20 more weird and wonderful ways to make money

posted by in Budgeting, Money maximising

Just when you thought it was safe to make money like a boring person, we come at you with 20 more creative, compelling and crazy ways to generate some extra dosh. Ain’t we swell?

Our first round-up of weird money-making methods last year proved so popular that it would’ve been criminal not to follow it up with a second list, and here it is! From selling your story to setting up Twitter for your local chippy, there are lots of unusual ways to get an extra bit of cash flowing.

It’s time to shake your money-maker once more…

[July 2016 UPDATE: Once you’re done reading part two, be sure to check out 20 weird and wonderful ways to make money part three!]

1. Become a virtual assistant

typing woman

Technology is changing all the while, and the workplace right along with it. Being a virtual assistant (VA) really is shaping into quite the nice little earner, especially for work-at-home mums or people who are already self-employed but want to top-up their income.

One thing to be cautious of however is any firm that says you have to pay a fee before they’ll add you to their staff database. Your scam alarm should be ringing off the wall at this point, as no legit VA agency should be asking you to cough up money in order to make money. Where’s the sense in that?

VAs are a great option for small businesses which might not be able to afford full-time admin staff, or the admin work involved is quite small. The hours a VA works are quite flexible, and you can work from home so you save on commuting costs.

Check out MoneyMagpie’s guide to becoming a virtual assistant to find out more!

2. Get the ironing done

do the ironingOut of all the household chores (the ones I can’t palm off onto my other half) I’d say ironing is the least excruciating.

I find it relaxing in an odd way, and I can often multitask it with listening to an audiobook or catching up on 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown. It’s the small things in life…

Anyway, there are people who hate ironing so much they will actually pay you to do theirs for them. Yes, really.

Lots of people on the MoneySavingExpert (MSE) forum have started their own ironing services from home and so could you. Check out the ironing service thread on the MSE forum for more info.

3. Baggage buy and sell

luggageIf you’ve never had to experience your luggage going missing when travelling, then think yourself lucky. Literally thousands of suitcases and bags get lost in transit every year, and many of them go unclaimed.

Rather than tumbling into the Bermuda Triangle along with your favourite socks and that Steps CD you definitely didn’t throw out accidentally, many suitcases are put up for auction. This has become somewhat of a craze in recent years, with lots of bidders hoping to find treasure in the trunk.

Depending on your luck, you could find something really valuable and flog it! Find out how to get in on the action via this fab guide from MoneyMagpie.

4. Sell your story

Lady reading newspaperHave you survived a battle with a serious illness? Did you go through an awful breakup? Did it seem like the odds were stacked against you yet somehow you were able to get through it?

Someone somewhere needs your story to give them hope, give them courage, or at least give them something entertaining to read while stuck in a doctor’s office or a hairdresser’s chair. Might as well get paid for it, right?

Cash 4 Your Story does exactly what it says on the tin. Tell your story and you’ll get paid for it. Keep in mind that many mags and websites will prefer to reveal your name and photo, so think long and hard before waiving your anonymity.

If this isn’t a problem however, then spill the beans and make some moolah! (please note that not all organisations can offer payment for your story, so it’s recommended that you check the terms and conditions first). 

5. Count the votes

Ballot boxWith the general election swiftly approaching, why not register with your local council’s elections office and get paid to count the votes at polling time? (And if you’re reading this after the general election, the more regular local elections need vote counters too.)

If you’d like to sign up as an electoral vote counter, all you need to do is contact the electoral services department of your local council. They should then send you some forms to complete and return.

Poll staff usually work four-hour shifts, or longer depending on workload. Please only apply for this work if you’re seriously willing to see it through until the end of the contract. If the work runs over, you won’t be paid more.

The positive to this is that you’ll be paid the same if you finish sooner than planned. Another nice bonus is getting to know your neighbours better!

6. Thread your way to riches

threading eyebrowsEyebrow plucking is one of those things that few people look forward to. It’s hard to shape your brow just as you want it, and it can leave your face looking sore and a bit bald if you overdo it!

As a result, the ancient Indian method of eyebrow threading has become a popular alternative. It gives amazing definition to your brows, and lasts much longer than waxing or tweezing. Threading looks like it’s here to stay, so maybe you should consider getting in on the action and becoming a threader yourself.

Right alongside hairdressers and manicurists, professional eyebrow threaders are swiftly finding demand for home visits. Sometimes people throw what’s known as threading parties, where you can really clean up. MoneyMagpie has a comprehensive guide to getting started. 

7. Write a travel guide

lady taking photograph on holidayThey say you don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. Well, what about people who will know where they’re going once they know where you’ve been? Or something…

Anyway, if you’ve been on some intrepid adventures or sun-soaked escapades (either in the UK or elsewhere), then SimonSeeks want to hear from you! They pay people for writing engaging, well thought out travel guides for the discerning explorer. All you need to do is sign up and upload your guide to the SimonSeeks website.

