As the colder weather sets in, there’s the temptation to begin a hibernation process and not step foot outdoors until the first signs of spring. This is all well and good if you have a trust fund, but for the majority of us, earning an income means leaving the house. That could change, of course, if you decide to try one of these eight ways to make cash in your living room and bedroom. Right…slippers on, kettle boiling, let’s go:
- List a spare bedroom
- Cash in your junk
- Host a product party or pop-up event
- Care for kids
- Use your skills to provide a service
- Use it for a film set
- Earn cash while you watch TV
1. rent out a spare bedroom
By listing a spare room in your home to a lodger, you can make up to £7,500 a year tax-free, as per the government’s Rent a Room Scheme. The scheme outlines that you can let out as much of your home as you want, with the exemption being automatic if you earn less than the threshold – Jasmine writes about it here in more detail.
Depending on your space and preferences, you’ll need to decide what kind of housemate you’re looking for – could you manage a permanent co-resident, who freely uses common areas like the living room and kitchen, or would you prefer short-term visitors who simply need a pillow to lay their heads on at the end of the day?
Advertising your room
cover the whole of the UK and are ideal platforms for advertising your room for a lodger.
- Airbnb currently dominates the global market for vacation rentals, and would be a good place to list your spare room for occasional holidaymakers.
Claiming expenses to save on tax
If you take hosting on Airbnb seriously you may make more than the £7,500 tax threshold, so you’ll need to look at claiming some expenses to bring that income down, Airbnbhosting have some good ideas for this, namely:
- accountants’ fees
- insurance covering the building and contents
- your utility bills (gas, water and electricity)
- maintenance and repairs (but not improvements)
- Council Tax
- services you pay for (think cleaning and gardening)
- costs racked up by letting the property (think your telephone calls and advertising)
Do you prefer tourists or students?
Your location also determines the kind of people who will be interested in your accommodation. If you’re close to a university, for example, then expect lots of student applications; and if you’re in a central, popular spot within close proximity to transport routes, you could target the tourist market.
Hosting foreign students is another avenue to explore, and you can make even more money by potentially giving English tutorials to students staying in your home for a few weeks. Read more about this option and how to connect with your local language, which will help you find students to host, in our article here.
There are many things to consider in addition to the points mentioned. For more tips on:
- furnishing the room,
- insuring the contents,
- screening candidates based on references, and
- drafting a water-tight contract.
Read our article on renting out a room, which gives more detail.
2. Cash in your junk
As always, an easy way to make some money from your living room and bedroom is to do a good clear-out and sell the items you no longer want or need.
As you know we are BIG fans of selling your junk and pocketing the cash.
It might not seem like you have anything worth selling, but look around and ask, “What haven’t I picked up in years?”:
- Do you really want all the novels on your bookshelf?
- When last did you pick up that violin?
- And the dining set that has stayed in the Christmas drawer three years in a row?
- Not to mention the clothes in your cupboard that have occupied valuable rail space for years and literally not seen the light of day.
That’s right: Someone will give you cash for your junk
When it comes to second-hand household goods, one man’s junk truly is another man’s treasure, and you may well even have some collectables lying around that could be worth good cash.
Nope – not silver candlesticks or Victorian carved furniture; they’re surprisingly worth very little at the moment; instead, these things are are bringing in the bacon:
- plastic action figures
- first editions of popular books
- children’s toys and books
Read more about making money selling collectables you already have here.
Not show-room condition? That’s okay
Even better news is that the things you sell don’t even have to be in good condition. A really old, broken mobile phone, for example, could bring in a fiver or so; so go dig out your old phones from the back of your drawers.
Okay, now HOW to sell it
What you find to sell will largely determine how you sell your stuff, but in our article 5 Ways to make money selling your junk we recommend hitting the online markets first. Which do we recommend, you ask? Try:
- eBay: eBay is an online auction platform and is the ideal place to sell unwanted bits and pieces – even half-used bottles of perfume and partly-used cosmetics sell! Check out our handy guide to selling things on eBay here.
