Coronavirus Universal Credit & Benefits
14 May 2021
If you've a computer or smartphone, there are a host of ways to boost your coffers – some are quick, others slow-burners. You could earn £1,000s/year by clicking and swiping, with no special skill needed.
This guide lists 30+ (legit) ways to make money online. You can get paid just to watch videos, write, search on Google, sell photos, make your own YouTube clips and much more.
Some dedicated users turn over a tidy sum, such one forumite who made over £3,000 last year – read Simon's full story.
Before you start earning money online, there are a few things worth knowing. The main thing to remember is that while some of these sites only pay small amounts, add them all together and you could be looking at an annual bonanza of £1,000s.
Don't store cash in online-earning accounts
Companies that offer you the opportunity to earn online aren't banks. There's no protection if one goes under, taking your cash with it. So withdraw your cash as soon as you reach the payment threshold.
Do set up a dedicated email address
Set up a dedicated email address for online earning. When it comes to powerful free options, Gmail is among the best. Doing this is also a quick way to check when new paid tasks become available.
Don't expect to be instantly rolling in it
With some sites, it can take a while to earn enough to be able to withdraw your money. And if you give up, it means you did the tasks for free.
For this reason, it's important to understand it's not quick cash. But it is nice extra income, provided you're consistent and have a little patience.
Do spend gift vouchers ASAP
If you're given the choice, opt to get paid in cash. If you get paid in gift vouchers, spend them ASAP. Doing so reduces your chances of being left with invalid vouchers should the retailer go bust on you. Plus it means you can't lose them or forget about them until they go out of date. For more info on this, see our Gift Voucher Warning.
If you earn more than £1,000, the taxman'll want his share
Before you start counting the dosh, remember that some of what you earn could be taxed.
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 self employment or selling goods, whether online or offline. See Gov.uk for full details.
If you earn more than that - which is unlikely if you're doing this casually - some of it will probably belong to the taxman. For most people, it'll be around a third, but you'll need to register for self-assessment and check. Call HMRC on 0300 200 3300 and for full info read its self-employment info.
Swagbucks* is a fun survey site that pays you for completing short online tasks in virtual cash – you can then exchange this for real money, PayPal credits or gift cards to spend at Amazon, M&S and more. The site's huge in America, and here in the UK many MSE forumites are dedicated users.
We've blagged a boosted bonus for newbies. Earn £10 of points in 30 days and you'll get a £20 bonus.
Tasks include filling in polls, watching videos and searching using its page instead of Google. Advertisers pay Swagbucks to publicise their wares or do market research, and the site passes a cut to you. The more dedicated you are, the more you earn, though every task pays a different amount.
Usually you get only a few points for registering, but newbies and existing members who visit or sign up via this MSE Blagged Swagbucks* link will get bonus points worth £20 in Amazon (or other) gift cards if they earn 1,300 SB (worth £10) within 30 days of signing up. So that's a total of £30 to spend on gift cards.
For motivation, join other points-chasers in the forum's popular Swagbucking 2020 thread. One committed 'swagger' from the forum, cally6008, says:
Swagbucks is one of several online earning sites I use, but it's one of my favourites. I know for a fact that you can earn £25 a month using the site, because I do so nearly every month!
There are a host of ways to rack up points on Swagbucks:
Search the web. It pays points for searching the web via its site instead of Google. Note you only earn points periodically as you search – searching for things over and over won't boost your total.
Install the Swagbucks toolbar. The toolbar's a browser plug-in that lets you search without visiting its site. Toolbar users earn one extra point every day.
Swag codes. Another way to boost your total is to enter codes for bonus points. Watch the Swagbucks Challenge thread, where forumites post the latest.
Play games. You earn 1-5 points each time just for playing games on its site.
Watch videos. Watch and you get the chance to win extra points. You're not guaranteed to get them every time you watch though
Once you've earned 1,300 points (£10 worth) within 30 days, an additional 2,600 points will be transferred to the 'my swagbucks cards' section of your account within 10 days.
You'll have a total of 3,900 points (worth £30) in your account so you can visit the 'rewards store' to choose which gift card you want - there's currently a sale on too. The gift card will then arrive within 10 working days, either by post or via email in the case of voucher codes. You can also convert your earnings into PayPal cash but it costs more points (1,450 SB = £10 PayPal).
Most gift cards can then be redeemed in store or online within a year, though check yours to see exactly when and where you can use it as it varies per retailer.
