How to make extra money and be a savvy spender

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Our household budgets are being squeezed as a result of rising day-to-day living costs, however it is possible to make extra cash, save money and give your finances a boost. Discover 10 easy ways to make money and find money-saving ideas on everything from your weekly shop to electronics using Boundless membership with our expert guide

Whether you want to set some money aside for something special like holiday spending or a gift for the family, or you want to add a little extra to your pension savings, having extra funds in the bank is always helpful. 

I love making extra money using the methods listed below, and try to do something small every month to top up my income. From decluttering my home and selling things I don’t need, to making the most of bank account switch deals, I've personally tried and tested each of these easy ways to make extra money.

Save more with Boundless

Becoming a Boundless member is also a great way to save money. Boundless members enjoy discounts on everything from home and motor insurance to dining out and travel. To find out more about how you could save with Boundless, visit our Savings section

Mystery shopping

Mystery shopping is one of my favourite ways to not only make money but also save money on things that I was already planning to buy. It involves taking pictures and giving feedback on customer services, or how products look and taste, normally paying around £20 a time. If you were already going to that particular shop – bonus! Instead, you’re getting paid. I’ve mystery-shopped all the big supermarkets, banks and car dealerships, and have had expensive gym memberships, spa days, family bowling and cinema trips all for free. My favourite mystery shopping companies to use are ProInsight and iShopFor Ipsos.

Another way you can make savings of up to 10% while shopping is through Boundless shopping discounts, which enable you to buy a Gift Card or eGift for any of a wide range of high street and online retailers, including M&S and Boots. 

Get paid to share your views via panel research

You can also be paid for sharing your views via panel research. Sometimes, these sessions are conducted online or over the telephone, and you might be asked to share your views on any subject from restaurants to theatre trips to travel options. I’ve also attended several panels in person if brands want a new website or app to be reviewed. Payment is normally between £20 and £50 for an hour interview.

'Refer a friend' deals

Another favourite of mine is to recommend companies that I use and love to my friends and family. This often results in a 'refer a friend' discount, credit or a voucher, not just for me but for my friend as well. For example, if I recommend my energy company, we get £50 each, if I share my mortgage broker we get £100 each, or if I share my food delivery box service we get a £10 discount each.
Don’t forget, if you’re a Boundless member you can get yourself a £10 Love2Shop voucher when you refer a friend to Boundless and they join. If you’re not yet a member, you can find out more about the benefits of joining here

Raid the drawers for electronics

Selling unwanted items and clutter from your household can be lucrative, especially when you sell electronics. How many old mobile phones have you got stashed away in kitchen drawers? Use sites like Mozillion or Music Magpie to trade in your old devices and they’ll pay you. Ensure that you're very clear about the condition of the device and remove any personal data.

Don’t forget, as a Boundless member you can save on new electronics at Argos with Gift Cards and eGifts. You can save up to 10% on selected Apple products and services, too. 

Sell your old books 

Person reading books

I've sold boxes of my and my children's books through We Buy Books. Set up the app, scan in the barcodes of the books and the app will give you a value. Keep scanning until you reach a minimum of £5, box up your books and post them off for free using its courier service. Payment is made once checks are carried out. We Buy Books also accepts CDs, games and DVDs. 

If you fancy treating yourself to a new book or two, you can use your earnings to purchase at Waterstones or National Book Tokens through Boundless discounted Gift Cards and eGifts. 

Sell clothes and shoes on Vinted

Selling old clothes is the original way to make some extra money. I've been doing this for 20 years! All those clothes that don’t fit or have been unworn for more than a year in your wardrobe? Sell them. Branded clothes sell well, especially with labels still attached. Take lots of pictures, write a detailed description, and describe any flaws clearly. Vinted is by far the easiest way to sell clothes – the app is great.

Consider second-hand shopping when you or your family need something new to bag a bargain and reduce waste going to landfill. 

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is a great way to sell bigger items – for example, furniture – to people locally who can collect from you. I've sold beds, nursery furniture and even a sofa with great success, and it's far easier and better for the environment than a visit to the tip.

Alternatively, if you have a lot of things to sell at once, why not try doing a car boot sale locally? You'll need to pay a small fee in order to sell, but it can be a great way to offload your clutter and make a bit of extra cash. Our guide on how to do a car boot sale offers handy advice and tips. 

Switch your bank account

This is another of my favourite ways to make money – I did it twice during 2023, receiving £200 credit to my bank account for each switch. Many people fear that switching bank accounts will be complicated and littered with issues, but the current account switching guarantee is in place to ensure that banks switch accounts with no errors.

Check for any restrictions – most account switches require you to deposit a certain amount of money per month, and to pay direct debit bills from the account. At the time of writing, there are good switching deals to NatWest and First Direct – check the best deals with Money Saving Expert.

I’d also advise doing your own financial health check to make sure you’re on the best rates and deals possible. 

Move your savings to an account with higher interest

If you have savings in a low-interest current account or savings account, you'll be missing out on interest payments. It's possible to receive interest of up to 7% on savings balances. This is £700 per year on a £10k balance, so don’t miss out on these rates. Again, I’d advise using Money Saving Expert to check for the best savings rates.

For bespoke financial advice, why not speak to an expert advisor who can help you make the most of your money. Quilter Financial Advisers, the preferred financial services partner of Boundless, offers a free, no-obligation consultation where you can discuss your circumstances and money needs. 

Make some money from doing something you love

My final money-making idea is all about making money from a hobby or an activity that you love. Mrs Mummypenny was a hobby that began as a side hustle, earning me a little bit of cash each month, and it eventually became my full-time job.

Maybe you love making cards, baking cupcakes, walking dogs or cleaning. You can make money from offering these services to your local community, or maybe setting up an Instagram account and selling from that. I hope that this gives you inspiration to make some extra cash during 2024 – good luck!

Do more with Boundless

Boundless members get free entry to top attractions, discounts on restaurants and savings on high-street brands, as well as dozens of other deals on holidays, experiences and more! If you're working or retired from the public sector or civil service, and you're not yet a member, discover more about Boundless membership here.

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