Have you ever found yourself sitting at home, watching the television, thinking there must be a way to be more productive? Investing your spare time into a ‘side hustle’ will not only be more useful, but you’ll also start to see your bank balance move in the right direction.
It’s so important to have more than one stream of income - because in the unfortunate event that one of them disappears, it’s good to have a backup (or several). So if you really want to put your spare time to good use, you can build a safety net of income from an alternate source.
There are lots of ways to make money from home, no matter what your skills are. Some will take quite a bit of time to see money come in and others will pay more quickly. No matter what you pick, you can’t go wrong with a bit more cash in your pocket.
Here are our top picks:
1 - Sell your old toot
Everyone has ‘stuff’ laying around their house that isn’t being used, so why not sell the stuff that is unused and taking up space? When I had a look around my house, there was about £300 worth of items which I had no use for, and so ended up selling.
In order to get the highest value for each item you have, it’s worth doing your research beforehand. As soon as you’re sure you want to sell it, have a look at what it sells for - both new and used - to ensure that you price it right, then you’ll be in good stead for potential takers.
The best places to sell are Facebook Marketplace and Shpock, as there are no fees to pay when selling (and the buyer usually picks up from your front door). eBay is also a good option when there are no-fee weekends, although you still pay some fees for selling, and you'll have to handle the postage.
Go around your house and be brutal with the stuff you don’t need and hopefully you can make some cash from your trash.
Estimated earnings: £100 - £500
2 - Publish your first book
If you’ve got a passion for words and want to write a book, it’s easier than you think to self-publish. Although you may not sell as many copies as J.K. Rowling, you can still earn a nice steady stream of income from it.
Selling your book through Amazon KDP is the best way to go - you can upload your manuscript and front cover to its website. Not only do they print paperback copies of your book for you, but they make your own Kindle version in order for people to buy.
On average, you earn around 70% of each book sold if it’s a Kindle edition, which may not add up to much if your book is around the average price of £2-4, but the strength is in numbers.
Our very own Andy Leeks published a book on Amazon once and it skyrocketed to become a bestseller, earning him a nice payday. Here’s what he said:
'What started out as a challenge to write a book on my daily commute ended up being a surprise Amazon bestseller. The extra income enabled my wife to give up her stressful job so that she could focus on bringing up our young children'
Estimated earnings: £10-20 per month
3 - Sell yourself and your skills
Everyone has a skill which is worth money to others - that’s why you can sell your services virtually over websites such as Upwork and Fiverr. These sites are full of people skilled in graphic design, social media, writing, voiceover, and everything in between.
You can set your own rates, and if anyone is interested in your services, they’ll place an order with you to do some work for them. Of course, it’s not guaranteed and you’ll need someone to search for what you offer in order to get the work.
Once you have made your profile though, you can sit back and wait for the work to come in. The more orders you get, the higher up the website you will appear when people search, which should hopefully boost your income further.
Estimated earnings: £50-100 a month
4 - Become a virtual assistant
To really make more money from home, why not become a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant is hired to complete tasks and work on projects for companies or entrepreneurs. Although your tasks can vary, the pay is very generous and you can mostly do it at a time to suit you.
You can either sign up to a virtual assistant website, such as Virtalent, or start building clients up yourself to complete tasks such as spreadsheet filling, social media scheduling, emailing, and much more. Some people have managed to quit their full-time job to become full-time virtual assistants, as there is always a need for it.
Maggie Johnson, founder of Executive Virtual Services, gave up her full-time job to become a virtual assistant and she says:
'The beauty of working as a virtual assistant is that you can earn as much or as little as you want to because it’s up to you how much work you take on. The average hourly rate for a virtual assistant is around £30, but some virtual assistants and agencies will charge more depending on the nature of the task and whether or not the client requires someone with specialist knowledge or experience'.
If you’re a wiz with all things online, you’d be perfect for this. The average rate of pay is about £20-30 per hour, which is a very nice bonus to your paycheck.
Estimated earnings: £100 a month
5 - Become an affiliate
If you’re always recommending products or services to your friends, you could actually get paid for referring them to certain products. Affiliate marketing is an income stream for a lot of websites, where if they refer a reader to purchase a product, they get a small commission.
