Discover the best ways to make money online for free. Lots of us have been struggling to make ends meet for the past few years. And if you've been scrimping and saving, but things are still tough, then the idea of making a bit of extra cash probably sounds very appealing.
Why does a cashback site pay me to shop?
If you buy something online via a cashback site rather than go direct to the retailer "whether it’s a dress from Debenhams", you get paid!
Because the cashback site has sent the shop a customer (you!), the cashback site gets paid a commission by the shop – some of which gets passed on to you.
In short, cashback sites can be a great way to get paid money on something you were going to buy anyway!
Some top cashback sites:
Some sites like Free Fivers will even give you money (in this case £5) just for signing up, and another £5 if you refer a friend.
Cashback sites probably won’t make you a fortune, but if you’re going to buy certain things anyway you might as well earn some money back on your purchases.
Be paid for your opinion – online surveys for money
This is a sporadic way to make money and it brings in a relatively small income, but it’s low effort and you’ve nothing to lose. It’s a great way to make quick cash from the comfort of your computer but make sure you NEVER pay to join an online survey site or reveal your credit card details.
Inside tip! Online surveys are a great way to make some extra cash. Here are our favourite online survey sites. They’re completely free and have received a big thumbs-up from many of you. For maximum earnings set up a separate email account (so your personal one doesn’t get flooded with survey-related emails) and then register for free with all of them:
- Ipsos - United Kingdom (Males and Females 25+)
- MySurvey - United Kingdom
- Survey Downline - United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia
- InboxPounds - United Kingdom (Receive £1 just for joining)
- InboxDollars - United States (Receive $5 just for joining)
- Toluna Surveys - United Kingdom
- Users get a bonus of £50 just for completing their first offer - United Kingdom
- YouGov Survey - You redeemed 5000 points for £50 - United Kingdom
- Paid Offers - United Kingdom
- Harris Poll Online - United States
- Survey Rewardz - United States, Canada, Australia and United Kingdom
- Your Surveys Router - Worldwide
- Survey Club - Canada, United Kingdom and United States
If you like the sound of online surveys for money make sure you check out our full list right here on the safe way to earn money by taking paid surveys.
Pick the best competitions
Most of us never bother with competitions because we think our chances of winning are so slim. Wrong! Your chances are often a lot better than you’d think, but as the saying goes, ‘You gotta be in it to win it!’.
We’ve found loads of competition sites for you to enter. Get Me A Ticket is a great place to get started. The site is free to join and has plenty of fantastic goodies up for grabs, including luxury holidays abroad, hampers, shopping sprees and more. Take a look at their current competitions below…
- £10,000 Sainsbury's Shopping
- £10,000 Primark Wardrobe Makeover
- OfferX are giving away £1000 cash
- Win £2,500 to Spend at Tesco
- Get Me A Ticket! Is one of the UK's leading free to enter competition websites.
Make cash from your driveway
If you don’t use your garage or driveway you could rent it out for money – particularly if you are in London or another parking-unfriendly city. Just register with Parkatmyhouse.com or ParkLet (they’re both free), put your postcode in and wait for desperate would-be parkers to contact you.
NHS Secretaries – make money transcribing
If you’re a medical secretary you can make extra money by transcribing medical notes in your spare time. Companies, such as Dict8, will pay you to write up medical notes and the best bit is that you don’t even have to leave your own home, as they’ll send all the information you need to your computer. You can do as much or as little as you want, and you’re paid on a ‘per line’ basis.
Have your true story published
Sell true life stories to newspapers and magazines can be fairly lucrative, you can earn between £200 and £2000 depending on the story. Take A Break magazine offers up to £1000 for sensational stories, so if you’ve got something to say don’t hold back!
Make money selling textbooks
Turn your unwanted books into more with the Fatbrain app: Scan the barcode and build your own virtual bookshelf. Get immediate valuations and receive notifications when they change. Select which books to sell and choose your free delivery option. Sit back and get paid via PayPal or cheque.
Mystery shopping is a fun way to earn some extra money while shopping, or testing services at local restaurants and pubs. Sounds like a dream job! TNS Mystery Shopper is looking for new shoppers nationwide to assess a variety of different businesses such as shops and restaurants.
Check out a new mystery shopping company product testing – they’re looking for people to start immediately. Registration’s super quick and if selected you’ll receive a £10,000 to spend at Primark.
