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The Insiders Guide to Turning Your Spare Time Into Spare Money

7 May, 2011

With daily reminders that we are living in an economic recession, the worst since the Great Depression, social morale is understandably low, and thousands of people are seeking free debt advice from financial charities each day. The media forces statistics of inflation, house prices and lending patterns so as we just cannot ignore it. The recession is everywhere we turn, forcing us to lead a life of worry and over-cautiousness.

So, as much as I hope the New Year will bring new hope for the state of the British Economy, I also hope the New Year will make me a millionaire too. Ok, perhaps that’s just wishful thinking, but when it comes to personal finance, I’m always looking for quick and easy ways to earn some quick cash; and that’s never been as important to me as now, when my balance has taken one huge hit by the festive season, and I need to cover those looming credit card debts.

It’s said that there are two fundamental principles to financial and debt management – maximise your income, and minimise your expenditure.  Perhaps strangely, it’s the first bit that we probably don’t think enough about.

Maximising your earnings does not have to mean the usual drag of over time. You would not believe how many people feel that this is their only option. There are so many other ways in which you can supplement your income though, many of which can actually be done from home. And you never know you could actually find it a little bit enjoyable!

Though it may sometimes seem otherwise, most businesses are not only interested in, but vitally need input and opinions from impartial members of the public.  Market research and mystery shopper work can be an excellent way to bring in extra cash.  The time commitment usually depends on your own availability, which allows for a good degree of flexibility – and there isn’t much required in the way of skills and experience, other than a good sense of judgement.

A second option to earn an extra bit of money is to consider if home delivery could provide you with an additional income. You could enquire at your local takeaway or at a larger chain such as Pizza Hut. Or if that isn’t quite your cup of tea, perhaps becoming an agent for businesses such as the Home Delivery Network could be a better option for you?

Do you consider yourself as a bit of a handyman around the house? Or maybe you’re a dab hand in the garden. If so, it may be worth considering offering your services to those who are less able. You’d be surprised at how many people in your local community are looking for people to do a few odd jobs around their home, from putting a few shelves up to mowing the lawn. Look to advertise your services in the local paper, or in your local shop window.

You’d be surprised how many people will pay to have their house cleaned or their laundry done. From larger families who just don’t find time to do the housework, to the elderly who are perhaps less able. If you don’t mind the odd bit of housework, then grab that scrubbing brush, put on your marigolds and get paid for doing the housework.

A final option is to make money from your hobbies. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? The recent surge in the need for freelancer’s means that you could turn something you enjoy into something you earn money for too. For example, maybe you enjoy photography, graphic design, web development or even writing? If this screams out to you then start searching online for freelance companies. The money can be extremely lucrative, what more could you want from a hobby?!

Let your creative juices flow! Generating some extra cash doesn’t need to be boring and dull. Providing you are proactive yet realistic, earning that extra money could be a more enjoyable venture than you first expected.

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