I’m often asked what are the most unusual ways to make money. In the world we live in, where there are ideas and resources at the tap of a smart phone, there is no quick or easy answer to this, plus, what I find to be a weird and unusual ways to make money, might not be weird or unusual to you! I therefore will share my thoughts, but I’ve also opened this up to some of my blogging friends and will share their thoughts as well! Some of these are suitable to crack on with right away, and some might need to wait until lockdown restrictions have been lifted and life gets back to ‘normal’ (or as normal as it will get) but they will definitely give you some great ideas!
My favourite of the unusual ways to make money is definitely to go on a quiz show. For those of you who don’t know my story, when I was in debt, I applied in desperation to go on Tipping Point. At the time only the first series had aired, and they were looking for contestants to make a second season. I applied, got through the audition process and made it on to a show! My winnings meant that I cleared half my debt in one day! It’s definitely not a conventional way of making money, and perhaps not for the faint hearted, but it really can be a great day out where you are looked after and of course have a possibility of winning tax free money!
While we’re on the subject of taxes it is important to note that new sources of income that become a regular side gig might bring with it certain tax implications. Regardless of where you are in the world, consulting with a financial professional would be in your best interest. For those in the United States, you can use TurboTax Live for online access to a network of tax experts that can help answer all your questions, and you can do this right from your home in Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, or anywhere else in the country. For those in the UK, check out HMRC for the latest guidance as to your allowances.
Now over to some of my blogging buddies for their top tips:
Face to face unusual ways to make money:
Jo from A Rose Tinted World shared that she sells on eBay and does car boot sales. Some of the strangest things that she has sold include empty perfume bottles, old taps from when she got a new bathroom, old door knobs from her house, freebies from magazines and old games consoles. She firmly believes that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Luckily she has a lot of space to store things to sell!
Jenny from Parent Blogging Secrets shared that she has worked as a TV and film extra. She adds that it’s really fun and the pay isn’t bad. She’s also done vote counting which is very lucrative although sporadic! I’ve also poll clerked and you can find out more about my experience here.
Melissa from The Diary of a Jewellery Lover shared a great tip for if you are over the age of 18 and in particular if you look young. There are sites like Serve Legal that will employ you to buy alcohol. They supply independent audit services to companies to check that they are legally selling alcohol and the buyer is being asked for ID.
Olga from Productive Journey shared something that I didn’t even know was a thing. She said that she sometimes gets paid to try clothes on of fashion designers when they are creating/producing them. They look for someone who is true to a certain size and based on that they create the designs, etc.
Bronni shared that she’s done plenty of weird stuff for money, but the worst was definitely tests for her university’s psychology department, they made you sit with your eyes really close to a screen pushing buttons. The best was being paid to order every drink (really!) in posh London hotels through mystery shopping.
Sian from Little Miss Frugal says that one of her favourite ways to earn money is to be a tasker on TaskRabbit, from ironing, moving to building IKEA flatpacks – there’s so many opportunities to help other people and get paid.
Laura from Budgeting for Students shared that she embroiders personalised tshirts and sells them on Etsy. The weirdest request has been to embroider someone’s pet eagle!
Fiona from Hawkes at Home says that she has sold stories to newspapers and magazines – the pay can vary quite a bit but can sometimes be a few hundred pounds. She has sold a health story, a story about buying yellow stickered food and had her opinion on early Christmas shopping printed. If you have something that’s topical then magazines will definitely want to hear from you! They also love cute baby and pet pictures! Her top tip is to check the feature me! UK Facebook group for lots of opportunities.
Paul from Money Tips Blog says he has used Copify in the past to find writing jobs. He would sometimes do them on the bus on the way home from work. If you think freelancing or the gig economy might be something you are interested in, find out more here.
Fiona from Savvy in Somerset shared a rather “interesting” idea – selling your smelly shoes on eBay! Obviously there’s a bit of a niche market for such items, and only you can decide if that’s something you would be interested in doing, but she bought a cheap pair of Primark pumps and sold them for £70! Click on the link to find out her top tips for making money in this unusual way!
Claire from Money Saving Central says that she makes quite a bit of extra cash per year using refer a friend schemes. There are so many companies out there that will pay you a cash bonus for referrals, visit her post for ideas and places that run this scheme. My favourite one is Bulb, a gas and electric provider who offer you a bonus when you get someone to switch. The other person also gets a bonus and when I switched to them, they were by far cheaper than other providers plus they are a green energy company so it’s a win-win!
Alison from Little Blog of Positivity shared how she has made enough money for a holiday by doing Matched Betting. Matched Betting is actually not gambling despite the name, and I have used it to make money in the past, but I don’t actively promote it any more – find out why here and make your own mind up as to whether it’s something you’d like to try.
Sue from Sue Foster shared the idea of drop shipping. This is a great way of making money from selling goods but without having to hold stock yourself, or having to dispatch items – the retailers/distributers do it for you.
Jennifer from Monethalia: “When I was a student I sold my hair. It’s a slow way to make money though as it needed to be at least 20 cm long. I even took vitamin b to make it grow faster.”
Yasmin from The Wallet Moth shared a great little app she used to make extra money. It’s called Sweatcoin, and it is an app that tracks your steps throughout the day and converts them into coins (which can then be cashed in for vouchers, various offers and deals of the day, or PayPal vouchers!). She said that she finds it’s a good way to motivate her to get a bit more active each day, plus it’s a nice way to make some passive earnings just going about your day-to-day life! Visit her site for a full review.
Renting out a spare room can be a great way of making some extra money too. Nick from Pounds and Sense wrote a really great guest post for me which you can find out about here.
Francesca from The Money Fox (previously From Pennies to Pounds) shared her tips for becoming a freelancer and blogger in an interview she did for me which you can find here.
Katrina from TriniMamaBebe shared that she likes to side hustle in any way possible, in particular with surveys and mystery shopping.
And now for the hands down most unusual way of making money:
Charlotte from Lotty Earns shared her experience of being asked to be involved with a PayPig. I’ll be honest, before reading Charlotte’s post about it, I had never heard of the term PayPig and didn’t know what they were. In short they are men (usually) who get their kicks from women spending all their money. The person who approached Charlotte wanted her to ruin his credit score! It’s one thing spending someone’s money (which you might not feel comfortable enough with as it is) but she didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of ruining someone’s credit. It definitely makes for an interesting read!
Which one of these have you tried? Or perhaps you have other unusual ways of making money that you’d like to share in the comments below! If they are interesting enough, I might add them to the post or share on social media.