money firing out of laptop onto cheerful man

50 ways to make money

  • The all-inclusive guide to boosting your finances
  • How to make money without leaving your home  
  • Go green with our environmentally-friendly suggestions
  • Learn how to make your money work harder

Few people would turn up their nose at an opportunity to make some extra money.

There are all sorts of opportunities to do just that if you're willing to put in a little bit of effort. 

Our interactive guide contains 50 money-making ideas, including clever ways to make cash online, by using your home or by using the money you already have. 

If that's not enough, we've also suggested 50 ways to save money.  

How to make money - 50 ideas

1-10: How to make your money work harder

One of the best ways to make some extra money on top of what you earn is simply to make the money you have work harder.

Here are 10 tips to ensure your money is working as hard as possible.

 

1. Boost your savings rate

Interest rates on savings accounts are generally pitiful across the board at the moment, but there is still a big difference between the top-paying accounts and the worst accounts on the market.

In May 2014, a Which? investigation revealed that four out of 10 savings accounts paid less than 0.5% interest, and that 41% of these paid a pitiful 0.1% or less.

Move your money into a Best Rate savings account to maximise the amount of interest generated.

Go further: Savings rates booster - find out how much extra interest you could make by switching accounts

2. Switch bank account

There are plenty of current accounts that pay respectable levels of interest on balances that are in credit. However, the majority of standard accounts don't offer any interest to customers whatsoever.

The introduction of the Current Account Switching Service has made it easier than ever to change bank accounts. And with some current accounts offering better interest rates than anything the savings account market has to offer, there has arguably never been a better time to switch.

Go further: Best bank accounts if you're always in credit - our tables show which account is best for you

3. Use your tax-free savings limit

In July 2014, the overall annual limit for tax-free Isas increased to £15,000. This limit can be made up of cash, stocks and shares, or a mixture of both.

You can store your funds in an instant-access Isa or earn better rates by locking your funds away for a fixed period. It's definitely worth exploring the best Isa deals on offer to ensure you aren't needlessly handing over your savings to the taxman.

Go further: Best rate cash Isas - our tables highlight the best tax-free savings deals

4. Spend on cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards reward customers every time they make a purchase.

Cardholders receive a small percentage of their spend paid back onto their card as credit, potentially earning them hundreds of pounds a year.

It's important not to spend more than you can afford to pay back at the end of the month though, as the interest charges are likely to outweigh any rewards.

Go further: Best cash back credit cards - all available cards compared

5. Try peer-to-peer lending

Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new way to invest, and is gaining popularity in the UK thanks to the higher interest rates offered by many peer-to-peer websites.

These websites directly match up savers with borrowers, and can offer more favourable rates than traditional banks because of lower overheads.

However, there is a bigger risk of losing some of your investment through a borrower defaulting on their loan. What's more, peer-to-peer websites aren't currently covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning your funds aren't protected if the website goes bust.

Go further: Peer-to-peer lending explained - we analyse the pros and cons

6. Expand your investment portfolio

If you're willing to learn the basics of investing in equities you could earn much higher returns from their savings than if you store your cash in the bank.

However, there is always an element of risk involved when putting your money into stocks and shares. Even the most educated investors will sometimes lose money. It's often recommended to spread your funds across a wide range of investments for this reason.

Go further: How to invest - this guide explains the basics of investing

7. Use a good fund supermarket

A fund supermarket allows investors to buy and hold a range of funds from different companies together in one portfolio.

They often provide extensive research and information on each fund, so can reduce the risk traditionally associated with investing, and help customers achieve market-beating returns.

Which? has rated 14 fund supermarket providers to test which have the most satisfied customers, as well as how each of them scores for six different aspects of their services.

Go further: Fund supermarkets reviewed - find out the highest-rated fund supermarkets

8. Try your luck with Premium Bonds

Premium Bonds don't pay any interest, but each bond is entered into a monthly prize draw in which holders can win up to £1m. From August 2014, the number of £1m jackpots doubles from one to two.

