If there’s one good thing that came out of the economic downturn after 2008 it’s that now, more Brits than ever before are making sure that they stay afloat financially with what the Americans would call a “side hustle.” One in four are making extra money by doing extra work, sharing their skills or hiring out their stuff to other people. It’s all helping to clear their debts or just give them more spending money. Maybe that’s something you could do too? Here are a few ideas for ways you could join them.
Rent a room out
The taxman will let you earn £4250 a year tax-free if you rent a spare room out to someone. Take a look at a website like www.moveflat.com. It lists house shares, and it can give you a realistic impression of what prices are like in your area. You may also pick up a few tips about how to promote your room based on what others do.
Do bear in mind though that landlords have certain obligations under the law, and you can read about these at www.shelter.org.uk. Before you embark this as a side career you also need to make sure your mortgage lender and home insurer allows it.
Extras working in film and television can pocket around £150 per day. Not a bad rate if you can stand all the waiting around between takes, which can go on for hours before you are needed. Not everyone can cope with the waiting, but if you can then it can be a good way to earn an income.
If that sounds good, then check out www.equity.org.uk or www.skillset.co.uk where you can start your hunt for a trustworthy extras agency and pick up more information.
Another option is to invite the movies to come to you! You can register your house as a TV and film location via websites like www.locations-uk.com or www.mylocations.co.uk. You could make thousands if your place is chosen for a production.
Be a tutor
Tutoring isn’t the same as teaching, so you won’t need a PGCE to set up shop selling your skills for £25 an hour (or whatever you think you can get!) You could teach music, languages, art, in fact, pretty much anything in your spare time in what is an unregulated industry.
You could sign up with an agency or just try local ads in shop windows to get started. But an agency is probably going to give you more credibility. Www.fleet-tutors.co.uk is one example of an agency that unites students with tutors, but they do ask for a degree in the subject that you want to teach.
If you can get on board with an agency, at least for a short time then you might find it easier to pick up clients and establish a good reputation.
Have a clear out
Selling the stuff that you don’t use anymore is a great idea because it generates instant cash and helps to de-clutter your house. And it’s easier than ever to research the values of all those old books, DVDs, children’s toys etc. You may even find that in amongst all the bric-a-brac you’ve got something that’s quite valuable!
Do remember that if you buy things with the thought of selling them then those earnings will be taxed as income.
Drives and garages
Some Brits are using their drives and garages to generate extra income. If your house is near to a sports venue or music venue, then you may be able to make extra money by renting out your drive or garage. Local newspapers and some websites will let you advertise, and don’t forget to sell any of the benefits you’re offering like extra security (and don’t forget to include it as income on your next tax return.) Garage renters typically charge £50 a day, but it’s going to vary according to what area you live in. Check small ads for typical local prices, and don’t forget to check on what your renter is using the space for. You don’t want to be accused of allowing anything dodgy to go on in your property!
People really do love their pets, which is why they’re willing to part with £50 a day to have others take care of them, feed, walk, and chat to them while they’re away.
If you’re going to be staying in-house, then make sure that you put the rules of your stay in writing so that there aren’t any disputes later. You need to know all the little details, like how often you can leave the house, who’s allowed to visit, the expectations for feeding and cleaning, who gets the food in, what happens if there is a veterinary emergency, and so on. Once everything is agreed and signed then you’ll both know where you stand.
You can take the same approach with babysitting too. If you’re clear about expected duties, and things like whether you get taxi money for leaving late, then your clients and you will be on the same page.
You don’t have to be a supermodel to get signed up by an agency. You can be perfectly ordinary looking, or even a bit unusual and still get work. Agency Ugly specialises in all kinds of ordinary looks, so it’s worth sending them a mugshot to see whether you might be what they’re looking for.
Models can make £100 per hour on a professional shoot but getting started involves costs like getting your own portfolio snaps taken first.
If you’re not too shy, consider stripping off for art students as a life model. It can earn you from £10 to £25 a session, but you’ll have to stay very still.
Shoot the kids
Every child is totally gorgeous according to their parents, and if total strangers tend to agree then it might be worth considering signing up the little ones as child models.
Children can earn hundreds a day, which you can put towards school fees or savings in their name. But don’t lose out by paying any kind of fees to an agency. If they ask you for annual fees, subscription fees or anything of that nature then be wary. An agency is there to represent, not to exploit.
A site like www.albamodel.info will show you how to get started.
Avon (not the river)
Avon has 170,000 sales reps and it pays them 20 percent commission for every £100 of goods they sell, or 25 per cent for more than £140.
They sell straight from the brochure, so they haven’t had to buy stock, and customers only pay when the order arrives, so everybody wins. Reps only need to pay an initial £15 joining fee, making it one of the cheapest businesses out there to start up.
Do a little research
Research firms need information and are willing to pay for it. Research Now offers 50p if you complete a text poll, and up to £5 for filling in a survey. All your activity is recorded, and you start to receive payouts once the balance hits £10. Take a look at www.Valuedopinions.co.uk to learn more.
And global public opinion and data company Yougov.com pays £1 when you sign up with them and pays you ongoing fees for your opinions. When you’ve earned £50 it will send you an old-fashioned check by snail mail, which has to leave you wondering whether they’ve received any strong opinions about that?