Generally, you can expect to earn £5 – £25 per task plus expenses (but as little as £1 – £5 for phone work). Check out the list below and sign up with one of the many mystery shopping agencies around.
- JKS Mystery Shopping
- Mystery Shoppers Ltd
- Performance in People
- Retail Active
- Retail Maxim
- Retail Rapport Ltd
- Stratagem Marketchecker
Like clubbing? Do you have lots of friends? Make money by bringing them into clubs. Go to Velvet PR for free. Tell them where you live and they’ll let you know which clubs need promoting.
Get paid to buy alcohol
Are you 18 or 19 years old? Looking for a well paid part time job? How about getting paid to go to the pub? Plus you get to keep the drink! All you have to do is have a valid passport or driving licence and right to work in the UK. Head to Serve Legal to find out more.
Distribute free papers
Earn yourself as much as £10 an hour handing out the Evening Standard, or The Metro (which is distributed all over the UK). Apply to The Network
Get paid to review music
If you’re a music fan, you can sign up to the unique Slicethepie website for free and become a scout. This basically involves getting paid to listen to the music of unsigned bands from all over the world and review it. Obviously, your reviews have to be competent and fairly well informed, but need only be a few sentences long. Initially you won’t make much, but as you get a better scout rating (i.e. the more reviews you make, and the more they agree with the majority of reviewers) you can make more and more.
Be a Pedicab driver
Driving a Pedicab/bug/rickshaw is a great way to stay in shape, meet loads of people and offer emission free transport to London’s visitors. The Bugbugs Community offers training with an accredited National Cycling Certificate awarded. The cost of training is £50, with a £100 deposit required for the duration of your employment, you keep everything you earn, so the harder you work, the more you make.
Make money from your creativity
If you’re good at arts and crafts, there’s a big market out there for your talents. Sites like Coriandr, Folksy and Not Mass Produced.com are crying out for people like you to sell their handmade goods online. These sites normally take a small commission of any sale you make (usually around 2-3%) – but in return give you a ‘virtual shop’ for your goods. You could set up your own blog and sell your goods online, of course, but this is an easier route if you’re not web savvy. Plus, these sites attract a lot more customers than you would do if you set up a site on your tod. Definitely worth a look!
To make a bit of money on the side you could start up your own card business. Starting up your own business sounds like a lot of work, but with Phoenix Trading it doesn’t have to be. To start off you simply order an Introductory Pack, which contains an application form which you then fill in and return along with your first order for cards.
Write Travel Guides
Get paid to write travel guides at SimonSeeks. They are looking for intelligent, well-written and grammatically correct guides of holiday destinations. Register and upload your guide, await approval from the site’s editorial team, and get paid based on its popularity. There are also 100 prizes of £200 for the best guide-writers. Join the site known as “the Youtube of travel” today!
Write a story
If you’re a budding writer, you could try your hand at writing a short story for Clonepod, who produce science fiction and fantasy podcasts from work its users send in. They’ll pay you $25 through Paypal for a 2,000 word story that they like, and they don’t ask for any rights to the work at all – which is great if you want to try selling the story over and over again. Go to the Clonepod website to find out more.
Become a nanny
If you’re looking for some part time nanny work, you can just be an after school nanny so it doesn’t take up your whole day. You’d be responsible for picking up the children from school at around 3pm and then taking them home and looking after them until their parents get home from work. The job involves supervising homework and playtime, preparing tea and ferrying the children around to any after-school activities they take part in. After-school nannies have to have at least 2 years of childcare experience, but no formal qualifications or age limits apply. For more information have a look at the After School Nannies website.
Become a personal tutor
If you’re a graduate, and eligible to work in the UK you could earn extra cash as a home tutor for a range of subjects and levels, usually on a one-to-one basis at the clients’ home. See London’s Learning website for details on tutoring in London or agencies like Personal Tutors for more information on nationwide tutoring.
Earn money for yourself and for charity
Become a ‘chugger’ (charity fundraiser) and do your bit for charity whilst you earn! Charities are constantly on the lookout for people to stand on the street and persuade passers-by to pay monthly amounts to their charity. You can earn between £8.50-11 an hour, on average, and the work is flexible. It involves being outside and meeting people, of course, but you could get a lot of abuse from pedestrians. There are several commercial organisations that run ‘chugger’ campaigns but they keep a percentage of the money raised. Better to work direct for the charity if you would like to do this. Just a few of the organisations looking for fundraisers directly are Shelter, Concern and Everychild.