For a richer life

Make money being fun

Make money being fun John-Morgan/Flickr

Everyone could do with a bit of extra cash, but when you’re busy at work all day the last thing you want to do in the evenings and at weekends is yet more work, so why not find some fun ways to make money instead?

People have different ideas of what is and isn’t fun, but we’re just trying to encourage you to combine the things you enjoy with making money, and then it won’t seem like work at all.

The important things you must consider are, firstly – what do you enjoy? There’s no point spending your spare time on something boring. Secondly – what are you good at? You need to make sure your skills are up to scratch if you’re going to try and make money from them.

Make money with a fun job

There are plenty of fun jobs you can do around your working hours, and if you’re really good you could even make a full-time job out of it! They could mean taking a step up on a hobby you already have, or trying something new.

  • Stand-up comedian

If you’re witty and know how to deliver a punch-line, then trying stand-up comedy could be a great, fun option for you. There are comedy courses around to get you started from the likes of Comedy School UK, City Lit, AboutComedy, but the real key to success is practice and good material.

Keep an eye out for open mic nights, where anyone can perform and test out material. Big cities tend to have a few venues – check Time Out and Gumtree for listings.

Once you feel you’re at a stage to get paid work, have a look at Mirth Control and Jongleurs to see if they’ll give you a paid gig.

  • Singer

Do you think you have the X Factor? Or at least a decent voice? People will pay to listen to someone with talent.

If the reality TV music talent show appeals to you, one option is to join Beonscreen.com which is free for a basic membership, and you’ll be sent the latest reality television vacancies.

Sending demos to record companies may be a long shot but you have nothing to lose. Upload videos of yourself to YouTube, and get yourself a MySpace/Soundcloud/Bandcamp account (or all three) so that people can listen to you. Get in touch with student and local radio stations, and send your stuff to music bloggers asking for a review.

Gain some practical experience by singing wherever and whenever you get the chance – even if it does annoy your mates. Karaoke bars are good fun and can help you to get over your nerves. Start busking in the street; you’ll be surprised how much money you could make. Read our full article on busking for all the tips you need, plus a very helpful guide to the rules and regulations surrounding busking.

Also keep a lookout for open mic nights, Vocalist.org.uk has listing for open mic nights around the UK. It’s also great experience to perform at events like weddings and parties.

  • TV or film extra

Rub shoulders with the rich and famous as an extra. You don’t have to be a Shakespearean actor; you’re there to blend in with the scenery and make the set look more realistic. There are lots of agencies out there. Go to Ukscreen.com for a list of UK agencies.

Find out whether there are any TV or film projects coming up near you by checking local papers, and keep an eye out for any film festivals coming up. It’s also a good idea to visit your local university’s film department for any student film makers who need extras.

Work may be inconsistent, but the rates are good. For example, the BBC day rates are £85.50 per day for supporting artists (and £13 per hour of overtime) and £105.70 per day for walk-on artists (and £16.10 per hour of overtime) – who may speak a few words or take individual direction. Check on the Equity website for a full listing of industry rates, and get some more tips from our article.

If you don’t want to be on screen yourself, you could rent your house to a film or TV crew, and get paid for it. See our article about renting your home as a film set.

  • Children’s entertainer

Clearly this is not for you if you don’t like children and aren’t willing to make a fool of yourself, but it can be a great money-maker and a really enjoyable way to make a living, or at least some cash on the side.

Practice your routine on any young relatives or friends’ children and see what makes them laugh. Use any skills you might have; magic tricks, juggling, making balloon animals, singing, using puppets – you know the drill. But it is important to plan your routine properly – children won’t want to be kept waiting, and if you’re hesitant they will quickly lose interest.

You’ll also need to get a CRB check – see our article on how to do this. You will also need public liability insurance – this covers you if you accidentally damage property, or a child falls and injures themselves during your performance.

You may choose to start off by signing with an agency such as ARC Entertainments. Yell.com is also a useful way to advertise – and relatively cheap at around £20 per year. There are some internet directories such as Childrenspartyshows.co.uk and Kids-party.com that could be worth using, but word of mouth is likely to be the best way to advertise yourself as an entertainer.

