In need of an alternative/ extra income?

This post explores help available for people needing a bit of extra money or an alternative income. I have not received any payments from any of these companies for promoting them, neither have I personally tried all these methods of earning money. I have just trawled the internet for ideas and put them together here. Hopefully they might serve as a starting point for you to search more thoroughly and come to your own conclusions on what is best for your circumstances. If you would like to see something here that I have missed, please drop me a message. If you think any of these links are not what they seem or might be dodgy, please let me know so I can delete the link. I don’t want people being scammed.

We advise you to avoid any companies that are Multi Level Marketing (MLM) schemes. 99% of people in these schemes lose money. 90% leave within a year. They seem legitimate but are not. If a company seems to be offering a nice way of earning money from home, google the name of it, followed by ‘MLM’. If you get lots of results, stop searching and try another company. Seriously, don’t even be tempted. If you see people saying ‘It’s legal, it’s not a pyramid scheme’, it will be a pyramid scheme or as close to it that the definition doesn’t matter. If you are considering joining an MLM, have a look here first and assess the scheme.


Help with debt/ making ends meet.

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Money saving Expert offer hints, tips, tools and a forum to help you make ends meet. Try some of their calculators, read a forum, join a forum and get into some good habits. With support of the people on the forums, you can be supported in reducing debts.

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Debtline can help with advice and they have some factsheets on how to get help with debt.

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Step Change are a debt charity that can help. They have a calculator that helps you plan what you can do.


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Are you receiving any benefits you might be entitled to? Have a look at this handy calculator from Entitled To just to check.



Legitimate work from home opportunities.


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Check out the CAB’s checklist of what to consider before setting up as self employed.

Customer service phone operator at home. If you love customer services and can navigate yourself around a computer program whilst talking to people, you could set yourself up as a customer services operator. This website takes on people as independent contractors that do just that.

Freelance IT work. If you’re good with computers you could help people create websites, assist with their content, check for mistakes. This website has examples of some opportunities and gives the hourly rate. There is an advert for AVON in there though, so beware. Just apply for the positions that give actual hourly rates! You could sign up with Clickworker and perform tasks that companies need doing, such as data entry, form filling, website checking. You get paid for each task, just do the bits that you can do, when you’ve got a bit of spare time.

Website designer. You can work online during hours that suit. If you are not great at that sort of thing but are interested, you can learn skills online.  Like at this website or this one.

Website testing. Visit websites and test them out, reporting back on your findings. User Testing is one site that does this. You visit a website, complete a set of tasks and verbally record what you are thinking. Whatusersdo are a panel of testers that you can join. This blog post gives details of 11 sites that pay for this sort of service.

Home typist. You are sent a recording of someone talking and you type it up. One company that does this is called Take-Note. This page tells you how you could work for them.

Bookkeeping. Train at home online for a bookkeeping qualification and then set up as a bookkeeper at home. The Institute of certified bookkeepers has more information.

Virtual Assistant. Work as a virtual assistant if you have experience of being a secretary or admin assistant. You could work freelance for a company or set yourself up in business when you have some experience. Time etc is one company that offers these work from home positions.

Courier. Work as a self employed or employed driver in your local area. Pick up parcels and deliver them. From just a few to a lot, depending on what you can do. Yodel offer this model of courier service. I had a look at one of their many job adverts and it was for £30-£70 a day. You pick up the bagged parcels, plan your route and then deliver them. You need to have a car and be a driver for this job.

Exam marking. Have a look here and here for more information.


Businesses you can set up yourself and run.

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The Talented Ladies Club have written a blog post on how to start a  business with no money. Have a look at their website for ideas and support.

Dog walking. It might take up a bit of time to build up but you could do this for a bit of extra money and get some exercise at the same time. Maybe extend it to dog sitting as an alternative to people putting their pets in kennels? Here, the Pet Owners’ Association explains how to set up a do walking business.

Swimming teacher. You can complete a teaching course locally to you and obtain funding to help with costs of the course. Check out the ASA website that has details of where courses are held and what funding there is.  Set up your own group of students around your commitments.