There's no guarantee that your returns will be as high as those offered by traditional savings methods, but the opportunity to become a millionaire overnight can be very tempting.

Go further: Premium Bonds - find out the odds of winning a prize

9. Create a nest-egg for your children

There are plenty of savings accounts that have been created specifically for parents wanting to build a nest-egg to hand to their children.

NS&I Children's Bonds and Junior Isas are both popular accounts that allow parents to make regular tax-free deposits. Our guide on the best ways to save for your children offers seven more options for parents.

Go further: Best ways to save for children - see our list of options

10. Start stoozing

Stoozing means using a 0%-interest credit card to do all the spending you would normally do from a current account. You then put the money that would have left your current account into the highest-interest savings account available.

Provided you pay the minimum monthly payment on the credit card and clear the balance before the 0% deal expires, you can potentially make hundreds of pounds a year through this method.

Go further: Best credit cards for 0% purchase deals - all available deals compared

11-20: How to make money online

The internet can easily part you from your money, but with a bit of creative thinking there are plenty of ways to make pounds online.

Take a look at our 10 tips to make money using the internet.

 

11. Auction sites

Unless you’ve been hiding under a desktop computer for the past 10 years you will have heard of eBay, the most popular auction site on the web, which you can use to boost your income by selling virtually anything. It’s a good idea to set up a PayPal account as this is the preferred method of payment.

Go further: Selling goods on eBay - our detailed guide

12. Classified Ads

If you don’t like the thought of entering your items on an auction site then the traditional route of advertising at a fixed price is a better option.

The internet has taken over from newspapers and notice boards as the place to put classified ads. Gumtree and Preloved are two of the biggest sites where you can advertise items you want to sell, complete with images and descriptions. Both are free to use.

13. Surveys

There are a fair number of research agencies who pay a small amount to people who complete surveys online. All you have to do is answer the questions. Panelbase, Valued Opinions, and Toluna are amongst the bigger agencies. You can expect to earn anywhere from £0.50 to £5 a survey.

Go further: Join Which? Connect - we don't pay but you'll be helping Which? research

14. Advertise yourself

If you like to share your thoughts with the world on a blog site and you’ve got a few followers you could make money out of it.

Using Google Adwords you can put advertising on your site and make money every time people click on the ads. The more people click, the more you make.

Go further: Blog writing tips - how to make the most of your blog

15. Sell what you make online

It’s not just music and movies that can be sold online. Specialist sites like Etsy are designed for people with hidden talents like knitting and sewing.

This arts and crafts online store is US-based but operates internationally, and has a category for just about everything homemade. You can also sell things on eBay of course, or on Gumtree or Preloved.

16. Child’s play

Styles may change but the one constant of children’s clothes is that they’re quickly outgrown. If you have lots of baby clothes and toys that you’re trying to get rid of, take a look at National Childbirth Trust sales or community website Netmums.

Go further: 10 most useful baby products - see the results of our survey

17. Photo sales

Photographers can turn their hobby into a profit online. You can send digital photos to online agencies and, if they are used, you get paid. There are lots of sites out there, but you can start with Alamy.

Go further: Digital camera reviews - hundreds of cameras rated by our experts

18. Complete a small task

You can use popular online marketplace such as Fivrr or Fivesquids to offer a service that you can provide online. There are plenty of freelance artists, designers, writers and musicians who make a decent income Fivrr, which is based in America and gets its name because services start at $5 per job performed. Fivesquids is a similar UK site.

19. Review music

If you're a music enthusiast, you might jump at the chance of getting paid to review unsigned artists. Slicethepie.com allows you to do just that. Users get paid based on the quality of their reviews and there is no limit to the amount of artists you can review.

20. Rent your goods

Rather than selling your unused goods or letting them sit gathering dust in the attic, you could rent them to other people using rentnotbuy.co.uk. Vehicles, evening dresses and household tools are amongst the most commonly-rented items.

21-30: How to make free money

When times are tight, it can be difficult to balance your budget, but it is possible to generate some extra cash without an initial outlay.

