Ocado to axe 'Low Price Promise' from February
28 January 2021
There are scores of legit ways to earn extra money, whether selling stuff, working from home or using the web. After all, no matter how good a MoneySaver you are, a little bit more money's always useful.
Don't let cash languish in rubbish accounts - make your money work for you instead.
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.
How much? The average UK family could gain £2,500 to £5,000 a year doing this.
How do I do it? Use our step-by-step Money Makeover guide.
Cashback credit cards pay you back a proportion of what you spend each time you use them. Set up a direct debit to pay the card off in full each month, so there's no interest to pay, and you can earn £100s/year. Just use the card for all your normal spending.
Too many people stash cash in pitiful savings accounts where former best buy rates have dropped massively, or in a current account earning just 0.1%. Stop! Five minutes' work will let you increase the interest massively.
How much? For every £5,000 you move from a poor rate to a top easy access savings account, you can earn an extra £70/year.
There's fierce competition in the banking market - so much so, some bribe you to switch. The best incentives come and go, but typically it's possible to grab £150+, and they're often for the best buys too.
See Best Bank Accounts for a full guide on how to switch accounts, what the best deals are right now and what sort of account is right for you.
Most people who try to save while 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.
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 and debit card spending?
This means you'll now have debts on your 0% card (make sure you make the min repayment each month) and a similar amount in your current account, which you can save in a high interest savings account. Then pay off the full balance before the 0% ends, having earned interest on the money saved.
This is known as 'stoozing'. It's legal and can be profitable, yet it's only for the really financially savvy. For full step-by-step help, see our Stoozing: Make Free Cash guide.
Got junk? Declutter and sell it, whether outgrown kids' clothes or that embarrassing old CD...
If you've something secondhand to sell, eBay* usually pays best - yet to really get the eBay cash rolling in, you need to know the etiquette and shortcuts.
Our 40+ eBay Selling Tricks guide offers a crash course, including how to cut fees, close auctions at the best time and sell for more with 120 keywords that boost prices (eg, 'authentic' beats 'genuine').
Local Facebook groups and Facebook Marketplace are where, instead of eBaying second-hand goods, people harness the social media network's power to sell to others in the local community. The best bit is there are NO fees, so you keep the profit.
For a crash course in how to earn £100s, see our Facebook Selling guide. It tells you how to find the right local groups and get the best price, plus make sure you stay safe when selling.
Several sites let you trade in old CDs, DVDs and computer games – or even laptops, phones and games consoles – for cash. These sites (see our top picks below) are easy to use and give instant quotes, so if you've loads to get rid of, you can speedily make extra cash.
Type in the barcode, ISBN (books only) or product name on the site to get an instant valuation. Most sites now also have apps that allow you to scan barcodes using your phone's camera, speeding the process up.
What each site will offer for a given item varies, so always compare prices on a few. Some also have a minimum number of items you need to trade in, or a minimum overall value, so if you're selling lower value items such as CDs you may need a lot of them.
Here's a list of the main players. They have been chosen based on feedback from the forum - if you've had a positive or negative experience, please post in the individual forum threads. Remember there's no protection if things go wrong or a site goes bust, and we don't check companies' solvency:
Once you've compared and found the top payer, you simply accept the valuations and send your stuff to it. Postage is usually free, but always check. Always ensure items are packed well, as, in most cases, any that fail basic quality checks will not be sent back to you.
You'll then get paid by cheque, PayPal or bank transfer, depending which service you've used. All these companies aim to send payment for accepted items within about seven or eight days of receiving them, though forumites' feedback suggests it can be longer.
It varies, but as a rough guide you'll generally get 50p-£1 for CDs, £1-£2 for DVDs and £10-£20 for computer games, though it can be a lot less, while with technology it will entirely depend on the model. Where these sites win is convenience.
If you're after getting the max value, you may be better off selling elsewhere:
With the pace technology moves at these days, most of us have old boxes, cables, remote controls and so on stuffed in drawers or packed away in lofts, despite it being unlikely they'll ever be of use again. Yet you can earn money as well as declutter your home by selling these 'tech leftovers' online, via sites such as eBay, Facebook or Gumtree.
Who'd want them? Some people need replacement accessories for older gadgets. Others buy boxes and manuals for devices they want to sell so they can raise the asking price.
Bear in mind that what you can earn for these kind of items will depend on their condition, demand, how common or scarce they are, the fees on the sites where you sell them and if there's any sort of bidding war over your item.
There's a round-up below of some tech leftovers we've seen for sale on eBay*, along with how many actually sold and roughly what they fetched.
|iPhone 6s empty boxes||£4||1p||£8||122|
|Sony Playstation 4 empty boxes||£14||£1.30||£30||56|
|Sega Mega Drive instruction manuals (for consoles or games)||£5||99p||£16.99||69|
|Samsung TV remote controls||£9||£7.50||£22||43|
|Nintendo Wii AV cables||£6||10p||£35||243|
|Microsoft Windows 95 operating system (with and without documents)||£8||99p||£40||60|
There are various sites you can sell this kind of stuff on, including auction giant eBay*, second-hand sites Gumtree and Preloved*, and of course Facebook groups and Facebook Marketplace, which let you sell to others in your local community. To decide which is best, you'll need to weigh up the popularity of your item, site fees, security and more – for a full rundown of the pros and cons, see our Flog Your Rubbish guide.
Unfortunately, we haven't been able to find any companies or schemes which will pay to take this kind of stuff from individuals (though some do pay for old mobile phones).
