PARENTS can end up paying thousands during the summer holidays to keep kids entertained – but you can make some extra cash now to make it a little easier on the wallet.
Money blogger and mum-of-one Francesca Mason, 29, from Gloucester, has shared nine tips which can make you at least £1,000 in the eight weeks before the end of the school year.
Francesca, who writes about money-saving on her blog From Pennies To Pounds, says it's completely feasible to complete many of the tasks in the time you have left before the kids break up from school.
Her advice is to do two a week, which should make you at least £62.50 depending on what you do, with the potential to earn even more.
Over eight weeks, she says you will make at least £1,000 and you could earn up to £2,800 if you did all of them.
From filling in online surveys and mystery shopping to renting out your garage or attic as storage space, she's got lots of ideas for how to give yourself a financial cushion before the summer break.
Francesca, a sales co-ordinator, is sharing the tips with us ahead of the launch of her free email course on how to make extra cash before the holidays.
It starts on Friday and you'll receive two emails a week full of ideas on how to put more money in your coffers.
Here, Francesca explains what you need to do…
1. Surveys – Make £320
Francesca says: "There are some survey websites which are worth your time.
"These are best to do when you can’t really concentrate on higher-paying tasks, such as when you are waiting in a queue or watching TV.
"Here are two of my recommendations:
- Prolific Academic – This is a site where you take part in mini surveys held by researchers who are typically at university and need certain people for their research. You can make around £10 a week.
- Pinecone Research – This site pays out £3 per survey, which is huge for survey sites. Unfortunately they're not always accepting applicants but you may be lucky. You can make around £10 a week."
Filling in online surveys doesn't come with much risk but the pay-out is quite low for the amount of time you can spend on them.
Each survey can take up to 15 minutes, and you might only earn a few pounds, so it's probably not worth spending a lot of time filling these out.
And be careful as there are some fake websites around which could scam you out of money.
2. Apps – Make £135
Francesca says: "There are so many apps at the moment that help you make money really easily.
"Lots you can do while you're out and about or when you are at home.
"These are my favourites:
- Job Spotter – I love this app, it's one of my favourites. You photos of the job adverts that you see in shops. You take a photo of the sign, and a photo of the shop and upload. You can make around £5 a week.
- Vypr – This app asks you questions which they call "steers" and these are usually just one click answers.
They will usually be for 10-40 points and once you get to 10,000 points you can cash out £5. You can make around £5 every few weeks.
- Curious Cat – This is an app where you answer surveys and complete tasks for money. You will be paid via Paypal and you can make around £10 a week."
The amount you'll earn on the Job Spotter app will depend on the type of advert.
Adverts posted in big chains will earn you less, as little as 5p, while adverts in small, independent shops could earn you up to £1.90 a post.
But if someone else has posted the same advert in the last 30 days, you won't get any money.
With Vypr, the pay-out isn't that generous so it's probably not worth spending too much time on.
Unlike Vypr which has a minimum balance of £5 for withdrawals, Curious Cat lets you withdraw money as soon as your balance hits £1.
You earn money through points, with one point worth one penny – and each survey is worth between 40 (40p) and 60 points (60p).
3. Mystery shopping – Make £530
Francesca says: "This is how I personally started earning extra money on the side, and when I saw the free food that I could get, I was hooked.
"These are my favourite firms to use:
- Market Force – This is my favourite mystery shopping company as they have so many jobs available with lots of high-profile clients. You can make around £25 a week.
- Proinsight – It’s good if you’re thinking of joining a gym as they often have jobs available where they want you to try out different gyms. You can make around £30 a week."
Both of these mystery shopping firms require applicants to take a test for approval.
They will be testing your observation skills, while Market Force also looks for good grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Once you're in, you can apply for tasks in your local area. Some pay better than others.
4. Website testing – Make £320
Francesca says: "You can test online websites for paying clients who want to see how users interact with their website.
"These are the sites I use:
- WhatUsersDo – The jobs are really easy and generally take around 10 minutes – and you'll be paid £5 per task. That works out at a rate of £30 an hour. You can make around £20 a week.
- User Testing – I haven't had as much work from these as WhatUsersDo, but they do pay slightly more at $10 (£7.75) per test. You can make around £20 a week."
WhatUsersDo pays out monthly, while Usertesting pays out seven days after each completed test.
Both will require you to use an online screen recorder – and you'll be on call to the client so they can hear your comments as you test the websites.
Each test only takes a few minutes, so the rate isn't bad for the amount of time you would spend on a task.
