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A side hustle, simply put, is a piece of work or a job that you get paid for doing in addition to your main job.

By taking on a side hustle, you effectively increase your disposable income, meaning that you can pay for extra luxuries such as holidays or home improvements.

Having a side hustle has become somewhat of a norm for those aspiring to FIRE (become financially independent to retire early) as it means that they have more disposable income that they can use for investing. But they are becoming more and more commonplace as people struggle to keep up with their bills during the rising costs of everyday living.

Whatever your reason for wanting to take on a side hustle, I have a huge list of ideas to get you going. Some of these side hustles will bring in passive income (passive meaning that they don’t require much of your time after the initial set-up), while others require some kind of regular involvement for you to be able to earn from it.

Online Surveys

Completing surveys online won’t make you rich but it can bring in an extra £30 or £40 each month – enough to pay for your broadband bill with a bit left over.

There are so many survey sites that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Before signing up to any survey site and giving over your details, make sure that you check reviews online to make sure they’re legitimate sites. I’ve written a post on my favourite tried and tested survey sites that I’ve made money with.

Rent out a spare room

rent a room to make money

If you have a spare bedroom in your home then you could earn yourself hundreds of pounds each month. Platforms such as Airbnb have made renting out a room, or even your whole house, super easy. If you don’t fancy sharing with a stranger you could consider renting out your spare room to a friend. This is almost completely passive income, aside from the initial vetting to find someone suitable.

Host a student

Similar to renting out a spare room but you only commit to a certain period of time per student, typically around a month. There are many language schools across the UK and International students are always keen to come here to improve their English. There are websites dedicated to matching international students with potential hosts, ensuring that the process is safe for both parties.

Once you’ve signed up to host a student, you can expect to receive a home visit to ensure that your home is suitable and safe. Your spare room will need to be furnished and if you will be hosting a student under 18 years old for longer than two weeks, you will need a DBS check.

Rent out your drive

If you have a drive that you rarely use, it makes sense to rent it out and make some money from it. Maybe you’ve already thought about it but dismissed the idea as you didn’t know how to go about starting the process.

Well, it’s actually super easy to do, thanks to websites such as Just Park which connects drivers with parking spaces. You can opt to rent your space out on an ad hoc basis or longer-term and more regularly. Simply sign up with details of the space you have available when you’d like to rent it out, and then just wait for a match.

If you live near a train station in a popular area you shouldn’t have any problems at all renting your driveway as commuters are always looking for a place to park their car.

Dog walking

dog walking to earn money

I love this one as it was a side hustle of mine that I turned into a full-time business!

If you love logs and you love the outdoors then this job is perfect for you. You get to spend your days surrounded by lovely doggies in the park. Of course, if you’re trying to fit it in around your regular job you’ll probably be limited to evenings and weekends and this will reduce your earning potential.

You’ll need professional dog-walking insurance – I use Clivertons for mine – and you’ll need a DBS (police check) if you’re going to be going into people’s homes to collect their dog while their not there.

Get yourself some business cards made up and pop them through letterboxes, drop them into vet clinics (ask first!) and hand them out at the park. Ask on your local Facebook pages if anyone is looking for a dog walker and ask friends to recommend you to anyone they know that owns a dog. Once you get your first clients it becomes easier to get more through word of mouth.

Matched betting

Matched betting literally turned my life around as it helped me to pay off a huge amount of debt quite quickly. I always recommend matched betting when I’m asked how someone can make some extra cash. It’s not gambling as your profit is guaranteed because you cover all angles of a game. All of your profits are totally tax-free and t’s 100% legal. Matched betting has been written about in major National newspapers, such as The Guardian and The Independent.

If you are interested in Matched Betting, I have an in-depth article about it here and Profit Accumulator are offering a free trial so you can try it out to see if you like it and you’ll earn approximately £40 in the process too. Well worth doing in my opinion, even if it’s only to get the £40!

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is the process of using your network (be that friends, social media following, or your own website) to inspire sales of other people’s products or services in order to earn a commission. Whenever someone buys something or signs up for a course or service via your link, the sale can be traced back to you and you are then paid a commission for that sale.