If you dig out old tech accessories you can't sell, consider seeing if you can find them a new home via Freecycle or Freegle so they don't end up in landfill. Failing that, dispose of them properly by taking them to a recycling centre that deals with unwanted electrical items – you can find the closest to you using Recycle Now.
The items listed above are tech odds and ends, but some people also sell old electrical goods – for example, we found Nokia phone chargers sold for as much as £10 on eBay, with the typical price being £3-£5. While you should always check that items you sell are described accurately and are safe to use, it's particularly important to be mindful of safety when selling anything that has a plug.
According to charity Electrical Safety First, sellers of second-hand goods have a responsibility to meet legal safety requirements – and could even end up having to pay compensation if what they sell causes injury or damage.
It says that if you're selling something that has a plug, you must make sure it's an approved plug that's properly fitted, has insulated pins and the correct fuse – and it suggests in most cases items with plugs should be checked by a "qualified person". See Electrical Safety First's safety guidance for more.
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.
Amazon provides full reviews of most from its database – if you're listing a few in one go, this saves time. Check your sale price covers postage if it's a heavy book you're listing.
You can list up to 35 books a month for free, but Amazon will charge 75p per book plus 15% of the total price paid (including postage). Alternatively, to list more than 35 books a month, you pay a flat subscription of £25/mth and then 50p per book plus 15% of the total price paid.
Use trade-in sites for less hassle. If you need speed and ease, trade-in website WeBuyBooks.co.uk and Ziffit let you enter details, they offer a price, and you post books free. Prices can be lower than selling them yourself though.
How much? Potentially £100s if you're selling pricey textbooks, less if it's old paperbacks.
Find out more: See the forum's sell your books thread.
If you've mountains of unmatched Lego bricks sitting somewhere – perhaps your children have grown out of them or they were a hobby you're no longer into – you can now turn them into cash and sell them online to Music Magpie* by the kilo (or half kilo).
How much can I make? Music Magpie pays £3/kg. You'll need to sell a minimum of £5's worth (this can include CDs, DVDs etc as well as Lego).
Music Magpie pays you by bank transfer, PayPal or cheque as soon as it's received.
What are the requirements for selling Lego? Here are the need-to-knows:
How do I post it? You'll need to create an account, give your details and say what you want to sell. You'll then be given options to post your Lego off.
Music Magpie* will email or post you labels to attach to your parcel – you can then drop it off at your nearest ParcelShop or book a courier to pick it up. Your parcel would be fully insured with either option, but make sure you get proof of postage if you choose to use ParcelShop.
It may surprise you, but there are people out there willing to PAY for what you normally chuck away. From loo roll tubes to empty perfume bottles, your recycling or rubbish bin is full of items you can sell to those doing arts and crafts.
Find out more in Flog Your Rubbish For Cash.
If you've an old bridal gown boxed up in the loft, dig it out and turn it into cash. You could get £500+ for a sought-after dress by a well-known designer.
A host of wedding dress selling sites promise help. Here, you upload a description and some photos. The buyer usually comes round in person to try it on.
As you set the price, first find your frock's true worth. Check eBay to see how much similar dresses have sold for – search for dresses like yours, then tick 'completed listings' under 'Show only' in the grey bar on the left.
Don't just post items to strangers though – it's far better to get paid cash in hand. Even if you accept a cheque, it can take a week for it to clear. The exception's eBay, which tends to have better protection.
How much? This can be big money, as forumite fran-o found: "I put my dress on Preloved and had interest from someone who had tried it on in a bridal shop. She came to try on and bought it for £550. Very happy!" If you've sold one, let us know how you got on in the Sell Your Wedding Dress forum thread.
The top FREE wedding dress selling sites. If you're looking for speed, you might want to consider the paid-for sites below, but if you can wait, first try your luck on these fee-free sites.
MoneySavers rate classifieds site Preloved* for selling wedding frocks. It's free to sell on and is popular with brides hunting for second-hand gowns. You can also try popular classifieds site Gumtree.
Also worth adding is The Dressmarket, where a basic advert with one photo is free (it makes money from selling optional upgrades, eg, extra photos).
The top paid-for sites. No joy on the freebies? While it has a mammoth audience, eBay* charges steep fees. You can list 1,000 items free a month, but if the dress sells, you pay 10% of the sale price, including postage.
There are also specialist bridal gown selling sites, which are especially good if you're selling a frock by a named designer. Check out Sell My Wedding Dress (£10 for six months' advertising) and Still White (£17, but your ad stays up till it sells). While we've little feedback from MoneySavers who've sold via these, we hear good things from buyers.
As a rough rule of thumb, eBay wins over the specialist paid-for sites if your dress sells for less than £100.
The big money lies in spotting collectables to sell on, so research online first or (subtly) use your mobile phone's web browser.
There's a quick way to glean a product's market value on eBay*. Once you've searched for a particular product, tick 'completed listings' under 'Show only' in the grey bar on the left. It'll come up with a list of prices similar auctions have already fetched. Then sort by "Price: lowest first".
How much? The earning potential increases with your knowledge of rare items and collectable brands, and a little luck doesn't go amiss either. If you're in the right place at the right time, this could net you £100s extra a year.
TV ads yell "sell gold for cash!", yet many receive a fraction of the promised sums. So never just send off your gold to any old TV gold site - some hucksters offer far less than your jewellery’s worth.
The first thing to remember is, as with other commodities, gold prices fluctuate. If you cash in now, you may lose out and gain more later, but no-one knows for sure.
