
However, you can earn a lot of money pet sitting or dog walking. According to a recent study from pet site DogBuddy (now part of Rover), the average cost of a dog walk is £11.25.
John Stirzaker, at Voucher Codes, says that the simplest methods of marketing can often still be the effective methods. ‘Create a few flyers on your computer and slip them into mailboxes,’ he advises.
Pick up tasks online
Websites including Airtasker and TaskRabbit allow you to sign up and complete tasks to make cash.
Jobs often include tasks such as pick-up and delivery, assembling flatpack furniture or repairing items of clothing.
The cash can add up. Edward Bowie, from Bromley, has been making £230 a day on Airtasker, on top of a job as a currency day trader. He is using the money to save for a first home.
Try the Airtasker Side Hustle Calculator to see what you could earn from your skills.
Sell images to photo libraries
If you like taking pictures on your phone, you could sell them on to digital photo libraries for cash. Sites including Shutterstock and iStock allow you to upload your photos for others to buy them for cash.
To be successful at this you’ll need to be mindful of trends when it comes to the market – so perhaps due to the cost of living crisis consider uploading pictures of boilers and gas flames and more creative stock images around this theme.
You’ll also need to be patient. As a contributor you’re typically paid a small commission each time one of your images is downloaded, but you are only paid monthly.
Make sure you have the permission of any of the people you have used in images before uploading.
Become a virtual assistant
Have you got a great telephone manner or are you great at organising a diary? Remote virtual assistants can work flexibly and choose to take on several clients, and could be the side hustle for you. You might use skills such as social media management and content writing as well as diary management.
According to the job site Indeed, you could make almost £12 an hour as a virtual assistant.
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