Get busy in your free time and you could see the pounds rolling in.
1. Track down old accounts
According to the British Bankers' Association, there is more than £15 billion
sitting forgotten in bank and savings accounts in the UK, with the average
balance estimated to be £600.
The good news is that tracing lost funds has become easier with
- a free online service that covers all UK bank and
building society accounts. All you need to do is to go to the website and type
in your details.
2. Claim tax credits
It's always worth checking that you are receiving all the tax credits you are
eligible for. Research by entitledto.co.uk found that people across the UK are
collectively missing out on benefits and tax credits worth more than £8 billion
a year. So while you're tracing lost funds, why not visit the
website too and work out how much you could claim.
3. Mystery shopper
If you're longing for some retail therapy but can't afford to hit the shops,
why not earn a few pounds as a mystery shopper? Websites such as
employ mystery shoppers to drop in unannounced in shops and
restaurants and rate their experience.
After you send in your feedback, you'll be paid for your time and reimbursed
for any purchases you made. You could make up to £20 a day, and get a meal or a
night in a nice hotel thrown in for good measure.
4. Cashback sites
You can earn even more money from shopping online. Cashback websites will automatically pay you every time you buy a product or
a service from selected retailers, from your weekly groceries to switching your
5. Take in a lodger
While most of us pay a fortune for our homes, it's possible to make your home
make money for you.
According to Abbey, you could make as much as £289 a month from renting out a
spare room. Under the government's 'rent a room' scheme, you don't need to pay
tax on the first £4,250 you receive either, which means you could charge up to
£354.16 a month without being lumbered with a tax bill.
6. Rent out a parking space
If you live close to a city centre, train station or football stadium and
don't use your parking space or garage, you're sitting on a proverbial goldmine.
Renting an empty parking place to a commuter or football fan could see you rake
in the pounds.
is a website where you can advertise your space free of
charge and let frustrated drivers get in touch. A parking space in the West End
of London, for example, can fetch £500 a month, while in a leafy suburb of Leeds
a space could net you £100.
7. Sell your skills
We all have skills and talents so why not use these to make a few extra quid.
If you spent years of your life being marched to piano lessons, put the
experience to good use in adulthood by advertising your services in the local
newspaper as a music teacher, says Laura Howard in her book, CashQuestions.com
Just three hour-long lessons a week could see you up to £60 better off, not
to mention the sense of satisfaction you will get. The same applies for
8. Be a Film extra
If you fancy seeing yourself on screen, film and TV companies are always on
the hunt for extras. You could make up to £150 a day and get the chance to meet
some famous actors. You'll need to join an agency first, details of one near you
can be found at
9. Rent your home to film makers
Hollywood can come to your home too, provided you have the right location. If
you live in an interesting property, you could bag upwards of £1,000 a day
renting your home to film and TV companies. Ideal locations must have large
rooms, good parking facilities and understanding neighbours. Ordinary homes are
10. Model your child
While every parent thinks their child is a star, model agencies could think
so too. If you think your little one has what it takes, the first step is to
contact an agency to ask about their requirements. You will be asked to send in
a head and shoulders photo of your child, either by post or email.
If your child stands out, you'll both be invited for an interview, to assess
if your child is right for TV, photo or film. Depending on the child's age,
shoots pay upwards £50 an hour, but bear in mind that agencies can charge up to
11. Surveys that pay
The web also offers a wealth of balance-boosting opportunities. Survey
websites such as Yougov.com, Panelbase.net and Toluna.com will all reward you
for your opinions, either through cash or reward vouchers.
Once you've registered on the website, you'll be sent surveys tailored to
your personal profile, ranging from 10p to £2 per survey.
12. Earn from web research
Any Question Answered (Issuebits.com
are often on the lookout for internet researchers. Once a customer asks a
question through their mobile phone, it's the researcher's job to hunt out the
answer and reply online.
You can choose your own hours and the questions you answer, and can earn
around 30p for every question you answer correctly.
13. Review music
Budding Simon Cowells amongst us should check out
, a music website that pays users to review unsigned bands. The
idea is simple: you sign up, listen to a track, rate it and write an honest
review. You'll get 5p per review, but the more reviews you make the more you can
charge — experienced reviewers can command 25p per song.
If you're a dedicated reviewer, you can earn some decent pocket money, some
users have earned in excess of £1,000," says David Courtier-Dutton, the founder
14. Medical experiments
Volunteering for clinical trials doesn't just have to involve taking untested
and risky drugs. Some clinical trials are perfectly safe, such as sleep studies,
psychological tests and taste testers. Fit and healthy volunteers living in
London willing to donate their blood for clinical research, for example, could
be paid £60 a time.
But remember, never sign up for anything you are not happy with — risking
your health for a few extra pounds is just not worth it. Go to
for trials in your area.
15. Join the TA
If you're brave and committed enough to sign up, the Territorial Army is
always looking for recruits. You would need to give up one weekend a month,
attend an annual two-week camp for basic training and be ready to be called to
Basic pay starts at £34.41 a day, but can rise to £112.51. When you meet the
minimum yearly training requirement (27 days if you're in a Regional Territorial
unit, 19 days if you're in a National unit) you receive an extra payment known
as a bounty. This increases as you spend more time as a Territorial, so within
five years of joining, you could receive an extra £1600 a year. Go to
So there you have it - 15 ways to make money in your spare time! Good luck - you might need it.