On the verge of the 2008 recession, rapper Young Jeezy released his third studio album ‘The Recession’. In in the track ‘Circulate‘ a melodic voice sings ‘Meat prices up to steak, utilities are on their way’, fast forward to the 2020s and utilities are already there, along with fuel, food, clothing and just about everything else.
It’s no surprise then many across the UK are actively looking to earn a little extra cash on the side. According to Simply Business, around 35% of Brits have some form of side-hustle, with 1 in 10 of those earning an average of £5,000 a year.
We previously covered 20 ways to save money in 2022. That article covered savings, but also included a few more passive or one-off earning opportunities such as switching bank accounts or renting out a room. In this article our focus is solely on the best UK side hustles and other active ways of making more money.
Our top side hustles and earners for 2022
Whilst we try to assign a rough income to each of the ideas in this article there some side hustles where the income can be so variable it’s impossible to put a number on.
Dog walking / dog boarding – earn £10 / £20
If you’re a dog lover with a lot of spare time on your hands, dog walking can be a great way to make a little extra cash and get some exercise to boot.
Walks are typically for a minimum of 30 mins, with the going rate somewhere between £9.50 – £12.5
Some dog owners require additional services, whether it’s looking after a dog during the day while the owner is away, or overnight board. Prices typically start at £20 upwards.
Become a film/tv background actor – £85 a day
TV shows, feature films, and even advertisements often require background artists (previously known as extras) in their work. It could be a couple sitting in a restaurant, a person walking through an airport, or someone sitting on the tube. These seemingly random people you see on screen are most likely paid extras.
It’s not glamours work, and often involves long hours hanging around on set, only to later be told you aren’t needed. The good news is that you don’t have to be Scarlett Johansson or Bradley Cooper to get work.
The casting criteria for background actors depends on the production, but people from all walks of life, shapes, and sizes can be used. The key is to have a bit of imagination, punctuality, and reliability. Additional skills such as sporting ability, stage combat, medicine, dancing etc.. can be useful in landing certain roles.
Employment can be anything from a day or two, to much longer. For example the hit film Titanic employed 150 core background actors to act as the ships passengers throughout the film.
Typical daily rates in the UK are £85+ for the BBC, and £70 + for ITV. Other channels and independent productions will vary. However, if you become a member of Equity or BECTU unions, you are guaranteed a certain level of pay and conditions.
There are a number of agencies in the UK that specialise in working with background actors. No reputable agency should ever ask for any form of payment upfront, so it’s worth registering with several to give yourself the best chance of landing a role.
Teaching music – £26/hr
A survey conducted by UK Music found that one million adults took up playing a musical instrument during lockdown in the UK. Many of us learn to bash out few notes on a guitar, piano, or otherwise play an instrument as a child. As an adult we usually wish we’d stuck with it.
For those that did, there’s an opportunity to teach others, after-all every teenager wants start a band, right? It certainly beats busking on wet damp Monday. Best of all, if you’re operating privately you don’t need any qualifications to get started. Jade Wimbledon at Simply Business has produced a quick start guide to kickstarting your career as a music teacher.
Teach English online – £10/hr
If you have a knack for teaching, then English teachers are always in demand. Whilst a qualification such as a degree and/or a TEFL course are preferred it is possible to find work even without any formal qualifications.
The TEFL website has a nifty table showing just how much you can earn with which company and what the requirements are. Some companies even provide lesson plans for you.
You can of course earn a lot more than this by conducting your own private lessons, but you would need some experience to back those up.
Freelance content writer – earn up £250 per article
With millions of websites and blogs all looking to increase their search engine performance and offer insightful, and engaging content that can hold the reader’s attention, it’s no wonder freelance writers are highly sought after.
In fact, Money Saving Answers itself has used high quality freelance journalists in the past.
While you will need a high level of spelling and grammar you certainly don’t need to be a Nobel laureate to get hired. Roles are available for all levels of competency, especially for native English speakers, and range from articles such as this one, to press releases, reviews, and corporate website copy.
