We all know London is an expensive place to live. From £5 coffees and £15 cocktails to 4-figure rents, many of us could do with some extra cash to enjoy more what the capital has to offer.
So how can you earn extra money in London to tide you over without having to take a second job? Luckily, the flourishing gig and sharing economy offer some interesting options that can make use of your time or skills without having to commit to a permanent side hustle.
While there are various ways to make money online, let’s look at some options that work particularly in the capital. Here are some of the easiest and quickest ways to make some extra money in London.
1. Offer unique tourists experiences
With the rise of sites like Airbnb and CouchSurfing, many tourists are now interested in getting to know local people and culture when travelling. They are also looking for unique and authentic travel experiences and local gems.
Various experience platforms allow you to make some extra money by offering unique city tours and experiences. Luckily, this doesn’t mean that you’d need to revise the complete history of London. In fact, you can offer tours based on your speciality, be that the pubs that inspired literary greats, the best charity shops or the most Instagrammable hidden gems in the city. There’s even a listing for a loo tour where you explore the history of London’s toilets or loos – so no topic is too niche! To widen your market even further, you can also offer online workshops and experiences.
Experience platforms to try:
2. Host dinner parties for strangers
London is full of foodies with a big appetite for different cuisines and food experiences. If you’re a wiz in the kitchen, why not monetise this demand by organising dinner experiences for other people!
There are a few different dinner party hosting services where you get paid to cook and host dinner parties for groups. Show off your knowledge and cook your hits to your guests and earn money doing something creative. The platforms allow you to list the cuisine and type of event you’d like to offer, for example, “Sunday brunch” or “gourmet French dinner party with champagne”.
Dinner party platforms to try:
EatWith (previously known as VizEat)
3. Become a TV or movie extra
London’s film and TV production industry is booming right now. In fact, more and moree movie productions are constantly being brought into the city. With this expansion, there’s also plenty of side gigs available for those looking to make some extra cash as a movie extra.
If you want to become a TV or movie extra, you can either register with a casting service or search for jobs on your own. If you decide to search for opportunities on your own, you need to keep up-to-date with the latest auditions and casting calls. Or instead of seeking out casting calls for extra money on your own, a casting service can work to place you with suitable jobs. All you need to do is fit the description if there is any. However, please be aware that some casting or extra agencies can charge you a fee for joining.
TV or movie extra platforms to try:
4. Rent out your home as a film set
If you are keen to get your cut of the booming film and entertainment industry but want a slightly more passive income source than being an extra, offering your home to a film crew might be a good way to make extra money in London.
Sometimes film and TV productions want to use a real location instead of building a set. Therefore, location scouts are looking for all kinds of properties. There’s also the opportunity to have your house used in a photoshoot, which is less invasive. The average London host makes between £500 and £2500 per month, usually with one to three bookings.
Location scouting platforms to try:
5. Get paid to have a dog stay with you
If you love dogs but having one of your own is not possible, why not get paid for hanging out with other people’s dogs!
Various different sites offer a more personal alternative to putting your dog in kennels by pairing dog owners with hosts to look after their canine companions. The extra money might not be record-breaking but it’s still money for spending time with a dog! Being a host or dog walker can be done flexibly according to your schedule.
Dog sitting and walking platforms to try:
6. Rent out your stuff
Do you have random items or equipment that rarely get used laying around? Another great way to make extra money in London is to rent out any of the stuff you barely use. There are plenty of niche sites that allow you to make money by renting out your sports equipment or luxury accessories, for example. But there are also platforms that will let you list everything from cameras and sewing machines to bouncy castles and wedding dresses!
Rent & borrow platforms to try:
Bikes and sports equipment: Spinlister
Fashion: By Rotation
7. Become a house sitter
When people talk about house sitting, you probably only think of looking after your friends’ or family’s homes while they go away on holiday – but did you know house sitting can actually earn you a fair bit of money?
House sitters’ job is to keep things clean and tidy, water the plants, pick up the post and maybe look after a pet and by their presence deter burglars. Some platforms also specialise in short-term sitting, where they provide people who’ll stay in your home all day waiting for the plumber or an elusive delivery.
