You can make money at home while you’re doing the things you usually do. It’s actually not that hard.
While some of these things are hard work, others can see you earning cash for things you love doing like walking the dog or doing the gardening. Read our top tips for making cash from home day to day.
- Make money at home ironing in front of the TV
- Make money walking the dog
- Make money in the kitchen baking cakes
- Make money gardening
- Make money at home childminding
- Make money cleaning other people’s homes
- Make money fixing other people’s DIY problems
How long do you spend sat in front of the box, wasting valuable money-earning time contemplating the boxes on Deal or No Deal?
You could use this down-time to make money by charging for ironing – something that other people hate so much they’re often willing to pay for it,
As a professional ironer you can either set an hourly rate for your services, or else charge per item – perhaps £3 per shirt, for example,
Getting started with professional ironing
There are two ways to make money as a professional ironer:
- Set up your own operation, advertising your services locally
- Working through a domestic agency.
setting up your own ironing business
If you already know some people who are willing to pay for ironing (maybe you have been doing some cleaning for people who have lots of ironing) you could start with these clients each week.
Get references from them and promote your business through:
- leaflet drops in the area (you can even design and print your own leaflets on the computer)
- putting leaflets or cards in the window of a local news agent or Post Office
- setting up a Facebook page and getting your friends to promote it through their networks (make sure you post new interesting stuff on it every day)
- getting in touch with businesses in your area like hotels or old people’s homes that might need extra ironing each week.
Word-of-mouth recommendations can be invaluable, so let your family and friends know and build your reputation with some well-pressed collars!
There are various ways you can promote your service. See our section Small Business Ideas for hep on that.
You also have to charge the right amount.
This is a tricky area as you want to keep your rates competitive but still charge enough that you make a living!
See what the agencies are charging and either charge the same or a little more as you are offering a ‘personal service’.
If you are good a mending and darning you could even offer that as an extra. Similarly you could offer a dyeing service and perhaps a special stain removal service (if you’re good at those).
You could charge extra for emergency work (at the weekends for example) and, maybe, offer a pick-up and delivery service for free – making sure you have factored in the cost of doing this in your original charges.
Remember to think about things like business insurance, particularly valuable if you burn someone’s designer outfit! Read our top 20 tips for running your own business here.
working through an agency
It’s pretty easy to find agencies.
Just put something like ‘ironing service’ or ‘ironing agency’ plus your town or county into your search engine and see what comes up.
You can also look on Yell.com, or via any number of online directories, such as UK Ironing Services.
If you love dogs and you enjoy the fresh air then consider getting into dog-walking for money particularly if you have your own and you have to take him out for a walk a couple of times a day anyway.
If you live in a city or a large town there are always owners desperate for someone to take their pooch out during the day.
You typically set a defined rate per dog, per hour – you’re likely to make more money in affluent areas and big cities. In London, for example, you should expect at least £15 per dog per hour.
You could try offering additional services such as pet feeding, washing pet clothes and bedding.
You could even offer a pet B&B to take a dog or small pet, such as a hamster, home with you for a few days.
Getting started as a professional dog walker
An easy way to get started is through a dog-walking agency (there are loads of them all round the country now) , but remember that they’ll take a percentage of what you’re earning.
If you’re going it alone as a business, make sure you get public liability insurance to cover you in case something happens to one of the dogs while they’re under your supervision.
Think about printing and distributing flyers to bring in clients of your own, or even setting up a simple website.
Word-of-mouth can be a great way to build up business, and you’ll be more visible when you get out and about with your dogs – wearing clothing with your business name and number could help show that you’re running a professional service.
If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen, the profit margins on cakes and jam can be pretty impressive.
A good rule of thumb for working out the selling price of your treats is by calculating the cost of production per item, then doubling it.
Whatever you do, be sure not to short-change yourself.
Remember to factor in other costs as well as the price of actually making them. For example, include the cost of the pitch fee if you’re selling at a car boot sale, or your advertising and marketing costs if you’re selling the cakes and sweets through a website.
Getting started as a professional cake baker
Get all the tips you need in our full article on baking cakes for cash.
If you’re not sure where to go to sell, try searching on carbootjunction.com for a list of the UK’s car boot sales and their fees.