Childminding. There are some hoops to jump through and some paperwork to sort through but this could be an option if you want to work from home and have small children of your own keeping you at home. For some thorough information and links to other pages of interest, check out the careers service website. Perhaps you wouldn’t want to commit to actually having children round your house all the time. You could set yourself up as a babysitter. Get yourself trained as a childminder and then offer your services around your schedule. Have a look at for the types of positions available. Register here to offer your services. After (considerable) expenses, taxes etc, earning potential is roughly £400 a month. This will depend hugely on the number of children and their ages.

Cleaner. If you don’t have a young child with you during the day, you could try offering your services as a cleaner during the hours that suit you. A start up website explains in 8 steps how to set up a cleaning business.

Beauty Business. Set up your own beauty business at home. If you have a spare room, an interest in beauty and treatments, look into this option. Or be a mobile beautician and visit people in their homes. The National Hairdressers Federation give ten tips on how to do this.  Twenty two tips here from the Beauty Biz. If you don’t know much about actually doing treatments, you can do online courses from home, such as these ones.

Not sure what to do and need ideas. Have a look at this website that goes through some ideas to think about. There are 6 areas of home business that you might like to consider.

Flexible jobs on an employed basis.

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Caring roles. These often require minimal initial training and are not too difficult to come by. You could look at local hospitals or agencies for a bank or agency position where you choose which shifts you would like to do. You get paid for the work you do, are given free training and usually uniforms. You would also accrue holiday pay. Some positions would be in a hospital, others involve visiting the elderly and offering companionship or help with their shopping. Here is a checklist from an agency on whether caring is for you. And some information from the careers service.

Adult educator. Do you have any skills or specialist knowledge? Could you pass on your knowledge in night classes? Contact a college  or library local to you and ask if they offer informal classes in a subject you are good at. Perhaps you could teach woodworking/ flower pressing/ family history tracing/ cake decorating. If you are knowledgable and confident it could be a great opportunity, with not poor pay rates. Enquire informally in the first instance and ask to observe a lesson/workshop for an idea on what would be expected.

There are part time evening courses that you can do to become a qualified adult educator that can be done around a family. If you have a degree you could do the adult educator qualification and you can then teach that subject formally. The Department for Education has some information on the qualification.

English teacher. This website tells you about the different types of qualifications available for teaching English as a second or foreign language. You can do these courses on a part time basis and you could then teach TEFL or TESL either abroad or in a college. Especially useful if you live in an area where there are many non-English speakers.

Other ideas.

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Night shifts. Could you work a few nights a week? If you have children and have someone to look after them at night, you could work overnight and then stay awake in the day. You would only be able to work two or three nights a week doing this, ensuring you don’t work two nights in a row. All the better if you can have a couple of hours’ nap in the day.  Places that offer night shifts are hotels, warehouses, nursing homes, hospitals, bars, factories, shops (shelf stackers).




Screenshot 2016-05-20 21.57.11Magazines. Write funny letters, short articles, send in cute child or pet pictures, write up holiday reviews, jokes, quizes. Get some magazines like Take A Break, Bella, Woman, Chat (You know the type) and have a look at their content. Email them your letters, articles etc and you might earn a little bit of money. Take A break tell you how to sell your story by filling in a form. If it’s a good one, you could get upto £2000. Maybe you’ve got a good MLM story to tell?

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Etsy. Are you an artist or good at making things? You could set up an online shop on Etsy. The quicker it is to make the item, the better. You can sell things virtually there, such as patterns for clothes/ toys, colouring in pictures, templates, signs, prints. You just need to upload these once, and then get sent payment when someone buys one.

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Rent a room out. Do you have a spare room? Could you rent it out to a lodger? What about turning your house into a temporary Bed and Breakfast? Have a look at Airbnb for how to do that.

Selling your artistic talents. Can you draw cartoons? Consider putting some work on Cartoonstock and earning money when someone pays for it. Have you got any photos that you could sell? See here on ideas how to do that. This blog tells you how you can sell traditional art, prints, photos and other types of art.

Write a book. This option isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Now you can publish a book to Kindle and start selling it straight away. Writing a book can take a lot of effort and the potential rewards could be very small. However, if you have a flair for writing, then why not? Read this free edition of ‘How to write a nonfiction book in 21 days- that readers love.’

Enter competitions. Someone’s got to win. Some determined people make a living out of it! Look for websites that advertise competitions. Like this onethis one and this one.


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