Willing to give views on Justin Bieber, washing-up liquid or politics? If so, it's possible to earn £100s a year, without any special skill or talent.
It's all about stashing cash by filling in online surveys. For a full rundown of 20+ of the top free sites, see the Top Online Survey Sites and Apps guide.
It's possible to get paid hard cash just for searching the web with Qmee*. It just involves downloading an add-on that sits on your internet browser. You then search online as you normally would on Google, Chrome, eBay, Safari and more.
Qmee will show extra results or adverts alongside normal search results (see picture). Some firms pay Qmee to appear in these ads, and Qmee gives you a cut of the cash. If the Qmee result interests you, click it and you'll earn a few pence, usually 7p-15p.
You can also download its app on Google Play or the iTunes Store, which focuses on surveys, usually paying 10p to £1.50. (You can also see these on the 'surveys' tab of its desktop site.)
Forumite The_Jakal says:
I am at £600 total, average £30 a month. Great little earner this is.
1. Sign up.
Click this Qmee* link to sign up. Follow the instructions to download an add-on for your browser (it works in Windows and Mac OSX, using Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari).
2. Search as normal.
Search on Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Bing or Tesco. You should see the same results as usual, with extra (clearly labelled) Qmee results on the left-hand side.
Each link shows how much you'll earn for clicking. It only shows relevant results, so you won't see extra ones all the time.
3. Cash in.
Sign into your account to see how much cash you've stashed. You can withdraw it using PayPal, and you don't need to earn a minimum amount to do so.
No, just search for stuff as you would normally. Qmee says it only rewards genuine searches. You can’t beat the system by repeatedly clicking on the same advert or clicking from one to another quickly.
Only install the add-on if you are happy for the company to access the data, including your browsing history. The exact data it can access varies by browser, but a list should pop up when you install the add-on.
Online earning site Gift Hunter Club doles out points for watching videos, doing polls, entering competitions and completing other easy tasks.
You can convert these into cash through PayPal or buy Amazon vouchers with your points. Just sign up and check the 'earn points' section. It shows the tasks available and what they pay.
MoneySavers reckon the site's fun, payment is quick and they earn a decent amount each week. Forumite mizzame says:
I made £10 in PayPal cash very easily last week, £8 the week before. Mainly from videos and easy tasks. My best earning site at the moment!
A £10 Amazon gift card costs 1,690 points. Yet a $5 Paypal payment costs 530 points, which is better value, depending on the exchange rate. While Gift Hunter Club lists cash payments in US dollars, PayPal converts the cash into pounds.
From cars to £20,000 cash, five-star USA holidays to £10,000 of Tesco gift cards, MoneySavers have won it all. It's all about 'comping', a potentially profitable online hobby for the lucky.
It's about systematically sourcing and entering hundreds of the right contests. To learn the techniques, see our 40+ Comping Tips guide.
Cashback sites work by giving you a cut of the cash they earn for channelling web traffic. Yet you don't have to buy anything to earn cash via these sites – they often pay you just for clicking links on the internet.
Free money-making app Mobeye pays for small tasks such as snapping photos of objects around the house or store fronts. It pays up to £10 per 'mission', though these high-paying jobs are rare. Tasks that pay 50p-ish are more common – on the upside, they are usually super quick. (When we checked in May 2020, it was still listing many tasks that could be done at home.)
To get involved, download the app on Android or iPhone, then complete a quick test task. You can then check the map to see missions near you. Once you book a job, you have two hours to venture out and complete it. You just take the requested pictures and fill out the info.
The jobs seem to involve less effort than other apps. We've heard of tasks such as 50p to taking a photo of any brochure to 10p for taking photos of banana in your house. We've even heard of people getting paid to take photos of the sky! See a full Q&A.
Ever fancied being a secret agent? If you’ve an iPhone or Android phone, a free app called Field Agent could be your chance. When companies need a small market research task done, it's sent out via the app.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to check prices in stores, take photos of products and pen reviews. It typically pays £4.50 per task, but can be between £2 and £10. Jobs take a few minutes to half an hour.
You're competing against others for jobs and won't get lucky every time, so don't get too excited. But it's well worth signing up in case they do come up.
Here are some tips to max your earnings:
Check jobs daily, even on Sundays. The best times to check the app are before 9am and after 1pm.
‘Like’ its Facebook page. FieldAgent often posts upcoming jobs there.
