I’m all about that side hustle: earning extra cash, burrowing away savings… and then using all that extra/saved cash for travelling/gig tickets/pretty things for the home. I may not have used that money for anything significant in the past, but you can bet your ass that in 2018 I’m getting my sh*t together and saving towards something a bit more grown up like my own flat or actual travelling.

I also want to save more in the new year and to do that, I’ve been researching (and dabbling in!) some alternative ways to earn extra cash. Because we all know how f*cked we are as a generation and even professionals with genuinely good paying jobs struggle with saving to buy their own property and the like. I can’t be arsed getting a second job – ain’t nobody got time for that – and I gave up on Ebay/Vinted/Depop when no one wanted to buy my sh*t. So, like most people my age, I’ve turned towards other means and they’ve actually somewhat worked so far!
Here are some alternative/easier ways to earn extra cash in 2018.

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APPS
I’ve been using apps on my phone a lot this year so far and they’ve been one of the easiest/best methods to earn/save extra cash. I’ve been using Chip since mid July – and cannot recommend it enough. I have already saved £189 out of my bank account without even realizing it. Monzo, on the other hand has helped tons with budgeting – and they’ve recently obtained a banking license. It works sort of like a (bright pink uber cool looking) pre-paid card so, for example, I load on however much I need for parking and petrol so that I’ve got that put aside every month and don’t have to worry about trying to afford it when it reaches the end of the month and I’m skint. I’ve also earned £6.17 with OnePulse since installing it in the summer. It’s not tons, but it’s free money just by answering a few questions every now and then. You need a £5.00 minimum payout for this app but for instant earnings, try CitizenMe. Each short survey earns you between 5p and £2.00 and is paid into your Paypal account immediately upon completion. I’ve earned £9.21 so far, but haven’t been using it much in recent months so that’s still a fair bit since the summer. Finally, ReceiptHog. I haven’t been using it for long – and it’s clear to see you need to gather a lot of receipts to earn enough points to withdraw – but if you’ve got them sitting around or save them from a shopping trip, you might as well scan them in!
MATCHED BETTING
This one can take a while to get your head around but as long as you go slowly and follow a guide, you’ll realize how easy it is to win with matched betting – and it’s totally legal. I’m certainly no expert on this and I’m still learning, but a general way to put it is you put two opposite bets on the same game/match etc so that whatever the outcome, you win something. It also relies a lot on new sign up offers with betting websites so that you don’t lose any of your own cash. People have claimed to earn up to an extra £1000 a month through this means. OddsMonkey is particularly helpful – you pay a small fee – but it offers training videos and essentially does a lot of the work for you so it’s perfect for beginners.
SELLING OLD SMELLY SHOES
This might sound silly, but there’s a whole world out there when you think about who can benefit from buying your old smelly shoes you no longer wear. Yes, it’s people with foot fetishes. I’ve yet to make a huge lot from this method but being that I’d usually just throw my old shoes away, it’s nice to sell them on even when they’re in terrible condition. Try ebay first – but be careful of what words you actually use to sell your shoes – then look into selling on specific websites or even setting a persona up on Tumblr or a similar site. There are tons of helpful guides online so if you have some old shoes lying around that you want to get rid off, definitely consider selling them for some decent cash instead of just throwing them out.
ONLINE GAMING
Bingo is actually really popular these days to people of all ages – both online and offline. People love the thrill they get from winning bingo and I especially love that I can sit at home and play in the comfort of my own bed. Off course you need to be careful when venturing into online gaming, but as long as you only see it as a bit of fun or an opportunity to win – not earn – a bit of extra cash, you’re good to go. I tend to only deposit £30 or less every now and then – when I can afford it – and go through it slowly. I also tend to stick to less empty rooms later at night – so there’s less people to play against – and for smaller wins as these all add up in time. Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I always tend to win with beginners luck!

TREAT YOURSELF AND BE REALISTIC
Finally, you can’t be strict all the time. If you meet your saving goal for a month, treat yourself to something small (whereas I treat myself throughout the month which doesn’t work): this will help motivate you to not spend unnecessarily and will also give you time to think about what’s really worth spending your money on. If you’re saving to pay off debts, do what my brother did. Once you’re done, cut up your credit card, pop it on a nice background and frame it. His cut up credit card now sits proudly on his hallway wall and not only does it look awesome but it’s a great achievement to look at whenever he enters his flat. Hard work needs to be recognised sometimes – good luck!

