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Quirky Ways to Make Extra Cash

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by Dayna Chu (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on
Published June 6th 2011
I'm always looking for new ways to make a bit of extra cash. Whether you're in between jobs or just want a little bit more spending money, here are some ways to get the dough back in your pocket.

Mystery shopper- Ever wanted to make money doing something you love like shopping? Companies like Mystery Shopper and Get Paid To Shop are great ways to get started as a Mystery Shopper.

Online shop- Got things to sell? Whether its old, vintage or handmade, having an online store is a way to sell anything whilst keeping costs down and reaching a very wide market. I personally have used Etsy and Ebay and found both incredibly easy and efficient! Be sure to get yourself a PayPal account so you can handle money securely.

Garage Sale- If online selling isn't your thing then why don't you have a garage sale? Put up posters and hand out flyers, even create a Facebook event to promote your garage sale.

Dog Walking- As long as you love pets and don't mind cleaning up doggy mess then dog walking is a good way to get exercise and make extra money.

Tutoring- Are you an expert in something? Have you got a degree or field experience in a particular area? Tutoring people from high school students to adult education students can bring in some money. Depending on your level of experience, tutors can charge anywhere between $30-$70 an hour.

Write for Weekend Notes- As a Weekend Notes writer I highly recommend this. If you have a knack for words and like discovering new things to do why don't you give it a go?

Artists model- This isn't for everyone as not all of us are will to take our clothes off in front of a classroom of artists but if you're confident enough this could be a bit of fun.

Market Research- Getting paid to have an opinion seems like a dream come true, especially for opinionated people like myself. Market research can either be through online surveys or market research focus groups.

Avon/Nutrimetics- "Ding Dong Avon Calling" We all remember the advertisement but selling beauty products has actually become a lucrative business as we are becoming more and more time poor so having things delivered to our door is very appealing.

Medical Testing- This isn't hugely advertised in Australia but it does exist. Healthy individuals who aren't on any medication can volunteer their bodies for medical testing. This may involve trying new medication or treatments but then be reimbursed for your time. May seem risky but can also help the evolution of medicine.

Homestay- If you have an extra bedroom and want to make a decent bit of spending money, having an interstate or international student stay in your home is a great experience. My parents have done this for years and they love it. Companies like OzHomestay and Auzzie Families have great success with students and host families.

Online Poker- I normally wouldn't encourage gambling but as long as the stakes aren't high, online poker can be quite fun and can make a little bit of dough if you win.

Trading old mobile phones- Mazuma Mobile gives you cash for your old mobile phones. Most of us will have our old phones at the bottom of a drawn somewhere so why not make some money from them?

Busking- Can you play an instrument or dance a jig? Buskers can earn huge amounts of money but it can be exhausting. Be sure to get a busking license for the area that you'll be performing in.


Ironing- Ironing can be tedious which is why so many people pay others to do their ironing for them. If you don't mind it, why don't you give it a try?

Become an extra- Ever wanted to get your face on television? Being an extra can be tiresome, with long days and standing around and waiting but getting paid to not do very much is a great incentive.

Babysit- Im sure many of us have babysat when we were in our teens but have you ever thought of doing it as an adult? Of course having appropriate police checks helps but it's a good way to get paid to play with kids and watch television.

Pet sit- Believe it or not pet sitters are very sought after as many people reach the dilemma of what to do with their pets when they go on holidays. Make sure you have the appropriate space and environment to look after pets and be aware of animals that may not get along (cats and birds spring to mind).

Sell old gold- If you have any unused gold from jewellery you don't wear anymore you can take it to places like Cash For Old Gold or Gold Company and see what its worth.

The Frock Exchange- Do you have any designer clothes you don't want anymore? The Frock Exchange sells designer clothes on consignment and you can choose to be reimbursed in cash or gift voucher for any Belinda, The Corner Shop or Frock Exchange store.

Mow Lawns- Here is another thing people generally hate to do themselves so if you have a working lawn mower and pride yourself in nice looking backyards then you might be the next Mowing prodigy in your local area.

Become a child entertainer- Whether you want to be a clown, superman, a fairy, face painter or balloon artist, being a children's party entertainer can be lots of fun and good money. It's not easy though and you must love kids!

If you're like me and have your fingers in many different pies then give some of these money-making ideas a go. You never know… you might end up being the next famous Pet Sitter of Sydney.
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Fab ideas Lauren! I thought I was creative but you've gone above and beyond. Nice post.
By reach5 - reader
Tuesday, 21st of June @ 03:17 am
gud one
By Fattah - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 21st of June @ 02:54 pm
DO NOT get suck into paid online surveys. Was adviced on Channel 9 tv show Money for Jam that this was a great way to earn extra cash. Bull@#$%!
By di551 - reader
Sunday, 26th of June @ 06:23 am
Wow, so many great ideas!
I think you're being a little too optimistic about tutoring though, unless you are tutoring something really obscure or have a high level of training, earning $30 to $70 an hour is unlikely.
I charge $25 per hour for tutoring high school maths, which is more than a lot of students are willing to pay (from asking around, most other tutors I know are charging around $20 per hour). You can get maybe $30 an hour, but probably not any more, by tutoring year twelve subjects if you got an exceptional score in that subject and are studying it at a tertiary level; or if you are tutoring a university student. Tutoring can be a nice little earner, but is more like $20 per hour.
By Natasha Abrahams - senior reviewer
Friday, 8th of July @ 03:53 am
I thought that about tutoring too Natasha but my friend who tutors highschool English said she used to get $40/hour for a tutoring company she worked for and now she has a client base she charges $60/hour. She tutors in the Eastern Suburbs.

Good to know though :)
By Lauren Nolan - senior reviewer
Sunday, 17th of July @ 11:18 pm
Wow, Lauren your friend must be an amazing tutor! Most tutoring companies I know don't pay more than $30, if that, but perhaps things are different in the eastern suburbs (i'm south-eastern). How did she end up getting paid so much- does she have amazing qualifications?
By Natasha Abrahams - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 20th of July @ 04:15 pm
I'm a qualified primary teacher and I charged $45 an hour back in 2004 in Sydney - admittedly I've been teaching for years -I'd probably charge $55-60 now if i did it again
By Anonymous
Tuesday, 30th of August @ 01:08 pm
Tutoring things such as vocal lessons or piano lessons can get you upward of $80 an hour. Infact, a vocal teacher normally charges atleast $30 for 30 minutes. It is quite insane what they can earn. I am not to sure about how much subject tutors can get but I have heard around $30-$40 most of the time per hour. Great ideas on the money making by the way.
By Alexander Lewandowski - senior reviewer
Sunday, 9th of October @ 12:05 am
This is a great article, you must be so resourceful. I'm thinking of becoming a tutor of some kind, hehe. I don't really know how to get started with it though. I chuckled so much from some of those ideas, even though it was in all seriousness.
By Maz Serena Rockers - senior reviewer
Thursday, 3rd of November @ 01:06 pm
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