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Four ways to make a little extra money (in your spare time)

Updated on December 6, 2018
Nicholas Lester profile image

Nick is a marketing and communications specialist, working with clients both big and small. He is a husband and father first, however.

Before We Begin...

Are you looking to make a cheeky little purchase but feel you can't justify spending the money?

By taking on a little extra work in your spare time, you may be able to make some additional cash to treat yourself to that dress/computer game/pair of shoes.

I want to make this very clear that I am not offering a way for you to tell your boss what you've thought of him all these years or retire at the tender age of 30. This is a way for you to make a little extra money in your spare time, with relatively little risk.

I will avoid the obvious such as renting property on sites such as Airbnb or selling your things on auction sites like eBay. They are common knowledge.

I have tried all of these myself, am affiliated with none of the sites listed, and as such will give my honest opinion on each activity.

Please note: There are no links to possible sites as they can vary from country-to-country, but a quick search will bring up many opportunities for each.


Everybody likes to be heard. Why not get paid for it?

The biggest draw of taking part in surveys online is that it requires little brain power other than giving your opinion - there is no real right or wrong answer. I have sometimes sat with my partner, watching the telly, with my laptop, open answering a few surveys.

Whilst this might seem like a great way to make some easy money, be aware that some surveys are very long, and given that it is a simple activity, pay is quite low. Some sites will pay more than others, so be sure to find one that suits you first.

I have stopped taking part in surveys for some of the other activities below, as I find them more interesting. There are only so many surveys one person can take!

Overview: Easy, but boring and low paying.



Transcription involves listening to sound clips and turning them into text. Different sites will have different types of audio. I have worked with meetings, university lectures, and TV shows.

Like surveys, this is relatively easy work, but you need to be a fast typer and have a good ear. Many sites require a test beforehand, and those that don't pay very poorly.

Pay for transcription is actually not that different from surveys, but is a little more interesting - especially if you get to work on creating subtitles for TV shows!

Overview: One I enjoy popping into for short periods, but don't expect much money.

Website Reviews

Give your opinion on different sites

Similar to surveys, this activity has no right or wrong answers and is again about giving your opinion on things such as site layout, testing, and giving your opinion on how something looks.

You will need a good microphone (and some sites require a camera) and will need to conduct surveys in a quiet place, so cannot be done whilst watching TV or listening to the radio.

I have found this pays a little bit more than the above two activities, with some sites paying $10 for 10 minutes of work - that equates to $60 an hour! Whilst this looks good, jobs can sometimes be hard to come by, and many sites are not taking on new testers.

If I am playing a computer game or doing a little freelance writing work, I will keep an eye out for notifications of website review work and dive in for ten minutes to make a little pocket money!

Overview: This is a great way to make money if you can register, but you need to ensure you snap up the opportunities quickly.

Mystery Shopping

Get paid to shop!

I am not the most enthusiastic shopper, but when I get paid to spend my money I am!

Mystery shoppers are paid to go into shops and ask a few questions as laid out in a scenario given beforehand. In addition to shops, you may be asked to make a purchase online, make a phone call, or assess charity activities in the street.

Once again, this is quite simple work, but you will need to ensure you record, take screenshots, or take photos of your activities to prove that you have completed each task or you will not get paid.

Sometimes you even get to keep the product you buy afterward!

Overview: If you are heading out for a shop anyway, this is worth trying for some easy money!

In Conclusion...

Each of these is worth a try if you are looking to make a little more money. If you are like me, and the majority of people, you might find it a great way to justify buying yourself a treat every now and again, or you can use it to support your lifestyle.

I would not suggest these as a full-time career unless you have done further research into them. You will also need to check with your countries laws in regards to self-employment and tax on income - some will allow a small allowance for small amounts of change.

Over the years, these activities have helped me buy a few new consoles, clothes and a few meals out in exchange for a little extra work whilst watching the telly or during short periods of downtime an I hope it does the same for you!

© 2018 Nicholas Lester


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