What do you think? Do you use any of these methods to save money? Let me know!

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I love any hacks that come along with saving or earning any extra money. I’m on nearly every cashback and survey site going; and I’ve tried quite a few different saving methods over the years; from putting the remainder of a paycheck into a different account the day before my next pay or just saving old pennies.
I wouldn’t say they entirely failed – I do have a bunch of pennies hiding somewhere at home – but I wouldn’t say they were entirely successful either.
Which is why I recently took some time to research into some new saving methods; after all, I have a lot to save for now and I’m pretty sure you will all benefit from this post too what with Christmas fast approaching!

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Chip is my latest go-to money saving app and so far I am thoroughly impressed. I installed the app in July and have earned/saved £41.72 – although, bear in mind, I didn’t actually start getting paid from my new job until mid July. This money has come out of my bank account bit by bit without me even noticing.

The way it works is this. Chip is like a personal savings bot (you can even chat to it via the app) and you give the (totally safe) app access to your bank account so that it can analyze your spending. Every few days, it calculates a small amount that you can afford to save, based on your spending. 
So, rather then choosing a set amount to put aside each month, this app takes into account the fact that some months you might be spending more than usual. It calculates just enough so that it doesn’t affect your day-to-day life, so, for example, you don’t transfer a huge amount and then find yourself short at the end of the month. Likewise, it really analyzes very well, so you don’t save just a tiny bit and then spend loads of money that you have left over unnecessarily.
I was a bit wary at first but I decided to give it a go and I can honestly say it feels like free money as I’ve not even noticed the money being taken.
You also get a notification a few days beforehand to let you know how much will be taken so if you really feel like you’ll be short, you can cancel the transaction. Plus, the bot shares super funny gifs throughout which is always a win in my eyes. You can use the chat to report a problem, so although you speak to a bot, if there is an issue, an actual person will get back to you.
You can pause the app, withdraw your money anytime and can even change how you want to save: at first I had my saving level set to low, then, when I started getting a regular income, I changed it to high.
You can make your own manual savings too, just in case being able to see saved money in your own banking app makes the temptation that much easier to spend it, and you can also save in your overdraft – and we all know how hard it is to save when in your overdraft.
It’s extremely smart, especially for millennials like you and I. I’m very much the type of person to see what I have left over at the end of the month and save that but, as we all know, all too often this does not work.

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And yes, it’s entirely safe and legit. Their website states:

Chip is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) through
its agency status with Prepaid Financial Services (PFS). You can look
PFS up in the Financial Services Register (FSR) and you’ll find us on
the PFS website too. Sorry about all the TLAs, btw.

&

Chip has a data control licence – you’ll find us on the ICO register –
and we always act in full compliance with the Data Protection Act. Your
online banking login details are protected using 256-bit encryption and
Chip does not store your data.

That’s cleared that up then.

The app has recently released a new feature to help you save. You pop in details such as how much you want to save and what for and it automatically updates you on how long it will take you to save that amount based on your current activity. It’ll send you regular reminders as you get closer to your goal too.

Finally, there are always tons of incentives to earn that bit more – recently, the app offered a £10 sign up bonus for friends and, currently, if you get a friend to sign up, both you and your friend you will get an extra 1% interest (per friend) for a year.

PSST! – my bonus referral code is JLB3BY if you’re interested in grabbing this 1% interest!
Please note, I have of course used my referral code in this post (every little helps!) but you also know how transparent I am with these types of posts. This is not a sponsored post, I genuinely have had a great experience with Chip so far and often like to share any tips on this blog when it comes to saving money. Alternatively, if you are interested in using Chip but would not like to use my referral, you can learn more at getchip.uk.
So, overall, the fact that I’ve managed to very easily save close to £30 (which would undoubtedly be more but I’ve only had two paychecks since using the app!) since July without even noticing it is a total win in my eyes. It’s perfect for my current financial situation and my lifestyle too.
Would you ever try Chip? Do you have any budgeting apps? Let me know!