Affiliate marketing can be a huge earner if you have a large social media following. Big influencers can earn hundreds of thousands through affiliate marketing alone. But don’t let the fact that you don’t have anywhere near as many followers as Joe Wicks put you off! I have a modest 16k followers on Instagram and have just started out with affiliate marketing. I’m already earning in the region of £400-£500 per month. The key is to promote something that you are passionate about and never promote something that you haven’t used yourself or wouldn’t use yourself.

Carshare

There’s no denying it – owning a car is expensive. If you find that you’re not using your car enough to justify the cost but don’t want to get rid of it, there are companies that will rent your car out for you while you’re not using it. It’s a bit like Airbnb but for cars – car owners rent their vehicles to nearby renters in exchange for money.

Karshare specialise in helping owners find renters for their vehicle. Their keyless technology allows renters to book and unlock your car without you having to lift a finger and you are fully insured through their comprehensive insurance and all petrol costs are covered too. They estimate that you could earn in the region of £650 per month, depending on how much you rent your car out.

Blogging

Starting an online blog can be hugely profitable, as you can monetise your blog with display ads, freelance writing, product reviews, affiliate links, and selling your own digital products.

Starting a blog was one of the best things I ever did. I am now making decent, regular money from my blog and it’s something I’m passionate about and want to grow further. The actual process of getting the blog up and running is quite easy. I use Siteground to host my blog and I have found them to be really helpful in all areas. But things really started to take off once I took the plunge to invest in Mike’s stupid Simple SEO course. I was initially struggling to get traffic (viewers) to my blog and without viewers, there is no way you can make money. I’d heard so many good things about the course but I didn’t want to spend the money on it so I struggled on. But in the end, I knew I had to invest in order to make a success of my blog. Once I purchased the course and implemented the strategies, the visitors started rolling in and so did the cash!

Sell online

decluttering to make money

Selling your unwanted goods online is a great way to make a bit of extra money. Depending on what you have to sell, you could make well over £1k just by having a bit of a declutter. You can sell absolutely anything – old books, gadgets, clothes, shoes, toys, sports equipment, and kitchen gadgets. There are a whole host of places to sell your items such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and eBay, but Vinted, Depop, and Music Magpie are also popular.

Many people take selling a step further and become ‘re-sellers’. They trawl charity shops and car boot sales to find bargains that they can sell online at a profit. By doing this, they can make regular money month after month.

Write an Ebook and sell it online

Although this particular side hustle requires a great deal of work upfront, it is a great way to earn a passive income. To begin with, you will need to research and write up your content and this can take a while. However, if you choose a topic you’re passionate about, it won’t really be too much of a hardship.

Once you’ve completed your ebook and uploaded it to your website or whatever platform you’re selling through, every penny you earn will be purely passive income.

The biggest challenge in creating a successful ebook is being able to market it. If you have a large social media following then that’s great. If not, it will be a little harder. You may have to consider approaching influencers with a decent amount of followers and strike up an affiliate deal with them. For example, you could offer them 25-50% for every sale they generate for you. Although it’s not nice having to give away a percentage of your profits, there’s nothing stopping you from trying to increase your own social media following or generating organic traffic to your own website in the meantime.

Refer a friend programmes

If you run a blog or have a good social media following, you can earn a good amount of money with refer-a-friend programmes. You simply promote brands or services that you really like and get paid for doing so.

Some of my favourite refer-a-friend options include my energy provider, which offers £50 for each friend I refer, cashback sites which offer a small commission for every friend I refer, and one of my banking apps which offers a generous amount for each person that signs up.

Focus groups and interviews

Focus groups are a great way to share your opinion and make good money for doing so. It tends to be much better paid than completing surveys online and it is a much more sociable experience.

If you match the criteria of a particular project, you’ll be invited along to a one-on-one interview or an interview in a group setting. I loved my first ever focus group interview. It was in Central London in a fancy office and there was a huge spread laid out for us all. I made some great friends that day and was paid £50 to attend and all of my travel expenses were covered too. I’ve done two others since then and they were just as much fun.

Some of the best paid focus groups to join are Respondent, Take Part in Research, and User Interviews.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping involves anonymously checking out businesses to make sure that certain standards are being met. It can involve visiting a clothes shop, a train station, a restaurant, or having your eyesight tested.

