Soaring inflation, rising energy prices and a looming recession are impacting millions of people and many will be thinking about how they can make savings this festive season.
In conjunction with Which?, we’ve come up with simple ways to make some extra cash to boost your finances by the end of 2022.
1. Get ‘free’ cash by switching bank account
A relatively easy way to make up to £200 is to find incentives to switch your bank account to a different provider. Currently, HSBC and Nationwide are offering £200 to new customers, while First Direct and Halifax are offering £175. Terms and conditions apply to each – so check with the bank before switching to find out what steps you need to take.
2. Earn as you spend
Shoppers can claim cashback on their purchases via sites such as Quidco and TopCashback. Retailers may offer cashback as a fixed amount, up to £50 on fridges, for example, or a percentage of the purchase – anything from 0.5 to more than 20 per cent.
However, be aware that you’ll need to use the cashback site’s link for your purchase to be counted. What’s more, cashback is not guaranteed and could take months to reach your account. It’s still important to compare upfront costs first, as even the most generous cashback offers may not compensate for a high headline price. Cashback is an added bonus if you’re set on buying an item anyway.
3. Trade-in unwanted items
The new year is a great time for a spring-clean and a clearout, but before you throw anything in the bin, consider whether old items might be worth something. You could make money by selling an old smartphone, laptop, or even TV remote and cables online via sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. The amount you are likely to make depends on the item’s condition and some sites charge a fee to sellers, so you’ll need to factor that in.
You can also sell unwanted clothes on sites such as Vinted, which was the highest-rated second-hand marketplace in a Which? survey. Or you can sell books and children’s toys via sites such as WeBuyGames.
4. Rent out your car or driveway
If you have space on your driveway or in your garage, you could earn extra cash by renting it out. JustPark and ParkLet are among the sites that offer this service – which could earn you up to £200 a month.
If you only use your car occasionally you could also rent it out. Apps such as Turo, Hiyacar and Karshare can help match you with nearby drivers, but make sure you factor in the effects of wear and tear, and any insurance implications this might have.
5. Make money from competitions
To make extra cash without leaving the house, you could win big by entering competitions. Sites such as Magic Freebies, Competition Finder and Latest Free Stuff aggregate all the latest competitions you can enter.
6. Try house and pet sitting
You might be able to earn some extra cash by looking after someone’s home or pet while they are away. Sites like TrustedHousesitters can match up home and pet owners with willing sitters – although your housesitting credentials will need to be verified, and you’ll receive reviews each time you do it.
7. Mystery shopping and dining
Mystery shopping involves trying out businesses or services undercover as a ‘normal’ customer to make sure standards are being met. It could be as simple as visiting a shop or restaurant to see how the staff treat you, or calling a helpline and testing the customer service, then reporting what you find. In return, sites such as Mystery Shoppers and Market Force allow you to register and pick from various assignments.
8. Test new products
You can also bag some brilliant freebies in exchange for providing honest feedback about certain products. Companies test products to find out whether an item works, or is likely to be popular with its target group, before placing it on the market. Consumers can find out more by visiting sites such as Clicks Research, Toluna and the Boots Volunteer Panel.
9. Reclaim lost cash
There are currently billions of pounds sitting in dormant accounts including current accounts, savings accounts and premium bond winnings. This often happens when people move house without letting the provider know their new address. If communications are not replied to, and no activity occurs on the account, it’s eventually classed as dormant. If you think you might have a dormant account somewhere, services such as Gretel and My Lost Account can help you track it down.
Says Reena Sewraz, Which? Money Expert:
“Many people are feeling financial pressure at the moment, especially in the build-up to Christmas. However, we found several simple steps you can take to earn some extra cash before the end of the year.
“An easy way to earn up to £200 is by switching your bank account to a different provider. You could also try something a bit different, such as trying out businesses or services as a mystery shopper or bagging some freebies by testing a company’s new products.”