How can I make some extra cash from home? (UK)

There are so many ways to make extra money it can make your head explode. BUT with opportunity comes opportunists willing to say anything to get your hard earned cash off you when all you’re trying to do it make a bit more. These are some things i’ve tried that might help…….

Making extra income

If you have some time on your hands, and a willingness to learn, there are so many ways to make extra money these days.

Below are just a few that I have tried or have heard of so far but if you have the time to dedicate to some real research and trial and error experiments there are a veritable wealth of options out there, many with little or no upfront costs, so the only thing you have to lose is your time.

Remember the advice from all the money mind-set gurus, decide you want it and DO NOT GIVE UP! I’m mentioning this as some of these options can really test your patience and resolve!


This has been my fall back money maker for years. In fact when I sold my huge rental house, I spent a whole year ebaying the contents. Ironic since most of the stuff had been bought there in the first place!

Although this section is called eBay, it could be any of the other selling sites that work best where you are such as Facebook marketplace, gumtree, preloved, schpok etc. whichever one you use the premise is the same; find some stuff that you don’t want (or buy it cheap), make it look all clean and shinny, take WONDERFUL photographs, write a lovely but honest description and post it for sale.

The key here is marketing and a few bucket loads of patience. Make whatever you have look nice, take the best possible photo’s (I don’t think most people read the descriptions anyway) and get it in front of people. If you are selling higher priced or new items, investing in professional images could pay for itself 10 fold.

Offer delivery where you can and worldwide postage for eBay stuff if it’s applicable. Try to appeal to as many people as possible, also if it’s an auction, try to get it to end on a Sunday, they traditionally sell better.

The thing is that different products go better in different places. Books might go better on amazon and furniture might be better on a local Facebook selling page. Do your research thoroughly before anything else.

Be prepared for a boatload of stupid questions such as “how big is it” when the description clearly states the size or can you deliver to timbuck two for 20p please? and be aware that it can be quite labour intensive taking pictures, writing, posting, relisting, researching, packaging and taking stuff to the post office or courier drop off etc. I admit that it’s not the most exciting pastime though there are times when you bought something for 20p in a charity shop and it gets a bidding frenzy on it and you make £50; that’s nice!!

Clothes can sell well, especially bundles of kids clothes or designer labels. I’ve even made money travelling to charity shops in affluent areas and listing items that I’ve found for a few quid on the same day for a tidy profit. Be sure to display them on some kind of tailors dummy or hanging plastic body model type thing though, it makes ALL the difference.

If your research highlights trending items, these can be a real steal. A few years ago (ok about 14 years!) when silver cross prams came back into fashion, I bought one at a real live in person auction for £5, cleaned it up and took some lovey picks then sold it for £400 the same week. This was obviously a one off but if this idea floats your boat and you have the time to invest in researching, buying and selling then it might be a nice little earner for you.

Before you list on any sites though be sure you know their charges! Facebook and a few others are free at the moment but eBay is at least 10% of the final sale unless they have a deal on, Amazon is super scary especially if you use their fulfilment centres, and PayPal charge you too if you use this payment method.

So long as you accept that there is work involved here, it can be a great filler when you are between jobs, just need some extra cash or really have to declutter your world.

Personal Lending

I have done this on some very rare occasions and unfortunately been burnt a few times too but if you know someone that is really struggling and you have the cash and you REALLY REALLY trust them, you could strike a deal in which you pay their expensive credit off and they pay you back with interest but at a lesser rate. So if they pay 25% on their card, you offer them 8%, you both win!

It can really help people to get their credit back on track and even enable them to apply for 0% cards that they would have previously been refused for to pay you back early but you have to be so immensely sure that they will actually pay up, this is a very high risk endeavour and should be treated with extreme caution, even if you get legal documents [copies can usually be downloaded on line for free] to cover you both.

Also, as with any high risk endeavour, never risk any amount that you cannot afford to lose.

Please also note that when you are weighing up the pros and cons with this, you will still have to declare any money you make as earnings on your tax return.

Online income

There are sooo many ways to make money on line and you will find amazon stuffed with books promising ridiculously high incomes with almost no effort, social media is virtually exploding with the stuff and whilst I am a natural sceptic (serious under statement here btw) I do think that there is something behind all the noise but I don’t believe it’s easy.

Kindle books are one of the many get rich quick schemes out there but as I’ve only written 1 and it’s only just been published on amazon, it would be a bit silly to write about what a brilliant money spinner eBooks are, especially as I wrote it with the intention of helping people rather than generating a massive income (although I obviously wouldn’t say no!).

I would urge you to give it some serious consideration if you think that making money online is the way forward, be very careful and patient with your research and don’t believe all the hype.

There are some links on the BIG list of links and stuff post to various you tube channels that you might find useful but with particular relevance to this I would recommend that you take a look at these as I found the to be very informative and down to earth.

Kindle publishing:
This channel might initially look a bit in your face but I’ve watched quite a few under the “refusing to settle” banner and he does strike me as being really quite honest (plus rather easy on the eyes!). He covers a lot of different ways to make money on line so it’s quite easy learning if you are interested.
Video Influencers:
These guys again are very informative without promising any get rich quick “tricks”. Worth a watch especially if you want to go down the “you tube” channel route to generate income.
Wealth Hacker / Passive income:
Project life mastery:

A few key themes that have emerged from my research so far are:

  • It’s not quick – be patient. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably selling something that you don’t want or need.
  • Be prepared to do quite a lot of work for free for a LONG time before you see any money
  • Choose something that you love, doing stuff for free will hurt if you’re not happy.
  • Solve people’s problems and really want to add value to the world; genuine is the new black, fakery stands out a mile.
  • Pick one thing, be clear what your niche is and go for it – consistently.
  • People who make the most money appear to have picked a tiny and very specific problem to solve and stuck to it. The advantage with our current internet accessibility is that this small solution can be made available worldwide, and hence to a lot of people which makes it potentially lucrative.

