The 6 best ways to earn money on the side, and what to do with it!

There are countless guides online describing ways in which you can earn money on the side, however they are often full of boring and poorly paid methods such as completing surveys. In this article I will discuss the 6 best ways to increase your income, which are far more lucrative and a lot more interesting. In addition, these methods will allow you to draw upon and develop your own personal skills and interests.

This guide will also discuss some ideas as to what should be done with the money you earn. Hint: do not spend it all on expensive clothes or nights out. There is not much point in earning extra if you let it go to waste. This does not however mean that you cannot still have fun and treat yourself every once in a while!

To start, here are the six ideas:

1. Start a clothing brand

If you have an interest in fashion, this is just for you!

Nowadays it is very easy to start your own clothing brand completely free with no start-up costs, and you can start making money for minimal effort. Sites such as Teemill mean that all you have to do is create the designs for products ranging from t-shirts to tote bags, and then promote your store. They will create a website for you, as well as deal with all the orders and shipping. It is completely free to use, and they send you half of the total profits at the end of each month via PayPal. You can also get a paid, pro version of Teemill, which allows added features such as custom packaging, hand written notes, and the ability for customers to create their own designs.

Coming up with a design is relatively simple and can be done using Adobe Photoshop for example. If you do not know how to do this, you can always get help from a friend. The designs do not have to be complex; often the simplest t-shirts are the most popular.

One thing to consider when designing a piece is whether you want to compete with thousands of other brands by coming up with really common designs, for example animals, or whether you want to carve out your own niche by creating new and interesting designs that no one else has thought of.

Once you have your store you can promote it to millions of people for free using social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. You can build up a following by posting attractive photos of your clothes, and use it to generate sales.

2. Buy and sell items on eBay

eBay is a great way to make money from home, by selling almost any item imaginable. You can sell items from around your house which you no longer use, or if you know what you are doing, you can buy stuff from charity shops, car boot sales, or items in bulk, and then sell them on for a profit.

As you sell more and more things over time, customers leave feedback and you can build up a strong reputation as a seller. Some people have even used this to start their own eBay stores and make a living from buying and selling.

When selling on eBay, it is important to consider the various fees. eBay typically charges 10 per cent of the value of the item sold, and if you take payments through PayPal, they take 3.4 per cent plus £0.20. eBay do however have regular promotions where it costs just £1 to sell for example, so it may be worth waiting for these to maximise your profits.

3. Build a website or start a YouTube channel

If you have any hobbies which other people find interesting, it might be a good idea to start a YouTube channel or website/blog. This is definitely a very time-consuming method, however it can be very lucrative if you attract the correct audience.

Starting a Youtube channel is completely free, and sites such as and allow you to build a website either for free or for very little cost, depending on how much flexibility you want.

The best thing about this method is that you can easily record and upload videos from your phone, and there are countless online tutorials meaning you can build an attractive website with no experience whatsoever.

Once you have your website or YouTube channel and started building up a following, there are several methods though which you can monetise your content. Firstly, you can use Google Adsense for example to put adverts on your pages or videos. You will get paid for making a certain amount of impressions or receiving clicks on the ads. In addition, if there are certain products which you feel would benefit your audience, you can promote them through affiliate links and earn a commission. Amazon Associates for example pays you every time someone buys something from Amazon within 24 hours after clicking on your link, even if it was not the item you were originally promoting.

4. Complete gigs on Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelancing site where you can complete small tasks for people in return for money. If you have skills in any of the following areas, then Fiverr is a great way for you to earn some extra money:

  • Graphics and design
  • Digital marketing
  • Writing and translation
  • Video and animation
  • Music and audio
  • Programming and tech

In addition, by completing ‘gigs’ on Fiverr, you will develop your skills and boost your CV.

Fiverr is also a great place to buy these services too. When building a website or starting a clothing brand for example, you can get someone to design a logo or t-shirt for you for a small fee.

5. Photography

If you like to take a lot of photos, then you can get paid to do what you love doing!

Nowadays, it is easy to take high quality photographs using smartphones and then upload them to sites such as Shutterstock for example. Website developers and other people looking to buy photographs will pay you for your work.

One of the best things about this method is that it acts as a form of passive income. Once you have taken the photograph and put it up for sale, it will earn you some money every time someone uses it, without you doing any more work.

6. Tutoring

If you have strong academic qualifications and are good at working with younger people, then tutoring is a great way of earning money on the side.

You can earn as much as £30 per hour by teaching A-Level and GCSE students. This can be done online through sites such as Tutorful, or in person in your local area.

Either sign up to one of these sites or print out some business cards and hand them out to your neighbours to get started.

What to do with your earnings?

Now that you can earn money on the side, it is important that you manage it correctly and do not let it go to waste. This does not however mean that you cannot still have fun with your money.

Firstly, you should save small amounts each week into a ‘safety pot’. By having an emergency fund of as much as £1000, you will be much more financially secure during tough times, for example if your boiler breaks.

Whilst you should already be saving a proportion of your main income into a pension or ISA, you may want to top these savings up with money you earn on the side. Preparing for retirement is vital to ensure a decent standard of living in old age. If you haven’t started saving already, here are 8 reasons why you need to start saving into a pension now, even if you’re only 18.

In addition, you may wish to use this money to pay off any debts.

Finally, after you have considered all of these other factors, feel free to treat yourself to something nice! After all, you need something every once in a while to keep yourself motivated.