Thursday 30 July 2009

Telegraph: 10 ways to earn some extra cash

The recession is hitting the pockets of Britons and it is thought that millions of people have been forced to take on a second job simply to make ends meet. Getting some part-time work is one way to make some extra cash, but there are other ways, too. Here are 10 to start with.

1. Answer text questions

If you are an anorak for trivia, why not get paid for sharing your wealth of knowledge? There are several mobile phone text answering services that need more researchers to answer the thousands of questions they receive per day. The most popular ones are Texperts ( and AQA ( It is flexible work and you just have to be a bit knowledgeable and quick at searching the internet. You can earn about £10 an hour on average. You need to be fluent in English, with excellent writing skills, but you can work from wherever you want, and you get paid for each question you answer.

2. Become a simulated patient

Medical schools across the country run communication skills workshops for their trainee doctors and require people to act as patients. A simulated patient is a person who plays the part of a real patient allowing medical students to learn by developing their communication skills and diagnostic abilities. For example, Bute Medical School at the University of St Andrews pays £6.97 per hour and sessions last between one and four hours.

3. Rent out your driveway

Rent your driveway, garage or secure parking space and earn £50-£300 per month by advertising on How much you can charge depends on factors such as location, proximity to train/tube stations, or the availability of parking in your area. For example, if there is a nearby car park or pay-and-display bay, you may want your price to be more competitive than the cost of either of these. It's also worth doing a quick search to see what others are charging.

Keep in mind that these types of websites may charge a commission for their service. For example, a similar website, charges an ongoing 15pc of the total amount of money received for successful rentals. However, is free to join.

4. Get a lodger

Taking in a lodger is an easy way to bring in extra income. Advertise your extra room on house and flat-share website Spare Room ( Listings are free, the only charge is if you want to highlight your listing and run it simultaneously on other property websites such as and Globrix ( Prices start at £7 for a seven-day listing.

Keep in mind that you can earn up to £4,250 in any tax year and be exempt from income tax. If you earn more than £4,250 in a year, you can either pay tax on your whole profit, minus any expenses and capital allowances, or your profit minus £4,250. If you choose this option, however, you won't be able to deduct any expenses or capital allowances. You can get your tax reliefs and allowances by filling in your Self Assessment tax return.

5. Become a mystery shopper

Go undercover and become a mystery shopper and earn £10-£15 per job. This job requires you to judge customer service in shops, restaurants, hotels, banks, even on public transport and you might do this through store visits, telephone calls or even shopping online.

The payment for each job will vary depending on the amount of time the job will take and its complexity. Sign up with market research companies such as GFK NOP (, TNS Global ( or Consumer Intelligence ( to start making money while you shop.

6. Sell your books on Amazon

If you are a bit of a bookworm, you could have hundreds of pounds just sitting on your shelves. Sign up with to sell your old novels, textbooks or DVDs and watch the sales roll in. Unlike eBay, Amazon sells at fixed prices and listings can last for months or years.

Just sign up for a seller's account and search for your books by title, ISBN or UPC and choose a price. Postage is broken down by item category and is automatically added to your listing, so you needn't bother with a set of scales.

You will be notified by email when an item sells and just pop it in the post to complete the sale. Avoid Post Office queues and buy your postage online at Just print the label and glue it to the package and you are done. It really couldn't be easier.

7. Get paid to party

The home-shopping party is back and now there are more brands. If setting your own hours and selling to customers of your own choice appeals, this could be the type of job for you. Choose from The Body Shop at Home (, The Pampered Chef ( or Neal's Yard Remedies at Home ( and you get to set your own income level and are able to cash in on some great discounts on products.

For the Body shop at Home, you make 25pc profit on all your sales – so if you sell 10 bottles of shower gel at £5.85 each, you would make a £14.65 profit.

8. Become a tutor

If you are fluent in another language, good with maths or have mastered an instrument, get paid for teaching in spare time. Families will pay up to £25 an hour for tutors to coach children through key exams. To find local jobs, contact First Tutors (, UK Tutors ( or Tutor Hunt (

9. Host a foreign student

If you have spare room, you could earn thousands each year by taking in an exchange student. You can host students for the academic year or a few weeks. For a list of schools in your area, visit the International Association of Language Centres ( Students who stay in Brighton in Homestay (with a host), for instance, pay £109 a week.

10. Work as a film extra

Being a film extra can be lucrative, with rates typically ranging from £80 to £100 a day. You can earn more if you provide your costume, or do overtime. Universal Extras specialises in finding film work for students, but also finds work for non-students. For more information, visit the website (

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