There so much stuff out there it’s totally overwhelming but I find it quite encouraging. If it was quick, simple and easy, everyone would be doing it.

Web Hosting

Freelancing online

There are a number of web sites around at the moment specifically designed to connect workers with employers. They will put you in touch with people or organisations around the world who will pay for your particular expertise. I have personally not found anyone willing to pay a lot, but you might have a particular skill in a certain niche that can command high rates, or you are willing to take the low paid work until to get your reputation and feedback to a more saleable level.

These sites are basically eBay for jobs. People post things that they want doing such as;

  • I need a blog writing
  • Write an article on women’s health
  • Please put some data in excel for me
  • Do some research
  • Write a business case
  • Design me a logo
  • Write an ebook
  • And WAY more stuff!!

You set up your profile and apply for the jobs. They are pretty much all remote jobs (i.e. you don’t have to go there!) and can be anywhere in the world. You may have trouble at first, but when you get known and have reviews against your profile, you will get more jobs in and be able to ask for more money.

Whilst it might be slow starter, it’s a lot better than nothing and might be especially helpful if you are:

  • Trying to break into a new areas such as writing or graphic design and really and just need some experience
  • You need some extra cash and have plenty of time on your hands
  • You are stuck in the house and can’t go out to work

Like anything in life, but especially doing stuff online; you have to get a reputation before you can really start to earn good money but it’s free to sign up and you can basically choose your own hours, so what it may lack in initial remuneration it makes up for in flexibility.

Have a look at these for more info:

A really important point to note here is that many of these freelance jobs will pay you in USD and possibly via PayPal, who will charge you for the privalige of course and will then impose their own exchange rate on you which can be very damaging to your final take home sum. An alternative that I’m trying out at the moment is “CurrencyFair”, which enables you to exchange currencies on your own terms. Customers could even beat the mid-market rate on their unique peer-to-peer marketplace. Access the platform at any time, from any device.

Rent a room

I realise that this might not be for everyone but I personally did this for about 15 years and pretty much never paid a mortgage the whole time. How you do this depends very much on your living situation, how sociable you are and any dependants you have amongst other things, but I think it’s one of the easiest ways to make money.

So the title is a bit of a giveaway, you rent out a room in your house. I’m assuming here that you own your house but even if you don’t, have a chat with the landlord and see if you can do a deal that allows you to sublet and you’re off.

Where you live, the quality of the environment and who you live with will of course impact how you do this, plus I did this before Air B&B was available which is a whole other ball game and could be potentially even more lucrative.

Ideally I suppose this is a better option when you are either single or coupled without kids, though I still did it when my daughter was young but the house was massive so it was much easier. In my case I had a very large 5 bed house that I had bought derelict (and pretty much on credit cards – but that’s another story!) and renovated. I let a few large rooms for £350 per month to young professionals and I included all the bills – plus a weekly cleaner in this amount. My mortgage at the time was less than £450 so I did quite well on a month to month basis, even after tax. I had the house for 10 years and made a decent sum when I sold it in 2011. Not bad since I’d almost never paid the mortgage.

If this idea appeals to you and you are starting from scratch, you will need to do a lot of research, make sure you get an area close to a city, or major town with transport links so that you can attract the right clientele. Be clear about what you are offering and check out your competition. I wouldn’t personally recommend student areas really, that’s not in my experience particularly conducive to a happy life, but go there if you must, it may suit you and it can be very lucrative if you love to party and don’t mind the mess!

If you are thinking of buying a house with this in mind, I would also recommend that you find something that needs a bit of work but only if you are prepared to do the lion’s share of it yourself – this way you can buy cheap, get other people to pay you to live in your own house while you fix it up and then sell high! I have massively over simplified this but I hope you get the point.

Just a note here though if you are looking at leaving them to it and moving out, you will need to research HMO laws (houses of multiple occupancy) as that a whole other beast and can get quite complex. In fact, depending on how many rooms you intend to rent out, look into this anyway!

If possible it would be good to work with what you have if you can. Even if you live alone in a 3 bed semi, if your house is nice and the location is good, Air B&B or weekday rentals for commuters might be a decent option.

There is a tax implication here but it’s quite small. Make sure you declare it in the right section of your self-assessment return and you will get quite a bit of it tax free. You can also offset certain expenses too so there is a bit of work involved but I found it well worth the effort.

Other income

There a number of sites that will pay you to complete surveys either remotely or in person. I wouldn’t say you could get a living wage out of it but if you frequently have time to kill on trains or such like, it could bring in a few £.

Similarly comping (entering competitions) can be very lucrative if you have plenty of spare time and a smart phone, or other relevant devise. It’s not something I’ve tried in earnest but there are plenty of blogs and comping communities out there if you want to look into it a bit more.

I have found this website and newsletters to be quite useful. Although it’s US based the research and general information transfers really well:

I also recently came across this site to which gives a really good run down of potential income sources in the UK and might be worth a look if this is of interest to you.