Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
Snow trapped you at home?
It may just be the money-making opportunity you need.
If the weather has you bored out of your trousers indoors, don’t let this down-time go to waste. Make the most of it. In fact, make it earn you money. Find out here how you can earn cash from the snow, even when you’re just in front of the TV.
If you’re stuck at home due to snow or if you’ve got an extra day off work during the week, use the time to de-clutter. Get sorting through cupboards, drawers and shelves. In result, apart from leaving your house tidy, you’ll gather up a good few boxes of things to sell.
Once you’ve collected a decent pile, put them on eBay, eBid, Gumtree or Amazon. We’ve got lots of advice on how to sell well on eBay here. What really helps is to take some time to get good photos done and put the right description in. Knowing the tricks can make all the difference. There’re various techniques to get more cash for your junk as this article explains. You might even find something suitable to give away as a Christmas present – handy if you’re trying to save a bit of cash!
But remember, you don’t have to sell your stuff online immediately. Another solution is to store the boxes, wait until the weather improves and snow melts away, and do a car boot sale. To find out more, read our advice on getting the best results at a car boot sale here. It’s often better to wait until February for this particular selling opportunity. That’s because many car-booters choose January sales over their local market. February is a better time to get a good price for unwanted Christmas presents and your latest throw-outs.
If you don’t want to sell your junk, gather friends for a swap shop at your house and combine it with a pot-luck party. That way you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Everyone brings a dish for the dinner and all their unwanted stuff to exchange. It may be clothes, accessories, make-up, jewellery and even toys and household goods which you all swap. It’s a fun way to get rid of the things you don’t want. Anything that’s left over you can then take to the charity shop. You should come away from a swap party with a bunch of new (or new to you, anyway) items completely free.
On a bad snow day, it’s really tempting to just ramp up the heating, grab a blanket and curl up in front of the TV for hours. And that’s not a bad idea. You can still make some cash while lounging around and relaxing in front of the box. All you need is some multitasking skills.
Firstly, if you’re a good knitter – and knitting does rather go with this weather – you can make money by knitting to order. Read our article on how to get in touch with designers to do piece-work for them. It could be an easy and enjoyable way to make some extra cash from home.
There’re other ways to use your creativity on a snow day. Whether you can sew, paint, crochet or have any other skill to create some non-messy craft-work, use the down time to make things. You can then sell them at car boot sales, online or at your local market. Hand-made items are all the rage right now and sites such as Etsy make it easy – and profitable – to monetise your creative side. For example, you might be into scrap-booking which is a great thing to do in front of the TV. Or you might be into making perfume and some of that can be done in front of the box. Think about what you can create– then make it and sell it.
Your laptop can be your best friend on a snow day. Sure, you can use it for entertainment, but if you like browsing, you can also make some extra cash wherever you are.
To start with, try making money by doing some online surveys. We’ve got a list of the best online surveys here – take a look as there’re also dodgy ones out there that you should avoid. This way, you can make money and earn points to get gifts on other new money-making websites.
Here are some good ones:
Then, have a go at some online competitions. We’ve compiled the latest online and offline competitions here. You might even want to try having a go at the competitions you sometimes find on product packaging. Spend a bit of spare time thinking up slogans and you may be in with a chance to win a car, washing machine or even a nice holiday in the sun.
You’ll have to get your skates on with this one (excuse the pun!). If the snow is thick in your neighbourhood and you have a car suitable for off-road driving, you could offer your services delivering food and supplies in your area.
Get leafleting to your neighbours and ring local shops – the grocery shops and pharmacies would be good for starters – to offer your delivery services. Big supermarkets have their own service but if you’re in a village or town with good independent shops they might need your help. Charge per mile (or kilometre) or per delivery, depending on how you could make the most sales and the most profit.
Email your friends, neighbours, local hotels and businesses. Use social media too. You can easily promote your services on Twitter and Facebook.
The cold and ice tend to create a boom-time for plumbers, builders, electricians and anyone handy. Sure, you’ll often need to be qualified to offer services if we’re talking major electrics and boiler servicing. People often just need someone good at DIY, though. As such, some fairly basic skills can cover many problems people may have around the house. For instance, can you help with clearing guttering, lagging pipes, mending leaks or even de-icing someone’s driveway? You could easily make money helping people.
To market your services, let your friends and neighbours know. You could also print out some fliers and post them through letterboxes in your area. Don’t underestimate the power of online tools either – email or Tweet everyone you know locally.
Yes, you can make money throwing a party. Not your regular party, of course, but a product party. This involves getting some friends over to your house (if they can get there in bad weather!) and trying out a company’s products before deciding whether you want to buy them or not. For example, brands like The Body Shop will offer you the opportunity to host a product party. You often get freebies (like a complimentary facial or makeover) thrown in too! Find out how to host a product party here.
There’s a few ways for the creative types to earn extra cash while stuck at home.
If there’s a subject that really gets you going – or something that you can write passionately or amusingly about – there’s every chance someone else will want to read what you have to say.
In that case, why not set up a blog? It can be a sort of online diary and if you allow advertising, it’ll also make you some money. If you’re stuck indoors on a snow day, you might as well pick up a pen (or a keyboard) and write.
Use a free service like WordPress or Blogger, both of which help you create your blog quickly and easily. And once you’re set up, there’s an opportunity to make money by including advertising and affiliate deals on the site.
Sign up to a service like Google Adsense which uses search technology to target your site with relevant advertising.
While it’s not likely to be a big earner, it could be a really fun way to make a little extra cash on the side. What’s more, if your blog gets enough readers, you may get freebies from companies. For example, if you blog about something like technology, beauty or music, businesses may send you their products or latest recordings in the hope that you review them.
If you’re good at taking photos, you could use your snow day to make some money out of them. Don’t know how? We’ve got you covered – you can find all the information on selling your photos here.
There’s various outlets you can try. For instance, online agency Fotolia and the stock images website Getty Images might well be interested in your snaps. And it could end up earning you money for a while – you get a royalty fee each time your photo sells.
You might wonder whether your photography skills are good enough to earn you some cash. The truth is, you don’t have to be the next David Bailey with a portfolio of spectacular shots to make it. Many news agencies, which buy pictures through photo agencies, simply want snapshots of everyday events that are well taken and in focus. So, do a little research. Perhaps have a browse through the website you’d like to work with to get an idea of what sells. You could be surprised!
If you’re stuck inside huddled against the cold, what better way to use your time (and keep warm!) than by doing a little cooking? For all those who consider themselves a dab hand in the kitchen, whipping up some food may be a great way to earn cash on a snow day. For example, you could rustle up some treats like cakes, jams and sweets and sell them for a tidy profit. Artisan food is very much in demand right now so monetise your cooking skills. Our article on selling cakes and jams at markets has plenty of tips on how to go about making and selling your goodies.