- Gumtree: Gumtree is essentially an online classifieds site
- Facebook: Your social network on Facebook make it easy to sell to your local network. Check out our tips here including playing fair and putting safety first when selling through the Facebook platform.
- Ziffit: Ziifit is great if you’re looking to get rid of games, CDs, DVDs and books. This free service, available via its website or app, scans barcodes on any book, CD, DVD, Blu-ray or game, arranges and pays for the collection of any items and pays customers within a few days of items being received.
Off-line? Of course, try these:
If you prefer to conduct your sales off-line, car boot sales are always a winner. But if you find a rare item, consider an auction…
Benefits of ‘booting it
There isn’t much you can’t sell at a car boot sale so make sure you raid your wardrobe, cupboards, drawers, attic and shed to see what hidden gems you might have stashed away. We’ve got the low-down on car booting for success here, so be sure to check out this article.
Getting auction action
Lastly, if you have rare or highly valuable items to sell, an auction might be the best channel – think antiques, jewellery or vintage items that you’ve had around for a while. Most auction houses have specialists on site that will provide free verbal valuations on your items, and guide you through the process from beginning to sold.
3. Host a product party or pop-up event
The traditional ‘tupperware party’ has long since had a makeover, and today’s home selling events are the place to go for everything from vintage clothes to skincare. If you’re a social butterfly and enjoy hosting people in your home, you can use your living room to invite friends and their friends round to try out various products.
Step 1: Social butterfly? Try this…
As a hostess, you won’t earn cash as such, but will benefit from free products, discounts and special offers. A company consultant will facilitate proceedings, guiding everyone through what’s on offer and giving them the opportunity to purchase whatever tickles their fancy.
Step 2: Things go well, what’s next?
If things go well you could become a consultant yourself and represent a company. This open works because it will:
- enable you to host parties
- put the commission earned from sales into your own pocket
- help you to earn money flexibly – you can choose how many parties to book, whenever you like
Step 3: Things keep going well, what’s next?
You’ll be assigned a mentor and be trained up on everything there is to know about the product you’re selling, as well as the company behind the product.
Your training will be specific to the company. For example, as a Body Shop At Home consultant you’ll be taught all the ethics that The Body Shop products endorse, such as fair trading, protecting the planet and anti-animal testing. Similarly, with Ann Summers, party games are taught so you’ll be able to the tailor the event to your customers.
Step 4: Like what you’re reading? Here’s what to do now
To get started as a hostess or consultant, you just need to fill in your details on the websites of the companies you’re keen to represent, and a contact will be in touch to get you started.
- Read more about it: We highlight some of the bigger, more common home-selling opportunities in our article on how to host a product party for cash and also delve into the nitty gritty of how much you can potentially earn from using your living room in this way, as well as some of the costs to bear in mind.
- Do it, just with your own home-made products: We also look at the idea of doing your own DIY product party if you make some products yourself. Apparently, making your own beauty products is actually easier that it sounds and you can unleash your inner potion powers in our article here on how to make your own cosmetics to sell.
Step 5: Maximise your living-room’s earning potential
Of course, there’s no need to limit yourself to selling products. You could use your living room to host a pop-up vintage clothes market, or – the latest thing in food – a themed supper club (you’ll need to use your kitchen, and culinary prowess for this one too). If you can picture yourself whipping up a gourmet meal to serve some unknown guests, you could well start raking in gourmet cash; and making a name for yourself in the home cheffing world too.
Love the idea of gourmet cash? While supper clubs can both pop up and disappear without notice, visit the Supper Club Fan Group for a round-up of UK supper clubs to get a taste for what’s cooking in this arena.
4. care for kids
Get paid to look after your own children
If you’re at home looking after your own kids during the day, why not add a few more in and make six a party? If you feel like your living room (and psyche!) could handle it, the law says that you can look after up to six children in total: up to three under-fives and up to three more five to eight-year-olds. If you want to stay at home to look after your children but would also like to make money, this is a particularly good way of doing it.
