Have you cut costs so much that nothing more can be slashed from the budget? Then it’s time to look at how to increase your income, so you can afford a bit more of the good life.
There are plenty of easy – even fun – ways to make money on the side.
Here are some money-makers that anyone can do right now, with minimal effort.
Side hustles: As the cost-of-living crunch bites there are plenty of easy – even fun – ways to make a little extra money
Go on holiday for free
Planning a big summer holiday? Rent your house to friends or through Airbnb while you’re away — and earn enough to pay for your trip. Check your home insurer and mortgage provider allow this first.
Usually, Airbnb charges are split between host and guest, with the cheapest rate being 3 per cent of the nightly price, plus a cleaning fee and additional guest fee, if applicable.
Or rent out your home as a filming location. Production teams are always looking for properties.
Register your home on sites such as shootfactory.co.uk or lavishlocations.com. If your property is chosen, you could earn from £500 to £2,000 a day.
Rent out your garage or drive
If you have a driveway or a garage that you don’t use, you could rent them out to drivers who need to park their car in your area.
People who live near a station, a sports stadium or shopping area can make regular money by allowing others to park at their homes.
Websites such as JustPark.com and Parklet.co.uk will advertise your space to drivers looking for a spot.
You could make £50-£250 a month, depending on location. If you live near an airport, you could increase your income by including a shuttle service to the airport.
Cash for parking: Websites such as JustPark.com and Parklet.co.uk will advertise your space to drivers looking for a spot
Home in on an income
Earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free from renting out a spare bedroom. If you’re not keen on hosting a stranger in your home full-time, try a part-time lodger instead.
Use website Mondaytofriday.com to offer your spare room to people who only need it on weekdays. Or take in foreign students who are learning English at a local college.
They usually stay for only a few weeks at a time. You could make some extra money by offering bed and breakfast and an evening meal, too.
The amount you bring in will depend on where you live and the package offered, but it could be worth hundreds per month.
Find out more about the Rent a Room Scheme at gov.uk/rent-room- in-your-home.
How to turn your trash into treasure
When you start selling items in the home, you might get the bug. In their book, Never Go Broke, This is Money deputy editor Lee Boyce and star of TV’s Storage Hunters, Jesse McClure.
Want to make extra money? This is Money deputy editor Lee Boyce’s book with Jesse McClure, Never Go Broke could help
They have three steps to success:
Step one is building a resale pot from nowhere: selling items from your home, making cash from trash and using your talents for side hustles, among other things.
Step two involves a resale blueprint from Jesse’s 20-plus years’ experience of buying and selling.
Step three lays out practical places to use your resale pot and how to reinvest it for further gains.
Jesse says: ‘We all have a ‘collecting net worth’. That is, items we have accumulated over the years we no longer need.
‘Sell multimedia you no longer use. Dig out those old video games and consoles. Assume everything you have has value.
‘I use a simple tier system. Real good quality items in tier one I’ll sell to specialists, auction houses or antiques dealers. Tier two – which makes up the bulk of what people have in their homes – should be sold online.
‘If your tier two items aren’t selling (I’d set a time limit so you can clear it out), tier three is a car boot sale. The bottom tier is essentially recycling value.’
If you’re new to selling items around the home, start small and don’t try to list everything. Make it part of your day and aim to make £50 or so a week in the beginning.
Starting slow will allow you to see which items sell fast, how to list them quickly but well and it will make it less of a chore. In fact, it should be fun, selling unwanted items and watching the coffers fill.
Some quick tips for selling items online are getting keywords right, choosing the correct listing category, taking clear photographs and making sure you’re pricing right.
A great place to get started is Facebook Marketplace (read Lee Boyce’s 12 top tips for selling on Facebook).
There’s no harm in listing items on various websites to try and attract the best bidder, for example, clothes with good labels on specialist ones.
Times are tough. Resale could help keep your head above water. It can be incredibly fun too.
>Listen to a This is Money podcast special with the Never Go Broke authors: How to build up a cash pot and sell your way to profits
Have lofty ambitions
Rent out an empty loft, garage or storage cupboard to space-strapped locals who need to put things away for a while. Use Spare ground.co.uk or storemates.co.uk to match with customers.