5. Being a virtual assistant – Make £400
Francesca says: "There is a huge demand for virtual assistants as there are millions of online businesses these days.
"Tasks might include answering emails, creating graphics, editing, and booking appointments.
"A great site to start with is Upwork.
"You can make around £50 a week as a beginner."
A word of warning, though: Upwork charges a fee for freelancers using its site to find work.
As soon as you make $500 (£389) from one client, you'll be hit with a huge 20 per cent fee of $100 (£77.96).
But if you make less than this amount from each of your clients, you won't be hit with the fee.
And the fee reduces to 10 per cent for your second bill between $500 (£389) and $10,000 (£7,796).
6. Etsy – Make £400
Francesca says: "Etsy is an online marketplace that specialises in handmade and unique items that you can make and sell on.
"Ideas of things that you could make on Etsy include: printables, wall art, spreadsheets, jewellery, clothing, furniture, artwork, personalised items and more.
"You can make around £50 a week."
Remember that Etsy charges a 5 per cent transaction fee when an item sells, which includes the delivery price.
And if you accept the payment through Etsy Payments, there is another 4 per cent plus 20p processing fee.
What are the tax rules on making extra money?
AS the Government admits, confusion can arise when it comes to knowing whether you need to pay tax on online sales.
Rules came into force in 2017 which give causal online sellers a £1,000 tax-free allowance for selling selling online.
Another £1,000 allowance also relates to property – for example if you rent out your driveway, or your whole property.
That means income below the £1,000 threshold does not need to be declared to the taxman.
Meanwhile, personal possessions sold for less than £6,000 are exempt from capital gains tax.
There's also a £7,500 allowance for homeowners who want to rent out a furnished room, for example, on Airbnb.
HMRC has confirmed you can use two or even three allowances in the same tax year, but only for different money-making ventures.
For example, you could use the property allowance to rent out your driveway, and the £7,500 rent-a-room tax relief to rent out a spare room without having to pay any tax.
Experts have been concerned that money makers aren't aware of the allowance – and they could be left with a hefty tax bill if they earn over £1,000 and fail to tell HMRC.
And of course, there are various scenarios where you will need to declare your income to the taxman anyway, for example if your self-employed or you've earned more than £1,000 in untaxed income by renting out a property.
7. Youtube – Make £80
Francesca says: "Youtube is the place to be if you want to start earning extra money.
"There are so many different types of Youtube channels that are out there, so you can talk about pretty much anything as long as there is an audience for it.
"Examples of accounts that do well on there are: budgeting and money, food channels, kids opening toys, and Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos where you could get millions of views just for doing your cleaning or cutting soaps (check it out).
"You can make around £10 a week as a beginner but lots of people go on to make this their full-time job."
The easiest way to make money from Youtube videos is to enable adverts.
Google will keep 32 per cent of its AdSense revenue, while a Youtuber will keep 68 per cent.
The rate an advertiser pays varies but it's usually between $0.10 (8p) to $0.30 (23p) per view.
Obviously that won't add up to much unless you attract a big following – so it might not be worth the time unless you have a great idea for a channel.
8. Rent out your stuff – Make £800
Francesca says: "Got a garage or attic full of things?
"There are sites where you can rent out your stuff such as Fat Llama.
"This site lets you rent out things that you own but don't use all the time such as bikes, cameras, musical instruments, gaming consoles and more.
"You can make around £100 a week."
Just remember that Fat Llama does charge 15 per cent fees for both the borrower and the lender.
That means that if an item's listed at $100 (£77.96)/day, the borrower pays $115 (£89.72) and the lender earns $85 (£66.31).
And of course, this does depend on you having something of worth to rent out.
9. Cashback – Make £80
Francesca says: "Cashback sites give you money for the things that you would be buying anyway.
"If you sign up to sites like Quidco or TopCashback, you just have to click through to the retailer that you want to purchase from.
"This will be tracked and you will receive cashback once it has been confirmed by the retailer.
"You can make around £10 a week."
Never buy or sign up to anything just for the cashback, as you're not really saving money if you didn't need it anyway.
It's always wise to remember cashback isn’t guaranteed and sometimes is not actually paid by the retailer.
And cashback sites should be free – don’t use one that charges.
It's only once you hit the minimum amount spent to withdraw funds can you start getting the cash into your account too.
Last month, we revealed how you could make £500 in an hour.
Want more ways to make money? We've put together a list of 50 of them to help you boost your coffers.
Meanwhile we've found ways of getting thousands of pounds towards your first mortgage.
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