10 ways to make extra money to pay off debt

Jasmine Birtles of Moneymagpie.com knows all about thrifty living and money saving.
In her second of three blogposts, she shares her top tips on making some extra cash.

hand holding small red purse

Money making tips!

The quickest ways to pay off debt is to cut your costs and increase your income. By doing that you’ve found a way to put much more into paying off debts each month.

We all know about cutting costs, but did you know there are loads of ways you can make some extra cash here and there?

Here are just a few of them – there are a lot more out there though!

  1. Make money from your spare bedroom

Got a spare room or rooms? If so, renting them out on a temporary or full-time basis is the first obvious way of making easy money. You can make up to £4,250 a year tax free from renting it out, so it could be an easy way to help pay off debt and have a little left over too.

Get started with spareroom.co.uk where you can place an advert for free. If you just want someone during the week, try the website mondaytofriday.com which specialises in finding rooms for business people who need somewhere closer to work for the week, but go home at the weekends.

If you can’t bear to have someone else living with you for months on end, go for foreign students. They tend to stay for no more than six weeks at a time and often pay extra if you offer breakfast (which can just be cereal or toast). Contact your local colleges to see if they have English language students coming through that need somewhere local to stay.

Finally, there’s Airbnb.com where you can rent out a spare room by the night to tourists and people who need to do business in your area. You can charge much more per night this way, although it does tend to mean more work on your part.

  1. Rent your space

Renting out your spare bedroom isn’t the only way to make quick cash. You can also rent out your garage, attic or garden as storage space or even your parking spot.

If you live close to a station, airport or in a busy area with little parking but lots of businesses and you don’t have a car you could make easy money every week by renting out your parking spot. Register with sites such as ParkLet.co.uk or JustPark.com to let thousands of people know about your available space and hopefully the money will roll in.

  1. Sell your stuff

Have a good spring clean, sell anything you don’t use any more and turn your unwanted clutter into cash to pay off your debts. eBay is probably the best -known site for selling your old stuff (here’s a great no-nonsense guide to selling on eBay) but you might also consider eBid, which has the advantage of letting you list your things for free.

Big items like furniture tend to go better on sites like Gumtree.com and Facebook’s local selling pages Facebay. Also try Preloved.co.uk as that’s free and they have a very wide range of items for sale.

If selling online isn’t for you, car boot sales are also a great place to shift a lot of stuff quickly. The only disadvantage is that you’ll probably end up selling items for much less than it would get online, but on the other hand, you won’t have to spend ages listing each item and waiting days for a sale.

  1. Make money referring your friends

More and more companies are now offering to pay customers when they refer their friends. You can take advantage of £100s of cash rewards available by getting your friends to sign up for things you think are good.

Take a look at the website Refermehappy.com which tells you about a load of companies that offer cash incentives for referring a friend. You can join as either a ‘referrer’ or a ‘friend’ and you will both get a referral bonus from the company. It’s easy money for very little effort so give it a go.

  1. Do some online surveys

It’s not going to make you rich but if you’re on the computer regularly each day you could make a few pounds here and there and get lots of freebies by doing online surveys.

Be careful which ones you join and it’s best to set up a separate email account (maybe a free one with Yahoo or Gmail) that you only use for online survey sites and cashback sites, as these companies love to spam you with all sorts of emails!

Check out the list of decent companies in this article on online surveys. You can also see in the comments section what other users think of the different ones.

  1. Make money doing other people’s ironing

By doing other people’s washing and ironing you can make cash while catching up with the EastEnders omnibus or the latest episode of Corrie. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay someone else to do their ironing so why not take advantage and make some money to pay off your debts?

You will need to invest in a good iron, ironing board and of course be able to iron to a higher standard than most but if  you’re confident you know your way round an ironing board then this may well be the money-maker that will have your debts paid off in no time.

  1. Make money doing the school run

Have you ever thought about making money from doing the school run for other parents? There are loads of parents who need someone to collect their children and look after them until they get back from work and if you’re going to pick up your own children you’re really killing two birds with one stone.

Childminding is quite suitable for a stay-at-home parent with a car who is available in the afternoons so if you have spare time ask around and see if anyone is looking. Once you have a job or two word of mouth will bring in more clients and more money.

You can also get these jobs through nanny agencies such as Topnotchnannies.com. You’ll need to provide references and proof of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, so make sure you have those first before going down this route. It’s worth noting too that you must be 18 or over to register for child-minding.

Contact your local authority to find out when and where there’s a child-minding pre-registration briefing. This provides information on becoming a child-minder and you’ll receive an application pack that you need to complete and return before you get started. [see footnote]

  1. Make money as a private tutor

If you’re a graduate and eligible to work in the UK you could earn extra cash as a home tutor for a range of subjects and levels. GCSE and A-level tutors are really popular in the UK – especially around exam time – and are usually employed on a short-term, part-time basis. This is a great flexible job if you’re looking to make a bit of cash in your spare time.

If you have really good qualifications (university degree), particularly in subjects like maths and business, then brightyoungthings.com will want to hear from you. But if you have any teaching qualifications, or you’re just very good at something (perhaps a native speaker of a foreign language or semi-professional on the piano) you could teach it and offer lessons through your local library or on advertising boards at the supermarket.

  1. Make money by sharing your opinion

In return for a small amount of time and your valuable insight taking part in focus groups can earn up to £250 in cash, handed to you on the day. Essentially you’ll be getting paid for sharing your opinion.

The good thing is that anybody can take part in paid market research as there is a demand for people from all ages and all walks of life. To get started check out Focus Groups UK and Sarosresearch.com who are always looking for more people to join their database and take part in paid market research as well as paid surveys.

  1. Make money from your hobbies

Can you knit? Are you a budding baker? Are you an artist? Do you take amazing photos? Why not turn your hobby into a money-making opportunity where you’ll be able to relieve some stress doing what you love and make money to pay off your debt all at the same time.

Whatever your skill, it’s likely to generate money in some way – you just have to think how! If you can offer a service, put out leaflets to generate interest, if it’s a product then create a website to sell your things on or teach others how to participate in your hobby and be paid to instruct and train others. There are so many money-making opportunities that can come about from your hobbies.

If you’re regularly making extra money, you might be classed as self-employed for tax purposes. Find out more about what sort of work counts as self-employed and whether you need to declare your additional income.

Jasmine Birtles is founder of Moneymagpie.com, a consumer website packed full of money-making ideas and help.


There is a very important application process that must be adhered to when applying to be a child-minder. This was not covered in the original article so we’ve made some amendments to better reflect the process. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on this issue.

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