It’s a good idea to have a basic contract that you both sign. This should agree access rights and include a description of what is being stored — ensuring it’s neither flammable nor stolen.
Spare living room or office?
A home office, shed workspace, or attractive living room or dining room could be used for meetings. So rent them out by the hour to professionals who need a keenly priced workspace.
Lockdown saw the end of a few websites that used to match homeowners with workers.
However, French-based OfficeRiders.com operates across the UK, connecting business people with those who have a room suitable for meetings or work events.
Your location and the amenities you offer — such as wifi and access to the kitchen — will determine the earning power of your space. But £20 to £50 an hour is reasonable.
Workspace: Renting out part of your home as an office or meeting space can earn you between £20 and £50 an hour
Grow cash from your garden
If your garden is too much for you to handle, rent out all or part of it as an allotment for neighbours or friends.
Allotment rates aren’t great — generally anything from £10-£150 a year. But strike a deal with your ‘tenant’ so you get some of the fruit and veg they grow as well as a small rent.
Or waive rent entirely and simply offer part of your garden in return for produce. Draw up a simple contract that shows access rights, privacy, security, and what you expect to gain from the relationship. The National Allotment Society has more advice on its website, nsalg.org.uk.
Pet project: Just looking after a dog while an owner is at work could command around £20-25 a day. Generally, the owner provides food and extras
Take in a pet or go dog-walking
Look after other people’s pets in your home while they’re away or at work and be rewarded for it.
Cat lovers could house a moggy while its owners are away and charge per day or week. Rates vary, but start at £10 a day, per cat, staying with you overnight.
Boarding dogs takes more effort as you will need to walk them two or three times a day, as well. Average charges for dog-boarding would be £20-£30 per day.
Just looking after a dog while its owner is at work could command around £20-£25 a day. Generally, the owner provides food and extras. If they want you to provide this, it should be reflected in the fee.
However, you must have a licence from your local council to set up a dog boarding business from your home, and will also need insurance (go to gov.uk/guidance/boarding-for-cats-or-dogs-licence-england). Dog walkers should also have full public liability insurance.
Make your car a moving advert
Motorists can earn up to £100 a month by turning their cars into moving advertisements. Sign up to carquids.com if you’re happy to register your vehicle as a potential billboard for brands. However, you should let your insurer know before you sign up, as it may affect your cover or premiums.
Turn rags into riches
Concerns over fast fashion and its effect on the environment are prompting more people to buy second-hand clothes.
The resale industry is expected to grow 11 times faster than the broader retail clothing sector in the period up to 2025, according to GlobalData. Try sites such as Vinted and Depop to sell unwanted garments.
I sell clothes to pay for holidays
Organised: Irene with clothes and shoes she plans to sell online
Irene Crammond, 72, is a retired training and competence manager for a bank. Divorced, she has a grown-up daughter and a grandson. She lives in Andover, Hampshire. She says:
Having always loved fashion, I’ve bought far too many clothes over the years.
When I retired six years ago, I decided that I needed to get rid of some — not only to free up space, but also to supplement my income.
I have my pension from work as well as my state pension but it isn’t very much.
And although I can afford the bills now, the price of everything is going up and I just want to be able to afford the occasional holiday or treat.
I started off selling one or two things at a time on eBay.
But once I’d got the hang of it, I realised that I could make a profit every month if I dedicated some time to it.
Once you’ve been doing eBay for a while, they stop charging every time you want to list something and just take a percentage of the sale.
Sometimes I will spot a bargain in a charity shop and sell it for a profit. My best buy was a Toast dress that I bought for only £1 and sold for £84.
But, normally, I’m just selling my own clothes that either don’t fit any more or I’ve simply grown bored of them.
I might buy a dress for £60 and wear it a few times but I’d rather sell it for £20 than having it sitting in my wardrobe. Clothes from shops such as Next and Monsoon sell well.
I’ve also sold jewellery, boots, shoes, pictures, pots and pans, and even almost-new bras because I had a breast reduction so they no longer fit.
I’ve noticed that fascinators sell well too but men’s clothes and baby clothes don’t.
You have to be organised — I have a drawer where I keep all my labels, pens and envelopes — and I can make up to £200 a month most months, which helps to pay for holidays or things for my new grandson. My best month was £700.
