We’d all like to have a little more spare cash in our back pockets, wouldn’t we? A little extra a month, to help with bills, to put aside for a rainy day, or to save towards that really special purchase is always incredibly welcome. But if you’re not in the mood to wait around for a promotion, we wouldn’t blame you. And to be frank, there’s absolutely no need for you to work yourself into the ground. These days, particularly with the magic of the internet, there are a myriad of easy ways to work from home and earn extra money.
These 15 handy home hacks will give you some useful tips on how to boost your earnings and keep your bank account looking nice and healthy. However, it’s really important for us to mention that you should declare ANY money you earn from these activities to the appropriate tax authority. We know, it’s a pain. But trust us, you’re better off doing this than being hit with a huge and unexpected bill from the taxman further down the line. With the boring bit out of the way, read on for some top tips on how to make money from home!
1. Freelance writing
Okay, so you probably saw this coming. But seriously, freelance writing or blogging is a perfect way of earning money from home. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a wordsmith, there are literally hundreds of websites that you can list your services on (try peopleperhour.com) and with the huge number of websites on the web these days that demand a constant flow of content, you’re unlikely to be short of offers. If you can show evidence of any writing you’ve done in the past, that’s a bonus, and as a guideline the going rate for 1000 words of basic content is around £20 - £30 - but get a feel of the market and set a rate you think is fair.
2. Become a tour guide
This one can be a little dependent on where in the world you live, but if you live in a city or a tourist hotspot, this can be a great little earner. If you’re a confident speaker with a good working knowledge of the area you live in, being a tour guide could be perfect for you. Sign up to a website like Vayable to get started; they take a small cut but this site is a great way to link you with people from across the world you might form your next tour group. Obviously, if you speak a language, that’s a bonus!
3. Run a class in something you know about
The only prerequisite for this is that you’re good enough at something that you can charge people to learn from you! It really doesn’t matter what it is - from personal training and playing an instrument, to tutoring teenagers. It doesn’t take a huge outlay to get started with something like this, try listing your services on a local classified website or magazine (they often offer listings for free to some extent) and watch the offers roll in! Don’t forget to do your research and come across as professional as possible. Reputation is everything in an industry like this and word of mouth is the best way for you to get new customers!
4. Teach English online
English is still one of, if not the, most desirable language in the world to speak. There’s a HUGE appetite in non-English speaking countries to learn the lingo, and what's more, if you’re reading this you’re probably qualified to make a start on this one! Again, think carefully about what you’re going to teach your online class, start with basic conversational English and some simple points of grammar. You need a bit of patience and some thought for this one, but it can be incredibly rewarding, and well paid! Italki and other sites online can help you get started.
5. Rent out space in your home
It goes without saying that with the advent of AirBnb, it’s easier than ever to let a spare room out to a tourist or visitor to the area. Obviously you shouldn’t do this unless you’re comfortable with having a stranger in your home, but this can be a great money spinner! You need to approach this as though you’re selling your home (in a sense you are). Take some good photos and really talk up the benefits of your property in terms of transport connections, location, etc. Think carefully about whether you want to let a spare room or your whole home. If the latter you’re probably able to command a higher price, but you’ll have to make sure you have a friend nearby that doesn’t mind you staying on their sofa!
6. Sell food or produce at a farmers market
Farmers markets are all the rage right now and they’re ideal places to sell homemade food or crafts. Everything from cakes to burgers to sweaters are at home here. You have to be a bit handy and there might be a bit of an outlay in terms of raw materials. And of course there’s a spectrum of things you can make here - if you want hundreds of homemade artisan sausage it might help if you’re actually a farmer! On the other hand, if you’re looking for somewhere to sell a chunky sweater or some big wooly socks, that might be a bit more straightforward!
7. Sell handicrafts online
This one is potentially amazingly satisfying and really profitable! If you’re a bit crafty, then sites like Etsy or Folksy are perfect places for you to sell your homemade craft items. Jewellery, greeting cards, you name it! It’s the perfect way to turn a hobby into a little business and, if you’re a crafty sort already, it probably won’t feel like work!