Ensure your phone's GPS is switched on. Some tasks are based on geographic location. Check your phone battery's charged too.
Do tasks efficiently. You're scored on each task you complete, and 'agents' with higher scores get first dibs on jobs.
The BeMyEye app pays you to carry out quick and simple market research via your mobile. Simply download for iPhone or Android and check it regularly for upcoming jobs in your area.
The app works with big brands such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and Heineken. When we logged on, tasks included browsing shoe shops, interviewing shop managers about coffee consumption and sending photos of how razor blades are displayed in a pharmacy.
BeMyEye typically pays £1-£10 per task, depending on the difficulty. Tasks can range from a quick photo to a more involved 20-minute interview with a store manager, asking for their opinions.
In some cases you may be asked to buy products and reclaim the cost, so make sure you keep hold of any receipts. Payment can take three to four days.
Jobs are snapped up quickly, so consider turning on notifications on your phone so you get alerts as they're issued.
This is definitely one of the better-paying apps we’ve seen, as forumite Lenore13 found:
I've signed up to several micro-job sites within the last six weeks and the one I've had the best luck with is BeMyEye – I've earned £42.10.
One of the better-paying small-task apps, EasyShift gives you as much as £11 per job for snapping mouthwash displays and other small errands in high street stores. Download the app on iPhone or Android to sign up.
It will show a map with tasks near you – the green pins are available, grey are taken. To bagsy a task, just select reserve. (It's first come, first served.) You then have a certain amount of time to complete the job, eg, eight hours.
It can be a nice little earner. Tasks we saw included £8 to snap beer displays and £11 to take photos of beauty products. Most tasks take about 10 minutes. It pays automatically within two working days of a completed 'shift'.
As well as cash, the app awards points. The more points you gain, the more tasks you can reserve at a time.
EasyShift jobs are more involved than some other apps', but the pay is still good (typically £5-£6 for around 15 mins work).
Free app Shepper pays £5-£15 for quick odd jobs. It works with big brands such as Aviva and Airbnb. Tasks are as varied as spot-checking unoccupied properties, checking billboards for graffiti and checking how much space there is outside buildings for queues.
It's currently only advertising tasks you can carry out outside, while social distancing. For example, taking photos of the exterior of unoccupied properties. (See its tips on staying safe.)
Shepper says users are fully insured, and it takes precautions to ensure your safety, including reviewing every booking that it receives. It may be worth taking extra steps too, such as telling a friend or family member where you'll be and arranging to contact them after you finish the job.
The site's newish so we haven't yet had much feedback from forumites (give us yours here), but what we've seen from users elsewhere is decent.
Do note, unlike with most other earning apps, you need to invoice Shepper each month to get your earnings. It sends you a blank template to complete and email back to it. You must invoice within three months.
If you're a budding photographer (and take decent quality snaps), you can put them up for sale on 'stock photography' websites – where designers, newspapers and publishers buy pics. For most you need a proper camera, but we've also found an iPhone app that lets you sell snaps you've taken on your mobile.
This isn't a guaranteed money-spinner – some MoneySavers have reported making hundreds of pounds, others have ended up with peanuts. You'll earn a small amount each time someone buys your pics, but it can add up.
There are some restrictions, eg, when photos include people or logos - see our need-to-knows for more info.
If you own an iPhone 4 or above, download the free Stockimo app and you can upload photos taken on your handset to sell on Alamy's stock-photography site (Alamy owns the app). Stockimo's compatible with iOS 7 and above - there's no Android version currently, though see below for non-iPhone options.
Images sell for anything from £4 (for personal use) to £400 (for ads). You'll get 20% - Stockimo pays via PayPal each month you earn more than $10 (£8). A number of Twitter users have reported success with Stockimo, including Ann from Kent, who sold a photo of her cat for £15ish:
Jamie from London sold his pic to a national newspaper:
Hey Stockimo - lovely to see my National Theatre puddle photo in the Guardian today!
Select pics from your phone's photo album to upload via the app. You need to give each one a caption explaining what's going on, as well as adding 'tags' to help customers find your image. Eg, you'd tag a photo of your cat sleeping in the sun with 'cat', 'sleeping', 'sun', plus any other relevant keywords.
Your pictures will be rated (out of four) by Stockimo's team – photos are approved for sale if their average rating is above two. After that, all you have to do is wait. Stockimo will notify you if someone buys your photo.
