Stack of pound coins

What Can I Do?

In many ways our most precious asset is our time and companies are willing to pay for it. Well, that’s how work works, of course, but sometimes it can be in our spare time and tie into our likes.

Although it’s rarely cash in hand these days, casual work can also top up how much we have coming in. Also bear in mind we may need to provide references or sometimes a criminal record check (DBS check). But there are loads of options.


Market research companies are always looking for people to fill out surveys. All we need is an opinion and a few spare minutes. Payment and rewards vary and some are choosy about whose views they want to hear but it’s worth looking into. Making pennies for our thoughts also for online reviewers and bloggers who build a following.

Some websites are calling out for reviews and articles from all those frustrated journalists out there. People get paid to review new products – and get to see them months before they reach the shops… provided they’re any good, of course. Want to go a step further? Setting up our own blog can make cash by driving fans to buy stuff we rate online.


Some people make a small fortune as serial competition entrants. They spend a huge amount of time tracking down the best ones and learning how to win. It’s often a numbers game and the winnings are not always in cash, so having a way to sell unwanted prizes will help.


Like animals? What about dog walking? Love kids? What about babysitting? Art classes need life models and maybe it’s time to unleash the hidden exhibitionist. Maybe there’s a neighbour who’s elderly or stuck at home – they might give us a little extra if we pick up their shopping or do a little cleaning.


Festivals need stewards and security workers, and pubs and clubs need door staff, so for those of us who like helping out the public, it’s an option. Often they’re paid by the shift, so we can take or leave the work depending on whether we’re free or need the cash. Stewarding at festivals is sometimes unpaid but free entry comes with the job. Security work usually requires an SIA badge to say you’ve been checked and trained.

Production companies are often looking for extras to stand in the background on film sets saying ‘rhubarb rhubarb’, so for those of us who like to dress up, that could be the one.

Ever wanted to be a spy? Maybe it’s time to sign up as a mystery shopper…

For anyone able to work, a shift at a local pub or café could make all the difference. Or if we’re working already, a few hours overtime could really lift the financial gloom nicely.

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