8. Work for a call centre from home
All you need for this one is a good voice, a bit of organisational skills and a quiet place to work at home. Many call centres farm out roles to homeworkers these days, the idea of banks of people sat around huge desks answering phones all day is almost a thing of the past. You’ll almost definitely need an internet connection of some kind and a good landline connection (plus, you wouldn’t want to run your mobile bill up!). This one appeals to those who might favour the idea of working set hours, rather than being motivated to knit endless sweaters or craft hundreds of homemade pieces of jewellery!
9. Do some market research
Companies are always looking for people to take part in market research to find out where to pitch their next product or service and whether there’s a market for ideas they have in the pipeline. There are a whole bunch of websites out there that allow you to sign up for things like this, try something like Frontline Focus for example. Big survey companies like YouGov or Ipsos MORI also occasionally offer surveys where you’ll be paid for taking part. It’s usually just as simple as answering a few questions or taking part in some online experiments. You’ll need a working internet connection, usually, and this particular method isn’t like to rake in the big bucks, but it can be a great way of making some extra money at home.
10. Freelance Mystery ShoppingThere’s a wonderful little app called Field Agent out there that’s ideal for this. Usually, it involves going into shops, taking some photos, checking prices of products and writing reviews. It’s used by companies to get an idea of the prices and quality of various goods on the market. You can expect to be paid anything between £2 and £10 for this, but wandering around a supermarket taking some photos is definitely not the most demanding task in the world!
11. Be a virtual assistant
For companies that can’t afford to hire a full-time PA, or particularly busy private individuals, being a virtual assistant can be a big help. You’ll need top drawer organisational skills for this, and it’ll likely involve admin jobs like penning emails, organising schedules, booking transport/accommodation or possibly answering phone calls. It can be great to get your teeth into this and the pay can be pretty healthy too. If you’re an organised type looking to make some extra money at home, this one could be for you!
12. Pet sitting/dog walking
If you’re an animal person, there’s a VERY good chance you’ve thought about doing this at some point in your life. It goes without saying that the majority of pet owners sometimes have to head out of town on business or want a couple of weeks on holiday where their beloved pooch/cat/gerbil/goldfish isn’t able to accompany them. People pay good money to have their pets kept company and fed during periods like this. And not only that, for people with busy schedules and little time to walk their dogs, it’s commonplace for them to have a dog walker to step in and take up the slack occasionally. This one is pretty perfect for any animal lovers out there!
13. Test websites
You seriously wouldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into building a website and, to be honest, even if you had an army of Mark Zuckerberg-esque geniuses working for you, you need an extra pair of eyes on occasion. When websites release changes or updates, it’s almost universally accepted that there’ll be problems with code or broken links that need fixing. Sites pay good money for people to go through and test links/functionality, a job that can be pretty time consuming for busy coders. If you’re a tech whizz with a passion for websites, you’re likely to love this - it’s often as easy as clicking a bunch of links to see if they work and then providing some feedback on how easy the site was to use. Simples!
Online investing or lending is big money these days and there are a slew of apps and companies out there that you can use to do it. You need a bit of money already set to one site to get you started with something like this and you might not see any returns for a while, but if you’re sensible it can be really fun and thrilling to build a little portfolio and see it grow. If you go into this, as anyone will tell you, there’s ALWAYS a chance that you might lose your money - that’s part and parcel of the game of investing, no matter if you’re a millionaire or someone with a few hundred pounds in their living room with a laptop. Be smart and careful with this one, but it can bring in some big money if you’re clever (and a little lucky!)
15. Day trading/Forex trading
Day trading or Forex trading (that’s trading on exchange rates to me and you) is a little more simple than full-blown inventing. Basically, you put your money into a certain place. If the line on the line graph in front of you goes up, you make money. If it goes down, you lose money. The direction of the line is based on a complex set of algorithms that take into account various exchange rates. This is almost closer to gambling that full-blown trading, to be honest, but it doesn’t require any specialist knowledge, just the bravery to leave your money in while the going is good and speedy reactions if you see a trend start to change. There’s not much to it, but it can be a great way to earn money from home!