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Boost Your Income

60 ways to earn extra cash

There are scores of legit ways to add to your income. This guide to how to make money, possibly gaining £1,000s of extra cash, is designed to work alongside your tips in the forum.

There are scores of legal and legit ways to add to your income, whether selling stuff, working from home or going online. After all, no matter how good a MoneySaver you are, a bit more money's always useful.

This guide to how to make money, possibly gaining £1,000s of extra cash, is designed to work alongside your tips in the forum.

Make your money work harder

Too many of us let cash languish in accounts or in products paying rotten returns. Shake off this laziness to give yourself better returns, and hunt down any forgotten funds or concealed cash. You may be amazed at what you find.

Give yourself a 25% pay rise

25% pay rise

There's nowt more powerful than sorting out your own finances. By shifting to the best deal on every product, you can give yourself a 25% pay rise, without cutting back. Before anything else, this is the most important starting point.

Get paid every time you spend

Cashback credit cards pay you back a proportion of what you spend each time you use them.

Don't accept pitiful savings rates

If you've got savings, ensure they're working well for you. Too many people leave their savings in pitiful high street bank accounts where former best buy rates have dropped massively.

Pay off debts with savings

Most people who try to save while they're in debt are simply throwing their money away. The amount you pay in interest to borrow is much more than you earn on your savings, so pay the debt off with savings and you're quids in.

Get the benefits/state pension you're entitled to

There's a plethora of benefits available - the key is working out whether you're entitled to them. The rather nifty tool from benefits specialists Entitledto in our Benefits Checkup guide does the work for you. Its regularly-updated calculator works out everything you can get.

Use your credit rating to stooze

Many credit card companies are willing to lend you money at 0% interest, so why not use this cash for everyday spending, replacing all other credit & debit card spending?

Flog what you've got: Declutter and sell it!

Whenever you finish using something, whether it's kids' clothes they've grown out of or an embarrassing old CD... flog it!

Remember, if the buyer needs you to send items via registered or special delivery, this is an additional cost to take into account when calculating if it's worth it. Some sites also require a minimum number of items or overall trade-in value, so check these first.

Flog on eBay for best prices

If you've got it, and don't need it, flog it. Selling on eBay* usually pays best, yet to really get the eBay cash rolling in, you neeed to know the etiquette and shortcuts.

Flog old handsets, iPods, cameras & more

eBay usually pays best, yet if you want speed and ease, there's a whole industry set up to help. If you've unwanted gadgets, such as mobiles, cameras or MP3 players lying around the house, several firms will happily take 'em off your hands.

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Quicker cash for old CDs, DVDs & more

 Cash for old media

Several sites let you quickly trade in old CDs, DVDs, computer games and Blu-rays for cash. The sites are easy to use and give instant quotes, so if you've got loads to get rid of, you could speedily make a bit of extra money. Also see how to get max cash for old books.

Get max cash for old books

Get max cash for old books

Listing books one-by-one on eBay* may get the most cash, but it'll take some time. One of the best options for selling old books is Amazon* Marketplace, as you need only search for the book and write a short description. Your listing stays up till it sells.

Spot & flog from car boot/garage sales

If you've an eye for car booty, buy items cheaply at car boot sales, and sell them at a profit on eBay or other auction sites. Be sure to arrive early to beat other bargain hunters.

Flog old gold

Get cash for old gold

“Sell unwanted gold for CASH!” TV, mags and billboard ads pulse with promises, yet rarely seem to live up to them.

Sell your story

Journalists are always looking for dramatic stories. If you've been in an extreme situation or come close to death, or have any other gripping or extraordinary tales to tell about your life, why not get paid and have it published? Even amusing photos can earn good cash prizes in some magazines.

Sell your story

Recycle old printer cartridges for cash

recycle old printer cartridges

Printer cartridges are expensive, sometimes even more costly than the printers themselves. So, next time one runs out, offset the cost of a new one by recycling the empty one for cash, or Tesco Clubcard points.

Rent it out for cash

It's amazing what you can rent out for cash, especially if you live in a desirable area. Ensure you get the most out of your property - even your parking space can be profitable.

Take in a lodger or play guesthouse

If you're renting a room out, you've two options to legitimately reduce tax. You must choose one:

Get cash for spare storage space

How does it work? If you've unused space in a loft, garage or spare room, website Storemates lets you rent it out to others looking for cheap storage. It's free to register, search and list, but charges 15% of the monthly rent via GoCardless if you find a successful match.

Rent out your parking area

If you live in an area where parking is expensive, yet have an empty parking space in your driveway, you could rent it out to others looking for a space.

