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 ways to make money being fun 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.
So, without further ado, here are ways to make money being fun.
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! This could mean taking a step up on a hobby you already have, or trying something new.
There are several comedy courses around to get you started like of Comedy School UK and City Lit.
For example, Comedy School UK offers a stand up comedy course which lasts seven weeks and takes you through everything, from writing your first piece of material to your debut performance. It is taught by professionals from the comedy circuit and finishes with you performing in front of a friendly audience. The course costs £240, or £199 if you’re a student, senior, unemployed or a member of the Comedy School.
You must bear in mind, however, that the real key to success is practice and good material. Bring a notepad around with you everywhere so the moment you think of something funny, or an amusing event happens to you, you can jot it down.
Be brave and 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. Try to leave a lasting impression on your audience and leave them wanting more. Most comedians will tell you that it is not unusual to have a bad gig every once in a while, so don’t be deflated if you do; just keep positive and make sure you are giving the best performance that you can.
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. Mirth Control, for instance, has seen many comedians perform their early gigs at Mirth Control venues including Jimmy Carr, Stephen Merchant, Jason Manford and Alan Carr. They provide for all kinds of bookings, from private parties to corporate events, so being signed by them gives you a good chance of breaking into the industry.
If you are good then you stand a good chance of getting noticed. If you’re going to succeed you have to keep practicing and refuse to give up.
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.
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 (plus you may well get to meet a few celebrities).
It used to be a closed business but there are now 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.
When you apply you will need to send a photo. You are best sending a head shot and a full body shot, along with your resume, so they have your information on file. You could use a digital camera, or you could spend a bit of money on a professional photographer. Getting picked as an extra does depend on how you look, but most of the time they just want normal everyday people. You can look a bit scruffy, overweight, or unusual and still have a good chance of being chosen. Have a few different ‘looks’ taken in different styles of clothes (casual, smart, elegant etc.) Don’t digitally airbrush your photos however – if they call, they want to hire you.
When choosing an agency make sure they are reputable. If they ask you for money straight away leave and don’t look back. Ask the agencies what shows and films they have been involved with, then check that against the TV show’s/film’s credits. There are many unscrupulous people out there so choose wisely.
Work may be inconsistent, but the rates are good. For example, the BBC day rates are a minimum of £69.50 per day for supporting artists and around £100 per day for walk-on artists – who may speak a few words or take individual direction. If you have any particular talents or skills, such as your a good golf player or your good at rollerblading, then you may be able to earn a little more. 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.
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 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, although more prominent advertising will cost more. 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.
Bar work is one of the most flexible evening or day jobs you can find to make money quickly. If your English is good enough and you can do basic maths, you can do it. Plus, it can be a great way to forge yourself an entirely new career.
If the establishment you work for has a dress code, you may be expected to provide at least part of this yourself. It will probably be simple – a pair of black trousers and a black or white shirt. Don’t fork out on nice work clothes. Get something cheap that you can spill drinks on, sweat in and generally get grimy. This way, if it gets ruined, you can replace it easily. Clothes also need to be comfortable.
It’s not easy, at times you may be rushed off your feet and you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty, emptying drip trays, dealing with drunken punters and even cleaning toilets. What’s more, you’ll have to do it with a smile so you get good tips. But if you don’t fancy the slog of a nine to five office job then bar work may be for you. You might not get paid a huge hourly wage but you should hopefully be able to make £20 a day from tips as well. if you really take to the job there are qualifications that might lead to an increase in pay such as NVQs/SVQs in Catering and Hospitality (Food and Drink Service) at levels one and two.
Read our article on making money as a bar worker for more information.
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 the guestlist etc, which can include your friends, and you will then be expected to attend the club night yourself.
You could make as much as £10 per person (once you’ve brought in a set amount of people) plus extra commission on any tables that you fill. Be warned though that if you’re just starting out as a promoter you might only get offered free entry and, if you’re lucky, free drinks. That’s fine as long as you’re not desperate for cash. The more established you become the more sway you’ll have when it comes to negotiating payment.
