How to make extra money with a side hustle

Like the thought of making a few quid extra each month? Read Sophie Cole’s guide to the side hustle and let the money roll in

By Sophie Cole

The concept of a side hustle is nothing new. It’s widely regarded as a smart way to line your pockets with extra cash, but what does the phrase actually mean?

Essentially, it is just an edgier way to describe the age-old process of securing additional income on top of your main job.

    As a general rule, side hustles shouldn’t require any expensive outlay to get started.  

Rather than the commitment of taking on a part-time role that fits around your full-time hours, side hustles are a more flexible way to bring in extra cash. They’re often things you can do from home, or that flex around the rest of your life.

As a general rule, side hustles shouldn’t require any expensive outlay to get started. And how much time you give yours is entirely down to you. You can commit every spare second to your side hustle or just one hour a week. That’s the beauty of doing something without an employer breathing down your neck.

Lots of people take on side hustles year-round as a way to supplement their income. But as we approach the most expensive time of the year, the appeal of extra cash seems ever stronger.

So how do you find a side hustle that works for you? Here are five smart ideas that are almost guaranteed to give your bank balance a boost.

1. Get crafty

If you’re great at making things, use this to your advantage and find ways to turn your passion into a payday.

If you love to make accessories, knit scarves or crochet cute creations, you could make big bucks from the things you create for fun. Set up an Etsy shop if you’re looking to establish this as a long-running side hustle or try selling on places like Facebook marketplace or eBay if you’re just looking for an ad-hoc earner.

If you’re lucky and your products sell well, you may even be able to turn this into your main business. Launching it as a side hustle first is a great way to test the market and see your creations’ profit potential.

2. Free your lance

Look into freelancing. Though you might think only creatives like writers, artists and entertainers can make a good income from freelancing, employers are looking for an array of skills on a temporary basis.

Check out sites like, where you can register yourself as a freelancer in everything from computer development to management, and watch the commissions come rolling in.

Or, if you have connections from your previous roles, don’t be afraid to reach out and offer your services as a freelancer. Just check your current contract for any kind of "exclusivity" clause, which forbids you from working for any competitors in the same role, to make sure you’re not going to land in trouble.

3. Market research

Complete paid surveys and market research. Websites like YouGov and apps like Vypr will actually pay you to share your opinion, with pretty much no catch.

Once you’ve answered a certain number of surveys, they’ll hand you a gift card just for saying what you think. This can have a value of up to £50.

    While not technically an earning tool, cashback sites are still a fantastic way to bring extra money into your household.  

Other sites and apps do this, but make sure you conduct your own research before offering your details up. Loads of places are legit, but there’s a good number of scammers out there, too.

4. Get smart with cashback

While not technically an earning tool, cashback sites are still a fantastic way to bring extra money into your household.

All you need to do is sign up, click through to your chosen shopping site (e.g. ASOS) and shop as normal. You’ll get cashback on every purchase you make through the site, ranging from 1% to big cash bonuses that can reach hundreds of pounds. Then, you can take out your cashback to spend as you like.

It’s a brilliant way to earn a bit more money if you know there's a period coming up (like Christmas) where you’ve got no choice but to buy lots of things. Topcashback and Quidco are two of the most generous sites in the UK, but do your own research to find out where you can get the most out of your spending.

5. Medical research

This one can be risky, so please exercise common sense and caution. But if you’re in good health and don’t mind feeling a bit under the weather for a period of time, medical trials can bring a handsome payday.

Projects range from things as mild as rash cream and low strength painkillers to vaccines for things like the flu. Naturally the more risk a trial puts you under, the better it will pay.

But, and we can’t say this enough, make sure you know what you’re getting into before signing up. And only get involved in projects being run by bona fide medical professionals. Your health is more important than the size of your bank balance, right?

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 19 November 2019

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