My Top 3 Ways to Make Money on the Side

This is a LONG article but it's on making more money which is always fun so, bear with me. 

Passive Income

I believe there are two types of income; the first I term passive income. This income arrives in your bank account in stealth ninja mode; it's great. It usually comes in the form of returns (invariably in the form of money) on assets which you have purchased or invested in. 

For example, if you own a house, you can rent out a room. That room provides you with an income that you don't have to work for. Ok, you have to buy the house, but once purchased, it can be rented out and provides a return. 

Similarly, if you invest in assets such as bonds, and shares, you either receive interest (bonds) or dividends (shares) or when you sell them, you hopefully make a gain, which again, is a return. Like the house, you had to purchase these assets. My article on 5 Technology Companies That Will Increase Your Investments provides you with options for different assets you can invest your money into (for example, Wise Alpha (bonds), PropertyPartner (housing), Moneybox (ETFs)).  

I will delve into passive income in more detail in another blog.  

Active Income

The second type of income is what I term active income; this is where you product products or provide a service, and this work is remunerated. For example every day I turn up to my job, at my company, Driftrock. I perform the role of chief financial officer and chief operating officer, and they reimburse me for it. These reimbursements come in the form of a salary. Other forms of active income that you get from a job (that people often forget when negotiating their income) are:

  • contributions to a pension scheme, 
  • bonuses,
  • shares in the company,  
  • healthcare,
  • gym memberships,
  • free fruit in the kitchen, and
  • books in the main area to lease and read

I'm not going to go into massive amounts of detail on your salary and associated renumeration. I did that on this blog here "Increase Your Earnings Potential at Work" (also known, as how to get a pay rise).

The 5p.m to 9a.m

Instead I'm going to talk about the 5p.m to 9a.m i.e the hours when you're not doing the 9a.m to 5p.m salary earning job. There are many ways to increase the amount you earn in the 5 to 9 doing active roles. I'm not talking super active, kill you before you start the 9 to 5 every day; just a couple of additional ways to increase your income.

The Boring Route

The internet has a multitude of boring and dull ways to increase your income in an active way; I separate these income earners into:

  • Small fry income earners, and
  • Big income earners

Small Fry

Do not get me wrong, while I say small fry, if you need £100 or a little more extra in your account, and you are willing at times to do tedious work, then this work can make money fast. I'm not going to lie, as someone who does a lot of admin at work (HMRC returns, R&D returns, accounts filing etc), the prospect of consuming my life outside of work with more tedious admin-type roles does not fill me with the greatest sense of happiness. 

However, here are a couple of quick ways to earn a little more money each month:

  • Fill out online surveys: it does what it says on the box. The one that pays the most is "i-say", however, the "pay" is in the form of Amazon vouchers. If you want one that gives you actual money, try Populus Live.
  • Alternatively, you can make quick money for selling unwanted items. The following are sites I've used:
  • Switching bank accounts: you can make £100 from switching your bank account. Martin's Money Saving Expert provides a list of the highest amounts paid out when you switch your bank account. Alternatively if you have a Nationwide account ( I love Nationwide), they give you £100 for each friend that you recommend to use their accounts.

Right, lets stop now; these are all mind numbing, and for the frugal amongst us, there are endless sites out there offering you the opportunity to make cash on these avenues, and many more. 

Before I start down the route of earning more money, I want to cover off Blogging...


Let me start with one income earner, which I want to acknowledge, but which, unless you have supremely high tenacity, and a love of writing, makes limited money...blogging. You've watched, and read the blogs...Tim FerrisJohn Chow etc, and see the hundreds of thousands they have made. Following Tim Ferris's 4 Hour Work Week book that he published, maybe you can also do that. HOWEVER, statistically, 90% of blogs shut down after the first month. If you think you can keep persisting after that, typically you'll earn about £5 per 1,000 unique monthly visitors. It takes a little while to get to that number, and while £5 is definitely more than than completing a couple of random surveys in the above example, it's not very much. It also requires you to curate A LOT of new content so you get the traffic to your blog. Unless you are passionate about writing, it's a little crap as a money making earner. 

If you do go down the route of blogging (and I will do a longer blog on this very soon), you can use the likes of Wordpress (Tim Ferris uses this) or I use the BEAUTIFUL SquareSpace. If you are also a writer, and want to do more writing work, I recently stumbled across these fantastic platforms that help you do more freelancing:

...this leads me onto Freelancing in general... 


There are so many freelancing websites out there, from design to PA work to accounting work (YAY). Anything goes. Whether you like your job, and want to do more of it, or you dislike your job, and want to try a different profession, try adding freelancing to your repertoire to earn more money.

Coupled with this, the freelancing / working remotely trend has really begun to take off; if you can provide your skills through your laptop, you can live anywhere, while still working. Retouching photos for large retailers, providing UX skills to an e-commerce platform, bookkeeping to a portfolio of companies etc, you can do that from anywhere. Spend half your time on the beach, and the other half writing, or half your time in the mountains snowboarding, and half your time working. 

Again, peopleperhour has a variety of roles on it or you can look at the more traditional sites like, or Even LinkedIn Jobs has a variety of roles on it that are freelance. 

Next up, we have one of my big favourites for earning extra cash...."Matched Betting". Woah, I hear you cry. That sounds unethical.'s not gambling. While the winnings are tax free, you are technically using free bets in the same way you would you a voucher to claim free goods. 

Matched Betting

It's guaranteed profit. Fact. In Matched Betting you use free bets that you receive when you play with typical online gambling companies like Coral, PaddyPower, William Hill etc. You use your free bet (say £30 when you place your first bet), and place it (i.e bet) on something such as Liverpool to win the football against Manchester United. You then go to a Betting Exchange such as Betfair or Smarkets, and you put a bet in the opposite direction with them (i.e Liverpool to loose the football again Manchester United. Your free bet was £30, and the amount you place in the opposite direction is £30. Whatever the outcome, whether the team wins or looses, you win the bet, as you bet both ways. As you only placed £30 on (the other bet was a free bet), you take the profit and your £30 back. 


I started off using "Odds Monkey"; their tutorials are fantastic, the money you earn is tax free AND, you can earn repeatedly earn a grand a month through this method of income. 

Like freelancing, there's a more lengthly blog coming on this, as I genuinely think this is a golden way to make more money. 

Lets move what I term "miscellaneous other"

Miscellaneous Other

Pet Sitting; if like me, you practically break down in tears every time you see a cute animal you can make easy money looking after someone else's animal. Obviously posting this skill to Gumtree works, but so do targeted sites like

Tutoring: this is a great business that you can do in the evenings or at the weekend, to make more money. From primary school to university, from music to maths, you can provide your skills to a multitude of different ages, or different subject matters. Alongside this, the tutoring can be provided either through Skype and Facebook calls, or in person, which again enhances the flexibility this line of work provides. Two tutoring sites that have come recommended to me are are Fleet Tutors, and First Tutors. Fleet tutors requires payment for certain elements whereas First Tutors is free. 

Plant, Child or House Sitting; like pet sitting, but for the relevant, plant, child or house. do pet, plant and house sitting and works for little people.


The final thing to bear in mind with earning extra income is the associated tax that needs to be paid. I provided a high level tax infographic on performing your tax return here: "A step-by-step guide as Tax Day approaches".


Out of the above, my personal favourite is matched betting; it's a relatively quick and easy way to make extra income.  

Photo from the beautiful

Earn MoreWee Scot Finance