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Easy ways to make money

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Last updated on

22 March 2012

From renting your drive to selling your hair, here are some more unusual ways to earn a bit of extra cash.

1. Rent out your parking space

If you have a parking space or driveway with some space, you’re in a strong position to make some easy money.

There are several agencies, including YourParkingSpace and ParkatmyHouse that match motorists looking for parking with homeowners who can oblige.

What you’ll earn will depend on location, demand and the security of the parking slot. Prime locations include major cities (especially spaces near tube or train stations), as well as slots near major sporting or concert venues.

Time spent? 30-45 minutes initial set-up, plus dealing with driver enquiries.

Money earned? £100-£200+ a month.

2. Go mystery shopping

Mystery shopping is a tactic employed by marketing agencies to assess the quality of retail services. Individuals are paid to go into a shop, or any other place of business, posing as a normal customer, and give feedback on specific aspects of the businesses performance.

Two of the agencies we know people have used are Grassroots and ESA. You can expect to earn about £10 a job and they primarily involve going to the local bank to ask basic account related queries, or visiting a shop or supermarket to make a complaint or assess displays or staff attitudes. Results are then entered online, within 24 hours of making the visit.  

Once registered you are sent emails when jobs come up in your area. They are run on a first come first served basis, and you can miss out if you are not quick. If you have a Smartphone you can access the sites on the move, and increase your chances of landing a job.

Time spent? As much or as little as you want.

Money earned? £10+ a job.

3. Rent out your garden

If you’re not going to use some or all of it yourself, why not rent it out to someone else? SpareGround is a great website to help you do this as it’s an easy way to advertise your garden to rent. What’s more, it’s free to sign up.

Time spent? A few hours to allocate a space and draw up a contract.

Money earned? An allotment plot costs up to £30 a year, so it's not a huge money-spinner, but you might get some of your tenant's produce for free.

4. Be in the movies

Being a film and TV extra is hard work, but it’s also lucrative and can be good fun. No acting experience is required, and you don’t need Hollywood looks to be taken seriously!

Try FilmExtras or 2020Casting for starters - or Uni-versal Extras if you’re a student.

Time spent? As much or as little as you want.

Money earned? Typically £80-£100 a day.

5. Sell your photos online

This will work best if you’re a decent photographer and enjoy taking pictures anyway.

There are now several stock photography agencies who’ll pay you for snaps on a per-download basis (and in exchange for their other royalty payment rights). Some of the most established are Fotolia, PictureNation and iStockPhoto.

Time spent? Variable, depending on whether you already have a photo archive.

Money earned? Also variable - this sort of moneymaking can have a long ‘tail’ (after the initial effort, you can sit back, do nothing and watch the pennies mount up).

6. Do online surveys

Many marketing firms will pay you to complete an online survey. These surveys can take between 10 minutes and half an hour and you’ll usually earn between 50p and £10 per survey. You can sign up at numerous sites such as YouGov, Panelbase and Toluna.

Make sure you sign up to a registration-free website and avoid signing up to American websites as you’ll probably need an American bank account. It’s also worth opening an email account specifically for registration purposes as you’re likely to receive a lot of mail once your email address is out there!

Time spent? As much or as little as you want.

Money earned? Not a huge money-spinner, unless you spend a lot of time doing them - £20-£30 or so a month perhaps.

7. Get paid to listen to music

If you’re a music buff, you can earn a few pounds doing the thing you love. The SliceThePie website lets you earn money reviewing music as an online ‘scout’.

You’ll review random anonymous tracks, and be paid for each one. The downside is, you can’t choose the songs - or even the genres - you want to listen to.

Time spent? As much or as little as you want.

Money earned? The pay is poor (typically 5p-25p per song you review), so this is only for those who’d enjoy it as a hobby anyway.

8. Turn your home into a film set

On a related note, you’ll earn big bucks if you can convince someone to use your home as a filming location.

Many TV series, films and adverts use perfectly normal homes - so you don’t need to be the owner of a grade I listed building.

To find out more, contact an independent agency like Lavish Locations to see if it’s a feasible proposition. Also try Amazing Space.

Time spent? 45 minutes initial registration, plus the time and disruption associated with any actual shoot.

Money earned? The typical minimum location fee is £500 a day. If your property is used in a big budget film, you could pocket £2,000 a day or even more.

9. Sell your hair

If you're prepared to sacrifice your hair, you could cut if off and sell it to a wig manufacturer. However, you'll need to make sure your hair is untreated by chemicals used in perms or dyes, and your hair should be clean and healthy.

You're likely to get a better price if your hair is long. It's worth contacting a wig seller before you make the cut, and advertise it well online, including plenty of photos and an accurate description.

Time spent? 2-3 hours (depending on how long your hair is).

Money earned? Up to £100, again depending on the length of your hair.

10. Go dog walking with a difference

This last one is for those of you who already walk their own dogs.

In a nutshell, charge to take other people’s dogs for a walk at the same time you take yours. You’re spending that time with your pooch anyway, and if you’re confident in handling more than one dog at a time, it could be a nice little earner.

Just make sure the other people are happy for their dogs to be walked together!

Time spent? 1-2 hours daily.

Money earned? Usually up to £10 per hour, per dog.

Hopefully there’s something in this weird mix that appeals to you. Good luck!

This is a classic lovemoney article that has been updated

More on making a bit of extra money

Recycle your things for cash!

The Rent a Room scheme: make tax-free cash from your spare room

Where to earn top cashback

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