Stockimo simply says it's looking for 'cool images'. The subject matter is up to you, though you can't upload anything illegal, offensive or containing nudity. Plus some images require 'releases' - see our need-to-knows below for more info. You also can't upload pictures that weren't taken with your phone, but you can submit photos with filters.
There's no limit to how many times a particular photo can be bought (technically Alamy's only licensing a customer to use the image, rather than 'selling' it). It says on rare occasions though a customer may pay enough to stop others from using the image.
Yes, within the app, you can opt in to Stockimo News mode, which allows you to submit interesting, newsworthy shots taken in the last 24 hours.
If accepted they'll be available to news picture editors across the globe and after 48 hours they are moved to the stock collection. Read more about Stockimo News.
There are lots of stock-photo sites out there. Here are some of the biggies:
However you opt to sell your photos, bear the following in mind:
With the exception of the Stockimo app above, most sites require you to use a good quality camera rather than a phone. Eg, Alamy's website will only accept images from DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras, or equivalent.
Stock photos can be sold for commercial (eg, marketing) or editorial (ie, journalistic) use. You'll have more opportunities to make cash if your photos are available for both, but photos containing people or property (including branding and logos) need signed releases to be sold commercially.
Photos of people can only be sold for commercial use if they've signed a 'model release' that gives you permission to use their image (children need a parent/guardian to sign). Without a release, these photos can still be sold for editorial use, as long as they were taken in a public place – eg, if you submitted a 'breaking news' shot with people in the background. If there's any doubt, always ask permission.
If you upload photos of yourself, or friends/family with consent, it's worth going for the 'rights managed' licence option – otherwise you'll have little to no control over how your images are used (eg, you could star in an ad for haemorrhoid cream). See Alamy's page on understanding stock image licensing for more on the different types of licences.
Spot an empty or derelict property in England, and you could earn a £20 Amazon or M&S voucher if you're the first person to report it to YouSpotProperty.com.
What's more, if the development company behind the website goes on to buy the property, it will give you 1% of the purchase price – potentially £1,000s for a house in the capital.
It might sound too good to be true, but there have been big successes reported in the news. One woman earned £3,500 for spotting an empty house in Peckham and another got a whopping £6,500 for reporting an empty home in Hendon.
Once you've spotted a derelict house or flat, you need to fill out a form online at YouSpotProperty.com. It will ask for the address of the property, and any photos you're able to take of it.
If you're the first person to report the property, and it meets YouSpotProperty's criteria (privately owned, not up for sale and no planning permission applied for recently, etc), you can choose a £20 Amazon or M&S voucher. It's normally issued within a month of you reporting the property.
If the company goes on to buy the property, you'll receive 1% of the purchase price. It's worth bearing in mind however, that a purchase can take time to negotiate and complete – in the past it's ranged from a few days to three years after the property was spotted.
YouSpotProperty is run by property developers looking for houses they can do up and sell on at a profit. So the site's generosity isn't purely for altruistic reasons. However, it does donate £500 to a local charity in the same area as each property it buys, on top of the 1% cut it offers property spotters.
YouSpotProperty also says it wants to help improve neighbourhoods, as empty properties can be dangerous and bring down the value of houses nearby.
It can be difficult for individuals to get mortgages on derelict properties, meaning they stay empty for years. But the company has enough money in its 'property fund' to buy the houses outright and clean them up ready for people to live in again.
YouSpotProperty was set up in 2014, and as of May 2020 it said about 5,084 vouchers have been awarded to property spotters. It told us 83 people had received the 1% bonus for a spotted property being purchased (the largest payout to date was £10,000 for an empty property in NW2, London).
Fancy getting paid to buy beer? Free app Roamler pays for tasks such as counting stock in shops, snapping menu cards in restaurants and even buying a beer to photograph how it's served.
As with Field Agent, when firms need easy market research done, it's sent out via the app. Roamler typically pays £5 per task, but it can vary between £3 and £20. Tasks usually take between five and 20 minutes.
Roamler says the number of tasks available is nearly up to pre-lockdown level and when we checked there were plenty of tasks on offer, including get paid £5 to get a free pint of Corona.
The catch is the app is invite-only in certain areas. Roamler's press office says it's pretty easy to get one if you monitor its Facebook page for hints on how (or you might get lucky if you request one).
Billed as a ‘grown-up treasure hunt’, Streetspotr is another app (for both iPhone and Android) that connects market research clients with users who carry out small tasks, such as snapping Burger King menu boards. Some MoneySavers have pocketed £15 for buying a hot drink at a muffin shop, though most tasks pay about a fiver.