Gold-buying companies' business models are simple: they buy gold, melt it down and flog it on for more. This means you can get cold hard cash for broken and unloved bling. Yet it’s a Wild West out there, so, make sure you get quotes from several reputable places including jewellers and a few reputable gold websites.
Our research showed that do it right and you could get £55 for an 18ct wedding ring and even £54 for an old gold tooth crown. It’s worth doing your own research too, but two sites that have good feedback on our forum include Hatton Garden Metals* and Lois Jewellery.
Beware, there's no protection if things go wrong - if a site goes bust, you may not get your gold back.
Journalists are always looking for dramatic stories and even amusing photos can earn good cash prizes in some magazines. If you fit the bill, it could be big money.
You don't need to have slept with an alien. Often publications just want to talk to people with experience of topical issues, eg, severe morning sickness when the Duchess of Cambridge had it.
We've listed how to get involved below. First, here's a forumite's story for inspiration:
I thought I would have a go at selling my story about the lovely way me and my boyfriend met through a car sale on eBay! I emailed a magazine and within an hour they rang me, confirmed the story and I got £150. Easiest £150 ever!
Warning – make sure you understand exactly what you're undertaking.
You'll need to be honest and often need to pictured and named in the piece, which is likely to be used in a national publication. Many ads also say that you'll only be paid on publication, so if, for whatever reason, the story isn't used, you may not get any cash.
Remember, it's very unlikely you'll have control over how your words and pictures appear in the final piece, so carefully consider what you're happy to spill the beans on.
A host of magazines pay a premium for interesting letters and photos. To boost your chances of winning 'star letter', include how a feature inspired you.
Here are some of the magazines that will pay for material published. Head down to your local library to see if it's got the latest copy and stocks any others. Don't forget to include a postal address for any goodies.
I had a cheque from Barclays for £0.03p (posted to me first class). I sent an email to Moneywise magazine about it. It won star letter and I got £100 of M&S vouchers. [It currently gives a £50 voucher.] Best cheque I ever had!
Sainsbury's Magazine, £50 voucher. It gives a £50 Sainsbury's voucher to the photo of the month. Just share a photo of a cooking triumph on Twitter, tagging @SainsburysMag with the #IMadeThis hashtag. Star letters of the month also get prizes such as £200 of theatre tokens (they vary each month). Email email@example.com.
Reader's Digest, up to £50. Write to the mag in response to one of its features, and you could nab £50 for a star letter (£30 for others). There's also £30 for true stories, anecdotes and jokes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spirit & Destiny, £50. Star letters win £50. It's looking for tales about how the magazine inspired you or if you've had a spiritual experience. Email email@example.com.
My Weekly, up to £50. The mag wants snaps that make you laugh, cry or cringe. It pays £25 for each photo published and £50 for the star choice. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moneywise, £50 voucher. Write in with a reaction to the magazine or a financial issue. The best letter wins £50. Email email@example.com.
What's On TV, £25. Enjoy ranting about Strictly or Emmerdale? What's On TV pays £10 for every letter printed and £25 for a star letter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many other magazines give away prizes, which vary by week. These include Prima (past prizes include a bouquet of flowers), National Geographic (a £110 travel jacket) and Let's Knit (a pom-pom making kit).
Here at MoneySavingExpert, we fight your corner, but don't pay for stories. If you have an issue you'd like us to take a look at let us know.
Join the discussion in the Sell your story forum thread.
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.
There are lots of recycling sites out there, so do a bit of research to find out which are the best payers for your cartridges – some cartridges earn 50p, though it's usually much less. Try Cash For Cartridges, Recycle Ink Cartridges and Infotone.
Though some recycling sites will take your empty cartridges, they may only pay for certain ones, so check feedback and compare prices.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' recommendations, or add your own, in the Recycling printer cartridges for cash thread.
Wardrobes fit to burst with unwanted clothing? Forumites have reported success using 'cash for clothes' companies, which will often buy a wide range of clobber, including coats and sometimes shoes and bedding too. They usually only accept garments in reasonably good nick (ie, not bobbled or stained) – forumites tell us they typically pay about 40p per kilo.
Of course, if you're not strapped for cash, you could donate your togs to charity instead. And for gear in really good condition, you'll likely to get more selling on Facebook or eBay, so this is best for clothing which isn't top quality and won't fetch much online.
How much you can earn will depend on how many clothes you have to bag up – it might only be a few pounds but some forumites have reported big successes.
We got a total of £64 for the clothes we took... they gave us 60p per kilo and took most of the stuff.
It's an easy way to get rid of unwanted clothes and get a few quid for it. I've probably made about £40/£50 altogether.
To find a company, use a search engine to find 'cash for clothes' in your area. They can be found in most towns and cities, eg, we found Bob's Cash for Clothes in London which pays up to 50p per kilo. The amount you're paid and items accepted will vary depending on the company.
There have been reports of dodgy companies that ask you to post clothing to them for 'inspection' – don't. Some forumites say they've had quality clothing rejected and were even asked to pay £20 for items to be returned.
We don't recommend you send off clothing before receiving payment – it's better to visit the company yourself or use one that collects and pays at your door.
H&M and M&S run recycling schemes which can bag you £5-off vouchers to spend in store.
The advantage of H&M's scheme is it says it will accept any clothing or home textiles "no matter what brand and what condition", so this is a great way for regular H&M shoppers to get rid of unwearable clothes.
