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How to Get Free Money: 19 Ways to Start Today

Updated on January 28, 2020


You can make money online and offline no matter where you live in the world. Stop wasting time on social media posting pictures of your lunch and instead use your time to research, learn and explore a new business or pocket money opportunity.

Not all self-employment opportunities require qualifications or experience all you need is spare time, effort, and commitment.

This list is not exhaustive but will hopefully provide you with some ideas for moneymaking opportunities.

I have split the article into two parts: “No-cost business ventures” and “Low-cost business ventures”.

Part 1 | No-cost business ventures

1. Car Advertising

Subject to meeting certain criteria, such as driving at least 30 miles a day, why not let your car be used to advertise a company logo. Some advertising companies will pay between £75 ($100) and £150 ($200) depending on the campaign.

2. Collect and Sell Free Items

Check the many buying and selling sites for people offering items for free. Just remember to check that the condition of an item is good or very good. For ease of transport stick to small and medium-sized items unless you have the means to carry large items. Once you have the items sell them on through the same buying and selling sites you originally got them from. The most popular items that people want are smart phones, TV’s, and furniture.

3. Dog Walking

Sign up to a local website that offers a tool to connect pet owners with trusted dog walkers. You could also offer pet boarding, pet sitting and drop-in visits to check on a pets well being.

4. House Sitting

People who go on holiday usually spend part of their time worrying that their house is secure with regard to safety, water leaks, power cuts, or storm damage. Sign up to a local website that offers a tool to connect house owners with trusted house sitters.

5. Install a Market Research App

Market researchers need to know what people are searching for on their smart phones. By signing up to companies that install an app on your phone once you have been accepted you can earn money just by installing their app. You also receive payment for each month you keep the app on your phone.

6. Marketing Surveys

There are hundred’s of online marketing survey companies. Your opinion matters to companies whether it is testing a new product or feedback on a retail experience. The answers decide their future marketing strategies. Some people sign up to 20 or 30 companies and then spend their free time, break times at work, or even when they are watching TV, completing surveys. Payments, or gift cards, are usual exchanged for the points you have earned.

7. Music Lessons

If you are musically gifted and proficient in one or more musical instruments then you could offer music lessons at your or a students home. There are many people who have purchased a piano or guitar etc and want to play seriously so require music tuition.

8. Proofreading

People that can spot the incorrect use of words (such as their, they’re and there) are in demand as proofreaders. You can work from home and set your own hours and your own charging rates.

9. Review Products and Websites

Sign up and get paid for reviewing music, books, websites, clothing, household goods, electronics etc before they are made available to the general public.

10. Sell Clothes

Sell the clothes you don’t use anymore or have never used or buy some from a charity or thrift shop. Some companies will pay for clothes by the kilo or sell them online by using one or more of the many buy, sell or trade sites.

11. Sell Old CD’s, DVD’s and Video Games

Rather than throwing them away, sell your old video games, DVD’s and CD’s for cash. Scan in, or enter, the barcode to the relevant website and you will receive a price. These companies will then provide you with a prepaid shipping label and you will get paid after they receive the item.

12. Sell Old Portable Electronics

Rather than throwing them away, sell your old portable electronics (phones, laptops, ipads, ipods, cameras, games consoles etc) for cash. There are companies that will pay as soon as they receive them, usual via paypal and will even provide a prepaid shipping label.

13. Sell Old Textbooks and Books

Sell your old textbooks and books, or buy them from a charity and thrift shop, and start putting them online. Some sites ask you to enter a books ISBN number and tell you the second hand value as a guide.

14. Sell Photographs

There are many online stock photo websites that will let you up load your high quality or rare photos, which you can then earn a percentage for each one you sell. All kinds of businesses are constantly on the look out for unusual or unique images such as marketers, advertisers, TV and film companies, and magazines.

15. Sell Scrap Metal

People are always throwing away items such as scrap metal that they no longer have a use for. Companies will pay for most scrap metal materials such as copper, aluminium, or stainless steel. You may even have some lying about your home. Check buying and selling sites for people offering items for free.

16. Share Your Home

If you have a spare room or are going away on holiday then why not earn money by signing up to Airbnb and start renting. You could make £75 ($100) or more a day. Airbnb has an insurance policy that covers you for up to £1 million in damages as well as a cleaning fee and security deposit from renters so you don’t have to worry about coming home to a nightmare scenario.

17. Translation Service

If you are fluent in a second language then you can find work as a translator. This is a fast growing business due to the number of non-English speakers who are now doing business with Western companies. There are also translators needed in the court system, hospitals, schools, and at conference venues.

18. Virtual Assistant

If you prefer administrative or data-oriented roles then why not sign up to be a virtual assistant. Businesses need someone to answer emails, monitor and manage social media, or order supplies and not all of them can afford to employ full-time staff for these roles. Being a virtual assistant you choose which services to offer and what level fees you charge.

19. Watch Videos

If you are a film lover then you can make money online by signing up to companies that pay you to take surveys and watch videos. Sites will offer cash or gift cards for watching movie premiers, TV shows and even the news. Some sites even offer a cash incentive just for signing up.

Part 2 | Low-Cost Business Start-ups

The following ideas require little financial input to start-up and invest in resources. As always, good old-fashioned hard work and enthusiasm are needed for any business to succeed. It is important to remember that you will need public liability insurance for most of these business ideas.

1. Cleaning Business

If you are meticulous and take pride in your work then why not start a cleaning business. You do not need much equipment or supplies and some householders will even provide these for you. Cleaning businesses rely on repeat and word of mouth business so you must always do a thorough job and build a reputation as being reliable. As well as social media try the good-old door-to-door leafleting method. You could invest further and expand into the carpet cleaning business.

2. Gardening

If you love the outdoors and have green-fingers then a perfect business to set yourself up in is as a gardener. You do not need much equipment or supplies and some householders will even provide these for you. You do need to have undergone the proper training if you intend to use any type of chemicals. In the winter months you could also offer a snow/ice removal service.

3. Litter Clearing

Many large retail, office and industrial complexes and property management companies that have large outside areas such as car parks need them regularly cleaned. With an initial investment of a litter picking tool and a good brush you can offer your services as a litter picker and remover.

4. Market Trader

Buy yourself a second-hand wallpaper pasting table or the equivalent then research where the best local markets are and hire a pitch. Use the many buying and selling sites for people offering items for free to find your stock. For ease of transport stick to small and medium-sized items unless you have the means to carry large items. Permanent markets will usual supply the stalls meaning that you only have to provide the stock. The best traders are those with a personable attitude who love to interact with potential customers.

5. Metal Detecting

Once you have obtained a new or second-hand metal detector then start searching places where the public frequent in large numbers such as the beach, public parks, car parks, festivals and concerts. People drop all sorts of small items such as coins and jewellery. Any jewellery you find must be handed in to the local police just in case someone has reported it lost. There are also areas that you will require a permit to undertake any metal detecting. Check with your local authority or agency. You will also need the owner’s permission to search any private land.

6. Mobile Phone Accessories

This is a growing market especially for phone cases. You will have to invest in stock by bulk buying but then you can sell them on through trading websites, fairs, parties, events or at a local market.


There are many scammers operating in this industry. Do your research before committing to anything. Read reviews and check websites that specialise in highlighting scam websites. Reputable companies will never ask you for a signing up fee, your driving licence details, your credit card details or your bank details. Stay safe and think sensibly. If it’s too good to be true then it is.


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