Other jobs could include photographing supermarket product displays or checking restaurant menus.
Streetspotr is a German company but it pays UK users in pounds. As with most other location-based apps, the closer you are to a high street, the more jobs are likely up for grabs.
Fancy a change from the same old shop-based research tasks? Then have a gander a Task 360, an iPhone-only app from the people who brought you Field Agent above. You can download it from the App Store.
The app focuses on helping companies solve logistical problems, such as giving sat-nav firms info on new no-left-turn signs or checking billboard ads’ lights work.
It typically pays £5 to £10 for 15 minutes’ work. To bag the best jobs, check every morning before 9am, especially on Mondays.
Another free app that pays you to complete small tasks in shops, Clic and Walk is available via the App Store and Google Play. You'll get paid to check prices and promo signs.
It's one of the lower-paying apps. While it's a French company you get paid in pounds – the amount for shop-based tasks is normally 5 euros so you'll typically get around £4.
Companies are desperate to make their websites and apps better to use, so user testing is big business.
Sign up to Utest for a range of user-testing opportunities. Examples we've seen include £20/hour to test a mobile provider's app and £40 per job for testing your home internet speeds. The firm also looks for folks with a certain smart TV or even car to test software.
You don't officially have to be a techie to join, but it definitely helps to be technically-minded. This is a lot more involved than scanning receipts or taking photos, but on the upside, we've heard of people earning £100s/month. We're talking a few hours' work per project, but you're paid accordingly.
Check out its projects board to see the kind of jobs on offer. Then register for the short Utest Academy course. Depending on how well you do, you'll then be invited to take part in paid tests. See its full Q&A for more info.
The more bugs you find on tasks you're accepted for, the more likely you are to get picked again.
"Legitimate work from home job. Earn £££s!" Adverts in the back of mags pulse with promises, yet often the reality's disappointing or even dodgy. Yet one work-from-home job that MoneySavers have had more luck with is Lionbridge.
You usually need a degree to apply, but heaps of MoneySavers have been accepted. It says it usually has 150 jobs on offer at any one time, though occasionally there are no jobs advertised for the UK. It's well worth checking back though, as new jobs are posted each month.
The web firm offers several part-time posts, most aimed at helping companies improve their search engine results. Tasks can include checking search results, gathering data and testing mobile apps.
You choose your hours and don't have to travel from A to B. You must work a minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 hours per week.
Forumite Ghost_2005 says:
It's a genuine work-from-home opportunity that pays real money. There are precious few of them, so if that's what you're looking for, it's a good opportunity. In the grand scheme of employment, there are better and more fulfilling jobs. In the grand scheme of home-working opportunities, it's a decent job.
On the downside, others say it's about as exciting as a hangover on a rainy Sunday.
I can honestly say when I had the job I had never felt so bored. An hour's work felt like three hours. Be aware of what you're actually applying for - it demands concentration!
Lionbridge usually asks for a degree-level qualification, an interest in the internet and a PC with Windows. It usually has jobs available, and heaps of forumites have applied successfully.
The company offers a few different positions, and recruits for different jobs at different times. Check its jobs page to see what's on offer.
Apply on its site. If selected, you complete a quick test. Pass this, and it sends revision material to help you prepare for a longer exam.
Lionbridge asks you to sign a confidentiality agreement, so be careful not to post sensitive info on forums.
On the downside, people in the UK can only work for Lionbridge for a maximum of 11 months, because of UK employment law on temporary contracts.
Stop! Don't chuck out those old receipts – those scraps of paper could be worth hard cash. Available on iPhone and Android, the free Shoppix app gives tokens for every receipt you snap.
Once you've built up £5 worth of tokens, you can exchange them for a £5 PayPal payment or Amazon voucher. It typically gives 30 tokens per receipt, so that's just over 100 receipts to earn £5. You can collect tokens for up to 30 receipts each week.
While it's a slow-burner, it's popular with forumites and is ideal if, for example, you like to keep busy on your commute.
I use Shoppix and I've cashed out £20 in six months.
Make sure you upload receipts within seven days – you can also only upload one receipt per store per day. They must be itemised receipts from the UK, which include the shop and date. They can't be bus or train tickets.
You might be wondering if you can collect receipts discarded by other shoppers – 'wombling', in MoneySaving parlance. Sorry, the answer's no. It will only accept receipts from you or your household.
