The best way to make money is to do it while you sleep. That is to say set up your life and income in such a way that even when you’re not paying any attention to it, the money keeps coming in.
Sadly for most of us, it’s not possible to simply buy 8 houses, rent them out and employ a letting agent to manage it for us while we sit back and watch the money flow in.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to make a little bit extra without having to sweat for it.
Here are 9 of the best ways to do just that.
1. Make more money doing what you do already
It seems obvious, but the first thing you should look at doing is increasing your existing income.
First, are you due a pay rise? Asking won’t hurt and might be more effective than you think. Get tips on asking for a pay rise here.
Second, are there any workplace benefits you might be able to use. Childcare vouchers, season ticket loans and the like mean your boss can help pay for a lot.
Thirdly, see if there are any tax credits or benefits you are entitled to but missing out on – then make sure you’re claiming them.
2. Get paid back for what you spend
Every time you buy something with cash, you overpay. And every time you buy something with a card that doesn’t give you cashback you overpay too.
These magic bits of plastic give you money back on everything you spend. As long as you pay it off in full each month, it’s money for nothing.
If you don’t fancy a credit card, there are also cashback current accounts – although these frequently come with a monthly fee so be sure the cashback outweighs that.
And don’t stop there, sites like topcashback.co.uk, TBSeen and Quidco mean you can get even more money back on your spending when shopping online too.
3. Buy things that rise in price
Last year the average home in Britain rose £9,265.41 in 2016. That’s almost £10,000 of extra money for homeowners they’ve done no work for at all.
The thing is, houses aren’t the only thing that go up in price. Everything from Lego to old toys and console games rise in price.
So, if you’re prepared to sell them, buying the right thing can make you money with no work at all.
4. Get paid for trips you were making anyway
Every time you take a trip, you could earn money. That’s thanks to new peer-to-peer services that turn people’s every-day journeys into delivery firms.
Nimber lets you pick up and drop off items that people want shipped to places already on your route. If you drive from Bromley to High Wycome (or they’re on your route), you could £36 by taking a table with you when we checked.
You can then double up with BlaBlaCar, which hooks passenger looking to travel somewhere with un-used seats in cars going that way anyway – with people paying around £30 for a trip from London to Manchester.
You can even make money from your holidays, with AirMule paying you to carry things in any unused luggage space you have.
5. Sweat your assets not yourself
Could someone else use your car when you don’t? What about your direveway? Or house?
There’s more than just that too – you can hire out all sorts of things as props for events and a spare room can be let out in any number of ways.
6. Make your money work harder
Interest rates on savings are awful. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. If you look around you can interest rates far higher than the 0.01% some banks are offering.
There are current accounts that will pay you 3% interest on money you have in them, regular savers that pay you 5%, and fixed-rate savings bonds that pay up to 1.85%.
And if you’re willing to take on a little risk you can earn far more – with peer-to-peer accounts paying up to 7% and the stock market potentially getting you even more.
7. Pay someone to make money for you
Ok, so we all know we should compare everything, every year (or potentially more often than that). But that’s hard.
The good news is there are an increasing number of companies that will do this for you, and only charge you something if they save you more.
Take Flipper. They compare your energy prices and move you to the cheapest deal automatically, it costs £25 for the service, but they only charge you something if they save you at least £50.
OneDox does something similar – but with more than just energy. Phone, TV and broadband bills are all housed in one place, then when it’s time to renew they tell you who to shift to – although they don’t make the move for you.
8. Turn your passion into a profit
The internet is a magical thing, and one of the things it’s best at is connecting people who are good at one thing, with people who need that service – and will pay for it.
If you like cooking, you can now sell your food to hungry people, keen photographers can sell their photos to agencies, if you have a blog, get some ads on there.
You might not make a lot, although a few people have made millions, but if it’s something you enjoy or would do anyway then there’s no reason not to.
9. Get people to pay to take away your clutter
While eBay listings need effort, and mean you have to parcel things up and send them on, a series of new apps and services mean you need to do no more than take a photo of something you don’t use anymore, and someone will turn up at your door and hand you money for it.