If you are always doing this in your normal life, you can make a bit of money from it by signing up as an affiliate. The easiest affiliate programme to become a member of is Amazon. Anyone can sign up to it by using their normal account and every time someone makes a purchase via your link, you earn some money.
The minimum withdrawal is £25. However, signing people up to free trials of Amazon’s services makes you the most money at a minimum of £3 per sign up.
Estimated earnings: £25 a year
6 - Complete surveys for cash
Filling out surveys might take a while, but stick at it and you can start to build up some cash just by clicking a few buttons. On average you’ll probably take around 10 minutes to complete each one, but if you’ve got nothing else to do it can become a nice little earner.
The top survey websites are Swagbucks and Toluna. As you start to fill out the surveys, it will check if you are the right person for the questions based on your answers, so be aware that you may be kicked out of some surveys before you are able to finish.
If you are eligible, your rate of pay varies on how long the surveys are, but completing one a day will see you earn about £5 per week - which of course can be scaled if you have time for more.
Estimated earnings: £20 a month
7 - Get paid to take part in focus groups
Focus groups are more common than you think. You'll get paid for your thoughts on either something you do in your daily life or perhaps a new product being brought to market. It’s not guaranteed that you’ll be accepted into every focus group, but the rate of pay is usually good!
Focus groups use the information you provide to find out the behaviours and trends of regular people in order to help them move their businesses in the right direction, or identify a new problem that needs solving.
Some focus groups are in person, but quite a lot of them are conducted over the phone or online, where you’re asked many questions on a topic and they record your answers. The topics of focus groups are varied but some example subjects are video games, commuting to work, and grocery shopping.
You can sign up to sites such as Saros and Research Opinions, where you choose the focus groups you can contribute to and hope to be picked. What other side hustle pays you to be opinionated?
Estimated earnings: £20-50 per focus group
8 - Sell your phone pictures for cash
If you’re like me and have 1,000s of 'artsy' photographs on your phone, you might be able to sell them for cash.
Apps on your phone such as Stockimo and Foap allow you to upload images from your camera roll, and if someone purchases your photo for commercial use, you make a percentage of the sale.
With these apps, you only get between 20-50% in commission. However, you can upload images and forget about it and you’ll be notified of sales. If you post a picture that gets some traction, you could end up making a nice income.
Estimated earnings: £5 a month
9 - Become a blogger
If you have a topic that you’re very passionate about, have you ever thought about starting a blog dedicated to it? All you’ll need is a laptop and an interest in writing, and you could soon be blogging on your own website. In fact, that's exactly how www.moneytothemasses.com started out.
This is not a get-rich-quick scheme, as it’ll take a lot of time and effort for your blog to start earning money, but if you’re writing about a subject you enjoy, it shouldn’t feel like too much work.
There are blogs on a wide range of topics including money, food, travel, parenting, gaming, or just personal blogs about daily life. You don’t just have to fit into those niches either. In fact, if you can find a gap and fill it, you might gain more readers than others!
Estimated earnings: £50 a month
10 - Become a podcaster
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Money to the Masses podcast. While most podcasts are made for fun or to boost business, there is money to be made from them too. If you grow your podcast to a bigger following, you can start to take on sponsors for your episodes.
This won't happen straight away and might be a slow burn, but if you are interested in the subject you talk about, it shouldn’t feel like work.
Estimated earnings: £100 a month
11 - Take up ‘comping’
I’m sure you’ve seen competitions all over social media asking you to tag a friend for the chance to win a prize. Well, there are people who enter these competitions in their spare time and actually make a decent living from it.
Not all competitions have cash prizes, in fact, most prizes are products or money can’t buy experiences, but it’s a fun hobby which might end up winning you a few prizes. You can find lists of competitions to enter on Facebook groups or websites such as The Prize Finder.
Estimated earnings: £20 per month
Hopefully, these tips have given you a spark of inspiration to make more money from home. It doesn’t matter how you earn it, but extra money would be handy for everyone right now! The more of these you can master, the more chance you have of making a nice little passive income stream, which - if done right - may be enough to live off of in the future. As well as earning extra money, it is worth considering where you can save money too, so check out my 25 money saving tips that could save you thousands.