I’ve started selling on Facebook Marketplace, usually larger items I can’t post on eBay. I’m moving house in a couple of weeks so I’m selling bits of furniture and have made £300 in the past few weeks. I insist on collection-only as I don’t have time to deliver.
Go for gold
Selling broken jewellery, crockery, and watches isn’t as hopeless as it sounds. People are listing these on eBay along with busted games consoles, and even half-smashed musical instruments.
If you have a drawer of broken costume jewellery, bag the contents and offer it as a job- lot for £10-£30. Gather unwanted crockery — broken or complete — and offer it to artists and mosaic craft fans. Broken musical instruments and children’s toys could appeal to people who are good at mending and reselling items.
Don’t bin broken tech
Don’t throw away phones or gadgets that don’t work any more. Websites such as Sellmymobile.com, Mazumamobile.com and Envirofone.com will take nearly any phone off your hands, whether it’s working or not. They’re stripped for valuable parts that can be reused.
Good call: Websites like Sellmymobile.com, Mazumamobile.com and Envirofone.com will take nearly any phone off your hands, whether it’s working or not
Enter the phone details into two or three reselling sites and see which offers most money. You could make £5-£500 depending on its make, age, and condition. Or see what a High Street phone shop will offer for a trade-in when you upgrade.
Broken laptops and desktops can be sold on eBay, particularly if they’re Apple products. Computer engineers often hunt broken machines that can be mended, resold, or used for parts. Research how much similar items are selling for, to get an idea of your selling price. It could be anything from £25 to over £1,000.
Bag up any redundant leads, plugs and adaptors and sell them on eBay or Gumtree as a job lot for £10-£50. Find more advice at Recycleyour electricals.org.uk.
They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. So before you throw anything out, ask yourself if it could make you money online. It’s possible the answer will be a surprising ‘yes’.
Here are some of the crazy things that you could get money for . . .
Smell of success
Fans of expensive perfume are often happy to buy half-used bottles of their favourite scent online. Bottles of Chanel No.5, Versace, Dior, or Elizabeth Arden, for example, are likely to attract most interest. If you have one still in the box it could sell for hundreds of pounds.
The same is true for top brands of cleansers, moisturisers and cosmetics. Even part-used make-up can sell if it’s a fancy brand such as Clinique, Dior or Yves St Laurent. Take good photographs of the products and be accurate about the item’s condition. This will help avoid arguments about it once sold.
Rummage in your cupboards for old boxes that came with an Apple product you don’t own any more. Or perhaps a box that held a pair of designer shoes. They can be sold on sites such as eBay, Facebook, Preloved or Gumtree.
Bag a profit: Designer carrier bags can sell for between £15 and £20, while boxes can go for £40 each
Some buyers need a box to increase the price of designer shoes or computers they’re trying to sell.
Others may be social media influencers who want posh boxes in their photos, giving the impression of a luxury lifestyle.
Designer carrier bags can sell for between £15 and £20, while boxes can go for £40 each. The sale price of boxes for tech depends on make and popularity of the product.
Apple boxes are particularly sought-after. A box for a recent iPhone model can go for £10, while one for a laptop could be £20-£30.
You don’t even need designer labels to make money from empty boxes. Sell a pile to Sadlers (sadlers.co.uk), which specialises in selling cardboard boxes in bulk. Give them details of what you have and they will send you a quote. If you accept it, the company arranges collection and pays on the day it receives them.
have a gift card leftover from Christmas? Don’t let it go to waste. You could get at least 75 per cent of the value by reselling it through Cardyard.com.
A fifth of all gift cards never get used. But you could claw back some of the money in hard cash, or swap it for a card you would actually put to use.
Mermaid Pink Gin, which retails at a rather pricey £38, has a pretty bottle that can sell for around £12 on eBay
If you’re a gin drinker, you could get money back on the empty bottles. Mermaid Pink Gin, which retails at a rather pricey £38, has a pretty bottle that can sell for around £12 on eBay.
Gordon’s London Dry Gin retails at £15.50 for 70cl but you can sell the bottle for an average of £4.65.