Here, we’ve rounded up 10 innovative ways to boost your bank balance by getting free money.

 

21. Scan your shopping

Get vouchers for scanning the barcodes of the products you buy and submitting receipts for market research. Membership of ShopandScan.com, for example, is by invitation only, but you can ask to join at Volunteer4panels.com. If your application is not successful, you may be invited to join another panel.

Go further: Supermarket price comparison - find out how much you’re likely to pay for a basket of branded goods

22. Cash in on printer ink cartridges

The next time your printer ink cartridge runs out, get paid to recycle it. Rewards can be as much as £5 per cartridge, depending on the type of cartridge. Some sites will require you to reach a certain threshold before payments are made, though.

Go further: Printer ink cartridges - our comparison of branded printer ink cartridges and cheaper alternatives

23. Recommend a friend

Many companies have recommend-a-friend schemes that can sometimes earn customers big bucks. One website called refermehappy.com collates these deals and acts as a social network, giving more people more opportunities to benefit from the rewards. But make sure the services you recommend to friends are suitable first.

Go further: Shopping safely online - the safest ways to pay for online goods

24. Get paid to play games

If you like playing games online, some sites offer you the chance to win cash and prizes by entering prize draws using points and tokens you earn. If you prefer competitions, sign up to a site like myukcompetitions.co.uk, which emails a list of competitions that are free to enter on a weekly basis.

Go further: Security software - protect yourself against the threat of computer viruses

25. Click and cash in

If you're a regular online surfer, you could get paid to click on adverts, visit websites, and open emails. There are a number of websites, such as archerfish.co.uk, mailpay.co.uk, and inboxpounds.co.uk, which offer you the chance to do just that. However, you'll usually have to reach a minimum payout threshold before you can reap the financial rewards.

Go further: How to stay safe online - protect your passwords and explore the internet securely

26. Test products

If you're interested in testing new products before they are launched - from food to the latest technology - you can get paid for giving your opinion on them. Rewards come in the form of either a cash payment or gift vouchers, and you should be told in advance how much you'll receive. There are a number of websites online that you can sign up to, including paidproducttesting.co.uk.

Go further: Tech reviews - we've tested and reviewed hundreds of the latest laptops, TVs and cameras

27. Sell sim cards

Mobile phone network operator O2 is currently letting people order up to 500 pay-as-you-go Sim cards free of charge. You can distribute them however you like, and each time a Sim is topped up for the first time you earn £3 - that's a potential earning of £1,500. Visit O2startrader.co.uk for more information.

Go further: Mobile phone reviews - hundreds of smartphones rated

28. Turn your clutter into cash

Turf out your draws and sell old phone handsets, iPods, cameras, CDs, DVDs, books, as well as clothing and more via a multitude of websites, such as Music Magpie. Some companies will also buy your undamaged and clean clothing off you for about 60p per kilo, but check with them what items are accepted first.

Go further: Make money from your home - 10 more money-making tips

29. Use cashback websites

Get money for buying products you were already going to purchase by going through cashback sites such as TopCashback.

Go further: Cashback sites - we explain the benefits and the problems to watch out for

30. Go window shopping

Cashback website Quidco also has an app which typically pays 5p or 10p when you 'check in' at participating shops, even if you don't buy anything.

Go further: Best and worst high street shops - see the results of our annual customer survey

31-40: How to make money from your home

It’s little surprise many homeowners regard their house as their biggest asset.

Property prices continue to rise, but there are plenty of alternative ways to make your house pay.

Here are 10 suggestions for making money from your home.

 

31. Rent out your spare room

One of the more obvious ways to make money from your home is to rent out a spare room. According to the government's Rent-a-Room scheme, you could earn up to £4,250 a year tax-free by getting a lodger.

You can register your room for free on sites such as Easyroommate and Spareroom.

Your spare room will need to be furnished and you'll need to get a tenancy agreement in place.