  • Club promoter

Getting paid to party might sound too good to be true, but clubs want to get as many people through the door as possible – and that’s where you come in. You’ll get paid commission on how many people you get on guestlist etc, which can include your friends, and will then be expected to attend the club night yourself.

For more information see our article.

  • Dog walker

This is only fun if you like dogs. And walking. At the same time. Busy people with pooches sometimes don’t have time to walk them – if you do, then get them to pay you for it. You can be one of those people with hoards of dogs surrounding them, spending time withman’s best friend, whilst getting some exercise!

Read our article on making money being a dog walker.

  • Teacher/tutor/instructor

If there is a subject or activity that you enjoy and have a lot of knowledge about – you can make money by imparting your wisdom to others. Be it literature, kick boxing, or playing the drums, there will be someone who would love to know more about it. You can do it as often as you like, and fit it around your other commitments.

For more information on being a private tutor, see our article.

  • Life model

Posing naked for artists is understandably not everyone’s idea of a good time, but if you’re body confident then it’s a really easy way to make some money, and pay rates are usually quite high. There is the issue that you could be in a pose for several hours, which could become both uncomfortable and boring. But you never know, you might find it to be a really fun, liberating experience!

Have a look at our article on making money as a life model.

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Make money with a fun hobby

There is obviously something about your hobby that you find interesting, and it is likely that other people will too, so why not share it with them?

  • Get crafty

Be it making your own jewellery, knitting, sewing, carpentry, pottery – put your skills to good use and sell your creations! Car boot sales, fetes, and craft fayres are good places to go – local schools and churches often have events throughout the year.

Amazon have a great collection of cheap craft books for inspiration, and we have an article all about how to make money from making, teaching and selling knitting.

  • Blogging

If you’re a keen writer and have a particular subject you’d like to document, or perhaps you would like to take on a new challenge and, say, find one interesting or surprising thing every day and then write about it. Very simple ideas can catch on, and once you have a captive audience of readers and are getting high numbers of hits, it’s possible to get advertising affiliates to display on your blog – and that means you can get some money!

It’s a slow process, and one that has to be a labour of love, but you never know who might be reading.

WordPress and Blogger are both very easy to use for anyone blogging for the first time. See our article on how to set up a blog and keep it going.

  • Photography

Not everyone has the skills to be a full-time professional photographer, as they’re likely to have been on specialist courses and invested in some expensive technical equipment, but if you’ve got a good eye for a photo there is money to be made.

You could be paid to photograph events like weddings and parties if you keep your prices competitive, and there is a huge market for selling your photos online as stock photos. Websites, magazine and newspapers often go to stock photos to illustrate their posts, and the range they need is huge. Sites like Fotolia, 123RF and iStockphoto are all good places to start.

Check our tips on how to make money from your photographs.

  • Baking

Home cooking – especially baking cakes and cupcakes – is very fashionable right now, thanks to the likes of celebrity chefs and cooking competition programmes like the Great British Bake Off . People will pay good money for high quality baking – you can sell your food at parties, fayres, and perhaps even at local food markets. If you invest in some extra decorations, like edible glitter for instance, it’s likely people will be willing to pay more.

We have an article on making cakes, jams and sweets that you might like to read.

  • Playing video games

Do you know Lara Croft better than your own family? You don’t have to answer yes to that for this to apply, but if you are pretty serious about gaming, then attending gaming tournaments and festivals, and testing new games are great ways to make money out of something you love. The top gamers can earn a lot of money, but there is still cash available to those lower down the leaderboard too.

Check out Gathering of Gamers and this handy blog post from Bet From Anywhere, which rounds up a collection of sites that host tournaments.

  • Gardening

For anyone who is green fingered, and whose flowers, fruit and vegetables are the envy of the neighbours, you could always sell your wares to those who aren’t quite so in touch with nature. If there is anywhere nearby selling local produce, or a local market you could pitch a stall at, you could make a lot of money from your hobby.

We have some further tips on growing your own fruit and veg.

  • Shopping

Get paid to go shopping? What? That only happens when you’re Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, right? Nope. There are actually a few ways to get paid whilst going shopping.

