A guide to making some extra money: From home and away

Whether you’re studying, travelling or in full-time work, sometimes you need to make cash quick. There are plenty of ways advertised all over the internet but I am just going to write about the ways I have personally tried, tested and loved:


Upwork is free to join and is an American site that allows freelancers to find online work. The type of work ranges from data entry to book reviews to creative blog entries and ghost writing. The jobs that require more experience pay the highest but there are plenty of $10 jobs that simple require you to write a quick review. I have found that some companies actively seek out British writers which can be helpful. One job I completed recently offered $40 for every 1000 short phrases I recorded so this was a good way to make some travel money whilst I was abroad.

It can be difficult at first to find jobs when you have no references but it is easy to start small and work your way up. There are also writing tests you can do to boost your profile.

Pros: It is a way to get money any time you need and from anywhere. You can apply for up to 30 jobs a time and there are plenty of small scale jobs hiring multiple freelancers so if you are applying, you will get something.

Cons: Upwork do take a small fee but you can factor this into your asking price. There is not a guarantee you will get jobs so you can’t really rely on Upwork for steady income but in terms of making a quick couple of quid, I recommend it.


Mystery Shopping:

Mystery shopping is something anybody can do regardless of experience. It’s easy and simple. You sign up and then apply for jobs and it is first come first serve, plus the payment goes up when they desperately need a job completed.

There are plenty of different companies online but the two I would recommend from experience are Marketforce and Performanceforpeople.

Market Force: http://www.marketforce.com/en-gb/

Pros: Quick and easy to sign up and find jobs in your area. They offer lots of restaurant/café jobs so you can get a free meal at places like Café Rouge and Pizza Express – it’s a good way to fund date night. All you have to do is read the instructions then order something off a specific menu and take note of certain things like cleanliness and the waiter’s name. Filling in the questionnaire after and scanning the receipt takes a maximum of half an hour and you will be paid for this. All your expenses will be refunded and you will be rated on your questionnaire – the more details you give, the more chance you will have of getting future jobs. There are also sometimes jobs like spending £5 in Superdrug which is a good way to get free essentials and then be paid for your time.

Cons: It doesn’t pay exceptionally well, often £5 although sometimes you can be paid a lot more if time is running out and not enough people have applied.

Performanceinpeople: http://www.performanceinpeople.co.uk/

Pros: Pays a lot better than Marketforce and can potentially be a way of making steady income. It can also be quite fun as an element of acting is involved given that you have to pretend you are considering buying high end items like cars or TVs.

Cons: The jobs aren’t as fun and require more work. Some of the jobs are for things like Specsavers or phone companies.


E-books: https://kdp.amazon.com/

Getting published has never been so easy. With Amazon you can publish almost anything you have written and put it up for sale. Amazon take a small fee but otherwise most of the royalties go straight to your bank account.

Self-help and advice books are big sellers with millions of pounds being earned each year. Why not recycle something you have already written? After college I collected together my practice essays and put them into a book on how to pass the AQA Psychology A level exam. I only made around £60 over the year but I still occasionally get a couple of pounds here and there for something I wrote years ago for my exam that I would have just thrown away.

Pros: Anyone can do it and it’s passive income! Even if you don’t make much, you can continue making money months or even years down the line from work you forgot you even wrote.

Cons: There are thousands of e-books on Amazon so it can be difficult to get yours recognised but you can always advertise. I posted links to my e-book on forums and titled it very clearly to make it easy to find.


Ebay and Car boot sales:

I’m a big fan of Ebay although I appreciate that it can take time and effort to upload and post the items.  I had and still have so many clothes I don’t wear anymore. Last year I put the branded ones on Ebay and made about £70. Some of this was clothes I had bought second hand for £1.50 but sold for more – sometimes up to £20. I took the rest to a car boot sale and made another £40 the gave the rest to charity and finally managed to get rid of all the junk sitting under my bed.

Pros: You can do it any time you want and you only pay if you sell. It’s a great way to get rid of stuff you don’t need any more and get something back in return.

Cons: With Ebay you can’t always predict what will sell and how much you will get, although in general if you take good photos and put the brand in the description you will get bids. It helps to use photos from websites to show what the item looks like on a model.

Gumtree and Craigslist:

Sites like these are a great way to find odd jobs like cleaning or labor. It’s also a good way to find sub-lets. I have used Gumtree but not Craigslist although I know people that have and have found it an easy way to find temporary jobs in the area.

Pros: Hundreds of different jobs to choose from and you don’t need to pay tax.

Cons: There is a risk factor if you are working for strangers and Craigslist especially is known for attracting some strange people. If you avoid the “personal” section you should be okay though!


Other tips:

Rideshares: Blabla Car or Rideshare Facebook groups as a way of saving gas money (and meeting people!)

Tutorhunt: Great for finding teaching jobs. The students can search for teachers in their area and then buy your contact details after messaging.

Showaround.com: Get paid to show travelers your city! This is an especially fun one as you get to give people your own personal tour and get paid for it.

Saros Research: There are many sites to find focus groups but this is the only one I have used and it pays quite well.  It’s usually game testing but you can find a range of jobs.

Psychology Experiments: If you search for paid Psychology experiments lots will come up. If you are a student or live nearby your university will probably have a research department and will be looking for people to participate for a reasonable price.

Busking: If you have musical talent or any creative talent for that matter then perform! I’ve made some serious money busking abroad and once funded an entire summer from playing guitar on the street.

Get a trade: If you’re travelling long term then get a trade. Make and sell jewelry, braid hair, learn Indian head massage. If you have a skill then there’s always a way to earn cash if you need it.


Busking in the streets of Montreal


I will be updating this post over time as I try more money-making schemes. Hope this has helped!


2 thoughts on “A guide to making some extra money: From home and away

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s