It's possible to earn masses of freebies from Clicks Research. The site doles out free products in exchange for feedback on whether they work. MoneySavers have blagged everything from anti-ageing creams to chocolate bars.
Respond at speed, as places fill up fast. Clicks Research says products are all safe. It just wants to know how to improve them. Once you've signed up, Clicks Research sends you invites via email.
Even if not selected, each time you take part in a survey it pays Clicks points (1-200 per survey). Once you've earned 2,500, you can exchange them for £25.
Internet companies such as AQA ('Any Question Answered', formerly 63336) are occasionally on the lookout for researchers. It works like this: a customer sends a text to researchers to ask the answer to a random question. The researcher – you – replies with an answer.
The beauty of this work is that you can generally choose the type of questions you answer, and the hours you work. Check for vacancies on the AQA site or on its Facebook and Twitter pages. You'll have to pass a test before you get an interview.
The site pays roughly 25p per question. Some can take just a few moments to answer, meaning that experienced researchers could rake in up to £100s – though of course, it depends how much time you're prepared to put in. Join the AQA discussion.
There's BILLIONS of pounds' worth of unclaimed money out there. Whether it's yours or an unknown inheritance from a deceased relative, it can usually be reclaimed free.
Our Reclaim Lost Assets guide shows how to quickly check if you're in line for an unexpected windfall.
Do you have unused assets worth £100s or £1,000s? Stop hoarding, and declutter for cash. Here's some inspiration:
40+ eBay tricks 'n' tools. Our 40+ eBay Selling Tricks guide offers a crash course, from cutting eBay fees by tweaking start prices and using no-charge listing weekends, to adding extra pics with special tools. Plus there are tools to create multiple listings in advance and bulk-upload them.
Sell for free on Facebook. Local Facebook selling groups are fast rivalling eBay as the place to earn cash by flogging unwanted stuff. The best bit is there are NO fees. Our Facebook Selling guide shows how to find the right local groups and get the best price, plus make sure you stay safe.
Safely sell old gold for max cash. TV ads yell "sell old gold for cash". Yet many are kicked in the crown jewels as they get a fraction of the promised price. Amid the scrap, though, are shining examples. Our Top Gold Selling Sites takes you through it.
If you're looking to rake in a little more, our 60+ Tricks To Boost Your Income guide can add to the coffers. Here's a taster:
Become a mystery shopper. High street retailers are desperate to check their customer service is up to scratch, so mystery shopping agencies pay you to visit specific shops or restaurants to rate quality.
Send pics to mags. For example, Take A Break magazine pays £75 for your photos.
The Rent It Out For Cash guide lists easy ways to earn extra from your property and possessions. Here's a taster:
Rent your driveway for up to £200/mth. Live near a city centre, airport, train station or football ground? It's possible to earn up to £200/mth or more renting out your drive. See Rent Your Parking Space for a full how-to and the top free-to-list online marketplaces.
Rent out your home. Airbnb and other sites could help make you TENS of thousands of pounds from letting your home or spare room temporarily to holidaymakers – and some new tax breaks can really boost the gain. See Rent Out Your Home for a crash course in safely renting out your spare room or entire property for short periods.
Rent your spare room. The 'rent a room' scheme means you can take in a lodger to live in a furnished room in your home. It has a special exemption meaning you won't have to pay tax on the first £7,500 each year. See 20+ Airbnb Renting tips.
While the average person earns just over £100 a day, taking a day to sort your finances leaves many a grand a year better off.
Always think in terms of annual savings – £15 a month doesn’t sound much but it’s £180 a year. Here are some tips to get you going:
Can you cut your mortgage cost? If you’ve decent equity in your house and aren’t locked into a deal, speak to a mortgage broker. See the MSE Remortgage Guide.
Save £100s with a water meter. If your home has more or the same number of bedrooms as people, check our Water Meter guide. Helen Bevington tweeted:"Thanks to MSE, we've water-metered. Monthly DD down from £80 to £25." That's £660/year less.
Those are just the start. For a detailed checklist of over 30 quick ways to cut bills, see the Money Makeover guide.
Always wanted to have a crack at the old writing game? Now's your chance. Textbroker pays for content for adverts, websites and newsletters. The company acts as a middleman between clients and writers, taking a cut from each piece sold.