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As much as I love Christmas, we all know how expensive the season can get – not just for exchanging presents, but for decorations, food (for Christmas dinner and just lush Christmas food in general), Christmas parties, Christmas dinners with work/friends, Christmas nights out and seasonal things in general.

Since my mum died, our family doesn’t tend to bother with Christmas too much. We no longer exchange presents and instead choose to ‘celebrate’ the holiday in our own way.
That being said, I am always up for seasonal things to do, so of course, it’s around about this time each year that I tend to sit down and budget and work out ways to earn some extra money to tide me across.
I did do a pretty successful money saving post years ago which I was pretty proud of, but most of the sites on there are actually redundant now, so here’s an updated version on how to a) save money and b) earn some extra cash for Christmas.

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CASHBACK WEBSITES
Cashback websites are always a good idea. Set your homepage to one and just remember to always use a cashback website for everything you buy. Of course bigger spends pay off – so things like car insurance and phone contracts can get you around £80 back, but every little helps! My favourites to use are Quidco and Topcashback. Quidco’s minimum withdrawal amount is only £1, which avoids waiting around, whereas Topcashback doesn’t have a minimum withdrawal amount, but does take an annual membership deduction which is, if I remember rightly, £5.

Topcashback also currently has a fun competition where you can win money just by looking through the website. Cashback websites often run easy promotions like this during holidays like Halloween or Christmas.


ONLINE SURVEYS
Bex did a fab guest post on this a few years back, and this is still my favourite way to earn extra cash. My personal favourites are Yougov, GlobalTestMarket and Swagbucks – but unlike in the past, right now I’m finding myself focusing just on Swagbucks and getting quicker payouts. Halloween is a great time for survey websites like these – this week alone, I’ve cashed out £25, and that’s by only doing one or two surveys a day. It can be a long process as you have to put the effort in, but around Halloween and Christmas is best. There’s plenty of ways to earn extra SB’s for free, which can then be converted into vouchers or Paypal. Right now there’s a sale on, meaning it’s quicker than ever to redeem points.
MATCHED BETTING
Now this is something I’m relatively new at and still getting used to, and I kind of hate the name. To me it just conjures up the image of a sleazy old man hanging out in a bookies, trying to scam money out of everyone and possibly stinking of alcohol. Don’t ask me why. I heard about this first on Save The Student and went on to learn that not only is this process entirely legal, but that it’s also even been recommended by The Guardian. The best way I can explain it is that you sign up to betting websites that offer free bets along with your first deposit, place two bets on two different websites betting against yourself so that you will still win money back and that you’re qualifying for the free bet. In most cases, you lose something like 10p on this first bet. You then use your free bet to repeat the process. It’s super hard to understand, I still don’t know how it works, but the guide is really useful – you just have to study it and take it very slow. This method certainly is not a quick fix, but if you’re willing to put the time and money in, I’ve heard people can earn up to £1,000 a month. I’d probably be too scared to bet big amounts to get to that much, but I can very easily get an extra £15 or so per bet, which all adds up in a month. My only tips are to read everything very carefully as it’s very easy to make a mistake – on my first go, I didn’t realize my free bet was only valid for three days, so I missed out on using it. My second tip would be to probably keep around £50 aside and spare for this alone. You’ll need it for things like Liability amounts (nope, I have no idea what that is either) but you do get it back. Essentially you spend a little money to earn a lot of money I guess, and it’s a wildly recommend money-making method online!

ONLINE WORK
You can of course actually take some time to earn money online. People Per Hour is great for this – especially if you have a lot of admin skills to sell. In the past, I’ve earned a fair good amount of money by just doing things like typing up interviews, or typing up old students work and placing their answers into teacher packs. It’s as easy as that, and this is a really, really good way to earn extra cash when you’re sat at home in an evening in. It’s so nice sometimes to just sit down with a cup of tea, put a decent TV show on the background, and get to work. Sometimes I even do it in bed…

USEFUL WEBSITES
There are tons of useful websites out there to help you earn extra money or help you save. I find Money Saving Expert’s forum an absolute godsend, mostly for things like Swagbucks or the TopCashBack promotions, but also other little ways to earn extra cash. It’s so helpful. Gratisfaction is really useful for voucher codes and bargains, but freebies too, and, finally, I’ve just downloaded the Qmee toolbar for my browser again. You don’t actually have to do anything, but it sometimes brings up suggested websites based on what you google. Click on what is suggested and that’s it. I’ve only earned 43p so far but hey, it all adds up, am I right? There’s no minimum cashout amount, and it’s just started doing surveys too, where you can see what each survey is worth exactly.