House sitting platforms to try:
8. Help other people with simple tasks
Why not grab the odd job here and there whenever you have time! There are a few well-established sharing economy platforms in the UK where you can complete other people’s ‘to do’ jobs for them. Though some of the tasks can be quite dull (helping with moving, assembling furniture, etc.) it’s worth keeping an eye on it for some more unusual tasks like baking or helping at parties.
Taskers can set their own hourly rates and advertise them on their profiles. They can then seek out jobs or respond when others reach out to them.
9. Offer random services
If what you’ve got to offer is a little more unusual and unique, then get it listed on one of the online marketplaces for freelance services. On these sites, you can offer up any random one-off job or gig from NFT art design to life coaching.
While most services on these platforms are digital, you can also list London based services to make some extra money. For example, you can offer voiceovers with a London or cockney accent or provide personal shopper services. The more unique listings include “I will make your Tinder profile irresistible” and “I will give you 10 personalised baby names”. This said, There’s something out there for everyone.
Freelance marketplace platforms to try:
10. Sign up for clinical research
If you’re happy to put yourself forward for clinical experiments, then the psychology and medicine departments at London universities usually have a list of paid options. In addition to universities, there are also other organisations that recruit for clinical trials. You can make money taking part in anything from research for a new medicine to psychological, diet and sleep studies.
Impact on your health is often minimal and you have the option to opt-out of anything that makes you uncomfortable. Nevertheless, the safety measures can reduce risk but cannot completely guarantee against it. While the vast majority of clinical trials go ahead without problems, it’s still worth bearing this in mind when considering whether paid clinical trials are right for you.
Clinical trial platform to try:
11. Become a delivery driver/rider
Courier and delivery work has flourished in the past couple of years due to the pandemic. Delivery work can provide an excellent option for making extra money in London for those looking for a flexible side gig. And the good news for many Londoners that don’t own a car is that you don’t necessarily need one. In fact, many delivery workers use a bike, motorbike or even an electric scooter.
Delivery driver platforms to try:
12. Store other people's stuff
Many flats in London are known to be tiny with little to no storage space. However, if you are lucky enough to have some spare storage space, you could turn that empty space into a cash cow.
Different storage platforms connect people looking to store their belongings with people wanting to make cash from unused rooms, garage space etc. You can charge per item or per square foot. This allows you to be selective with how much space you give up. Just imagine if that empty loft was earning you money every week without having to do anything – now this is what we call passive income.
Storage platform to try:
13. Become a mystery shopper
If you enjoy shopping and would like to earn a bit of extra cash in your spare time, consider becoming a mystery shopper. All types of industries from retail to banks and restaurants employ mystery shoppers so there is a huge range of work available. Some companies will just reimburse you for the product that you have purchased while others will pay you a generous fee as well.
Most often you will be asked to write a report based on your customer experience. There will also be specific tasks that you are expected to complete. Therefore, make sure you get lots of details without being too obvious.
Mystery shopper platforms to try:
Mystery dining platforms to try:
14. Rent out your parking space
Similar to storage space, flats in London rarely come with parking space. However, if you do have an unused driveway or a private parking space, you could rent it out for money. Just register with one of the parking space sites, put your postcode in and wait for people in need of a parking space to contact you.
Some of these sites now also connect people with electric vehicle (EV) chargers and drivers without access to off-street parking and charging.
Parking rental platforms to try:
15. Become a life model
First things first; life modelling might not be for everyone. It may even sound daunting, but it can be a fantastic way to make money in London. While life models can have any body type or shape, you really need to be comfortable with your body in order to be standing naked in front of a group of artists. In addition to this, it’s worth noting you’re often expected to stay still for a few hours.
Schools, colleges and universities all over London require life models for art classes, so there can be plenty of work if you’re willing or able to travel to different locations. A good way to start is to either contact these institutions directly or become a member of The Art Models Register (RAM) which features jobs in London and beyond.
Life model platforms to try:
Make extra money in London
I’m sure you agree that for most of us living in the expensive capital, some extra cash is always welcome. Side income allows you to hit your financial goals while enjoying the endless past-time opportunities that London has to offer. Whether your money goal is to invest in a luxury item or financially prepare for a baby – or anything in between – these flexible ideas should help you make some extra money in London.