Typical payments are £5 to £30 per article, and forumites have written about everything from sport and wildlife to finance and casinos. Some MoneySavers have suggested that article approvals can be patchy and it's often slow to accept new writers – a couple of things to watch out for.
We're not talking Stephenie Meyer's Twilight sums. But some forumites, such as Sinkorswim, are turning over a grand a year:
I've been with Textbroker for nine months, and have made over £1,000. It's a godsend, as I had to give up my part-time job due to a back problem. I got another job, but am reluctant to stop writing, as I really enjoy it.
Forumite Farmers-wife says:
I have recently started with Textbroker as a writer. Six articles down and I'm hooked. As a stay-at-home mum and farmer's wife it's lovely to be doing something for myself. Getting praise for writing is doing wonders for my confidence.
You pen a short test piece. Textbroker assesses it, grading you from one to five stars.
You don't need to be James Joyce, but you do need to construct sentences properly and use correct grammar. Fluency in other languages is a bonus – one MoneySaver writes in German.
Here are some tips to boost your Textbroker earnings:
Ensure your initial test is up to scratch. If your writing's graded three stars or under, there are fewer assignments on offer, and you earn less per piece. The only way to boost your score is for happy clients to rate you well, which takes time.
Check the site several times a day. Once accepted, you log on to check for assignments. Jobs gets snapped up quickly.
Always proofread carefully. The editors are sticklers for correct use of capitals and commas.
Fill out your online profile. Even just interests and hobbies. Sometimes clients approach writers directly, profiles help them find people with specialist knowledge.
If you're a talented writer, consider pitching your work to papers and magazines too. The Writers' & Artists' Yearbook has a list of contacts, and you'll find most online too.
Keep your pitch email brief, including a few lines summing up the feature idea, plus a few short bullet points on what you'll cover. If you can peg your idea on something currently in the news, even better.
As well as paying for written content, Clickworker offers other jobs, including data entry, web research, product reviews and data tagging.
MoneySavers report there's heaps of work on offer. They've penned Groupon adverts, travel destination descriptions, flight adverts and fashion articles, to name a few.
You must complete a test before you can work, and most jobs require a score of at least 90%. You can earn between £2 for shorter jobs and £5 for longer ones.
Log on often. So you're first to grab work when available.
Read instructions carefully. Be sure to include any keywords you're asked for. Don't worry if your piece isn't a thing of majesty – it's often more about getting in those all-important search words.
Don't settle for low scores. All work is scored. It's worth noting a few MoneySavers have had unfairly low marks adjusted after emailing to complain.
We can't promise you'll earn £100,000 like the dad who uploaded “Charlie bit my finger – again!”, the clip of two cheeky young brothers that's racked up 825 million views. Yet even if your YouTube videos don't become global phenomena, it's possible to earn a little extra each month through the video-sharing site.
Bear in mind that, if you're starting from scratch, it'll be at least 12 months before you see any money, and there's no guarantee you'll earn anything at all, so it isn't quick or certain cash by any means. That said, for some inspiration before we get started, here's forumite sophie.christie's story:
About two years ago I started a YouTube account. One of my videos started to do quite well and the site asked me to become a partner.
I started to receive a very low income from this. However, over the last year I've been posting new videos on birthday party tips. I now have 80, and a daily income of more than £20. It's rising by about 10% each month.
YouTube's Partner Programme lets users take a cut of the cash from the adverts that run alongside their videos. You must apply to become a partner, and to be eligible you need to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers to your channel and your videos need to have been watched for 4,000 hours minimum in the last 12 months. For more on eligibility, see the YouTube Help site.
Earnings vary dramatically, depending on how many views you manage to rack up and how much revenue the ads generate.
Make content you'd like to watch. Giggling toddlers, funny animals and crazy dancing are often winners. Start with your passions and hobbies – could you film hula hoop tutorials, hairdo how-tos or video game reviews?
You must own the content (or have permission to use it). This means all audio and video content featured. So if your cat dances to a song you don't have permission to use, you won't get paid. See YouTube's copyright guidance.
Write a memorable title. This helps people search for your content quickly. For example, "Evolution of Dance" beats "Dance sequence with dances from lots of different eras".
Use popular keywords. Include top search terms in your title. Check out what's Trending on YouTube to see what's hot.
Promote on social networks. To boost your chances of going viral, share links to your content Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on.
Post on similar topics each time. If you specialise in maths explanations or nail art tutorials, people will look at your other videos if they like that they've seen.