There are of course loads of ways to ‘up your income’ but these are the ones I find most useful. Some of them aren’t easy and take some time and effort, but at the end of the day, if you’re sat at home on an evening anyway, you might as well spend as little as one hour to try and earn some extra cash. One useful tip is to keep everything you earn this way in a separate savings account so a) you don’t dip into it and can save it for Christmas/a big holiday etc and b) you can see just how much you earn this way exactly!

Do you have any tips on how to save or earn money for Christmas? Let me know!

*Please note, I have used some of my own referral codes for these websites but these benefit you too! For example, the People Per Hour code will give you a 5% discount voucher if you choose to sign up and complete a project. However, you don’t have to use my referral codes!
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A while back, I read about this new banking app called Monzo via The Debrief. Please note – back then it was called Mondo and it’s probably worth reading The Debrief’s feature about it too as it’ll likely be explained better by them!

I was immediately intrigued because I am TERRIBLE with saving money. I wouldn’t say I’m not money savvy, as I find I’m quite good with finding bargains, earning extra money online etc but I’m just no good at budgeting.

I’d tried budgeting apps before but had never really got on well with them so, definitely tempted by the pretty card and the fact that you actually get a physical card, I decided to sign up with Monzo.

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I suppose the app is more so kind of like an alternative bank as opposed to a budgeting app – so far you can’t cap your limits via the app, but it has been helpful.

You get your own card/account (and they have actually just received a banking license so soon you’ll be able to use the account for direct debits and stuff like that, also) and it kind of works like a pre-paid card.

It works well because you can load a certain amount onto the card each time – I tend to load £100 every fortnight and once I run out, I don’t load anymore on. This gives me a budget of £50 a week.

The smart part is that every single spend you make via the card is immediately registered via the app, so you can instantly log on and see where your money has gone that day and how much you have spent per day, too.

This saves time and is also helpful with budgeting if you tend to forget to log something. There’s also a receipt scanning feature too.

It’s really nifty, but does it work?

In short, yes.

I haven’t used it to budget via the app per se – for example, on other apps you can create a pie chart to see where your money is being spent the most and set a cap to your spending.

But it has helped me budget in real life. Leaving my bank card at home and just using this on a day-to-day basis has definitely helped me become more aware of how much I spend on random crap.

If I go to the shop to grab a quick Red Bull for example, I knowingly stop and think whether or not I have enough cash left on the app to do so. So it definitely makes me more aware of my spending and helps me save.

It works really well as a separate budget too. Although soon enough you’ll be able to get the full benefits of a bank account, currently you cannot use this to pay off direct debits and such. I tend to think of these direct debits and bills as necessities – a while back I took the time to cancel any direct debits I didn’t need so nowadays it is pretty much bills like for my phone or car – and anything else is a budget I live off.

It’s great because when you log onto online banking, although you can see your balance, a lot of the time half the transactions can be up to three days behind which makes it tough to sit down and work out your finances.

The card can be cancelled via the app immediately if need be, in case it gets lost or stolen, and, of course, the card is super pretty.

All in all, for the past month or so, Monzo has been my go-to budgeting app and I feel it has really worked. It’s dubbed as being for anyone who lives on their mobile phones, and that’s entirely true.

I’d definitely recommend trying this app out.

What do you think? Would you give Monzo a go?