H&M – You'll need to take a "generously filled shopping bag" of clothes to your nearest H&M to get the voucher, which will give you £5 off when you spend £25. See H&M's 'recycle your clothes' page.
M&S – This scheme only applies to M&S-branded items, but you only need to recycle one thing to get a voucher, which gives you £5 off when you spend £35.
Simply take an old piece of M&S clothing or soft furnishings into your local Oxfam shop, where you'll get the voucher. M&S says you'll get one for every donation you make containing its clothing. For more info, see 'How can I get a £5 M&S voucher from Oxfam?'
Ever watched Storage Hunters, the US show where people bid for the mystery contents of storage units? Now you can do it yourself, with lost luggage auctions.
When airlines are unable to reunite lost bags with their rightful owners, they often sell them off via specialist auction houses, usually costing £10-£75. For a full guide, including which auction houses do this, see Lost Luggage Auctions.
It's also worth checking out Police Auctions, where forces across the UK sell lost property or goods seized from criminals when they can't find the rightful owner. It's cracking for bicycles, among other things.
If you've recently upgraded and have an old mobile lying around, you could make £100s by selling it to a mobile-buying site. The more recent the handset, the more you'll get for it.
Make sure you compare mobile-buying sites to get the best price – top sites include Sell My Mobile and CeX. CeX can win on price but Sell My Mobile has a 'best price guarantee' and says if you find a higher price within 24 hours of placing your order, it will refund you double the difference.
It's amazing what you can rent out for cash, especially if you live in a busy area. Ensure you get the most out of your property – even your parking space can be profitable.
Below are some of the top options to get you started.
If you've space and don't mind a stranger intruding on your Game of Thrones-watching time, getting a lodger is a fast way to earn £100s. The doozy is that in April 2016, the amount you could earn tax-free letting a spare room via the Government's Rent a Room scheme was boosted from £4,250 to £7,500/year.
The scheme applies when you rent out a furnished room in your home to a lodger or take short-term guests through Airbnb (see Airbnb Room Renting Tips). It also applies if you run a B&B/guest house. It works whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
If you're renting out a room, you currently have two options to reduce tax, though you can only use one of them, not both. So work out the best option for you first.
The most common types of expenses you can deduct if you choose NOT to take part in the Rent a Room scheme are:
See more information on what counts as expenses on the Gov.uk website.
If you want to let a room on a longer term basis, try SpareRoom and the room-to-rent section of Gumtree, which hook up people with housemates. Both are free to list on, though there are optional upgrades such as promoted adverts.
Another option's MondaytoFriday, a site geared towards part-time renters looking for weekday-only places, so you get your space back at weekends. A standard ad that runs for six weeks costs £29.95, so it could be worth trying Gumtree or spare room first and marking your listing 'Monday to Friday only'.
Airbnb and other similar sites link up owners with travellers hunting for a short-term place to stay, whether for holidays or sports events like Wimbledon. If you're renting out a room for holiday stays or your whole house if it's your main residence, you get the £7,500 Rent a Room allowance too.
Our 20+ Airbnb Hosting Tips guide is a crash course on safely letting your spare room or entire property for short periods.
If you've unused space in a loft, garage or spare room, Storemates puts you in touch with folk who need space. It's free to register and list, but it charges 17% of the monthly rent if you find a match.
How much can you get? Storemates recommends charging 50% of commercial price. It automatically suggests a price, but you can charge what you like. For example, a 20 sq ft loft space in south London could net £600/year.
Some forumites report earning up to £40 a month, but others say they've had no response. So it's worth a punt, but not a guaranteed money-spinner.
How do I join? Register on the Storemates website and list a storage space. If someone's interested, they'll contact you via the site and arrange to check out your space. It provides a template legal contract to help sort the terms.
Will this affect my home insurance? Renting out part of your property for business purposes without telling your insurer could invalidate your home cover. Call it and say you're planning to list your storage space. They usually decide on a case-by-case basis, but may extend your existing policy for a small fee. If not, try a broker – see our Rent a room home insurance system as the principle is similar.
Anything else to watch for? Be prepared to settle any disputes yourself, and check you're comfortable with what's being stored. Don't agree to store valuables. This is because if you have to claim for damage to someone else's items, most standard insurance policies won't cover this. If you try it, please feed back in the Rent your storage space discussion.
Is your driveway paved with gold? If you live near a city centre, airport, train station or footie ground, it might be. You can earn cold hard cash each month by renting out your drive. Read the Rent Your Parking Space guide for more.
Film and TV production teams are always on the look out for homes and areas they can shoot in. Your home needn't be Downton Abbey to qualify – all shapes and sizes can be desired, and rates of pay can be pretty good.
A number of online agencies will register your property for free, taking commission once your property is chosen for a shoot (this varies depending on the property).
Sites worth a look include Lavish Locations, Amazing Space and ShootFactory. See the film set forum thread for more suggestions and feedback. Never use any that charge a large upfront fee, and check if there are any other fees involved before agreeing to anything.
How much? It varies widely, but if your property's chosen, as a rough guide you can expect from £500 to £2,000 a day. And you get to brag about it. Don't bank on being selected though; there are many more properties than film crews.
What kind of home do you need? Living within the M25 boosts your chances, as does unrestricted parking nearby. Crews also prefer bigger rooms with plenty of natural light. A state-of-the-art kitchen might net bookings for cookbook or lifestyle magazine shoots.
