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Fancy making extra cash this summer? From babysitting to dogsitting and from fruit-picking to gardening, here are a host of great ideas for seasonal work that you can fit around your current lifestyle.
Gardening for cash is an ideal way to make some extra money. Lots of people start thinking about the state of their garden in the weeks leading up to summer, so it’s the ideal time to pounce on their insecurities!
Offer your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours your services as an expert lawn mower, weed eradicator and plant potter and you’ll be a renowned small-time gardener in no time at all.
Start attracting business by handing out cards and flyers (you can get free business cards printed from Vistaprint) and by knocking on doors. Once you’re up and running, word of mouth should spread and work should roll in on a regular basis.
Ideally, you’ll need your own lawnmower, garden tools and transportation to get from place to place.
In terms of tools, get yourself a sharp pair of secateurs, a pair of tough, skinny gloves and a long, thin trowel. There are plenty of different tools out there to help make your job in the garden a bit easier, and here’s a couple of useful websites:
Don’t think too big to begin with – offer basic services that people generally don’t have time to do themselves for a reasonable price. Professional gardening companies charge around £15 for simple tasks, so long as you can beat their quotes you should have plenty of business.
Great with kids? Get paid to look after someone’s offspring for a quick summer money maker. A spot of good weather (hopefully) will mean that you can take the children for fun days out and not be stuck indoors too often.
Professional childminding and babysitting is a different story. If you’d like to look after the children of strangers on a regular basis, you’ll need to be a registered childminder and have the proper checks to be able to work without fear of a lawsuit.
You can register with agency websites such as Sitters and Childcare.co.uk where you can advertise as a babysitter for free. The agency then makes all the arrangements for you. Also, drop a note through your neighbours’ doors to let them know you’re available to look after their children. You could even send out a group email to friends or work colleagues informing them of your new babysitting venture – just make sure you include a price list to establish the fact that it isn’t a free service from the start.
Having a DBS check (formerly CRB) will make it easier for you to get work and most agencies will insist on it anyway.
Written references from people for whom you have already worked as a babysitter or other type of carer will also make a big difference. However, even if you haven’t given babysitting a go before you can get character references from a teacher, your bank manager or another professional who knows you well.
Be prepared for every eventuality whilst looking after children. Keep contact numbers for parents and emergency contacts if for some reason you can’t get hold of them. Ask about allergies, medication or anything else you might need to know.
If you need some inspiration when it comes to entertaining children, Day Out With The Kids is a brilliant website full of places to visit for both indoor and outdoor activities in your region. We’ve also written an article on how to entertain kids for less during the summer, so take a look.
Feel free to charge anything around £10 an hour. The long summer holidays can be a real pain for working parents so there should be plenty of work.
If you do find that you’re struggling to get work, initially keeping your rates down to a minimum will do your reputation a lot of good – then you can always increase your fee later on once you’ve established some regular clients.
Struggling to afford all the big summer events? Why not work at one instead to watch great sports matches and music concerts and bag some money whilst you’re at it?
You’ll need to contact an events recruitment company – here are a few we tracked down for you:
Festaff says you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications but you have to be at least 18 years old and they will carry out checks and take up references.
MJR Tom says that the most common product they sell is beer and the most common receptacle they use is a rucksack, so you won’t be lugging around bikes with ice-cream freezers on them or anything. Once you’ve got a stock of your product you can then wander around, enjoy the event and sell your product. Most of the events take place during evenings or weekends so it’s something you can do in your spare time if you work, and hopefully the events themselves should be pretty enjoyable. However, carrying liquids can get pretty heavy, so it’s not a job for those who haven’t got the strength to lug around a heavy load on their back.
Usually not more than minimum wage to start off with, but potential for more if you do some regular shifts for an events company.
With Festaff you’ll typically work at least two shifts per event but one of those days will be unpaid – because you get a free ticket into the event and a secure place to camp (a package that’s worth over £125 at most shows). After this, any day you work is paid at minimum wage.
At MJR Tom you’re paid a minimum wage base rate but then can earn commission on top of that depending how many of your products you sell, which does give you motivation to try and sell as much as possible.
How do you do it?
Firstly you need to register your parking space or garage through sites such as JustPark. Theses sites enable you to advertise your space to thousands of people.
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of all those people needing somewhere to park for the hundreds of music and sporting events. And renting your space doesn’t have to stop there! If you have some attic space, for example, you can advertise it to people needing storage solutions on sites such as Spareground for free.
For another no-effort way to make money, put an ad on your car through companies such as Money4Space and Comm-motion. The company that you sign up to will apply an adhesive vinyl wrap to all or part of the vehicle (don’t worry they’re specially designed so that they won’t spoil the paintwork).
