Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
At MoneyMagpie we embrace all kinds of money making ideas, even some that might seem very bizarre indeed.
In fact, last year we put together 20 strange ways to make money – if you haven’t read that one yet, go ahead, we’ll wait for you.
Good, because now we’ve surpassed ourselves and found ten even stranger ways to make money.
Some of these ideas will shock you, some will surprise and one or two…well, they might just make you blush…
Have you ever looked at dog food and felt a little envious?
No…neither have we, but we can’t deny feeling a little curious. What exactly does it taste like?
Well with this job you won’t have to wonder anymore, it will be your role to try the dog food out and give your verdict.
Yes, seriously, this is a real job – this guy does it for a living!
The reason for the role existing is actually quite nice. Dog food companies want to make sure that the food tastes good and that the ingredients are balanced properly. And quite right to – just because it’s for dogs doesn’t mean it shouldn’t taste nice.
Thankfully for you, this kind of testing is usually only used for top-of-the-line pet food, so the ingredients probably aren’t that bad, plus you’ll usually spit out the food instead of having to swallow it.
The pay isn’t bad either, you can earn £20,000 – yes, £20,000 – for an entry position and then you can work your way up to becoming a technical director’ who can earn £50,000 a year.
Strangely enough though, dog food tasting is slightly more challenging than it sounds. It’s not just a case of saying good or bad, you’ve got to have a good palette and able to detect different ingredients and flavours, so a background in cooking would be handy.
Think of it as similar to wine testing, but instead of tasting fine grapes you’re chewing on bits of meat and gravy. Mmm…tasty!
If dog food isn’t your thing, read about getting paid to test (human) food here.
Yes, sad as it is, many animals end up splattered on the road, particularly in the country.
In America it’s estimated that over one million animals a day are killed by cars!
Of course it’s significantly less in the UK, but it’s still an unfortunate reality of modern living.
But with the remains needing to be removed, it does present another money making opportunity: roadkill cleaners.
In the USA this is a real industry, with people able to earn money per carcass they clean. In the UK there isn’t as much demand, but there are still openings.
Not that long ago the position of ‘roadkill cleaner’ opened up in Farnham, Surrey, offering to pay £7 an hour.
We doubt it’s high on many people’s ‘job wishlists’ but, hey, someone’s got to do it and at least you’re not stuck in an office all day. Also, there are some people who eat roadkill – not the most hygienic we think but you can see the logic – so if you’re not squeamish and you’re happy to skin and chop your own animal, that’s also free food. Hmm.
We’ve all seen police identity parades in the movies and on TV, but have you ever wondered where they get the people from to do it?
Well, unfortunately for money making purposes, increasingly they don’t use them and instead use photos or more modern technology like videos to help save money.
But some forces do still use the identity parade, and you can get paid to be a part of it.
Rates vary but you can expect to earn £10-£15 for the first hour and £5 per hour afterwards. It normally doesn’t take very long and isn’t particularly taxing so it’s quite an easy money earner if you look like a bit of a criminal!
To register your interest you should go down to your local station in person, find out if they have any opportunities and take it from there.
If all goes to plan you can make a nice bit of extra cash…just hope the victim doesn’t point you out!
If your local force doesn’t do identity parades, maybe you could save money instead by attending a police auction.
It’s estimated that there are around 50 million lost golf balls in lakes around the UK, largely because of mistake shots.
For obvious reasons, most golfers don’t fancy going in and recovering these balls and so they’re lost forever…unless a golf ball diver recovers them.
A lot of golf balls are actually quite valuable, so a golf ball diver recovers these balls and often restores them, and then sells them on.
The amount you’ll earn is dependent upon how many balls you can recover, plus you’ll need to be a pretty strong diver to earn a living doing it.
It’s not something that you would get a job doing, it’s more a business that you would set up, possibly on the side…something to do at the weekends if you’re a keen diver and live near a golf course.
Recovering golf balls might sound easy, but don’t forget you’ll be swimming among weeds, fish, shopping trollies and who knows what else so it can be quite a struggle. People have died trying to recover golf balls.
Also, if you do end up golf ball-diving make sure you’re not breaking any laws, particularly trespassing laws. An accomplice of a golf ball diver was jailed back in 2002 for just this crime, not the greatest way to reward the entrepreneurial spirit!