Club promoters tend to make their own luck, contacting nightclubs directly and offering their services to the powers that be. But some clubs, particularly those based in London, do advertise for promoters online so keep an eye on job sites like Gumtree, Craigslist and Jobrapido. Small clubs in your local area might do the same thing, particularly through social media such as Facebook, so make sure you like their page/follow their twitter.
For more information see our article on getting paid to party.
Anyone can become a nightclub photographer, although it will obviously help if you feel comfortable in the clubbing scene and have the confidence to approach strangers to take their picture. It’s particularly suited for students who are looking to earn a little extra cash during their studies. You’d probably be out all night on a weekend anyway, right?
But it also suits anyone interested in pursuing a career in photography. Don’t be fooled; nightclub photography is not particularly easy and producing good quality pictures that work with the lighting and which capture the atmosphere and mood of the night requires some skill. It also is quite a reasonable time commitment because you are not just taking photos but you will also need to upload them as well. This can be a lengthy process, and you will likely be expected to do it the following day or even straight after you finish taking pictures. Some photos will probably need editing and resizing and this can all take some time, so you must have a real passion for getting the best photos you can.
To get your first job try contacting various clubs in your area and asking if there are any nights you can do. Start networking so the staff get to know you. Offer to do photography at an event for free so you can prove to them you have the skills required.
Once you start getting money you can earn anything from £30-100 a night.
For more information read our article about making money as a nightclub photographer.
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 with man’s best friend, whilst getting some exercise!
In London and the South particularly, people are willing to pay £10-15 per dog, per hour or part of an hour. So if you walk four at a time you could make £60 an hour! If you have not done this type of work before it might be best to start off with just one dog but you should be able to cope with about three or four dogs depending on their size, speed and levels of obedience early on. There are a limit on the number of dogs you can walk in some areas so make sure you are aware of, and abide by, these rules or you could face a fine. Your local council can answer any queries you may have so give them a call before you get started.
You can decide whether to join an agency to find work or be self-employed. If you join an agency, such as Tailster, you’ll probably find work more quickly but they may charge you for being on their books and take a cut of your earnings. If you decide to go self-employed then make the effort to get to know people in your local park and come up with a strategy for advertising your services (for example getting business cards printed.) Reputation is key; if people say good things about your services you are more likely to get further work.
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.
Tutors are usually employed on a short-term basis, to help kids make it through the weeks leading up to their exams and get them properly prepared. Often parents will want the tutor to come to their home to teach, or, as is becoming more popular recently, tutors can teach remotely online. So if you plan to teach in the child’s home, remember you’ll need to factor in travel costs.
You will have to have some knowledge – but you don’t necessarily have to be a qualified teacher. If you have a degree your skills in that subject will still be sought after. University students who are still studying for their degree can make themselves some much-needed cash this way too. You’ll need to be patient, an enthusiastic communicator and good with teenagers (remember they can be a difficult age group). Plus, along with helping with their learning, you’ll need to be able to inspire confidence in them.
You will need to advertise your services. Sites like Schoolstrader and Bright Young Things would be a good place to start. Rates will vary but you could be earning up to £80 an hour tutoring.
For more information on being a private tutor, see our article.
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!
Pay varies widely but you can expect, on average, between £8 and £12 per hour. (However some people have told us they can earn up to £40 a class). These days life modeling is a professional occupation and most employers regard life models as employees – you’ll probably find there isn’t much work going that pays in cash so prepare to have to work on PAYE and supply a National Insurance number.
To get started you should contact local art colleges and education centres, as well as keeping an eye open when browsing shop windows, your local paper and Gumtree for any opportunities. There is also a great website, The Art Models Register – a sort of unofficial life modelling union – which features jobs from all around the country.
Have a look at our article on making money as a life model.
Lifeguards can work part or full time, so you could choose to work around your current job and earn up to £10 an hour in your spare time whilst performing a vital public service. Working full time could earn you a salary of between £12,000 – £16,000.
For more information take a look at our article on how to make money as a lifeguard.
Doing a yachting cadetship is ideal for those who want to avoid the cost of high university tuition fees, whilst someone who is looking for a change of career could take the professional yachtmaster course.
Have a look at our article about joining the yachting industry to find out more about a career at sea.