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I can be quite nifty when it comes to saving money, even if I do say so myself.
I’m definitely not the most thrifty out there and I’d love to have the time and patience to enter endless competitions to win holidays and the like. And I suppose, for the most part, the money I do save tends to just go on clothes/nights out/general spending anyway.
But I do pride myself on finding bargains here and there and when myself and some friends agreed to finally book a holiday to Ibiza this year, I knew I’d have to really knuckle down considering how expensive Ibiza can be.
Here’s how I pretty much booked a £500 holiday to Ibiza for free.

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PACKAGE HOLIDAYS | TOGETHER WEEK 
There’s a huge divide on whether or not to go with a package holiday or do-it-all-yourself when booking a break and both sides have very valid points. If you’re willing to put in the time, effort and research to find cheaper options then it probably does work out better to book flights/hotel/everything else separately.
But when it came to Ibiza, it was actually a promotion for Together Week that sparked my interest – offering a good for value holiday. Now don’t get me wrong, when the holiday was first priced at around £200 per person, I knew it wasn’t actually going to be that cheap. But when me and my friends looked into it, we realized what we were saving and that for this particular holiday, a package deal was best.
Ibiza is a party island – there’s no doubt about it and had we booked everything separately, we would have been shelling out tons of money for daily activities and events, club entries (most of which can be anything from up to £50 upwards). Together Week includes activities every single day and parties/club events every single night, meaning this is already paid for in bulk in advance.

In the end, the holiday cost around £500, with the standard set price of everything at £412, then around £500 once choosing adds on (airport transfers, shuttle bus to events and flights) – which, if you ask me, isn’t a bad deal at all.

Although it’s just a general assumption, the company we booked with released a little price comparison chart suggesting that ‘doing it alone’ could cost around £700 upwards per person. That’s already £200 more than going through a package holiday.

MONEY I WAS (SORT OF) OWED | £488
Next, I thought about any money I had outstanding. Things like funds left over on People Per Hour (PPH) that I hadn’t yet withdrawn, money left in my paypal and things like that. All in all, so far, this has totalled to about £488 with more to come. I had £294 to claim back from my deposit for Mexico holiday, which I’ve had to push back to another year, so rather then having the money sitting there when I didn’t have a date for when I’d be going, I figured it would be better off going towards this holiday. My best friend owed me £75 for Lost Village Festival, as the money was coming from my account, so rather then getting her to pay me the money back I asked her to transfer it straight into the funds for the holiday.

So that was £372 put straight towards the holiday without any waiting around, except a day or so for the PPH funds to transfer across.

Next, I headed to cash back websites. Recently I’ve bought car insurance and upgraded to a new phone, so by the time the holiday rolls around this will be ready to withdraw giving me £119 to put towards the holiday.

It was all little things here and there, but it all added up to a lot. If you tend to try and save money quite a lot like me or you’ve ever used cash back websites such as Quidco or Swagbucks, I’d really recommend you spending some time to log onto each and see if you have any left over cash. A lot of these websites I tend to use throughout the year with no specific aim to spend the money, generally I’ll just cash it in when I need it like at Christmas or now.

Obviously, my deposit for Mexico was quite a lot and so anyone else might not just have a holiday deposit to cash in. My point is to just sit and think about where else money might be sitting around, especially any you might have forgotten about.

Hint – If you still have a while before your holiday, it might be worth using a website like YouGov or GlobalTestMarket to earn some extra cash. A few hours put aside every Sunday could very easily earn you an extra £50-£100 spending money for your holiday.

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FREELANCE WORK | £257 (TO DATE)

And, of course, there was sitting down and actually putting some work in to earn more money. I also wanted to save some extra cash for the holiday in general as obviously I need spending money, and I’m also going to another music festival at the end of this month so I’ve been trying to earn as much extra cash as possible lately.

At the time of writing this post, I’ve earned £257, which gives me the last £12 (lol) to pay off the holiday, and a further £245 for spending money, plus whatever else I’ll earn between now and then.

Simple.

Please note, this post is in no way whatsoever to brag, but I’m simply showing you two sides. 1) You can easily book a holiday and, if you put your mind to it, pay for it with money from everywhere BUT your actual paycheck so extra cash etc or 2) One way you can treat yourself if you sat down and worked out all the places where you may have money lying about or have forgotten about.

Do you have lots of money lying around in different accounts that could be put towards a holiday? Let me know!

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