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Aug 23

Make money being a friend

Reading Time: 5 mins

Could you imagine getting paid just to hang out? Could you imagine getting paid to watch a movie, play a bit of tennis and maybe go for a drink? Could you imagine getting paid for being a friend?

Well, thanks to a site called Rent a Friend, you really can get paid for your friendship.

Sounds weird, right – but kind of cool?!

Read on to find out how exactly it works.


What is Rent a Friend?

Two young male friends

Rent a Friend was created in Stewartsville, New Jersey, by Scott Rosenbaum.

He had noticed that friend renting companies were very popular in Japan, usually to stand in for a missing family member.

The US market, however, didn’t really have such a thing – so Rent a Friend was created to cater for those in the US who might be in need of a friend.

The site became very popular and is now available worldwide, which means that we in the UK can now get paid to be a friend.



How does it work?

Older friends laughing over hot drinks

People looking for a ‘friend’ pay a monthly fee to the site to look for, and get in contact with, potential friends near them.

When they find someone they’d like to have as a friend, they agree to pay the ‘friend’ hourly and, if both parties are happy, they hang out.

As a friend, you’re able to sign-up to the site completely free (only people looking for friends pay – which means they’re serious about doing it) and advertise yourself to whoever might be interested.

If someone wants to hire you, you’re able to charge them for the privilege of your company.

In many ways it’s a great money making opportunity – you set the hours, the price and you keep all the money you make!

Isn’t it a bit… weird?

Young female friends hugging

Let’s be honest, the idea of renting a friend isn’t something we’re used to. In fact, some people might find the idea positively vulgar and a complete misuse of the word ‘friend’.

But, if you give it a chance, it begins to make a bit more sense.

Whilst it might attract lonely people who simply can’t make friends any other way (and you can decide how comfortable you feel about charging for that), it actually has a lot of people who it might make sense to charge for your time.

For example, someone might be staying in a town for a few days and want you to show them around, or just to have you as company.

Equally, someone might be wanting to learn a new skill and ask you to teach it, which is a perfectly legitimate thing to charge for.

Some people might want a workout buddy to go the gym with.

Other people might just want someone to join them when they go to a movie or to eat out at a restaurant.

You’re under no obligation to meet-up with anyone you don’t want to, so you’re absolutely free to only hire yourself out to people you feel comfortable with.

There’s a 100% no physical contact rule which the site strictly enforces – this is in no way a dating or escorting site!

Some people have gone on to make good friends with people they’ve met, so it’s a nice way to meet new people too.


How much can I make?

Woman looking at cash thoughtfully

People usually charge a minimum of $10 (around £8.20) an hour for their time.

That means that people who are ‘rent a friend’ full-time can make a minimum of £307.50 a week. Those who do it for an extra source of income at the weekend could make upwards of £131.20 a week.

However, how much you can make is obviously going to depend on how much demand there is for ‘friendship’ in your area, and how popular you are as a companion.

You’re likely to make more money – and get recommended to others – if you are:

  • friendly
  • kind and caring
  • interesting and interested
  • a good listener
  • knowledgeable about your area and the fun things to do in it
  • a bit of a culture-vulture, sports fan or someone with similar passions to your ‘clients’
  • non-judgemental and non-critical

…in fact, all the things we wish we could find in our own circle of friends!


Should I do it?

Two women reading magazine

When you think about it, people have been paid for centuries to be ‘companions’, usually to wealthy, older people. Often young single people would be paid a monthly salary plus room and board to be these people’s ‘friend’, so it’s not really that unusual.

Rent a Friend is different though, particularly as it’s ‘by the hour’ and for all ages.

If it catches on, it could become a seriously good money-maker for some people.

Of course, the site needs momentum to build. If not many people in your area know of the site, then you’ll struggle to get business. If you have to travel to meet people then you’ll need to factor in travel costs.

We recommend you just see this as a nice way to supplement your main income. If you can make something more from it, great. But think of it as an unusual and fun way to make some extra cash.

This would work particularly well for students who have some extra time and fancy a different way to make money. But, really, anyone with spare time, and a friendly, open, interesting personality, can give it a go!

Would you consider renting yourself out as a friend? Do you think it’s a good idea? Let us know in the comments below – we love to hear from you!




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2 years ago

I find this disgusting. I thought my paid companion was my friend. It was bogus. She began to gradually add more time. I had to pay her for every time she spent time with me. If I did not pay her I would not hear from her. She let me think she was my friend till I realized it was only when I paid her to be hear. It was all business

claire (@claire-coulter)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tiny

have you used this service? or was it just someone you met somewhere in life? if it was this service then that’s the reality that’s what your paying for and I presume you could of complained about her adding time. if it was just someone met in life then yes it is disgusting to do this to people, iv had my fair share of people taking advantage of me in this type of way too. its sad but people prey on those in need.

2 years ago

Love it xx

2 years ago

Yeah x loving it xx

2 years ago

This sounds like a really good idea, plenty of people out there needing a friend

Michael Timmins
Michael Timmins
2 years ago

Send me that direction please

Shelley Martin
Shelley Martin
2 years ago

This is something id like to do. How do i sign up please?

2 years ago

How do I sign up to this?

Michelle (@michelle-brown)
2 years ago

This sounds like a great idea. I love film and theatre and often go on my own so would happily go along with someone else. i also know a lot about my town so would be happy to show someone visiting the sites.

2 years ago

I’m easy going and friendly; love art and music. I’m open to new experiences and having fun as I love adventure. Positive and chilled, ready for anything

2 years ago

I am cultured – love reading literature, going to exhibitions, concerts. And I very much enjoy communication.

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