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?
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.
For example, there are a range of easy items you could produce through knitting. The easiest, and the one that most people begin with when they first start to knit, is the scarf. They can range from the big thick woollen garments worn during winter to the stylish thin acrylic scarves that are worn as fashion accessories. Once you’ve mastered the scarf, you can move onto bags, cushion covers and blankets, with just a few rectangles stitched together and a button here and there, they’re very satisfying to make.
When it comes to putting a value to how much your creation is worth decide what hourly rate you believe your time is worth to produce your items. Think about how many items you can make in a week and how long this will take you. Then look at your material costs – how much it would cost to make one item, and how many you could make in a week? Add this number to your production costs and then divide this number by how many items you can make in a week. Compare this price to that charged in craft markets for similar goods. If you’re charging much less than others, you could consider increasing your price. However, if you’re charging over the odds, think again – perhaps you could increase the amount of time you spend making your crafts, or find other ways to cut the cost of materials?
You can sell your goods in person, for example selling them at a car boot sale (which should cost around £5-15 to set up) or advertise your goods online on sites such as eBay.
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.
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, then blogging may be for you. 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.
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.
Stock libraries want a wide range of pictures, covering many different subjects, ideas, concepts, cultures and issues. When a buyer types a search term – no matter how obscure – into their site, they want to find an image to match their needs. Think about the types of photographs you see in the news. A story about food hygiene might be accompanied by a shot of someone washing their hands. An article about petrol prices might show someone fueling their car. These descriptive images are the real money spinners.
The price you earn depends on the resolution of your photographs, as higher quality images are more expensive. The types of photo-selling websites can be divided into microstock (high volumes of photos, low prices paid per photo) and macrostock (vice versa). For example, with Fotolia, the minimum commission you can earn is 33% or up to 50% with a good ranking. It pays 5p for an extra small photo, £1 for a small photo and £2 for a medium photo.
Check our tips on how to make money from your photographs.
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.
The beautiful thing about earning by baking is that it’s straightforward and flexible. It isn’t something that you necessarily have to do on a regular basis – if you’re a little short of cash one week, it’s easy enough to hunt down your next local car boot sale and get baking. All you’ll really need is to have a good few recipes under your belt and a reasonable idea of what people would buy.
To make money you’ll have to consider costing, such as the cost of the ingredients, food packaging and gas and electricity. Once you’ve worked out how much all of this is likely to cost you, you should be able to work out how much you’ll need to sell your baked goods for to break even and then make a profit.While you do your research, you should be taking note of how much other stallholders sell their cakes and foods for, to get a rough idea of how much you can reasonably expect to charge.
Before you decide to make a real go of this, it’s advisable to give it a few test runs somewhere that isn’t going to cost you the earth. Try out a stall at a car boot sale first, because it will only cost you between £5 and £15 to set up there. There are a number of other outlets that will let you sell your goods, such as the Women’s Institute, which runs country markets around the UK. It costs just 5p to join and they’ll take about 10% commission on sales to cover the costs of the market.
We have an article on making cakes, jams and sweets that you might like to read for further information.
Collecting haute couture is a quiet market racking up thousands of pounds at auctions. Investment in a designer or a decade is like collecting art and goes hand in hand with the trend for vintage. Aesthetics aside, there is big money to be made in collecting couture.
You can start by collecting what is already vintage or try your hand at getting new pieces that will become vintage.
There is big money to be made, so read our guide on making money from designer fashion.
You probably won’t make a huge amount, you almost certainly won’t get rich, but you can earn enough to reward your gaming expertise.
You can make money on the side by setting up a gaming blog, writing video game guides and monetising your gaming YouTube videos.
To make serious money you can become a games tester or even enter yourself into an e-sports competition with competition prizes of up to £5,000!
For more information read our article on how to make money by playing video games.
Plenty of people make serious cash by sharing their videos on YouTube, with many managing to make thousands of pounds a year. A lucky minority even quit their day jobs and make their YouTube hobby their career!