Will this affect my home insurance? Most agencies have their own insurance for breakages, however renting out part of your property for business purposes without telling your insurer could invalidate your home cover. Tell it first if a film crew's about to rock up.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Rent your house as a film location discussion.
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.
If you wear a uniform at work, and have to wash, repair or replace it yourself, you may be able to reclaim £100s of tax for up to five years of expenses.
This applies whether it's just a branded T-shirt or you're a fully uniformed pilot, police officer or nurse. Read the full Uniforms Tax Rebate guide.
If you've ever had a packaged bank account (where you pay £10-£20 a month for add-ons such as travel insurance) that you didn't ask for, or couldn't use the benefits, try our free Reclaim Packaged Bank Fees tool.
There's growing evidence accounts were systemically mis-sold – with many flogged worthless added insurance. You may be able to reclaim £100s or £1,000s.
Disgustingly, if you've switched energy firm in the last six years and were in credit, some providers operated a 'don't ask, don't get' policy. That's mostly changed now, but if you didn't get your money, even if it was years ago, you can still ask.
It only takes a minute or two – see the Reclaim Old Energy Credit Back guide. Many get £100s.
Check your Clubcard account online to see if you've any unused vouchers or able to reclaim lost ones going back up to two years – some people find £100s. Full help to do that in the Reclaim Tesco Vouchers guide.
The guide also shows how you can triple their value.
Every year, millions of people are hit by tax code errors. Some will have paid too much and are due cash back, others too little and may have a horrid shock coming.
It all depends on how wrong your banding was, but it can range from tens of pounds to thousands. One forum user managed to claim over £5,000. Use our Tax Code Checker guide and tool to work out if your code is correct.
Leaves on the line, the wrong kind of snow and service faults... delays are all too common on our railways. But it's possible to claim for a delay if you know your rights. Full details in our Train Delays and Tube Delays guides.
Plus if you've an Oyster card or use TfL, you may be due a share of more than £300 million. There's big money sloshing about – if you failed to touch your Oyster out you can often claim back the excess (some have got £70 on this).
Plus if you now use your contactless card instead, or if you've an old Oyster, you can claim back old credit. See our Oyster card reclaiming guide for a how-to.
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.
Yet it's usually easy and, in many cases, free to reclaim cash that belongs to you or your family. See the Reclaim Lost Assets guide.
If you've been hit with bank charges in the past few years and are in financial hardship, you can ask for them back.
It all depends on your circumstances, but if you incurred charges of £35, four times a year for the last six years, then on average that all adds up to a huge £840 payback.
See the Bank Charges Reclaiming guide for full help.
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 using our step-by-step Council Tax Rebanding guide.
If you're delayed by more than three hours or your flight's cancelled, you are often entitled to between £110 and £530 in compensation.
See Flight Delays for a full step-by-step compensation guide, including template letters on how to get your money back for free and how to stop the airlines squirming out of paying.
Whichever authority controls a road has a legal duty to maintain it to a fit standard. If it doesn't, and your car's damaged, it should pay for repairs.
Often you will only get a payout if you can prove negligence, but it's worth giving it a go. Full details in our Pothole claims guide.
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.
Willing to give views on One Direction, washing-up liquid or politics? Our Top 23 Online Survey Sites guide shows how to make cash by filling in surveys. Committed survey-doers can get £200ish a year.
Traditional market research focus groups pay generously per session, though you're limited to a few a year.
All it involves is giving opinions, usually with free sarnies, and you can walk away with £30 to £160. To get started, sign up with the top agencies listed in our list of Face-to-face focus groups.
Telly addicts can cash in by getting paid for their opinion. The Viewers sources research panels for broadcasters and programme makers.
Projects can include giving feedback on TV programmes before they hit screens, coming up with catchy titles or deciding which personalities should get more airtime.
You can attend face-to-face research groups (these are usually in big cities around the UK), fill in surveys online or do both.
Anyone over 16 who lives in the UK can sign up – you'll have to fill in a questionnaire on your viewing habits, which takes 5-10 minutes. This allows it to provide info to TV companies that helps them either select the right demographic for each piece of research or make sure they are gathering a wide range of opinions.
Applications are reviewed before being added to the panel, which can take up to two weeks at busy times, but once approved you'll have the same chance of being selected for a project as existing members
How much? You'll get at least £40 for face-to-face group discussions and it's usually paid in cash straight after the event. Occasionally there are online versions of a focus group, which pay the same amount via bank transfer or PayPal. You should receive payment within a few days of the group taking taking place.
Online surveys typically pay 50p-£5 depending on how long they are. Payments are made monthly via bank transfer, PayPal or Amazon email gift voucher. Unlike with many online survey sites, there's no minimum you have to earn before you get paid.
Find out more: See a list of other websites where you can get paid for you opinion in our Survey Sites guide.
High-street retailers are desperate to check their in-store customer service is up to scratch, and contract mystery shopping agencies to do so.
They employ you to visit a specific shop or pub, to rate service quality or the quality of their goods. If you fancy a bit of 'cloak and dagger' identity, this can be great fun too.
How much? Payment for this type of work varies hugely between agencies. Some pay in gift vouchers, others simply give you free items. Some will pay you cash too, sometimes as much as £30 a day.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the mystery shopping discussion thread.
If you're unable to leave your home, whether due to childcare commitments or disability, 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.
Some banks bribe you with free cash to switch. Repeatedly switch to bag sign-up bonuses and you could earn £100s.