Still, If you think British golf ball divers have it hard, spare a thought for some American divers. To recover golf balls some have to fight venomous snakes and alligators!
Sometimes people just need a hug.
That’s certainly the driving philosophy behind the ‘professional snuggler’ industry (that’s snuggling by the way, not smuggling if you were thinking we’ve gone over to the dark side!).
There are people out there, often older men, who wish to snuggle up to someone to watch a movie and who are happy to pay someone to do so.
One 45 year old woman earns up to £360 a day as a professional snuggler – charging £25 for half-an-hour, £45 for an hour and £65 for an-hour-and-a-half.
It’s strictly to be seen as platonic and in no way sexual, and many professional snugglers have a background in holistic therapy.
In fact there’s a surprising number of training courses to qualify people as a ‘professional snugglers’ but you shouldn’t hand over any money without seeing just how much that qualification is worth and if there’s really demand in your area.
Professional snuggling is more recognised in the USA than in the UK, and even there it’s pretty niche, so it’s certainly not something that a lot of people will have heard of.
But if you feel comfortable with the idea and want to give it a go – why not? You might start a new money making phenomenon.
Don’t look so surprised – we did promise something that would make you blush!
Ok, if you’re a prude you might want to skip over this section, but everybody else – you wanted strange money making ideas so we’re giving them to you!
One woman earns £15,000 a year reviewing sex toys – and has 15 orgasms a week doing so.
The key to this hedonist lifestyle was that she developed a strong reputation as an erotic blogger, until companies were either providing her with products for free or paying her to feature them on site.
In truth this is an extreme example of what we’ve been harping on about for ages – the fact that you can make good money and get free products blogging about anything.
If sex toys aren’t your thing, blog about fashion or movies or gadgets. Whatever you’re passionate about, write about it and you may just develop a following.
It’s not easy, blogging takes a lot of effort, good writing skills and specialist knowledge, but keep at it and you never know, your blogging career may end with a nice…ahem…climax.
For a few lucky people, their full-time job is to travel the world and test out water slides. Weeeeeeeeeee!
Can you imagine how fun that would be?
Sure there may be a few downsides. You’d be away from home a lot, some of the testing might be a little laborious (imagine the health and safety) plus you might be testing the slide on days that aren’t as sunny as hoped.
But still, you’d be a water slide tester – you’re paid to have fun!
Obviously a job like this isn’t easy to come by but, hey, no harm in keeping your eyes open.
Only in 2013 a very lucky student landed a £20,000 a year job to test out water slides – beats working in Tesco!
Fancy looking after an island? Yes, that means you have responsibility for its upkeep and maintenance.
One lucky person got a chance to do just that after landing a £28,000 job keeping their eyes pealed on St Michael’s Mount, off the coast of Cornwall.
But, if looking after something doesn’t take your fancy, you could always go and do research on the island. One, owned by a British couple, off the coast of Chile is offering £3,000 a month, flights and accommodation for students who want to do some research.
How neat does that sound? Get paid to go and visit one of the most remote pieces of land in the world. Doesn’t sound too bad by our standards. It’s a shame these jobs are few and far between!
You would be fooled for thinking mermaids are just mythical creatures. Well, some people are making their living out of being one – and it’s not just the females cashing in, the mermen are as well!
Jack Laflin, who also goes by the name Jax, has a full-time career as a real life merman. He has been witnessed posing with his tail at events in America for the past two years.
But how easy is a job like this to come by? We would say – pretty difficult! You would have to be an established performer and comfortable showing yourself with your tail.
Still, if Jack has managed it, it proves it can be done.
Everyone loves a bit of chocolate now and then. But, if you love tucking into a tasty Dairy Milk each day, we might have just the job for you.
Become one of Cadbury’s taste testers! Owners Mondelez International are looking for people to try numerous products including Oreos, Milka and Green and Blacks. Your job will also involve trying numerous cocoa drinks.
Sound like something you’d fancy? Well, at the last count, there were only four jobs available for up to eight hours every week.
So, better keep an eye out on the Cadbury’s jobs page to see if another comes up again soon!
Any of these ideas take your fancy? Maybe you’ve got an even stranger money maker to share? Let us know in the comments section below.