Of course, it goes without saying that the higher your competency, the better paid the work.
To get started, create a short portfolio/example of your work and then register with one of the main freelancer sites. Fellow money saving and personal finance blog ‘Cash for Kat‘ has a great article covering two of the most popular freelance marketplaces Fiverr vs. Upwork, along with hints and tips to get you started.
You never know, you might just find yourself writing our next feature.
Start a blog – earn £1,000 plus a month
Although social media tends to hog the limelight, the humble blog continues to thrive, and for some their blog is a money-making tool in its own right, rivalling that of the latest social influencers.
The landscape may have changed since the dawn of the web 2.0 era, with personal blogs and journals giving way to lifestyle blogs, special interest, and niche sites, but the fundamentals remain the same.
Popular blogs can charge upwards of £/$200 a piece for guest posts, with affiliate marketing and advertising revenues being many times that.
Fellow money blogger Clare started her thrifty money saving blog ‘My Money Cottage’ in 2016, and details her journey from blogging novice to earning over £1,000 a month.
If you are interested in following in Clare’s footsteps and starting your own blog, be sure to check out MakeAWebsiteHub.com’s complete guide to starting a blog in 2022.
Start a Youtube channel – The sky is the limit
Not a keen writer? Then what about vlogging on Youtube instead? You don’t have to be a budding broadcast journalist to start your own channel, just a willingness to learn, an interest in a topic you are comfortable talking about or adding to the discussion.
Youtube is full of creators from all manner of backgrounds, many of whom started their channels for themselves, friends, and family, and grew them into a profitable business with tens or hundreds of thousands of views per video.
Take Matt Taylor for instance, his channel Techmoan started reviewing retro technology, such as Betamax players, cassette decks, and toasters (of all things), but really came to prominence when he started creating videos of himself walking around Manchester testing cheap keyring video recorders. His channel now boats over 1.2 million subscribers and over 277 million views.
Youtube earnings can vary wildly but the general consensus is that vloggers can earn around £2-3 per 1,000 views depending on the topic, and how ad friendly your content is. The actual earning potential is pretty much unlimited, with top youtubers generating millions in revenue.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Building a following is hard, and Youtube now requires channels reach at least 1,000 subscribers before videos can be monetised. On average that can take anywhere from 5-15 months so this is one for those who are happy to get their head down and keep plugging away.
Jennifer Kempson wrote a great article on UK Youtubers, and how you can make money even with a small audience.
Matched betting – earn £100s a month
Matched betting involves taking advantage of special sign-up offers and incentives from bookmakers and using those to bet on all possible outcomes or a particular event.
Often you first have to stake some of your own cash in order to qualify for the incentive. In such instances, you bet both for and against a particular outcome happening. This minimises any losses but still qualifies you for the free bet. You then do the same with the free bet/incentive, but because this bet if free, you are guaranteed to pocked some cash regardless of the result.
The above is the most basic description of matched betting. It can be complicated, and is not something covered here on Money Saving Answers. A good place to start would be with Savvy Dad who covers matched betting in a series of posts on his highly rated money saving blog.
A note on tax and banking
Your side hustle maybe considered a business and subject to tax. UK residents can earn up to £1,000 tax free without needing to notify HMRC. Amounts over that require you to fill out a tax return. See our guide on tax for those with an additional income.
Similarly, if your side-hustle takes off and you start to earn significant amounts, you will likely benefit from a business bank account to separate your business income and expenditure from your personal.
Tide (see our overview) is great for this. It’s completely free to open an account, and just 20p per deposit/payment, with no monthly fees. What’s more, it’s geared towards those with side-hustles and micro businesses, and allows users to open up to 5 accounts to test out business ideas.
For those of you that already bank with digital challenger Starling Bank, then it’s business offerings are well worth a look, and totally free for sole traders.
Anything to add? If you’ve tried any of these or have some more peculiar ways of earning a little extra we’d love to hear about it.