Five unusual ways to make extra money as a parent

With more and more Brits turning to side hustles to supplement their incomes, you might be wondering if you could make some extra money too.

To help people top up their income, OddsMonkey have set up a guide to potential side hustles. Here, Peter Watton from OddsMonkey shows which of these side hustles are best suited to parents.

The last year has seen many people’s earnings go down due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the popularity of earning extra cash. We recently carried out some research into the ways that Brits use side hustles, and found that one in four Brits now have a side business to make extra cash, with earnings averaging £230 per month. Some people are even earning as much as £4,000 per year. 

As a parent, you might be wanting to add to your income, but in ways that can be done from home, or arranged around your childcare responsibilities. Being a parent is busy enough without adding extra stress, so you’ll want side hustles that are simple, easy to set up, and don’t take up any space in your home with stock for a business or packaging. So, I’ve picked out some easy side hustle ideas that can mostly be done from home, while your little ones are around. 

1) Matched betting

You might have heard of matched betting, but don’t know what it is. This is a way of betting that uses the free promotions offered by betting providers. By betting on both outcomes of an event, and maximising the free offers, you can turn this into a great little earner, as you’re guaranteed to make a profit or at least make your money back. The only way you can make a loss if by human error when making the bet. 

It’s useful to know that any winnings from matched betting are actually tax-free, so this means you don’t need to worry about factoring in tax the way you would if you earned above £1,000 in self-employed income. There are lots of calculation sites that you can use for matched betting, and these can help you weigh up your bets and make smart decisions to earn some cash.

While this side hustle does take up some time, especially as you’ll need to learn the principles of matched betting, this is a side hustle you can do from your computer as you watch the kids. This means you’ll be able to earn a bit of money in between keeping an eye on your little ones.

2) Food testing

Before products get sold to customers, brands need to have feedback from focus groups, and companies will often pay people to offer their thoughts on possible new food ideas. So, you might be able to make some extra cash by testing new food products before they hit the supermarket shelves — and some of these trials don’t even require you to leave your house. 

To get started, you’ll need to join a market research company as a consumer tester. Brands hire the market research companies to provide feedback that can direct their product development. Some brands will send you samples to review at home, after you’ve filled out a survey to give information about what kind of demographics you’re a part of. 

This can be a fun way of making some extra money from home, and as a bonus, you get to try new things before they even get to the shops!

3) Test and review websites

You might find that reviewing products is something that you really enjoy, and this way of making money isn’t confined to food products. There are lots of things that you can do consumer testing for, and many companies will offer cash rewards and vouchers in exchange for filling out feedback forms and trialling new products or websites. 

You should be aware that there are scam product testing websites out there, so make sure that you’re using a reputable site. Ideally, you should deal directly with the brand that makes whatever product you’re reviewing – ask them if they’re using any third-party websites for market research, and which ones.

Then, you can be sure that the testing website you’re using is genuine and that you’ll get paid – as well as getting good quality products to test.

4) Try out dropshipping

A myriad of different online businesses use dropshipping, from small businesses to Amazon. The dropshipper orders products on behalf of the consumer, and then the supplier fulfils the order by sending the products out to customers. The supplier never deals directly with the customer, but instead just ships the finished order. 

The dropshipper themselves is responsible for all the public-facing aspects of online selling, including marketing, making an e-commerce platform, and choosing which products to sell and advertise. This is a great way of getting started in e-commerce without having to fill your home with stock, or worry about working with manufacturers. 

So, look around to find products you like and can get enthusiastic about, and see if dropshipping is the online business for you. This side hustle does require the initial investment of setting up an e-commerce website, and doing some social media advertising, but if you have an aptitude for online selling, it can be a great earner.

5) Go on a game show

This one is probably the most fun way to make some extra money. Going on a game show is an exciting way to earn some extra cash, and even if you don’t win, many have second prizes and will also pay you some money to go on the TV show in the first place.

There are lots of different game shows that you can choose from too, with plenty of variation across subjects, skills and formats. This means you can pick something you excel at. Are you a wiz at general knowledge questions, or are you best at puzzles and riddles? You will need to get out of the house for this money-making idea, but what better reason to get a babysitter?

Lots of broadcasters, including the BBC and ITV, are on the lookout for new contestants to appear on their shows. So, keep an eye out to see when your favourite game shows are open for submissions.

There are so many side hustles floating around that it can be difficult to know which one to choose, and which one might be right for your timetable and earning ambitions. But, with these tips, you can find a way of earning extra money that doesn’t get in the way of spending time with your family.