Written by Pax Financial Planning based in Sandyford, Dublin.
We all wish we had more money coming in monthly. By earning even a little extra, you can stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay off your debts, and start focusing on your bigger financial goals. But short of quitting your job and writing the next Harry Potter series – where do you start?
There is a range of ways to supplement your current income, most of which you can do from home. The first step is to identify what skills or assets you have and the time you can commit. From there, the only limit is your imagination. Below are some ideas to get you started.
Do you spend your spare time playing the piano, or gardening, or making intricate wooden furniture? Whatever your hobby, it is possible to monetize it. You can do this by teaching it to others, or by selling your home-made crafts or goods at local markets or online. The big plus here is that you will be doing what you lovey.
Etsy is a good place to start for online sales.
If you have particular skills, consider devoting some of your evenings or weekends to freelancing. Do you enjoy taking photographs? Or are you particularly good at writing, editing or drawing? You might even be willing to spend some hours each week working as a virtual personal assistant or doing data entry. Why not get paid for what you do?
As with all side gigs, starting your own freelancing business takes time and a lot of energy, but the income rewards can make it hugely worthwhile. And with the extra time you spend honing your craft, learning, and building connections in your industry through your part time work – who knows? You might even be able to turn your freelance side gig into your main income stream.
Have a look at Upwork or PeopleperHour.
3. Become a secret shopper
Mystery shoppers pose as legitimate shoppers in order to evaluate local brands on their customer experience. Big companies use mystery shoppers to check that standards are being met and to provide feedback on how their staff are performing. Shoppers are usually reimbursed for any money they spend in the store, within limits, and are sometimes allowed to keep the goods they buy. This kind of gig probably won’t pay the bills, but it is worth looking into if you are shopping at a certain store anyway.
Check the Mystery Shopping Providers Association website to confirm whether a company is legitimate.
4. Market Research
All companies need to research their products or proposed launches to learn what works and what doesn’t. So there are ample opportunities to complete surveys and get paid. This can be online or through face-to-face questionnaires. Some companies will also pay you to test products, or to try out their apps.
You’re not going to make your fortune taking surveys, but they can add up. The key with making money this way is volume: try to do as many as possible, and sign up to lots of sites. Bemyeye is one of the sites you can try.
5. Work as a movie extra
All films and TV series need extras. Extras are the people in the background: walking down the street, sweeping the floor or chatting to each other in the coffee shop. The work can be dull, and the hours very long. But the good news is that you don’t have to have any specific skills to do this kind of work, as you don’t need to perform, or deliver lines.
The best way to get into extra work is to sign up to a casting agency, such as Backstage Casting or Extras Ireland.
6. Airbnb or Rent out a room
Your home is one of your biggest assets, did you know that you can make it work for you to earn some extra income!
Registering with Airbnb is free and easy plus you’re in control of availability, pricing and check in times. You’re also covered in the event of any accident or damage to give you peace of mind.
Or if you have a spare room in your home, the rent-a-room scheme is one of the few ways of earning income without paying tax
It’s almost the only way left of earning a money that you don’t have to pay tax on, and it could see you increase your income by up to €14,000 a year. Now colleges across the country are calling on local homeowners to avail of the scheme and let out a room to a student to ease the housing shortage.
7. Become a pet sitter or dog walker
Do you love animals? Why not spend some time caring for them – and getting paid for it. Many pet owners are more than willing to pay to have someone stay in their homes to look after their pets while they are away. Some websites offer arrangements where you have the pets stay at your home.
By committing just a few hours a week to a side gig, you can ensure you have the disposable income to achieve your goals. Whatever you can do, whatever hours you can commit – there’s a way to make money from it. Let me know if I can help. No obligation, just simple explanations.