And Scottish brand Eden Mill Golf Gin retails for £30 — but the empty bottle will bring you an average of £8.82 on eBay.
Rent out tools
IF you have tools and gadgets you rarely use, cash in by renting them out. Websites such as Fatllama.com allows users to borrow and rent anything from drones and sewing machines to electric scooters and musical instruments at a daily rate.
Once someone has taken an interest on something you have advertised, you can arrange to meet them in person. All payments are made through the site.
Sell a stroller
Don’t let used prams, buggies and highchairs clutter your loft. Your local branch of the National Childbirth Trust sells items in good condition at regular events, and there’s also a strong market on eBay, mum2mummarket.co.uk and parentchum.co.uk. Prams and buggies must comply with British Standard EN1888: 2018.
Budding photographers can sell their pictures to stock image sites. Companies including yayimages.com and shutterstock.com supply news outlets and websites. You will get a percentage of the fee every time one of your pictures is sold.
Loo roll tubes
Once you’ve finished a roll of loo paper it’s likely you throw away the inner tube.
But these are gold dust to primary school teachers and parents of small children.
They use them to make castles, Christmas crackers and all manner of creative projects.
Admittedly, you’d need to sell a lot of tubes to make decent money. If you look up ‘toilet roll tubes’ on eBay you will see offers from boxes of ten to 100 selling for between £1-£19.
You could also advertise on sites such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or Nextdoor.com to reach people.
How I made £400 by switching bank accounts
Perks: Money Mail reporter Amelia has opened five different accounts over the past three years
By AMELIA MURRAY
For more than a decade I was a loyal one-bank woman.
But in my late 20s, I had a eureka moment and realised I could save hundreds of pounds by playing the field. Over the past three years I’ve opened five different accounts — and am about £400 richer.
The good news is that scores of firms are now offering perks and generous switching bonuses — so it’s not too late for you to cash in.
The British public are terrible at breaking up with their bank. I’m no different and still have the first current account I opened in my teens with Royal Bank of Scotland. But I soon discovered it can be lucrative to have more than one.
When I moved to New York in my 20s for three months, I opened a Metro Bank account, which offered free purchases and cash withdrawals worldwide. RBS would have charged me a 2.75 per cent fee each time I used my debit card, so I made a £14 saving on each £500 spend.
Metro later restricted fee-free spending to Europe, so I opened an account with Starling Bank in 2019.
Once again, I had a debit card I could use anywhere in the world free of charge — though I had to manage the account via a smartphone app.
If I assume I’ve spent £500 on seven holidays abroad, I’ve saved about £100 in fees in total over the years. In 2019, I also opened an account with Chip — an app that automatically rounds up your spending to the nearest pound and moves it to a savings account.
The main draw was the £15 bonus for signing up. I also earned a further £5 bonus when I referred a friend — so £20 in total.
The app later introduced a charge, so I stopped using its auto-save service. Instead, I deposited a lump sum into its savings account which paid a top rate of 1.25 per cent, earning me another £27.
Meanwhile, in 2020 I’d opened a Nationwide FlexDirect account, which offered 5 per cent interest on balances up to £2,500. The rate dropped to 2 per cent in May, but as I got in early I still pocketed £62.50 over the year.
Then major banks began bringing back generous sign-up bonuses for new customers. HSBC offered the top incentive at £175. Yet despite my perfect credit, it turned me down!
But First Direct was happy to pay me £150 for using the current account switching service to ditch Nationwide and move over at least £1,000.
By now I was on a roll and decided to open an account with a new-to-the-UK bank called Chase.
It is managed via a mobile phone but pays 1 per cent cashback on all debit card spending for the first year (even purchases abroad).
It also offers current account holders a 1.5 per cent interest rate on savings balances of up to £250,000 — compared with an average 0.39 per cent elsewhere.
The mobile app also automatically rounds up purchases to the nearest pound and pays 5 per cent on this spare change. Overseas spending is fee-free too.
So far I’ve earned roughly £25 in debit card rewards and expect to make £73 more this year, plus £100 in savings interest. There is also its £20 refer-a-friend bonus.
I probably have enough accounts for now — but if a better deal emerges, I’ll pounce.
> Read This is Money’s guide to the best current accounts