Don't 'like' your own videos. This will get your account cancelled. Same goes for clicking ads on your videos to try to boost your earnings.
Hook viewers from the start. Most users decide whether they are going to keep watching a video in the first few seconds. Use those to make it clear what the clip's about but also spark their curiosity.
Like other users' clips. Subscribe to channels similar to your own and like and comment on their videos. They may do the same back, helping to build your user base and engagement.
Here's how to start earning, step-by-step:
Build your audience.
To be able to join the partnership scheme, you need an audience, and to get an audience you need to consistently post videos that people want to watch. So set up a YouTube account, then get filming and uploading.
Become a partner.
Once you've been frequently posting videos for some time and begun to build an audience, go to 'Settings' in your YouTube account, then 'Account' and then 'Channel status and features'.
You should see a section entitled 'Monetisation' which will tell you if you're eligible to become a partner and, if so, have an 'Enable' button.
Press the button and you will be shown how many subscribers and watch hours your channel has – to be eligible if it needs to have more than 1,000 subscribers and have had at least 4,000 'public watch hours' in the last 12 months. If it's not yet eligible you can ask to be notified when it is.
For full info on eligibility requirements, the YouTube Help site.
Sign up to Google AdSense.
YouTube says there's no formula to work out how much you'll get, but thousands of people earn cash through it. While it shares the majority of ad revenue with partners, it said it was unable to tell us the exact percentage.
If you've a blog or website, set up a free account with Amazon Associates, a scheme where you earn Amazon vouchers for linking to the site.
Just follow the steps to add links and banners to your website. When someone clicks on Amazon from your site and makes a transaction, it's recorded and you're paid 1-12% commission, which you get in the form of cash or an Amazon discount.
What you earn depends on how much you sell and what category it's in – for example, you get 1% commission from TVs and smartphones and 10-12% from watches and jewellery. (See a full list of payments.)
Though don't just fill your site to the brim with Amazon links. What works best is ensuring you've quality editorial content, then adding the links after.
Products bought by you personally won't count towards your commission, nor will anything ordered for delivery to your home address or paid for on your credit card.
EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey started as a self-published e-book – now's your chance to emulate her success. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing tool lets you upload your own e-books instantly, for free. Every time the book sells, Amazon gives you up to 70% of the list price (excludes VAT).
While not a guaranteed money-spinner, e-books don't have to be Booker Prize contenders. If you're a specialist in a niche subject, from worm composting to roller-coaster riding, you could pocket a little extra each month.
If you need inspiration, why not try the NaNoWriMo campaign to write a novel in a month, which runs every November.
Amazon pays two percentages for royalties: 35% for books with a minimum list price of 99p, and 70% for books priced £1.99 to £9.99. Many folk choose to price at less, because selling more books makes up for the smaller percentage. See full details on Amazon royalty options.
Here's how to publish your own Kindle (hopefully) bestseller:
1. Write your book in Word, putting page breaks between each chapter and avoiding any bullet points.
2. Run it through Amazon's Kindle e-book Previewer to check it looks alright as a Kindle e-book.
3. Upload your book to Amazon. It should be online in 24 hours.
For a more detailed guide, Amazon has a host of tutorials and instructions.
You'll see paid-for editing services on the web. While you're starting out, it's probably best just to get a literate friend to proofread it instead, to ensure you don't end up out of pocket.
Review site Slicethepie pays you for each song, fashion item, accessory or advert you rate. As you build up a reputation, you can earn more. Read the site's tutorials before you start.
Typically, a member willing to put in a couple of hours each night could expect to earn around £30/month, though forumites report this can vary. The amount you earn from each review differs depends on your 'Star Rating' – an overall a measure of the quality of your reviews – and the quality of that particular review.
You can also earn more by encouraging friends to sign up – you'll receive a bonus of 10% of their earnings so, if they earn $0.20 for a review, you'll get $0.02.
Nostalgic for the days of Mad Men-era typing pools? Transcription company Take Note pays typists around £8/hour to type up audio.
You need Microsoft Word, at least a C in GCSE English and must be able bash out at least 65 words per minute. It pays per minute of audio, and not minute of your time, so it's only worth it for super-fast typists (take a speed test to see how you measure up).
To apply, you take tests in typing speed, formatting and English language. You must sign up for at least two shifts per week, roughly six hours each (evenings and weekends are available).
I'm one of their freelance transcribers and so far so good – payment's been on time every month and it works out at £7-£9 an hour.
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