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Ten creative ways to earn extra money

ar5l4036tvvsmxtf7r18With an abundance of job losses, salary cuts and eliminated bonuses, your income may be shrinking — but the bills aren’t.

If your regular job isn’t earning you enough cash or you’ve lost your job altogether, these simple side gigs can help put some padding in your pockets until — maybe even after — you get back on your feet.

Here are 10 ways real people are creatively taking home some extra dough:

1. Do freelance work
Nowadays, almost any job can be done on a contract or freelance basis. Check out freelance pages online, which lead job seekers to contract, consulting, freelance, temp-to-hire and part-time project opportunities in their field.

2. Sell your books
If you’re a college student or you hung on to your college textbooks, you could turn them into quick cash by selling them online, e.g. on Ebay. Or, take some classics from your personal library and sell them at a local secondhand bookstore.

3. Enter local and online sweepstakes
Though winning sweepstakes rarely provides actual cash, the winnings provide prizes, sometimes large items that most people can’t afford on their incomes alone. There are a lot of options for saving money online, getting something for free or winning a prize. You could try the website of the Free Stuff League.

4. Give your opinion — and get paid
Contributing an hour of your time can earn you up to £100, sometimes more. Online surveys, phone surveys and product trials can also earn you anywhere from £5 to £150. Check out online sites like paidsurveysuk.com.

5. Sell your stuff
Some people make a lot of extra money just by selling things they don’t need any more. You can also take it a level further and specifically search garage sales and flea markets for things of which you know the value and that they are in demand.

6.  Join a direct selling company
Direct selling is one of the easiest ways to earn some extra cash, especially if you sell products you love. Avon, for example, allows you start your own business for £15 — what you earn depends on your efforts. Some full-time representatives earn six-figure salaries, others own licensed Avon Beauty Centres and many just sell Avon part time around their family’s schedules.

7. Be a mystery shopper
Many companies use mystery shopping as a method of quality control to identify good customer service. What you really need as a secret shopper is a keen eye for detail and a good memory. After registering with a secret shopping company, you are paid to basically go undercover and report on a company’s operation from the customer point of view.

8. Sell your photos to stock agencies
It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist, an amateur or a seasoned-photographer — anyone can submit their photos to stock photo agencies like Fotolia.co.uk. If your images are accepted, they will be available for download by subscribers. Each time someone downloads your photos, you earn credits which you can later convert into money.

9. Take in a lodger
On websites like Spareroom.co.uk you can advertise your room to let. According to WalletPop UK, the site has seen a large rise in the number of people advertising for a lodger during the crisis. Under the government’s Rent a Room scheme you can earn up to £4,250 tax free by renting out a room in your house.

10. Be a pet sitter or dog walker
If you like animals as much as the outdoors, then this type of extra work might not even be work for you. Earn extra money by walking dogs or looking after them in your or the owner’s house. You can offer your service through an ad or directly by contacting an agency.

Image: © merc67 – Fotolia.com

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