One MoneySaver made £845 in three months, while another MoneySaving couple racked up £1,565 between them – just by switching bank accounts. For tips and the best incentives currently on offer, see Best Bank Accounts.
If you've a computer or smartphone, there's a host of small ways to boost your coffers. Our Make Money Online Tips guide lists (legit) ways to make money online.
You can get paid just to watch videos, write, search on Google, make your own YouTube clips and much more.
If you've a Nationwide FlexAccount, FlexDirect or FlexPlus account, and you rate it, if you refer a friend who opens one and switches their bank account to it, you get £100 and so do they.
You can refer up to five friends a year. See Best Bank Accounts for more details, and our Run out of bank switching rewards? Here's how to make cash from your bank account by referring friends blog.
If you've an iPhone, take on a mission (should you choose to accept it) from free app Field Agent; it pays up to £10/job to check prices/snap photos.
Yet you're competing against others for jobs, so don't get too excited. See our Make Money Online guide for this and more money-making apps.
Job Spotter is closing down soon. The app, popular with MoneySavers, will stop accepting submissions 'shortly' and then close altogether on Fri 15 May. If you've already earned vouchers they should be sent to you automatically if not redeemed by Mon 20 April. For more, see the Job Spotter app to close down MSE News story.
The Job Spotter app lets you earn Amazon vouchers just for taking pictures of job ads in windows. And right now, with many shops taking on extra Christmas staff, there are lots of job ads to spot.
You earn points for each job advert you submit. These are converted into Amazon vouchers – and there's no minimum withdrawal limit. The jobs you spot are then posted on the Indeed website.
Next, create a profile by giving your email address and adding a username. Make sure you use a real email address, as this is where your Amazon vouchers will be sent. Then simply take photos of job ads (eg, a 'staff wanted' sign in a restaurant window) via the app as you're out and about, by following these steps:
Photos you submit are reviewed by Indeed before being awarded points – anywhere from five to 300.
You'll get fewer points for a corporate chain than you will for a small or independent business, because Indeed says signs in small businesses are "more likely to indicate a current opportunity to get hired".
There's no way of checking how many points you'll get for a submission before you make it.
Points are converted into a balance in your 'wallet' within the app, which you can redeem at any point for an Amazon voucher.
One point is worth one US cent; your balance is converted into pounds daily. The value of the Amazon vouchers you earn will also be shown in pounds.
MSE Sarah's been busy:
I've earned over £1,000 so far, spotting ads in my lunch hour. I like going out for a walk anyway, and I usually get around £6-£10 each day.
It's worth noting this is in London, with its many shops and restaurants. You can use the app across the UK, but your earnings may be lower if you live and work somewhere less built up.
Some of our Forumites have been at it too:
Another £18.15 in Amazon vouchers – walked up one side of the high street, back the other and bingo.
Visit the 'wallet' page in the app and redeem your balance as a voucher. You can convert any balance, no matter how small. Bear in mind that it could take up to two weeks for the voucher to be emailed to you, though it's often much quicker.
There are a number of reasons your photo could be rejected, such as:
Be aware that the review process is not instant – so just because your submission is 'pending', that doesn't mean it'll be rejected.
From cars to £20,000 cash, five-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.
Comping's about systematically sourcing and entering hundreds of the contests, using web gadgets to fill out forms at speed, answer questions and help with tie-breakers. There's full help in the 40+ Comping Tips guide.
US-based website Teespring lets you design T-shirts, socks, mugs, iPhone cases and more for people to buy online. It's open to designers all over the world and only takes a cut when your designs sell.
How does it work? You submit designs for items, but Teespring does all the legwork – eg, sourcing blank mugs, printing designs, processing payments and dispatching items to buyers.
You set the price (in dollars initially, but you can change the currency), though there's a standard base price for every item to ensure Teespring covers costs and makes a profit. You can increase your cut of the sale by raising prices, though be aware setting them too high could put off buyers.
How much can I make? Using Teespring's recommended prices, you can make about £6-£9 for selling a T-shirt, £8-£18 for a zip-up hoodie, £3-£5 for a tote bag and £2.50-£5 for a mug.
How do I do it? You'll need to create your design outside of Teespring (eg, in Paint, Photoshop, Adobe InDesign), then select the product you'd like to sell and upload your design. See Teespring's design tips and best practices for more help and info.
Important: You should never copy or use someone else's designs, whether they're from the Teespring site or elsewhere. See its page on understanding trademark and copyright law.
How do I get paid? You'll be paid through PayPal – to set this up, go to your Teespring account settings and enter the email address of your PayPal account. You'll need to verify it, and then you'll be able to request payment for any sales you make.
What if I don't sell anything? Teespring doesn't charge any fees for listing your designs for sale. So while you'll only make money if your items sell, you won't lose anything if they don't.
If you've skills in a specific area, you may be able to do a little freelancing on the side.
International project recruitment site PeoplePerHour allows companies to list projects they want completed. Freelancers 'bid' on projects, saying why they'll be the most suitable candidate and entering their price for the work. The site's free to join and bid on work, but a fee is taken out of your pay for each job.
How much? It depends on the job, the duration and skills involved, and how many freelancers are competing for it. The only drawback is you might find yourself competing against workers from countries with a much lower cost of living, who can undercut you.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the PeoplePerHour discussion thread.
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.
Get in touch with local secondary and language schools to enquire about how often they take students, and the vetting process. This can be a tidy little earner.
How much? Rates of pay vary depending on the level of accommodation you provide, but as a very rough guide you can expect to earn upwards of £80 per week per student.