Rent out your house as a film location

Film and TV production teams are always on the lookout for homes and areas they can shoot in. Your home needn't be palatial to qualify either; all shapes and sizes can be desired, and the rates of pay can be pretty good.

Earn wonga on the web

If you've a computer or smartphone, there's a host of small ways to boost your coffers. Our 30 Earn Cash Online Tips lists the top sites and apps that pay. Here are a few to start:

Earn via cashback sites

Cashback sites work by giving you a cut of their cash earned for directing you to shops or service providers. When shopping online, click through to a shop via one of these sites and it'll give you a small proportion (usually around 3% but up to 10%) of what you spend back in cash.

Get paid to click

You don't have to buy anything to earn cash via cashback sites - you can earn cash just for clicking links on the internet. Cashback websites give you a share or all of their ad-revenue, and sometimes get paid paid just for sending traffic.

Get better cashback rates in shops

Cashback site Quidco* has free Android and iPhone apps that let you earn better cashback rates when you shop in certain stores.

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Profit from photographs

Keen photographers can upload their digital photos to photo bank websites such as iStockphoto and earn royalties for each one sold.

Affiliate your website

If you run any kind of website, commercial or personal, you can add affiliate link packages to it and get paid each time somebody clicks from your page.

Listen to music? Get paid to review it

Unsigned music review site SliceThePie pays you for each song you review, but as you build up a reputation you can earn more.

Matched gambling

This is something we thought very hard about before including. Yet as many who know exactly what they're doing make serious risk-free cash, we felt it couldn't be excluded from this guide.

Grab £1,000s of grants

There are grants galore available if you know where to look; from doing up your home to education or helping your business. There are a number of grant search engines where you can find out exactly what money you're eligible for.

Reclaim, reclaim, reclaim

Right across finance, companies have been taking or holding money when they shouldn't. These days it's easy to fight back. This can mean a boost of £1,000s to your finances in just one go.

Tax rebate for uniform wearers

reclaim tax on work uniform

If you wash or repair your work uniform, you may be able to reclaim tax.

Whether it's a full nurse's or police attire, or just a simple T-shirt, provided you DON'T ever wear it for owt else, if you wash and maintain the clothes, you may be due an extra tax-free allowance each year and can backdate the claim for up to four years.

Check if you're due a tax rebate

If, during the past four years, you've had the wrong tax code, you may be due a tax rebate. HMRC says up to four million employees are due this rebate... BUT around two million may need to pay more.

Reclaim phone/broadband credit

If you've switched TV, mobile, broadband or phone providers in the last six years, there's a very real chance you're owed a little cash. You can get it back at speed.

PPI reclaiming

If you've got or had a loan, credit or store card with payment protection insurance (PPI), you may be able to reclaim £1,000s, and for FREE. Banks lost in court after years of systemically mis-selling PPI. Now they've put over £18 billion aside to pay back money wrongly taken from their customers.

Find lost assets

Billions languish unused in old bank accounts, pensions, life assurance, Premium Bonds and investments, whether forgotten in a house move, lost through a work change, or simply overlooked in the hurly-burly of modern life.

Reclaim bank charges

If you've been hit with bank charges in the past few years and are in financial hardship, you can ask for them back.

Council tax rebanding

The council tax system in England and Scotland is fundamentally flawed; many people are in the wrong band. It takes 10 minutes to check if you're one of them.

Get mortgage exit fees back

If you've moved mortgage to a new company since the late 1990s, you could have been overcharged by your old lender when you left it. Just one phone call usually gets you the money back.

Reclaim for flight delays

Reclaim for flight delays

Whether the flight was last week, or six years ago, EU rules mean if you’re delayed over three hours or your flight is cancelled, you’re often entitled to £100 – £480 per person in compensation.

Get paid for your opinion

Many companies and public organisations' desperate need to test, talk about and try out their products or ideas on people gives you a great opportunity to cash in.

Online survey sites

Willing to give views on One Direction, washing-up liquid or quitting the EU? Our Top 20 Online Survey Sites guide shows how to make cash by filling in surveys.

Attend face-to-face focus groups

Traditional market research focus groups pay generously per session, though you're limited to a few a year. All it involves is giving opinions on the chosen subject, usually with free refreshments, and you can walk away with anything from £30 to £160.

Become a mystery shopper

High-street retailers are desperate to check their in-store customer service is up to scratch, and contract mystery shopping agencies to do so.

Become a mystery shopper

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Enter contests as a cash boosting hobby

From cars to £20,000 cash, 5-star USA holidays to £10,000 Tesco gift cards or even two years' rent paid, MoneySavers have won it all. It's all about 'comping', a potentially profitable hobby for the lucky.

