by Zara Mohammed, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 18th July, 2018
Life is a wonderful gift, but some things can take the sparkle out of your life. One of those things is running out of money towards the end of the month. Nobody enjoys having to budget and cut back on daily highlights, like the morning cup of coffee and breakfast muffin you like to enjoy on the way to work. Life can become pretty grim without that coffee.
But there are other things that can make life can feel mundane because cash flow is limited. We all enjoy a holiday in the summer months, but few of us get the privilege of enjoying regular weekend breaks away. We all enjoy a big shopping binge when the paycheque comes in at the beginning of the month, but not everyone is lucky enough to be able to purchase the things we want without having to save up or wait for our wages to be paid, and then feel guilty because we know we're going to regret that in the last week when we're having to cut back on our daily caffeine fix.
The key to enjoying every single day and living a stress free life is balance. Looking forward to dipping into a little pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after a stormy month of bills, debt repayments and everyday expenses can make all the difference. So here are some fun and easy ways for you to make money on the side, so that you can keep on enjoying the little things in life, and maybe some of the bigger things too!
Everybody has a talent, a passion, an interest or access to something that other people don't have. You can use these things to earn a little bit of extra cash. The secret to success in business and entrepreneurism is finding out what other people want or need, and then offering it to them.
Perhaps you are an animal lover and have a creative streak? If you are an animal lovers you probably have plenty of animal loving friends, or you at least connect with plenty of likeminded people online - Well there's your audience and potential customer list for a start! Now all you have to do is figure out what you're good at and what you have to offer them. It shouldn't be too difficult because these are people who love the same things as you do. Maybe they are all crazy cat ladies or dog owners? Can you draw, sew, write, take great photos or have a wealth of knowledge from previous research due to your passion about dachshunds?
Here are a few ideas for animal lovers, to get started on some fun and easy ways to make money on the side, using your own skills, passion and knowledge. But you don't have to be an animal lover to find these ideas useful. They can work for any creative person who has a talent, passion or interest to share.
There are things that everyone hates doing. You know, mundane things, everyday chores, hard labour tasks and messy jobs. But it's surprising how much more appealing these things can become when you know you are getting paid to do them.
Here are some ideas of services that you could offer locally. Start out with friends and family, approach your neighbours, and then branch out with word of mouth. Before you know it you'll have a booming business on your hands!
Cleaning - Boring, domestic, household cleaning - You either love it or you hate it. Personally I find it extremely satisfying to organise and clean, especially when it's not my own house! You can offer your cleaning services and charge by the hour. Your first customers might be elderly neighbours, busy working mums or dads, students who are always falling out with their housemates because they haven't bothered to do their share of chores. You can make a serious amount of pocket money with this one.
Babysitting or Pet Sitting - Everyone deserves a break, but not everyone has the freedom to enjoy their evenings or weekends, because they have responsibilities like kids or pets. If you love children and you're not allergic to animals, you could easily earn a nice side income looking after them for people so that they can enjoy an evening out once a week, or even a weekend away.
Dog Walking - There are people who earn really good money running their own dog walking business. But it's not something you have to do full time in order to make some money on the side. This is great if you work from home or have more flexibility over your time. If you can fit an hour or two in the afternoon to walk one or two dogs during the week you could be making that extra cash you need to top up your monthly salary. You don't have to be a dog expert either. Walking a friend or neighbour's dog can a fun way to enjoy spending time with dogs if you aren't able to have one of your own. It's also a great way to get regular daily exercise, not to mention get away from the grind of everyday life. Walking can be like meditation. Being paid for it is just a bonus.
Teach - If you have a good knowledge of a subject you can teach it to someone else, and charge for your time. Teaching English as a foreign language can be a good side earner. Often you don't need qualifications and it can be done online. Maybe you could tutor children or adults in a subject you are good at, like a musical instrument or mathematics. If you want to take things to the next level, why not think about holding classes or a course in your local community centre, or even in your own home? You could teach a crafts class, do a storytelling workshop, host a life drawing class (maybe even with you as the model! Or alternatively arrange a still life.)
Gardening - If you've got the stamina, why not mow lawns for a nice little side earner? You can rake leaves in the autumn time, clear snow off drives in the winter, and keep grass trimmed nice and short all year round. Most people with gardens have a lawn mower. If not you might choose to invest, use your own or hire equipment.
Most people will just want to do a few odd jobs here and there for some extra cash flow, and that's fine. But if you are passionate about what you are doing, or finding it to be more lucrative and successful than you expected, you might want to think about taking your business more seriously.
The first thing you should do is find out if you need to register yourself as self employed so that you can pay taxes on your earnings. Then you can claim your expenses back and set it off against your tax payments. You can find out more about this with a simple Google search.
The next thing you will want to do is create an online presence, which will make you look more professional and give you avenues to promote your products or services. An online presence can be as simple as having a Facebook page or an Instagram Account. If you want to sell products you will also need an online shop. Online marketplaces like Etsy.com are a great way for creative to get their products in front of an audience and get paid. You might want to use Ebay, or create your own website with an online shop. Again, Google is your friend, and you can find all the information you need to decide what is right for you and your business.
Of course you don't have to get serious about earning a side income. The main thing is to make sure you have enough money to live your life the way you want to, and the best way to do that is to keep it fun and easy!