A childminder working full-time may earn between £10,000 and £18,000 a year. It may be possible to earn more. Remember this bonus point: Childminders set their own fees, which can range from £3 to £6 an hour per child.
Play on your experience and qualifications (not that you need any)
Pay levels are set locally, rather than nationally, and are dependent upon the number of children cared for, the setting in which you work and the number of hours you do. The better qualified you are, the more experience you get and the higher your level of responsibility – then the higher your salary is likely to be.
Remember, as a childminder you’ll need to:
- make arrangements for paying your own tax
- sort out any insurance
- meet costs such as providing meals and buying toys and equipment.
In our full article on how to make money childminding we give you a complete guide on what’s involved and what you need to do to get started, including various clearance checks and inspections. Although there are no qualifications, you need to be registered to work with children under the age of 8.
5. use your skills to provide a service
In the UK, there are no official qualifications required, for example, to teach yoga, so anyone could technically open their living room doors and charge paying customers for a class. Without the right experience, this is not recommended of course – and no, being able to do some downward dog poses does not classify as expertise! But if you are skilled in a particular field – whether it be pilates, massage, still life painting or street dance, you could pass on your knowledge to others and make money in the process.
Clear the decks… of your living room
Step 1: Your living room will need to suit the purpose and be appropriately equipped, so before you set up shop go through the logistics of what is required (pole dancing poles? Pottery kiln?) and work out the costs you’ll need to lay out initially.
Step 2: Once you’ve worked out what your service offering will look like, it’s time to advertise for customers. You could do a shout-out on Facebook or pin up some notices in your local library – it’s best to target a local network who may not have found a provider in close proximity.
Or, just lease your lounge: If you don’t want to be involved in actually providing the service itself, but have a space that could work well, consider renting it out to someone else, as an easy way to make some monthly dosh.
6. rent it as a film set
Lights, camera, cash!
Location scouts are looking for all kinds of properties for photo shoots and film sets and pay up to £2500 a day. You never know, your bedroom or living room may just have the look they’re after!
To get started it’s best to sign up to an agency such as:
You can register your property with these sites and they’ll help provide you with work. You could also contact the BBC locations department or your local film commission directly to ask if they’d be interested in your home.
- Your chill pill: Bear in mind that if your home is going to be used as a film set then you’re going to need a laid-back attitude. You could have a film crew of 30 to 40 people lugging around their equipment and it can be very intrusive – you may even need to move out for a while.
- Parking requirements: You will also need to consider whether you have enough parking nearby to cater for all the crew (perhaps they’ll be interested in buying coffee from you?)
- Your neighbours: You will have to consider your neighbours to make sure they’ll be happy with the arrangement. Night shoots, for example, could mean the road is lit and noisy at night, which might not impress the rest of the street. These are just some of the practical implications – but imagine, you might meet and marry a film star! So don’t be put off by this great way to make some extra cash
- Read our full guide: How to make money renting out your home as a film set here.
7. Earn cash while you watch tv
Believe it or not, there are ways you can make money without moving from the sofa (almost).
Got pins? Knit for cash
Even if you don’t have a clue where to start, we’ve got an article that will tell you everything you need to know from how to cast on, to where to find the cheapest wool.
We show you how you can knit items to sell, and even how to teach others to knit.
- Find out how to knit your way to riches here.
You can earn as much as £12 an hour doing other people’s ironing. Sound appealing? For most of us, ironing is one of those horrible chores we avoid for as long as possible. If you’ve got a knack for it however, there’s plenty of people out there willing to pay you to take that stack of creased shirts off their hands.
Make more money from watching TV
We’ve even got a whole host of ideas on how to make money from TV itself – check them out: How to make money from TV
If you try out all the ideas above to try and make money from your bedroom or living room, and have no luck (unlikely) then there’s still the chance of making something if you look down the back of your sofa. It’s never going to make you rich, but finding money you didn’t know you had can put you in the positive mindset you need to go out there and turn those rags to riches – happy hunting!