Car boot sales can be very good, cheap places to sell cakes, sweets and biscuits. It’s best to produce relatively simple, small items for these because people don’t expect to pay big money for things at car boots.
If you want to take things a step further, get some business cards printed, pop into local cafes and coffee shops and give them your card and some samples.
This should get your name out there and, hopefully, find you some regular work.
You could also take a stall at your local market. It will be more expensive than a car boot sale but you will also have people who are willing to pay a bit more.
If you’d struggle to keep a cactus alive for longer than a couple of weeks, growing and selling your own vegetables might be a bit of a risky business.
However, if you’re a green-fingered, nature loving gardener, some extra hours in the greenhouse might start to pay off in hard cash.
- Plants in pots sell well at car boot sales and local garage shops, so if you have a decent-sized greenhouse you can propagate seedlings over the winter and sell them as full-grown plants in the spring and summer.
- You don’t necessarily need a big garden to grow your juicy veg. Tomatoes, chillies, peppers and herbs will quite happily flourish in your kitchen or living room, providing they’ve got plenty of light and a little bit of TLC.
As well as earning money by selling to friends and neighbours, you’ll be saving a few bucks in the supermarket every week too, by eating what you don’t sell.
Stuck at home all day with the kids?
Why not make some extra money from your situation and your experience?
Register yourself as a childminder (find out how from the National Childminding Association, now known as PACEY) and make cash by reading stories and playing with bricks.
Understandably, there’s a fair bit of red tape to get through before you can look after other people’s kids, and you’ll need to keep up to speed with things like first aid training.
However, it’s possible to make better money doing this than you used to. In the past there were set fees that childminders could charge for looking after babies and toddlers, Now, though, you can set a market rate depending on what local parents are willing to pay.
If you’re a dab-hand with a mop and a broom, a few hours a week cleaning for someone else might be the income boost you’ve been looking for.
Cleaners and housekeepers will always be in demand while there are carpets to vacuum and surfaces to be cleansed.
You will typically be paid per hour for regular jobs cleaning homes and/or offices. Cleaning fees can be better than the hourly rate that waiters or baristas are paid.
- In London rates tend to be between £10-12 per hour (plus travel in some cases
- Out of London they are more like £7-10 per hour, but higher in bigger cities.
Essentially, it’s a job that lots of people don’t want to do so they are willing to pay more than you would expect to get other people to do it.
Also, you could do major one-off cleaning projects can for a pre-agreed fee.
This may be, for example, the total, deep-cleaning of a house before it’s sold or rented, or a set fee to clean the carpets of a flat.
how to make money as a cleaner
As with the other money-making ideas here, you can either get work through an agency – there are loads across the country so just put ‘cleaning agency’ plus your county into your search engine – or you can go it alone.
- If you want to work for yourself, try posting adverts online, putting leaflets through doors and spreading the news by word of mouth.Remember to try to get a reference from each of your clients when you’ve finished – these can be the key to getting more work. Follow the ideas above in the ironing section for ways to build your business and get a top price for your work
- If you work through an agency you are likely to get less money but the work will be more regular. Agencies often get office work which can be handy if you want to work at nights.
Are you a DIY whizz?
Can you put up shelves, fix dripping taps, put hooks on doors and hang curtain rails up?
If so, you are a hero to those of us who can’t do these things and often have a few of them hanging around for months waiting to be done!
make money with diy
Again, you could either run things on your own, being a one-man (or one-woman) band for people in your area. Or you could work through an agency.
- Working on your own, you can market your services as described in the ironing and cleaning sections above. You can also sign up to websites like RatedPeople and Checkatrade where people can find you – and your references – for small or large jobs.
- There are a few handy agencies around – and more are starting up – that you could join if you have really good skills. in London, for example, there is the Handy Squad which has plumbers and electricians as well as carpenters and odd job men.
The amount you can charge per hour depends on what you do and where you are working.
London rates are the highest with plumbers and electricians able to charge £70-90 an hour at least. But if you’re just doing some fixing here and there or maybe assembling a flat pack, you would charge closer to £40-50 an hour.
Outside of London these rates are much lower, though they would be better in the bigger cities.