How much you’re paid will depend on how popular your guide is, so make sure it’s in tip top condition before you click submit by asking a friend to proofread it first. 

8. Become a club promoter (or nightclub photographer)

busy nightclub with strobe lightsClub promotion – especially in student-populated cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester – is an absolutely thriving line of work.

If you’re a bit of a party animal, are connected to lots of like-minded people, and have a swagger to rival Mick Jagger, then this might just be your calling. 

In a nutshell, as a promoter it’s up to you to ensure that there’s a consistent flow of folk into your club. It means targeting the right crowd and encouraging them with your sparkling wit and charm to pick your club over the competition.

You need to make certain they come back time and time again, hopefully with more punters! If you do it right, you can make a handsome chunk of change. It will require effort but the social as well as the financial rewards can be very much worth your while. 

If you do land a club promoting gig and have a mate who’s canny with a camera, why not suggest that the club enlist them as a nightclub photographer? They can make an absolute killing selling the snaps as keyrings to jolly clubbers, and you get to party with your friend for a living – what’s not to love? 

9. Become a pedicab driver

pedicab driverAs we’re all so pressed for time these days, it can be tricky trying to fit exercise into our daily routine. We might long to meet new people, but struggle to know how to start a conversation.

What’s more, many of us have lived in certain places for years, but we become so set in our ways that we never get the chance to explore our surroundings.

Pedicabs – a type of bike-taxi with an enclosed buggy on the back for passengers – is fast becoming a cheaper, cleaner option to the traditional taxi, especially in heavily populated cities. Becoming a pedicab driver will whack not 2, not even 3 but 4 birds with one very money-savvy stone [please don’t whack any birds with a stone, it’s mean]. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people, explore your city and stay in shape.

Bugsbugs is a pedicab firm in London that offers training and information on how to get started. Due to the popularity of pedicabs however, it’s surely only a matter of time before they expand to other big UK cities.

10. Let filmcrews into your house

film crewYou might think that film production lives and dies in Hollywood, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Film production funding – especially in the UK – is tighter than ever, and location scouts are always on the lookout for cheap but high-potential locations for their shoots. With things such as adverts, soaps and mini-series, the more ‘normal’ the setting, the better… and your gaff might be just what they’re looking for.

There’s quite a few online agencies such as MyHouseYourShoot where you can list your property for free. The money’s pretty decent and hey, you get to brag to your friends that your living room is famous!

(If you rent your property then we recommend that you contact your landlord or local housing authority first for permission before signing up.)

11. Make and sell greetings cards

greeting cardsHomemade kitsch is big business, especially on websites such as Etsy. Learning how to make your own custom greeting cards has many plus points.

It’s relatively cheap, it’s fun and relaxing and it’s pretty economical if you make the cards from designs cut from old ones.

Get your scissors at the ready and read this helpful guide from Craftsy to get started.

12. Help out at a festival

festival crowdWith the warmer days rolling in, festival season will soon be upon us. All those bands, the great atmosphere, dancing with your mates and camping under the stars…it’s a shame they can be so flipping expensive! 

This isn’t a money-making tip per se, but it’s certainly a money-saving tip that’s worth taking into account if you’re a bit of a festival junkie or want to cross a particular festival off your bucket list. Volunteering your services is a great way to get in on the action without coughing up a small fortune for the privilege.

13. Become a voice-over artist

voice over artistVoice overs are in big demand these days, as the internet has opened up a need for a whole new host of vocal-based vocations.

These can range from YouTube ads to web radio podcasts, not to mention the continuing need for traditional voicework on TV, film and radio.

If you fancy following in the footsteps of Frank Oz, Mel Blanc and Rob Paulsen (if you don’t know who any of these guys are, we really can’t be friends…*), it might be easier than you think! There are several websites where voice actors can upload their demo reel, hunt for jobs and network with people in their industry. Please be aware that some of these websites may charge a fee.

Don’t forget about us when you get famous!

*Don’t let Rachel’s geek knowledge of cartoons put you off. The MoneyAware team are glad to be your friends whether you know these voice actors or not. See also: Rachel’s weird.

14. Deliver stuff and get paid for it

PostmanMuch along the lines of becoming a pedicab driver, starting up your own delivery service is a great way to get paid, get fit and do a bit of exploring of your local area.

You can deliver anything from leaflets and local free newspapers to courier parcels. Delivery opportunities have soared in the past few years due to the sheer amount of online shopping we Brits do nowadays.

Check out Gumtree for delivery opportunities in your area or try asking local pizza joints or taxi firms if they need any help promoting.

15. Take part in market research

group discussionYour opinion, dear readers, really is worth its weight in gold, and that’s why market research is a money making opportunity that’s not to be sniffed at.

Our Rory often takes part in market research sessions himself, sometimes making as much as £50 in the process.