Find out more: Join the discussion and read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Take in foreign exchange students discussion.
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.
At InnoCentive companies post dozens of challenges offering big money for the best solutions, though they're often quite technical. A typical example's £5,000 for low-cost labelling solutions for reusable glass containers.
Also worth a look is Idea Connection. Register and it sends you email invites to help solve firms' problems for cash.
How much? It depends on the challenge, but top paying solutions can be worth about £600,000 if you come up with a brilliant idea.
Find out more: Join the Solve companies' problems for pay discussion.
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.
How much? Ironing businesses generally charge by the item, with 20 items costing around £10. This varies depending on location, so check what other local services are charging.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Start an ironing service thread.
If you're a dab hand at arts and crafts, try selling your jewellery and artwork, whether on eBay* or at craft fairs.
How much? Potentially £100s, depending on your time, talent and selling ability. You will have to declare your earnings however. See A tip on tax below.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Starting a cottage industry thread.
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.
People are often scared, yet why not simply ask? After all, the worst that can happen is they say 'no'.
Simply ask for an appointment, prepare your points – which should be more about your job role than 'I need the money' – and see what happens. It's just as difficult for an employer to say no when you ask, as it is for you to ask in the first place.
How much? Always remember that if your pay rise isn't as high as inflation (the rate at which prices rise) then your pay is actually decreasing. So why not ask for an 'inflation plus x%' rise, explaining a pay rise at inflation will just keep you level and the x% is because you're now more experienced or better at your job.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the How to ask for a pay rise thread.
Now we all know Santa's toy workshop can get pretty hectic as Christmas draws near, so sometimes he needs a little help at the grottos you see at shopping centres and festivals around the UK.
You can make extra money by filling in for Father Christmas or an elf in a grotto – and as a bonus, you get to put smiles on kids' faces too. Companies usually start to recruit from September onwards.
What positions are available? The main roles you're likely to see advertised are Father Christmas, elf/helper and grotto manager – and while peak demand is in the couple of weeks before Christmas, some grottos open in early November.
What are the requirements? A big white beard is not strictly necessary, and your red Santa suit should be supplied to you (though you may have to pay a refundable deposit).
Most grotto operators don't require applicants to have any previous Father Christmas-ing experience – you simply have to show you're confident, energetic, enthusiastic and good with people in an interview. However, some do ask for experience in acting or children's entertainment.
You'll almost certainly need to have a criminal record check if you don't already have a Disclosure and Barring Service certificate. If so, the grotto operator should supply you with an application form and pay for your check – you'll need to give your full name, address, place of birth and passport or driving licence number.
Where are these jobs advertised? Great Grottos is one of the biggest operators in the UK. In 2019 it offered 500 positions in 40 locations – mainly shopping centres and garden centres – across England and Scotland.
Resorts such as Chessington World of Adventures and attractions such as Gulliver's Theme Park also advertised similar jobs on websites including Indeed and Monster. But it's also worth trying supermarkets, shopping centres and garden centres near you as they may be advertising.
How much? Great Grottos pays elves between minimum wage and £8/hour, grotto managers £8-£11/hour plus a bonus that's accrued hourly and paid on completion of contract, and Santas £9-£12/hour. Payday is every two weeks.
Rates differ by employer though – the National Trust pays Santas £8.70/hour and Lapland UK £9/hour.
Councils need help counting votes and staffing polling booths for general, local and mayoral elections – it's a great opportunity to help make democracy work while earning some extra cash.
What roles are available? The main tasks you're likely to see advertised are:
What are the eligibility requirements? Most roles don't require any particular experience. You DON'T need to be on the electoral roll either.
Crucially, you can't apply for these roles if you've worked for a political party or candidate in the election. The Electoral Commission says it shouldn't be a problem if you're just a member. However, ultimately, it's down to the discretion of the returning officer (the person responsible for employing polling station staff).
And working in the election doesn't stop you voting – though you may need to apply for a postal vote if you're going to be working in a polling station other than the one you're registered to vote at.
How do I sign up? Contact your council or check its website to see if it's recruiting. Some councils keep a register of interested people and sign them up closer to election time.
It can be quicker to search online for jobs in your area, rather than hunting through your council's website (eg, search 'Milton Keynes general election poll clerk jobs').
How much? It varies by job and council, but for December 2019's general election we saw ads for count staff quoting from £9/hour and for poll clerks from £135/day.
One Forumite told us he earned about £180 in the past. Another said: "I got paid loads [for counting votes] – about £60 for a couple of hours' work, and it was great fun."
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the election jobs thread.
Check which retailers are looking for extra staff to cope with the extra Christmas shoppers. Print out multiple copies of your CV, and then do a mail-drop on your local high street.
Ask catering agencies, restaurants, pubs, clubs and bars. Festive parties may mean more jobs. Also, Royal Mail often seeks Christmas casuals.
How much? Varies by sector.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Christmas jobs discussion.
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 or ill child.
You'll need a proven track record with little'uns, so work for friends, family and neighbours first.
How much? Adult baby-sitters can get up to about £8 per hour, but you'll need to build a reputation first to command this.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions and add your own in the Baby-sitting thread.
Also known as house-sitting, this job sounds (and is) fairly simple: maintain a house and look after any animals for anything up to three months.
You need to have no other commitments to worry about. It'll be easiest to sign up with an agency, so be prepared to provide references and expect a thorough check of your background, including any criminal records. After all, would you be happy to leave your home in the hands of a stranger?