Most businesses are signed up to some sort of mystery shopping scheme as business owners want to ensure that their staff are greeting customers appropriately and providing a quality service. However, competition is often fierce, as thousands of people sign up for such opportunities.

Typically, you’ll be given instructions on what’s expected of you during your task. It could be going into a shop to buy an item of clothing or visiting a particular restaurant to order food. You may be required to ask the assistant or waitress a set of questions and you may be asked to take pictures of the establishment to prove that standards of cleanliness are being met. Finally, you’ll be asked to write up a report at home and submit it in order to receive payment. You will be reimbursed for anything you have had to purchase.

Check out ipsos, marketforce, and Clickworker for mystery shopper opportunities.

Online tutoring

Don’t be put off private tutoring because you don’t have any teaching experience. If you’re a graduate, particularly with knowledge of Maths, Science, or English, you can make a lot of money teaching GCSE students who are looking to improve their grades or those who are trying to get into university. You don’t even need to restrict yourself to teaching young students. Many tutors are branching out into teaching mature students another language or an instrument.

Most tutors sign up to a platform such as MyTutor in order to find their clients.

Work as an exam invigilator

If you thought that all exam invigilators were teachers, you’d be wrong. they are, in fact, members of the public. This means that this could be a lucrative side hustle for you!

You don’t need any special training to do it – the school simply gives you a short talk about how to do it and what is expected of you and that’s it. Because you’ll be working with young people, the school will pay for a DBS check for you. Once that’s done, you’re ready to go.

Exam invigilators typically earn around £10 per hour, which, considering you don’t have to do too much at all, is actually quite good. The main downfall is that the work is limited to exam time, which is just a few months out of every year.

Visit your local authority site to find jobs.

Freelance writer

If you love writing but don’t want all of the hassle of setting up and running your own blog, you can use your writing skills to produce articles for others.

A freelance writer usually writes blog posts, ad copy, and other types of content for a variety of different industries including, bloggers, newspapers, and magazines. They can cover a whole host of topics too.

Hire your house out for filming

Did you know that you can rent your house out for filming and make a decent amount of money for doing so? You don’t need to have a huge, immaculately decorated house either. Location scouts are always on the lookout for all kinds of houses and are willing to pay up to £2,500 per day to use your home.

If you are selected, you will need to be prepared to have a film crew in your home for a specified amount of time. While having a film crew filming in your house may sound glamorous, it can actually be quite intrusive and you may even have to move out for a while.

If you think it’s for you, check out Amazing Space, The Collective, and Location Works for more information.

Virtual assistant

An administrative-focused job that is perfect for those with good organisational skills and attention to detail. Virtual assistants perform remote tasks such as booking travel and managing a calendar for their clients, but what you do exactly will depend upon the sector you choose to work in. Jobs can last for days or months.

A good VA will always be in demand as they are able to do a whole host of tasks. VAs can earn very good money.

Create digital products to sell online

Digital products are the easiest and least expensive point of entry for any budding entrepreneur. A digital product is simply something that doesn’t have a physical form – for example, an Ebook, a spreadsheet, an app, etc. You can create a digital product for almost any niche. If you are into cookery, you could create a recipe Ebook for high-protein meals. If you are into personal finance, you can create a budget template in Excel. You can then sell these products on your social channels if you have them, on your website, or somewhere like Etsy.

I love creating digital products and I mainly use Canva to create them. There are hundreds of tutorials on Youtube teaching you how to use Canva and you can sign up for free!

Rent out storage space

If you have spare space in your home, be it your loft, a spare room, or a garage you can rent it out and make some money. If you sign up to a website like Stormates, they will match you with someone in your area who is seeking storage. They will charge around a 15% commission but the cost to the person seeking the storage is around 50% cheaper than commercial storage companies charge, so there should be a lot of demand in your area.

In conclusion

A side hustle is an excellent way to bring in some extra money. Some pay more than others and the best type of side hustles will always be the ones that earn you a decent passive income. These will bring in money month after month without you doing anything at all after the initial work needed.

The 21 side hustles I’ve listed above are just a drop in the ocean. There is something for everyone out there and it’s well worth finding something that suits you and your lifestyle because multiple income streams are better than just one.