Go further: Rent-a-room - more information about the tax relief scheme

32. Event renting

If you live close to a sporting or festival venue, you could cash in by renting your home out to fans or even participants. Edinburgh and Glastonbury festivals, as well as events at Wimbledon and Henley could all provide such opportunities.

33. Advertise on your car

If you don't mind driving around with a logo on your bonnet, you can make money by advertising on your car. You could make hundreds of pounds a month through websites like supercarads.co.uk.

Go further: How to save money on motoring - a host of tips to help reduce your motoring costs

34. Host a foreign student

Another great way of making use - and money - out of an empty room is by renting out to foreign students needing a place to stay. Students could stay for a couple of days or up to a year, depending on the length of their course. You can expect to earn around £100 a week for a standard room.

Go further: Landlord responsibilities - a round-up of the duties that landlords need to fulfil.

35. Rent out your home for films

Fancy your home as a film star? You could rent it out to film or TV production companies. Registration tends to be free, though you may have to pay a commission of the total location hire fee - see sites like AmazingSpace for more.

Most demand is for large houses with big rooms and plenty of good parking, though all types of property are sought, from contemporary conversions to classic period homes.

36. Photo-shoots from your home

As with films and TV, renting out your home for photo-shoots could be a great source of extra cash. Though it can be inconvenient having a big crew in your house, if you get a shoot that lasts over a day you could hit the jackpot - anything from £500 to £1,000 and more.

Magazine companies are always on the lookout for places to feature as backdrops for photo-shoots - see sites like Beach Studios and Location Works for information and to register your home.

37. House swapping

While this technically won't earn you money, swapping your property with someone else's could save you hundreds of pounds on expensive hotel accommodation.

Check out international home exchange services Intervac, HomeLink and HomeForExchange for more information on swapping with other homeowners across the world.

38. Make money from your driveway

Listing your driveway or garage on sites like ParkatmyHouse and YourParkingSpace could earn you cash from motorists needing a place to park. You decide what to charge, with the going rate depending on location, demand and facilities, such as lighting and security.

Register your space for free and you could earn anything from £50 to £300 a month.

39. Set up a smallholding

If you have a large and unused garden you could put it to work by setting up your own smallholding.

You can grow your own plants and vegetables, or keep chickens, selling your home-grown produce at local shops, markets or simply from home.

Go further: How to get an allotment - our guide explains it all.

40. Have a garage sale

Clear out your home and reap the rewards by having a garage sale. Make sure to check the weather forecast in advance and post flyers with your address and a map, enticing potential buyers with homemade lemonade and cake.

41-50: How to make money by going green

Going green doesn't have to be expensive.

You can make money when you take advantage of these environmentally friendly schemes.

Here are 10 ways to combat climate change while boosting your bank balance.

 

41. Green shopping initiatives

Tesco Clubcard
Tesco offers one green Clubcard point for every bag you reuse in stores and a point for every 10 items you buy online with the bagless delivery option.

Plus you'll also earn 100 points for recycling used printer cartridges.

Nectar card
Sainsbury's will give you one Nectar card point for every bag you reuse in stores.

You can also earn points by donating to Oxfam. Create a Tag Your Bag account at the Nectar website to earn an initial 100 points, and you'll receive a bag of personalised stickers to tag your items. You'll then get two points for every £1 your items raise in Oxfam.

Boots Advantage card
Boots offers Advantage card points when you recycle a mobile phone, digital camera, MP3 player or sat nav and up to 100 points for selected inkjet cartridges.

M&S and Oxfam Clothes Exchange
Marks & Spencer offers a £5 gift voucher to spend in store when you spend £35 if you donate unwanted M&S clothes to your local Oxfam. It's great if you're a regular M&S shopper, and it helps to reduce the estimated one million tonnes of clothes that go to landfill each year. The scheme also covers soft furnishings, including bed linen, towels, cushions, curtains and throws.

Go further: Loyalty cards - find out which cards offer the best rewards

42. 'Scrappage' schemes

Trade-in or 'scrappage' schemes offered by private companies are becoming more common. Have a quick look on the internet when you need to get rid of any large item.