    1. Become a mystery shopper. While you browse you must assess the shop’s performance, from displays to staff, and get paid for your efforts. See our article for more information.
    2. Become a personal shopper/concierge. There are those who don’t have time to shop for things, but are able to pay someone else to do it – this could be you! Check out our essential article.
    3. Use online cashback sites. If you’re buying something online, all you have to do is go through a cashback site like Cashback Shopper and then go on to buy the product as normal. Afterwards, you will receive a sum of money (amounts vary), giving you a great discount on whatever you bought. Only use these sites if you were going to buy the product anyway, though.

Listening to music

Keeping up with the latest music can be a challenge due to the sheer amount of material out there, so how about being sent free singles and albums – and gig tickets, if you’re lucky – and being paid to share your opinion on them? Pretty sweet deal. And you can register to be a music scout and back any promising new bands you come across, all through website Slicethepie.

Read our article making money listening to music.

Make money by hosting a fun event

If you’re a sociable type and enjoy organising and having friends round, there are ways to use your social circles to make some extra cash, and all have fun at the same time.

  • Hosting product parties

You can work as a consultant for a company and get paid commission on any products you sell – The Body Shop and Ann Summers are two of the most common for girly gatherings, or you could always make your own products and sell them instead.

The opportunity to get together, and try things out in the comfort of someone’s living room is much more fun than under the watchful eyes of sales assistants and fellow shoppers. Getting a combination of good products and not being too pushy about making people buy them should make you some good money.

See the Moneymagpie article devoted to making quick cash from product parties.

  • Swap party

Got stuff you don’t want but think someone else might? You could hold a swap party, which is essentially a jumble sale but instead of trading in your stuff for money, you trade it in for someone else’s stuff! You can ask family and friends to bring the stuff they don’t want, or perhaps go even bigger and use a community hall for anyone in the area to come along to. This way, your unused things find a new home, and you get something new without paying a penny!

Alternatively, you can swap your unwanted stuff online through sites like SnaffleUp and Freecycle.

  • Supper club

If you love to cook and host dinner parties for other people, there is a way of making money out of your talent. Supper clubs are becoming increasingly popular as they are a more personal, and cheaper, alternative to going out to a restaurant.

The food is cooked and served in your house for however many people attend, or can fit around your table! They pay you a ‘donation’ based on how much they feel the food is worth – so if you keep your own costs low, by perhaps going to local markets, you could make a nice profit. If you’re a good cook and people are in your home, it would take a very hard person not to give you a few pounds.

We have a post on supper clubs, where you can find out tips and information on the legal restrictions.

  • Party/film screening

If you’re likely to have nightmares about spilled drinks and empty bottles littering your house, then this might not be the best idea for you, but inviting people you know round for a party or film screening could be a good earner for you and give your friends a good time.

It’s worth investing a little in lights and music if you opt for a party. For ideas, check out Cybermarket where party lighting is available at just £11.99. PartyBox also has decorations and accessories for pretty much any party theme you can think of!

If you go for a film screening, go for some cheap popcorn, and maybe even a projector. If you’ve got something a bit special it gives you a reason to charge a couple of pounds for entry – this could just be the latest film to be released on DVD that you’ve rented for a couple of pounds from LOVEFiLM.

If you have quite a few people attending you can make your money back in no time, with a little extra. It’s a great deal for your guests too, as they will be making massive savings on going to a club or the cinema, and you can all have a laugh in the process.

Don’t forget the tax man

If your new hobby/job/event is regularly adding to your income, you should declare it to HMRC as they need to know about all of your earnings to properly calculate your tax. You definitely don’t want to be caught out for tax evasion!

We have all the facts you need to know about what to do when you earn extra money.

Useful links

 

Don’t forget our number one article 10 easy ways to make quick cash for our very best money-making ideas!

  • Jay Bryan

    An easy way to make money is to rent out some of your unused space in your home. Part of your loft or garage, or a spare room or closet, or a shed, or freezer. Storemates is a new website helping people do just that.

  • Su

    Hi, just read your idea for charging people for private film screenings – I think you’ll find this contravenes copyright laws. Check out the copyright warnings at the start of DVDs – to charge people money to watch films requires a local council licence. I’m surprised you don’t check these things before putting them online.

  • Street Magic Revealed

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