If you can create videos that have wide audience appeal, whether they be instructional or funny, then you stand a good chance of making some money. How much you can make will depend on how many views you get and what kind of advertising you have. Some people get paid per views, whilst others get paid money every time an advert is clicked.
For a step by step guide to making money from YouTube take a look at our article.
YouTube is not the only video sharing website you can make money on however, there are many other sites that you can use and which may well be less crowded. Such sites include Vimeo, Metacafe and Daily Motion. For more information take a look at our guide to the top eight video sharing sites.
It’s a great tool for professionals, allowing you to conduct an interview or host a business meeting, but it also can be used for fun to connect with friends.
A Hangout can be a good way to make money as well. Not only could you use it as a selling platform, but you could also host a Google Helpout.
Essentially this means that if you have a specific skill you could teach to someone over the internet, for example music lessons or IT instructions, then you can use a Hangout to do it and you can charge what you want for the session.
For more on this take a look at our Google Hangouts article.
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.
The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to grow. Essentially you’ve got to pick the plants to go with your garden if you’re going to be successful. There are lots of factors that will come into your decision such as space, how much time you have and how confident you are as a gardener. If you’re a complete beginner, it could be a good plan to start small with something like tomatoes and potatoes and then work your way up to more exotic things like artichokes and asparagus.
Growing your own seedlings can be time consuming and difficult, so if you want to cheat a bit, going directly to a garden centre to buy your own seedlings will cost a bit more but is probably worth it. Garden centres should also have a much better variety of vegetables for you to choose.
We have some further tips on growing your own fruit and veg.
This is one of the few jobs in the world where it’s as simple and relaxing as it sounds. You’ll be standing in a field for long hours but there are no skills required and you’ll be taught how to pick the best fruit.
You’re normally paid cash in hand so you’ll have to sort out your own National Insurance and tax, but if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty fruit picking can be a nice little earner as you work in the sunshine.
For further tips go to our article on making money from fruit picking.
Whether it’s hundreds of pounds or thousands, there are better ways to make money from Premier League football or Wimbledon tennis than gambling on them.
You could of course get involved in the sport directly like, for example, becoming a football referee. There are lots of other ways though, from seasonal jobs to rental ideas, there’s plenty to earn you some quick money.
Take a look at our comprehensive guide to making money from sporting events here.
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.
On Slicethepie all the tracks are anonymous until you’ve reviewed them which means you can’t be picky about what you review or favour a particular band. It’s pretty clever actually. To carry out a review you get to listen to a track and after 60 seconds you can start writing your opinion. After you’ve listened to the sound clip as many times as you want, you have to rate it from 1–10 and then submit your review in order to start another one.
The maximum you can earn per song is 25p so if songs are an average of three minutes and you therefore listen to ten in half an hour, you’re looking at earning £5 an hour. You can also make 10% of review earnings if you recommend a friend. For example, if your friend earns $0.20 for a review, you’ll get $0.02. You can invite as many friends as you like and get a referral bonus too.
Read our article for more on making money listening to music.
All you have to do is invest in some equipment and you can get cracking.
You can make money face painting at children’s parties, festivals, nurseries and schools, theatre productions and even by hosting classes.
Take a look at our article on five ways to make money face painting.
Lego release sets based on very popular franchises including Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
Lego only release certain sets for a couple of years and they are then ‘retired.’ This creates a demand which an investor can use to make a healthy profit.
To find out more take a look at our article on making money buying and selling Lego.
. Props, costumes and rare records can be a great investment, with some valuable items turning up in the strangest places.
Original copies of famous records such as the Beatles’ White Album can go for £200 – £300, and if you work your way up to rarer items you could be getting thousands.
For more information go to our article on making money collecting film and music memorabilia.
Really successful ones, like ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’, can make millions for the TV company and, over time, for the person, or team, who came up with the idea.
Be warned, though, a good format is a remarkably difficult concept to come up with. Even professionals can take years to create a good one. But if you’re a game show fanatic, you could be in a good position to come up with an idea and the sky’s the limit when it comes to how much you could earn.
For more information go to our article on making money by creating a game show format.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 for cheap lighting. 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.
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.
Don’t forget our number one article 10 easy ways to make quick cash for our very best money-making ideas!