You should always shop around first to make sure you're getting the most competitive deal, though, even after factoring in the incentive.

Go further: Boiler reviews - find out which boilers we recommend.

43. Apply for an energy grant

This idea won't directly 'earn' you money – but if you're considering installing energy efficient measures in your home, don't miss out on extra funding that may be available to you.

There are several energy grant schemes available, depending on your circumstances, that could help you to achieve long term financial savings on your heating and energy costs through projects such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and heating controls.

Go further: Energy grants - find out whether you're eligible for financial backing.

44. Generate your own energy

If you have installed or are thinking about installing renewable technology, such as solar panels, you may also be able to make money by selling some of the green electricity you generate.

The scheme means households with renewable technologies receive money for every unit of energy they produce themselves.

You will need to weigh up the potential to save and make money through your microgeneration system against the initial outlay for equipment and installation, which can run to thousands of pounds.

You should also think about the suitability of the technology for your property and location.

Go further: Solar panels - find out whether solar panels would be suitable for your home.

45. Grow your own, sell your own

Growing your own fruit and veg helps you to reduce carbon emissions by cutting food miles, also cuts your food bills and can be a good money-making opportunity if you've got excessive produce to sell.

The biggest challenge, after successfully growing your produce is finding a place to sell it. You could set up a stall in your front garden, local fête or local allotment association sale, or a school event. You could even contact local farmers to see if they'll sell your produce in their farm shop.

Go further: How to grow your own vegetables - read our comprehensive guide.

46. Recycle your mobile phone

Choose between numerous mobile phone recycling schemes, including specialist websites such as Mazuma Mobile, Envirofone, Simply Drop and Fonebank. You can compare recycling sites to find out will pay the most at MobileValuer.

Go further: Mobile phone reviews - our guides will help you pick the perfect replacement.

47. Recycle old CDs, DVDs and computer games for cash

It's almost impossible to estimate the number of old CDs, DVDs, computer games and other home entertainment items there are in the UK, but around 2,500 tonnes of CDs alone are thrown away each year.

Whether you're upgrading technology or want to revamp your collection, make money recycling old CDs, DVDs and computer games instead of throwing them away.

Try a website such as MusicMagpie. Get a value for your item – which needs to be in good working condition – by typing in its barcode number. Prices offered range from 25p to £1.38 for a CD.

48. Make money recycling old books

Don't leave unwanted or unread books on the shelf – pass them on to a new home and make some extra money. Websites including Amazon and GreenMetropolis let you sell second-hand books via their virtual bookstores.

With Amazon you list an item for sale, setting your own price. When it sells, Amazon receives an 75p completion fee, plus closing fee of 15% of the sale price. Pre-set delivery charges are also collected from the buyer, which you will receive as postage credit, minus a variable fee to Amazon.

With GreenMetropolis, you earn at least £3 for each old paperback, hardback or audio book you sell. Factor in postage costs for each item, though for larger books you can add postage costs on to the item's price.

Go further: eBook reader reviews - we rate the best devices for reading ebooks.

49. Have a car boot sale

Alternatively, you could sell your unwanted odds and ends the old-fashioned way – at a car boot sale. It's a great way to make some extra money while reducing the amount of rubbish you throw away.

Buyers will expect to pick products up at knock-down prices, but car boot sales are a good opportunity to bulk-sell items unlikely to sell individually online. You can find your nearest car boot sale by visiting the online car boot sale directory Car Boot Junction. Your profit will depend on the products you're selling, but remember to factor in the cost of pitching your vehicle, which is usually between £5 and £20.

50. Sell the rest by auction...

Don't throw away unwanted items – you'll be throwing away the potential of earning some extra money along with it. Selling stuff through online auctions rather than throwing things away can make you money, save on potential transport removal costs and reduce the amount of waste you're sending to landfill each year.

The auction site eBay is the biggest and most recognised site of its kind, but other sites you can sell through include Play and Gumtree.

Go further: Selling items on eBay - our guide will help you maximise your eBay profits.

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