10 ways to make money in your lunch hour

With purse strings stretched to the max, many of us would welcome the opportunity to make a bit of extra cash.

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However, that can be easier said than done and few of us have the time or inclination to go out and get a second job. But fortunately, with a little creativity, there are a number of ways you can make money with minimal effort and time. In fact, they’re so easy you can do them in your lunch hour.Here are our top 10 ideas to get you started.

1. Sell stuff

Got a bulging wardrobe but only wear a small selection of your clothes? Consider setting up an eBay account and selling your stuff online – you could soon be raking in the cash. Just be sure to read the fees section carefully so you don't get caught out.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to make a quick buck, head down to your local ‘cash for clothes’ store in your lunch hour. You trade in a bag of old clothes and get paid according to weight, so the more you give away, the more money you’ll receive.

Or, if you regularly shop in M&S, take your unwanted M&S clothes, shoes and bags to Oxfam and you will receive a £5 off voucher when you spend £35 or more on clothes, home and beauty at M&S.

2. Switch your current account

While many of us shop around for the best deals on credit cards and savings, we often fail to consider whether our current account is beneficial – never mind whether it could actually make us money.

But that’s exactly what would happen if you switched to First Direct’s 1st Account. Simply use the bank's easyswitch service to move everything over – and, hey presto, £100 will land in your account. Be aware you'll need to pay £1,500 into the account each month, although this is reducing to £1,000 on April 1 for new customers and May 1 for existing ones.

Or you might want to consider the Nationwide FlexDirect Account. This offers a massive 5.00% interest on in-credit balances up to £2,500. For more information read Rachel Wait’s article.

3. Get cashback on your shopping

It’s not often that spending actually makes you money, but with a little know-how, it is possible.

So if you want to do some shopping online this lunch hour, check out cashback sites such as Quidco and topcashback. These allow you to search the online shop you want to buy from, and if it lists it, you simply buy your item as usual through the link. The cashback site will then credit your cashback account with the money you have made and you’ll be able to withdraw it on a certain date. Be aware that quidco keeps the first £5 you receive in cashback each year.

Alternatively, if you’re an efficient money-manager and are able to pay off your credit card every month, think about applying for a credit card that will reward you. The Barclaycard Cashback Card, for example, pays up to 6% cashback on your top five purchases in the first three months and 2% thereafter. But its hefty representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 24.8% means it's only suitable for those who know they will be able to pay their balance off each month. Head to our credit cards channel to compare further cashback options.

4. Make money from your old gadgets

When your old phone finally packs in, instead of binning it or keeping it in a drawer, get some cash for it. There are numerous recycling websites which will pay you in exchange for your old mobiles, cameras or MP3 players – such as envirofone, mazumamobile.com and fonebank and MoneySupermarket's recycling partner mobilecashmate.

You simply type in the model, condition and details of the gadget and the site will tell you what it's worth. It's a good idea to look at several sites to ensure you are getting the best deal. You then send off your phone and receive your money - a productively spent lunchtime!

5. Use your talents

There are numerous ways to make money if you are creative. Photography enthusiasts can sell their images via a number of websites such as Fotolia, Getty Images and Picture Nation.

Bloggers can also make some extra cash by allowing advertising banners on their page. You will need to join a free programme such as Google Adsense and every time someone clicks on an advert, you’ll get commission – easy!

Or if you’re more inclined to reach for the paintbrush than the pen, setting up a blog for your illustrations can also earn you some extra cash. If you build up enough followers, sites such as Etsy allow sellers of art and craft to put up their work for sale.

6. Make money from your old books and CDs

A number of sites let you trade in old CDs, DVDs, games, blu-rays and books in exchange for cash. Check out musicmagpie and webuybooks to get you started.

7. Complain!

There’s nothing like a delayed train to start your day off badly. But, when you finally get into work hot and bothered, use your lunch hour to turn it around to your advantage.

Simply register with TrainDelays and put in your journey details and it will tell you whether you can apply for compensation for the delay. If you can, print off your pre-prepared claim form and post it to your train operator's address. For those regularly travelling by the temperamental tube, the good news is that that is covered too.

8. Do an online survey

A number of online companies will pay you for simply giving your opinion on a variety of subjects by filling in surveys. You will either be paid in cash, which can be anything from 50p to £5, or in vouchers that you can use in various stores. Valued Opinions and panelbase are just two examples of where you can sign up.

9. Rent out your stuff

Recycling and swap sites have been around for a while, but a newer idea is sites that let you rent things out. You can rent practically anything out and you can choose whether to charge a daily, weekly, monthly or annual rate.

A quick look on RentNotBuy revealed golf shoes, a guitar and digital camera all up for rent.

10. Recycle your old printer cartridges

You might instinctively head for the bin when your printer cartridge runs out; however, it could actually make you a bit of extra money.

Cashforcartridges and Ink2U.co.uk will both pay cold hard cash if you send off your cartridges, and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too.

What are YOUR best money-making tips? Let us know on our forum...

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct. We're free, independent and compare all UK credit cards, as well as offering exclusive deals you can't get anywhere else. Contact MoneySupermarket.com at Moneysupermarket House, St David's Park, Ewloe, Flintshire, CH5 3UZ. © Moneysupermarket.com Ltd 2013.

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