It can be a bit tricky to find legitimate market research companies, and unfortunately there are far too many ‘spammy’ websites looking to harvest data from you.

We would advise that you search your local Facebook pages and find out through word of mouth where is worth signing up to.

16. Refer a friend to your satellite service

Satellite dishIf you’re already signed up to a satellite service such as Sky or Virgin Media, you may be rewarded with vouchers if you refer a friend to the service.

Incentives like this are run throughout the year so it really pays to look into it, as often both you and your friend will be treated to some goodies!

While we’re on the subject of getting entertainment for free, be sure to check out our blogpost on where to find free and cheap movie, TV and book goodies online.

17. Turn your car into a moving billboard

stock cars with brandingFor years we’ve had adverts on the sides of buses, trains, even airplanes… so why should your car be any different?

Letting companies advertise their business on your bonnet can prove very lucrative. Who cares if your neighbours give you funny looks…you’ll be the one laughing when the cash starts rolling in.

Check out Comm-motion for more details, and soon you could be wheeling your way to a fatter bank balance!

18. Be an app tester

Young man looking at mobile phoneLet’s face it, the less exertion required in bringing in a bit more bacon the better.

Something that definitely falls under this category is becoming a paid app tester. If you’re sewn to your smartphone anyway, testing apps for cash couldn’t be more of a doddle.

My App Ratings is a site where you can test and rate apps, and they’ll pay you for your trouble. The tests take around 15 minutes, so you could easily squeeze one or two in during your lunchbreak or on the bus. Check your mobile data plan first, and get to a free wifi zone if possible!

[2nd October 2015 UPDATE – website no longer online.]

19. Monitor exams

exam hallCome exam season there’s often a shortage of exam monitors who are responsible for maintaining order during the examination (as well as keeping a beady eye out for cheats!).

For this reason, local temp agencies and school boards may soon start putting notices out for exam monitors.

If you’re in possession of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau or CRB check), this might be worth looking into, especially if you like a bit of peace and quiet.

20. And finally… become a social media guru!

Twitter screenIt’s easy to presume in this day and age that everyone knows Twitter like the back of their hand, or can tell their Facebook thumbs-up from their Google plus-one. Not so!

Many small local business have no clue how to connect to customers online, and will happily pay you a couple of bob to manage their social media accounts for them.

If you’re organised, internet confident and are able to devote an hour or two per day to getting the word out about a local business, consider becoming a social media guru. Call in to local takeaways, restaurants and cafes in your area.

Ask them what efforts they’re making to connect with their customers. You could print out the social media page of another business like theirs, and show them the interactions – and as a result, promotion – they’re enjoying.

Mashable has all the know-how if this is the weird money-making tip for you! 

DISCLAIMER: MoneyAware cannot in any way guarantee the success or safety implications of the above mentioned money-making tips. This article, while written with an intent to provide helpful ideas to increase income, is also written for entertainment purposes.

We strongly encourage clients and subscribers to declare all additional income to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

You can also check out 10 of these weird and wonderful tips on SlideShare.

Love this blogpost? Then be sure to share it with your friends! Click here to tweet about it on Twitter.

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Rachel Connor has been with the charity for over 5 years, starting in Helpline before joining the MoneyAware team in 2012. Rach enjoys travelling, video games and creative writing in her spare time (currently penning her first novel). She had a previous life as head writer on Cartoon Network's Ed Edd n Eddy and as a copywriter for LivingSocial. She also writes comics and graphic novels for the animated series Regular Show.

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  • david

    Rachel, I make money via betting. It sounds risky but you basically employ the services of a tipster, receive the emails and place the bets. As the money grows the stakes grow. The key is finding as many high quality tipsters as possible and building a betting portfolio. Great thing is you can place bets from your phone and it takes less than 20 minutes per day. Free guide at Racinghints.com

  • Great Tips i think i can try out letting film crews in one of my houses

  • Mark Gill

    Hi all,

    This is a bit of a shameless plug but here goes….

    We’ve recently launched http://www.houseandflatshare.co.uk/ where you can advertise your spare room and contact potential flatmates free of charge. We’re in the process of getting the word out there hence the free offer and this cheeky post… Please do check it out!

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    • moneyaware

      Hi Mark.

      We’ve had to delete the link from your comment as we don’t allow third-party websites or referrers in our comments.

      Kind regards

      Rory

      • Mark Gill

        Hi Rory,

        OK no problem, Is there any way for me to get a link with the article? I’m pretty new to this and I’m trying to build back links to my new website?
        Thanks

        Mark

      • moneyaware

        Hi Mark,

        I’m afraid we can’t. All the best with your new venture. If you’re looking to get links back to your site it may be better to contact blogs and offering to write articles that will compliment their audience.

        We’re not currently looking for new guest posters, but I’m sure there are other blogs that would be interested in posting article about renting out rooms and taking in lodgers.

        King regards.

        James

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