Friday, 24 May 2019

Best parenting sidehustles to make extra cash

How the hell to earn a living, have an interesting and fulfilling career and raise kids that you actually get to see, and doing all that without childcare costs wiping out the salary... that's the money/work topic we stumble into during practically every playground mum chat.
This post isn't about capturing your dream job - it's more about a few side hustles. Easy ways to earn a few quid whilst you're doing something else. Think of them as nap-time earners that'll fund a shopping spree, rather than the mortgage, but are pretty easy to do, too.

First up, mystery shopping. We did this loads in our uni years - mystery shopping websites pay you for visiting and then feeding back details on the service at shops, hotels, restaurants, spas, petrol stations, and more - and you're repaid for anything you buy in-store or on-site too. (You can sign up on your sofa, but will likely have to get off it to do the work). Most of the trips are dull, but get through these and more exciting ones often show up - we've had spa trips, shopping sprees and a whole tank of petrol paid for by mystery shopping..! Sites include grassrootsmysteryshopping.com, uk.marketforcesshopper.com, secretsquirrel.com, and retail-maxim.co.uk.

Next, do some surveys. You'll have to do a lot of them for the money to add up to anything substantial, but given you can do them with one eye and half a brain, why not? We've used globaltestmarket.co.uk, i-say.com, and populuslive.com. Or do a longer focus group (which pays much more) - find a group near your neighbourhood via Google or Facebook, or try indiefield.net, sarosresearch.com, or focusforce.com.

Now how about a de-clutter? Marie Kondo never talks about what happens next - but we've just used an eBay £1 listing weekend to flog a whole lotta unwanted gadgets: waiting for the £1 deal means you don't see all your takings gobbled up by fees. You can also rent out stuff you don't use very often (like that lawnmower/double buggy / steam cleaner/etc you only use uber-occasionally) at rentmyitems.com for some extra kerching. If you've got a ton of spare space, check out justpark.com to rent out your driveway to drivers (especially lucrative if you’re near a station) or storemates.co.uk to turn your half-empty garage/loft etc into self-storage for neighbours.

This is one for the disorganised ones amongst us... Is there a chance there might be old bank accounts of yours floating around, forgotten? Maybe childhood savings accounts that were opened for you as a kid, or premium bonds that you didn't even know about? Visit mylostaccount.org.uk, (it's backed by most of the main banks and savings providers) and just fill in your details for it to search for any accounts in your name at one of almost 40 institutions.

Also, have you opened your drawer of crap recently? If you've got old phones/sat navs/etc flog them on recycling sites like Envirofone.com or mazumamobile.com - you send them in via their pre-paid envelope, and you get cash in return. Simples.

Lastly, there's a lot of cash to be made via selling yourself. No, not that way...! But if you're a nabhand at photography, say, don't waste your snaps on Instagram - upload them to Picfair.com, where you can set your own price and sell them. If you're great at writing jingles or making cards, open an Etsy shop, or look at the opportunities on fivesquids.co.uk, peopleperhour.com, or freelancer.com.


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