Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on how you can make extra cash from home.
September is an expensive time of year. Between back to school costs, increased heating and lighting costs as we enter winter, and the need for a bigger food shop as we get hungrier in the cold months (that can’t be just me, right?), money gets a little tighter this season. Here are some ways to make some extra cash this month from the comfort of your own home.
Take part in online surveys
Instead of wasting spare time scrolling through Instagram or watching videos on YouTube, use that time to do some online surveys. There are lots of websites out there just looking for your opinion and are willing to pay you for it. Some of these sites include Irish Opinions which offers credit for every survey you complete. Once you have €10 raised, you can cash in your credit for the gift voucher that can be redeemed in places like Tesco, Boots, iTunes, Debenhams and so on. Red C Live is another option - it is the survey platform for research firm Red C, and they pay €1 for every 5 minutes spent on a survey.
Become a virtual assistant
Being a virtual assistant is another option that allows you to work from home. The work is likely to be varied (you could be doing anything from booking travel plans to sending out thank you cards) so it will keep you entertained and you can pick your own hours. Upwork has been offering this service for years (it was previously called Elance/Odesk). On Upwork, freelancers set and negotiate their own rates, but virtual assistants can make as much as €50 to €100 an hour. Not bad!
Sell your stuff
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as the saying goes. So often we throw away things that have value because we are a bit too lazy to sell them. There are so many platforms now that allow us to easily sell our old things to someone who will give them a new home without much effort. This is also a good way to be environmentally friendly, instead of throwing your unwanted items in a landfill. You can sell almost anything on sites like adverts.ie and donedeal.ie, while setting up a Depop account is a good way to make some money from clothes you are ready to pass on. It just takes a little effort to take photos of the item you are selling and post an ad online but it can be a great way of getting money back on items you previously purchased.
Rent your things
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it is much easier to rent the things you own to other people now. Through Airbnb, you can rent your home when you are away for a weekend or holiday or even rent out a spare bedroom for a few days. If you have a car you don’t use every day, you can rent it out on jointhefleet.com. You can even rent out your parking space or driveway if you are not using them on parkpnp.com.
Go one step further than Airbnb and rent out your spare bedroom to a student. “Digs” for college students are still popular these days, particularly as it is becoming harder for them to find houses to rent, and when they do find them, the rental costs can be extortionate. Check out collegecribs.ie or getdigs.ie to see what other people are charging in your area. Of course, this will mean some changes in your home life, but it is definitely a great way to make additional income.
Claim tax back
The Revenue website has made it really easy to claim back money you are owed by the taxman from the comfort of your own home. This is your money that you are rightfully entitled to, so make sure you claim it back within four years or it will disappear into the ether. For more information on what you might be entitled to, check out IMAGE's guide to claiming tax back.