Working from home

If you're housebound, whether due to childcare commitments or disability, or you just like being at home, working from your kitchen or spare room can leave you quids in too. Working on your own isn't for everyone though, so make sure you're OK with a spot of solitude.

Earn from internet research

Internet businesses such as 63336 (which used to be known as AQA) occasionally takes on researchers.

Do some freelance work

If you've skills in a specific area, you may be able to do a little freelance work on the side.

Take in foreign exchange students

Renting out a room provides a stream of ready money, and a handy tax break means you can keep a decent chunk of it out of the taxman's hands.

Solve companies' problems

Several companies put problems online and offer cash to people who can come up with effective solutions.

While not a guaranteed way to grab cash, these can be an interesting, fun, and lucrative way to spend your spare time if you're a business or science boff.

Iron out your finances

Set up a professional ironing service, advertising in local shops and newspapers. A good tip is to advertise in the poshest part of town; that way you can charge more.

Start an ironing service

Start a 'cottage industry'

If you're a dab hand at arts and crafts, try selling your jewellery and artwork, whether on eBay* or at craft fairs.

Work, work, work

If you're willing to travel, as well as the obvious McJobs there are many ways for second-jobbers to earn extra cash. You also can maximise what you get from your current job.

Ask for a pay rise at your current job

People are often scared to do this, yet why not simply ask? After all, the worst that can happen is they say 'no'.

Bag a Christmas job

Bag a Christmas job

There are more likely to be temporary vacancies around the Christmas period in certain sectors. Check out's Universal Jobmatch (formerly Jobcentre Plus) and Gumtree.


Watching somebody else's TV and eating their food while the kids lie fast asleep upstairs doesn't sound so hard - and it often isn't. But you must be prepared to deal with the odd stroppy child and his or her tantrums.

Pet or plant-sitting

Pet or plant-sitting

Also known as house-sitting, this job sounds (and is) fairly simple: maintain a house and look after any animals and plants for anything up to three months.

Be an interviewer

NatCen Social Research is usually on the lookout for freelance interviewers. The job involves interviewing selected people about all kinds of topics in their own homes, then sending the answers to your set questions back to base.

Work at the supermarket

Work weekend shifts at your local supermarket - some pay up to double on Sundays and bank holidays. Generally, the posher the supermarket, the more you'll earn.

Party planning

Party planning

It's possible to make cash by hosting parties in which items are demonstrated and sold. Since you'll effectively be self-employed, you can make your own hours and work as often or as little as you want.

Monitor exams

During exam periods in secondary schools, colleges and universities, there's often a shortage of exam invigilators since the teachers and lecturers still have other work to attend to.

Use your head. Tutor

To tutor up to GCSE you don't necessarily need a degree or PGCE teaching qualification (although you can command much higher rates if you have the latter), but some previous teaching experience is a must.

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Count votes

Register with your council's elections office and get paid to count the votes at polling time. This can be in four-hour shifts, or longer. One MoneySaver reports earning £180 for working from 9pm - 5am.

Be a model

If you have the confidence to go nude (or semi-nude in some cases), life modelling is a fun way of earning extra cash. For a few hours work, you can usually get a very good rate of pay because it's very hard to recruit for this role.

Become a mobile market researcher

Download apps to your phone to earn cash when you're out and about by checking prices, snapping a photo of a restaurant menu or seeing how much stock is on the shelves in the shops.

Be a TV extra

It can be a little more boring than Ricky Gervais makes it out to be, but the fun of seeing yourself in the background of shows can more than make up for it.

Be a guinea pig

Medical trials

If you're fit and healthy and prepared to accept the risk of tests, you could earn up to £150 a day by taking part in medical trials.

Be an Avon lady (or man)

Avon representatives earn commission on make-up, toiletries and other items they sell. You buy batches of catalogues and canvass friends, family, neighbours or colleagues for orders to bring in cash.

A tip on tax

Extra income is all very well, but don't forget the taxman will want his share. Any sources of extra income need to be declared, so make sure you're upfront with HM Revenue & Customs.

It's important to let HMRC know you're self-employed as soon as possible, either via the HMRC website or by calling 0845 915 4515. If you don't tell them, you may have to pay a penalty. You'll also get a £100 penalty if you fail to meet the deadlines for self-assessment: 31 October for paper forms, and 31 January for electronic submissions.

For full information, read HMRC's self-employment leaflet. Also, don't forget to make full use of your personal allowances: depending on what your other job status is and your age, the first £9,440 of any income is tax-free in the 2013-14 financial year.

If you spend money on items for your business, be sure to keep the receipts. They're tax-deductible. See the HMRC website for a full breakdown of what you're entitled to.