The terms and conditions vary from company to company. Some will expect you to be available all the time while some offer work on a more casual basis. Some suggested in the forum include Animal Angels, Platinum Petcare and Nina's Nannies for Pets.
How much? As a guide, Nina's Nannies for Pets pays roughly £30/day, plus travel expenses. You can earn more depending on how many pets you look after.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Pet or plant-sitting thread.
Ipsos Mori and NatCen Social Research are usually on the look out 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.
How much? As a guideline for interviewers, once trained you'll earn an average hourly rate varying from £8 to £12.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Doing social research discussion.
Work weekend shifts at a supermarket – some pay up to double on Sundays and bank holidays. Generally, the posher the supermarket, the more it pays.
How much? Around the £8 per hour mark, and some may offer a discount (usually 10%) on groceries once you've been there for a while.
Find out more: Read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the At the supermarket discussion.
It's possible to make cash by selling products to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues – by approaching them directly or hosting parties. Since you'll effectively be self-employed, you can make your own hours and work as often or as little as you want.
Before starting though, be sure to check whether there's already a popular representative of the company in your area. If so, it's probably best to sell something else.
Typical examples include Ann Summers*, Avon, The Body Shop At Home* and Usborne Books At Home. Forumites recommend choosing a company where you'll be selling products you like – you'll find it more enjoyable, which will help you succeed.
Warning – this is network marketing and is questionable. We’re not great fans, and there are risks. Some do well on it, but ensure you know exactly what you’re doing.
If you don't sell enough, you could make a loss. With these schemes you often have to pay a sign-up fee, and there are other costs too, eg, set-up costs for your first parties, or buying brochures with Avon. If you don't go on to make enough sales, there's a risk you might not make your money back.
It can also mean commercialising your relationship with your friends and family – consider if you feel comfortable selling to them.
How much? It's commission-based, so what you earn depends on your selling ability and the products you sell (and, as above, you'll need to factor in sign-up and other costs too).
With Avon, for example, you earn roughly £1 for every £4-£5 of products sold. Dedicated Avon sellers can earn £100/month or more, though of course many earn less – for hints and tips, see the forum's Avon thread.
To give an idea, forumite and Ann Summers rep Lady_Lazarus says:
The pay varies because it is commission-based, but I make about £50 a party – not bad for waving a few naughty things around for two hours.
Forumite Looneylee says:
My top tip is to find something that you're passionate about. I'm a group leader for Usborne Books and have been doing it for 11.5 years. Children's books are something I'm passionate about, and I have been able to work it flexibly around my two children.
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.
Ask local institutions and temp agencies and you can earn fair cash for a couple of hours of (blissfully silent) work. You'll need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau check).
How much? Expect roughly about £8 per hour.
Find out more: Read others' top suggestions or add your own in the Temp at schools thread.
To tutor up to GCSE level 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.
You'll need a DBS check if you're to work with kids, so start out by asking some local teaching agencies about getting one, and about getting started.
How much? Without qualifications, you can charge up to about £10/hour (depending on your experience and ability). If you get a PGCE (which can be achieved on a part-time or flexible basis), you can charge as much as £40/hour in some areas.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Private tutoring help thread.
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.
All you have to do is make sure you're able to hold a pose. All shapes and sizes are desired, so don't be put off if you're not 'model' size.
My ex did this for ages, found a classified in the local paper (well, I found it for him!). Good money, gentle work...
How much? Forumites report you generally get up to about £10-£20 per hour. Of course, wages vary depending where you work and some models are paid 'per job', earning more.
Find out more: You can look out for adverts online and in your area from universities, art schools and adult education courses, and make enquiries at local colleges. There is also the Register of Artists' Models, which lists jobs across the country, and Hens With Pens which requires models for hen party life drawing classes. Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the Become a model discussion.
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.
There are several legit online extras agencies which don't charge you for signing up, although they'll generally take an 'administration fee' out of your pay. If you're serious, you'll need to sign up to a few agencies to be in with a chance. You may have to pay your own travel expenses.
As there are a lot of agencies to choose from, it's well worth checking out forum feedback before you join to help you find the ones that are right for you.
How much? Most extras generally earn about £50 per day (it can be more), with overtime paid at about £10 per hour. It's a good idea, though, to have some professional (or at least professional-looking) photos taken in order to start off getting work.
Find out more: Join the discussion, read other MoneySavers' top suggestions or add your own in the TV extra work thread.
Taking part in psychological experiments can be an easy – and often interesting – way to pocket a little extra. These could be on anything from how sleep affects memory to how people identify information in "noisy videos". Many university psychology departments recruit participants of all ages to help with their research.
For example, when we checked, we saw the University of Bristol's School of Experimental Psychology was looking for participants aged 20-50 to take part in a vision study on "how humans look at paintings". It paid £10 for a session lasting a maximum of 45 minutes. Age requirements for its other studies ranged from 18-70.
How much? You can expect to earn £7.50-£15 an hour for in-person experiments (watch out for online psychological experiments, as they're not always paid).
Find out more: Check your local university's website, or contact its psychology department to find out about current experiments and join its subject pool.
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 0300 200 3504. 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 £12,500 of any income is tax-free in the 2019/20 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.
The Government introduced a tax break which means since 6 April 2017, the first £1,000 you earn each year 'trading' is tax-free.
Basically this means you no longer have to report the first £1,000 you make from selling goods and casual services, such as babysitting and gardening, whether online or offline.
Clever ways to calculate your finances