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Coronavirus: How to make money when self-isolating

William Wilde 18th Mar 2020 One Comment

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a big concern for everyone right now. Not only are there obvious health risks, but the social and financial burden of self-isolating and forced time off work (or even job loss) is a worry.

Essential workers such as doctors and nurses, police officers, and supermarket staff are obviously unable to work from home. Many employees in industries like travel and hospitality have already lost their jobs or have been put on unpaid leave.

So how to cope with the loss of income? If you’ve lost work or are just looking for a way to get more money coming in during these uncertain times, this mega guide has you covered.

As well as short-term cash boosters, we look at ways you can shore up your finances long term. Perhaps self-isolation is even the ideal time to start planning a new business venture for when this is all over?

And to start with, make sure you’re signed up for our Daily Coronavirus Survival Guide Emails.

A word of warning

Most of the following articles are aimed at making money from home and/or in isolation. Some articles will suggest a few tips on ways to make money outside of the house, so use your best judgement and remember the safest thing you can do right now is to stay at home as much as possible, and wash your hands often and thoroughly.



self-isolating: stay sane and avoid going broke

stay calm self-isolating

We’ve already written on how to make money and avoid going broke when you’re self-isolating. More generally, the articles below look at what you can do to avoid unemployment in the first place (if at all possible right now). Plus, find out how to deal with the mental stress of self-isolation.

What’s important to remember is that you need to look after your physical and mental wellbeing during this time. Self-isolation is good for stopping the spread of the virus, but it’s an unfamiliar and potentially stressful situation for many.

Take care of your mental health by making the most of your time at home if possible. Take all the needed steps to keep yourself and others safe, but also do your best to make time to relax. When it comes to thinking about money, get started with the articles below and see how you can start planning to stay afloat during this time.


Save money while self-isolating

coronavirus save money

Making money is always great, but saving money is even better. When finances are tight and you’re skimming by on your savings and making every penny count, you’ll want to spend as little as possible. The following articles look at ways to save money in general, and have fun for free or cheap at home. Find out how you can get free eBooks and video games to keep yourself entertained, and cut back on unnecessary spending too.

Key takeaways include making the most of your grocery budget (especially when supermarket stocks are low and/or unpredictable), and enjoying your downtime with great entertainment. Also vital is to avoid any scams.

If you’ve already got a backlog of books, TV shows, games, etc. to get through, there’s no better time to indulge in those than when you’re self-isolating! And you needn’t necessarily spend more money than usual on these things. Check your bookshelf and games catalogue for unread/unplayed titles, and have a good old binge on Netflix too.


Make a bit of extra cash

make money self-isolating

Making a bit more money is definitely handy right now. There are many ways you can make a few quid without even leaving your living room, ideal when you’re self-isolating. These ideas could help bring in a bit more income while you’re at home. Our daily coronavirus emails will keep you updated with more ideas as time goes on.

Many of these methods don’t take up too much time, so you can give them a go alongside your regular job hunt or other practical tasks. Our tips could save or make you extra cash without too much effort on your part.

Making a bit of extra money is never a long-term solution, but if you’ve got some time on your hands then it might help to stay productive as much as possible. See how you can potentially make quick money doing things like switching your bank account, or explore other ways to make a few extra quid while you’re self-isolating.


Sell your unused stuff

sell your stuff

A great way to make extra money right now is to sell stuff that’s lying around the house. Remember to be cautious and practice excellent hygiene when handling goods, and ideally only send things small enough to fit in an envelope or small letter. Also, Royal Mail makes it easy to pay for postage online and just drop your items off at the postbox, so no need to even go to the Post Office!

Now’s a better time than ever to have a clear out. As well as doing a bit of spring cleaning (which is great for your mental health anyway), set aside any things you think you could sell without having to go to the Post Office. If possible, wearing a disposable mask and gloves will help keep any items you’re posting clean. Give hard surfaces a wipe down with a soapy cloth if possible, and put things like clothes and fabrics through the washing machine before you send them.

Remember it’s not a good idea to post things if you’re showing any symptoms, as it’s possible that COVID-19 can live on surfaces. So as always, be sensible and use your best judgement.


Self-isolating job advice

cv tips

If you find yourself looking for work right now, the following articles will help you navigate your search. Learn how to supercharge your CV, what industries are hot right now, and much more. Be sure to sign up for our daily coronavirus self-isolation emails for more job ideas and tips.

Remember too to take a second to breathe. Losing your job is always stressful, but take a step back to calmly evaluate your options at this time. The articles below will help you think about what to do when you’re made redundant or lose work, and the practical steps you can take to find employment again.

Remember it’s always a great idea to keep a sense of routine even when you’ve lost your job. Try to get up at the same time you normally would, get showered and dressed, make yourself a cuppa and some breakfast, then sit down and start working on those CVs and applications. This will help with your mental health while self-isolating.

As well as healthy eating, exercise is vital more than ever when you’re spending a lot of time at home. Find out how to exercise for free (in particular, the exercising at home section will be a good idea – gyms and swimming pools, etc. are to be avoided right now).


Longer-term business ideas

how to start your own business

If you’re suddenly unemployed but have some savings to get by in the coming months, now could be a good time to think about any business ideas you’ve had. Perhaps losing your job could be the kick you need to make a change and pursue your dream?

It’s an uncertain time for many industries, so you’ll want to think about the safest types of business ventures to start. Explore the concept of freelancing and self-employment and get to grips with the ins and outs of tax payments. A new business venture can be exciting, but you need to cover all the important bases first.

Starting a new business is a precarious venture at the best of times, and right now may not be the ideal time for you to start a project like this. However, if you do find yourself with spare time and enough cash not to have to work for now, starting a new business at home could be just the thing for keeping you occupied and maybe even getting a new lease on life in the long run. Here’s a collection of articles to spark some ideas.

Make money with competitions

best competitions

Of course, competitions are never a sure-fire way of making extra cash. But if you find yourself spending a lot of time sitting in front of the TV right now, why not enter a few competitions at the same time?

These are free and easy ways to get the chance of earning extra money. While they won’t replace the need to work of course, they generally don’t take too long to get involved with. And who knows, you could find yourself winning a windfall. We regularly post updates with competitions and freebies, as well as offering our opinions on the best ones to enter. Remember never to pay to enter a competition!


Do you have any other money-making ideas while self-isolating? Got more tips for saving money on food and other essentials, or the best ways to get free entertainment at home? Let us know your ideas and how you’re getting on in the comments below. 



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4 years ago

Some useful ideas.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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