Some companies will require you to drive a certain amount each month before paying you. For example, Money4Space stipulates its drivers must complete at least 500 miles a month, where as Comm-motion will match your driving routine to their advertisers’ needs. Both these companies accept vehicles of all sizes, from large vans to small hatchbacks or even flashy convertibles but they do prefer cars that are newer or in good condition.
With Park Let and JustPark you set your own prices but when deciding how much to charge see what other people near you charge per day – you could even try to undercut them slightly if you find that you’re not getting enough interest. JustPark has this helpful price guide so that you can determine how much similar spaces have gone for.
In order to be considered for a car wrap, both Money4Space and Comm-motion require drivers to have:
For renting your parking space the money you can make will depend where you live – you can earn from £10 a day for a driveway in a suburb to £17,000 a year for a garage in Knightsbridge, London. If you live near a station or in a busy area, or even better, near a sports stadium or events venue, you can make some serious cash.
If you’re a strong swimmer why not become a lifeguard over the summer for the perfect summer job? It’s a great way to meet people and although it’s a serious job (your role is to look after and possibly save someone’s life) it can be lots of fun too.
There are two types of lifeguard:
Once you’re qualified try sites like Leisurejobs, Gapyear.com and Gumtree. Also, contact your local pool and ask about vacancies.
To be a pool lifeguard you’ll need one of the following qualifications:
To be a beach lifeguard you’ll need one of the following qualifications:
These qualifications can be gained by either training with a commercial training organisation like Harlyn Surf School in Cornwall, or by joining a local RLSS Lifeguard club or SLSA GB life-saving club as a volunteer and training with them.
You can get information on all lifeguard courses in your area through the Learndirect careers advice website. Expect to pay between £100 and £150, although if you receive benefits you may be entitled to discounts. Because you’ll be working with or around children, you’ll need to undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service check).
As a part-time lifeguard, you could earn anything between £6.19 and £10 per hour, depending on your level of experience and the type of place you’re working for. Working full-time could earn you a salary of between £11,500 and £16,000, again depending on the location and your previous experience.
Why not take advantage of the fact that Brits can’t cope with heat by selling ice lollies, hand-held fans, bottled water and sun cream on the hottest days of the year?
Now, we don’t want to get you into trouble, so if you’re planning on selling in public places then we strongly suggest you contact your local council to ask their permission or get the relevant permits.
Keeping the frozen stuff sub-zero will be your biggest difficulty, but if you can get hold of a newspaper-delivery bag they act as great insulators if you add a few bags of ice. Just ask nicely at your local newsagents.
You might find that carrying everything yourself is a little overwhelming so try posting an ad on Gumtree to employ some part-time minions and pay them a set fee for a few hours.
People will pay way over the odds if they’re out and you’re the nearest convenience – so charge whatever you can to make a hefty profit. Target public events, tourist hotspots and crowded places for maximum profits.
Over the last few years there’s been a shortage of willing fruit pickers offering their services to British farms. As a result there are usually plenty of fruit-picking jobs available throughout the summer. If back-breaking toil isn’t your thing then you could try your hand at the checking of the fruit, the weighing, packaging, labelling and even sales in the farm shop.
What you’ll be picking will depend of course on the farm but also on the month. For example, strawberries and gooseberries are often picked from early June to mid July, plums and apples are picked in late August, and apples and pears are picked in September.
Your best bet would be to travel down to your local farm and speak to the owners directly. Also look out for adverts in local shop windows and village halls. Find a farmers’ market near you here and ask about any jobs going.
Picking Jobs is a useful website where you can put in a search for fruit picking in Europe and see what’s available. Anywork Anywhere has a similar set-up and can be used to search for all kinds of other seasonal jobs both here and abroad. When you see a job that interests you, email the employer directly giving a few basic details about yourself and the dates you can do.
You’ll be working outside so wear old casual clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You may be standing in fields for hours on end so comfortable shoes are a must. You’ll also need a hat and some sun cream so you don’t get burnt. Insect repellent is a good idea, and make sure you drink plenty of water.
Earnings are likely to be cash in hand and if you earn enough you will be expected to take care of all your own taxes. It’s unlikely you’ll make a lot of money here so you may not exceed your personal income allowance.
You’ll typically be paid minimum wage, depending on the farm you’re working for, you might be paid hourly or daily, but sometimes you’re paid according to the amount you pick (e.g. you get x amount per kg or pound). This system is called ‘piecework’ and it’s fruitful (sorry) for those who work particularly hard.
The summer is the perfect time to house sit – there are many more people going on holiday and if you can’t afford to go away this year it’s a great way to visit a different part of the country without forking out your hard-earned cash.
Housesitting basically involves looking after someone’s home while they’re away but it gives you the opportunity to visit another part of the country and make some money.
