Try my top five money maximising ideas to boost your income this summer:
1. Get paid for taking surveys
If you enjoy filling in the quizzes and polls on sites like FaceBook, why not earn a bit of money doing surveys instead? Simply sign up with survey websites that use your answers as market research – they pay anything from pennies to pounds per survey.
Each site has a payout threshold amount (e.g. £10) – when you reach that amount you can cash in your earnings, usually either in shopping vouchers or through Paypal.
Admittedly you’re not going to earn a fortune doing this and you’ll need to sign up to a few sites to keep a regular flow of surveys coming your way, but if you’re dedicated you could earn up to one or two hundred extra pounds per year!
2. Get paid for writing reviews
If you like leaving feedback for the products you buy, this is also something that could be earning you money. Some sites send you out products to review, which you then get to keep, e.g. ClixResearch. Others pay you a set amount per review e.g. Dooyoo – pays 50p per review, which you can collect as an Amazon voucher when the total reaches £10 or cash in when it hits £50.
3. Sell your old mobile phone
Use the MobileValuer website to find out what your old handset is worth then sell it to the highest paying company. This site has a simple wizard for selecting your model of phone, its condition and then finds you the best payer. Your chosen company sends you out a jiffy bag and you simply post them your phone. Simples!
4. Sell your stuff online
Ebay is the number one choice for selling all sorts of stuff you don’t want anymore, but there are other sites more suited to certain types of stuff. Amazon is a good choice for selling your second-hand books as you just type in the ISBN number and most of the other info, such as the synopsis, is provided for you from their database.
Music Magpie is good for CDs and DVDs as it will give you an instant cash value from just typing in the barcodes of between 5 and 500 items.
If you are particularly crafty and enjoy making jewellery, knitted clothes or anything else handmade, Etsy is a good site to start on. It’s similar to Ebay but is dedicated to handmade and vintage items (over 20 years old) and has lower listing fees and longer listing times than Ebay.
5. Cash in your change
Have you got a jar full of small change that you keep meaning to cash in? You could take it to a supermarket with a change converter machine on site, but these usually keep between 6 and 9% of the value of your change.
Your bank or building society will give you cash bags for you to count up the change yourself – most banks will let you deposit 5 bags of cash at a time. If you have a lot of change, or get bored easily, it might be worth investing in a coin sorting machine such as this one from Argos. It massively speeds up the process and actually makes it quite fun – if you were a fan of the coin drop machines in the arcades when you were a kid you need one of these!
A few bank branches have now introduced machines similar to the ones in the supermarkets, but that don’t charge a commission and will add the cash straight onto your card – so it’s worth checking your local branch first!