15 tips to save and make money in your spare time
Stretching the Pennies!
With the UK poised on the cusp of a triple dip recession, a recent report by First Direct has revealed that even those of us in full or part-time employment, and with a relatively stable income, are still worried about our future prospects. 52% of those interviewed felt that they were not saving enough, while 33% were concerned that they couldn’t reduce their debts as quickly as they would like. Add to the mix that the nation’s weekly shopping basket of the 38 most widely purchased items has risen 14%, meaning that the price of feeding the average family will now cost up to £720 more per year, and you really can’t blame us for feeling a bit dispirited!
So what can we do to make a few extra pounds to supplement the family income and help with those little extras on the Christmas list? Are there any changes we can make within the household to cut down on outgoings and save some of our hard earned cash? Read on for 15 handy tips which may help you through the festive season and beyond!
From Tat to Cash!
One of the quickest and painless ways to make a little extra cash is to sell your unwanted items; remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
1. If you are updating your smartphone, trade in your old model to a company like Envirophone who will give you cash back as well as making a donation to charity. Expect to receive up to £40 for certain models from Motorola or around £12 for something from the Nokia range.
2. Now that we all have our CDs and DVDs transferred to download, what about clearing some space and selling your back catalogue of Kylie, Take That and the Rocky collection? Music Magpie will pay upwards of 30p for each CD and DVD and offer free collection. Your earnings can be paid by cheque or directly into your bank account.
3. For the avid reader, Green Metropolis offer an online site where you can sell all of your unwanted books to other bookworms. Prices paid for a paperback are £3.75 (to include P&P) and larger books can be sold for higher prices.
Using Your Talents
4. How about getting paid to be your very own Simon Cowell? Music review website, Slice The Pie will pay listeners 5p for each piece of music they listen to and review. As you become more experienced and your opinion more valued, this could rise to 25p. It may only earn you an average of £30 per month but that’s not too bad for listening to music for 10 minutes while you have your elevenses, is it?
5. Budding Jamies and Nigellas could think of starting their own pop up supper club. If you love cooking and enjoy meeting new people, why not consider turning your kitchen or dining room into a bistro once a week? Advertising could be done by word of mouth around your family and friends or school-gate mums, or you could start your own cookery blog and put the word out through that. Just make sure that you charge enough to cover your expenses.
6. How many times have you read the letters page of a magazine and thought, ‘I could do better than that’? Why not have a go! Online publishing website Featureworld can give you useful tips and suggest which publications will be best suited to your work. You could expect to earn up to £50 for a star letter or £150 for a story or anecdote.
Make Money from What You Have
7. If you live in a town or city where parking is at a premium, perhaps you could rent out your driveway or parking spot outside of your house when it’s not in use. Parklet will allow you to register online, with a photo of your vacant space and details of when it is available. Contracts can pay as much as £200 per month from drivers in the major cities.
8. How about doing some advertising on the school run or on the way to the supermarket? Get Paid To Drive will ‘pimp your ride’ with advertising details for a particular product or service while paying you £200 – £800 monthly for the privilege! Just make sure that you are not easily embarrassed as you could find yourself driving around with literally anything on your car!
Make Do and Mend!
9. Save some money on your grocery bills by starting a shopping club with family, friends and neighbours. By purchasing non-perishables such as rice, pasta, flour and cooking ingredients in bulk, you can shop at discount warehouses and save yourselves some money.
10. Whether you have a garden, patio or window box, it is still possible to grow some of your own vegetables and herbs. Not only will it save you some money, but they will taste better and save on your gym membership doing all that digging instead!
11. It may seem a little like wartime rationing, but give some thought to portion control when you cook. How often do you find yourself throwing food away at the end of a meal? Most of us eat more than we should and by cutting down a little you can save on ingredients and on the energy it takes to cook them.
12. We’ve all heard it before, but by turning down your thermostat by 1 degree you can make savings of £30 annually. Also try turning out the old ‘sausage dog’ draught excluder your great auntie Val made you for Christmas last year – this way you can add a little retro to your lounge and cut your heating bill! We all waste a lot of heat through ill-fitting doors and windows and remember, if it’s good enough for Kirstie Allsopp it’s good enough for you!
13. Place a layer of aluminium foil between your radiators and the wall. It will heat the room more quickly and save on electricity.
14. Remember to look after what you have; keep kettles regularly descaled, fridges and freezers defrosted and your property maintained. A little money and time spent on upkeep can save you major bills in the future.
15. Life is too short! Don’t waste your precious time on worrying about things you can’t alter. Go for a walk in the park with the kids to feed the ducks, phone up your mum (off-peak of course!) and tell her you love her, give yourself and your partner an indulgent early night; all things which cost nothing but will make your life a whole lot better.