You’ll be asked to carry out the daily duties that would normally be done if the owners were present but the rest of the time is yours to relax. The work may also involve looking after an animal, so you need to make sure you don’t mind cleaning up the odd bit of dog poop here and there.
The easiest way to get work is to sign up for an agency. That way you also have the added security of insurance, which might be too much of a complication and expense otherwise. With an agency such as TrustedHousesitters you can expect to earn just less than two hours’ pay per day at the minimum wage. You’ll also be given an allowance for food and reimbursed for any travel costs. For pet-focused housesitting, the national agency Animal Aunts looks for people who can look after pets in all areas.
If you’d prefer to do it off your own back, advertise yourself in the local paper or on Gumtree, making sure you include the fact that you can provide personal references if required.
Depending on the arrangement you have with the homeowner you may have to commit to staying in the house for a certain proportion of the day – but this is a great opportunity to catch up on reading, writing, knitting or even a spot of paperwork.
Housesitting is unlikely to make you vast sums of money – long-term house minders can earn about £9 a day, plus food and travel allowances and short-term housesitters can earn between £8 and £10 an hour.
However – you can make a lot more money if you can hire out your own house while you stay at someone else’s.
If you live in a popular city or a very attractive part of the country, why not rent out your home at the same time? Simply put it up for rent on Gumtree, Spareroom or through a local lettings agent that specialises in short, holiday lets. Short-term lets are usually much more lucrative than long-term ones so you could find yourself making £100s while you’re away. To find out more about renting your house, or part of it, see our article on renting a room out.
If you’re fit, active and enjoy spending time with animals then walking people’s pets can be a really enjoyable and easy way to make some quick cash.
Find your first customers just by asking around. Start by asking neighbours and others you know if they require your services. If your workload seems a little feeble, you could try advertising with a poster or notice at your local veterinary clinic or in local shop windows.
After that, if you’re good and reliable, you’ll get publicity through word of mouth. Many dog walkers get clients when they meet them in the park. Get yourself some free business cards from Vistaprint and hand them out to dog owners when you’re on a walk. You can also put an ad up on the notice board in your local vet practice, pet shops and at rescue centres if they’ll let you.
You can also join a local dog-walking agency such as PetPals or register yourself as a dog-walking company at NarpsUK. Narps members can access discounted rates for insurance and it can also help you find more work through its pet-owner postcode search facility. You’ll earn less per hour but the work would be more regular. Just put ‘dog walking’ into your search engine with your local area and see what comes up. There are lots of little, local agencies all over the country.
The biggest expense will be insurance. Pet Business Insurance offers a number of packages including:
You’ll also need a ready supply of pooper-scoopers and bags and perhaps some doggy toys (but owners will usually supply their own).
What you charge is completely up to you, but it’s advisable to only charge what you think people can afford. Try not to rob little old ladies of their pension, but feel free to charge anything up to £15 an hour to socialites with pocket-sized pooches.
If you’re a dab hand with a camera, try selling your summer holiday snaps to photo agencies and libraries. Each time one of your photos is sold you can earn a commission – most sites will ask for a selection of photos to test the quality and there’s a chance they’ll be rejected but if you don’t try you’ll never know! Also, there are lots of photo sites to choose from and there’s nothing to stop you from signing up with all of them.
Even if you’re not going away why not get out and about with your camera and start taking some pictures of subjects and images that take your interest? For an idea of what stock libraries are looking for visit the websites themselves – they usually need images of people’s hometown, street, ethnic groups and women in business and work shots.
Microstock sites such as Fotolia often have a travel section for professional-quality photographs of interesting things and places. Others such as 123RF operate in a similar way.
You can also try contacting smaller travel magazines – send an email to their pictures editor and find out their rates.
If you want to submit a photo to sell, it has to be an RGB JPEG saved at a high setting (such as Photoshop level 10 setting or 48 MB in size). They must not be compressed file sizes. Usually the higher the image resolution, the more you’ll be paid, so keep files large.
Do be careful about the pictures you submit – pictures of identifiable houses or models (any person who’s in the photo) will in most cases need a release form. This is signed by the model or house owner to cite that their permission has been given for you to profit from their personal belongings. Also, some properties and logos are trademarked (often has a registered trademark symbol) and therefore will not be accepted.
The amount you make will vary from one agency to another but prices will also depend on resolution.
Summer brings new chores – lawns have to be mown more often and cars washed more frequently. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to pay someone to take these tasks off their hands – and mowing lawns in the sun is far from unpleasant!
Put an ad on Gumtree, get yourself some free business cards to hand out and post through doors, put an ad up in your local Post Office or shop, and spread the word. You can pick and choose the jobs you take on, and you can work on your tan as you earn!