How to make some extra money this month

Written by Trudie McConnochie for Real Insurance. 

This article is for information only, and is designed to inspire ideas only. Please do your own research and consult a financial professional if required. 

With many of us finding our income just isn’t going as far as it used to, who wouldn’t welcome extra money in your pocket easch month to put towards the household budget? 

According to the The Real Concerns Index 2022, this year, finances remain a top three concern for us. We’re feeling the pressure of keeping up with the cost of living, especially during a pandemic, recent natural disasters and impending inflation which is pushing prices of household goods. For these reasons, it’s no surprise that almost 9 in 10 of us are concerned about the rising cost of living (89%).  

While cutting back on spending is always a good idea, personal finance journalist Michelle Bowes – the author of Money Queens a financial guidebook for teenage girls – says bringing in extra income is another great way to ease financial pressure on household budgets. We asked Michelle to share her savvy tips for saving and making money, which could help you pocket a cool $1000 extra a month.

Easy ways to save

  • Cut back on ‘convenience costs’. We all have things we outsource, whether it’s getting the car washed, the lawns mowed or buying takeaway meals and coffees, but doing these things yourself can save you more money than you might expect. “A one-off investment in a decent coffee machine and a course on how to use it could pay off to the tune of thousands of dollars over the years,” Michelle says.
  • Shop around. Look at the list of businesses you use (e.g. your power and internet providers) and research online to find out whether you can get the same products or services cheaper elsewhere. “Either buy at a cheaper price, swap to a cheaper provider or approach your existing supplier and ask them to price match,” Michelle advises. “Similarly, if you see a new-customer offer from a business you use, contact them and ask for the same offer.”
  • Cut back on streaming services. Instead of subscribing to multiple streaming services, you could sign up to just one at a time and watch all the shows you’re interested in, then switch to another. 
  • Spend consciously. Avoid spending for instant gratification. Before you buy something you want but don’t necessarily need, Michelle recommends taking 24 hours to consider whether it will really add value to your life.

Aim for a pay rise

The thought of asking your boss for a pay rise might make you cringe, but that conversation – if you approach it with solid arguments about what similar roles are paying and your value to the company – could pay off. “With unemployment at record lows and many businesses crying out for staff, it’s a worker’s market, so now is the time to ask for a pay rise or shop around for a new job,” says Michelle. Or think about doing some online courses to help boost your skillset. Read Online courses could be key to a pay rise or promotion to get started.

Turn trash into treasure

Woman rummages through items at a jumble sale.

You’ll be amazed at how much of your old stuff is valuable to other people. Roll up your sleeves and do a declutter, then list items for sale on online marketplaces such as eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or Depop. You might also like to get rid of some old items at a local market stall or trash and treasure, check car boot sales, or a have a good old fashioned garage sale.

“When choosing where and how to sell your stuff, consider the following: the age group and type of consumer you’re targeting, any fees they charge and postage costs, which you should ideally pass onto the buyer,” Michelle says.

Work the share economy

From Airbnb to Car Next Door, the share economy is booming. Chances are, you’ve got something you can rent out – think: your spare room, car, parking spot, camping gear or even items from your wardrobe.

Another asset that has value in the share economy: your digital following. “If you’ve got a decent online following on social media you could explore affiliate marketing, or whether you can essentially ‘rent’ your audience to a company looking to sell to people like your followers,” says Michelle.

Start a side hustle

Man rides bicycle as food delivery driver

You could get a second job on weekends or evenings, such as hospitality or retail, or you could join the gig economy. Websites such as Etsy mean it’s easier than ever to find customers for products you’ve made – everything from paintings to jewellery to dog collars to knitted slippers is up for sale! Read more about ideas for managing multiple income streams.

And you don’t have to be creative to get on board – you probably have skills that could be monetised. If you’re organised, consider being a virtual assistant. If you’re a fast and accurate typist, you could transcribe audio files for transcription services such as If you’re handy around the house, list your repair skills on Airtasker.

Some other options:

  • Being a driver or food-delivery person for companies such as Uber
  • Delivering packages for Amazon Flex
  • Making and decorating cakes for people in your area
  • Dog walking or sitting, using apps such as Mad Paw
  • Babysitting for local families
  • Tutoring (online or in person) via ClassBento
  • Market research – companies such as Toluna and Respondent pay people to do surveys or focus groups
  • Cleaning, housekeeping or garden work for people in your area.

Don’t forget…

Earning extra money is all well and good, but there could be implications. “Taking on a second job or earning income from a side hustle could push you into a new tax bracket, ” Michelle warns. “And keep in mind that if you start running a home-based business, you’ll need to notify your home insurer.” 

This article is an opinion only, provided for general information purposes and shouldn’t be considered or relied upon as professional or personal advice. If you have legal, tax, or financial questions, you should contact an appropriate professional.