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How to make money from home

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By Jasmine Birtles from Moneymagpie.com

There is always a way of making some extra cash if you need to, whatever your situation. Even if you've given up work to look after your children and feel like you are stuck at home all day, there are all kinds of ways to make a 'bit on the side'.

Here are a few ideas how:

Renting your driveway or garage

If you live in town or near a station or big sports ground (Wimbledon, a Football stadium) you can make money by renting out parking space at your place. If you don't use your garage or your driveway it could be gold-dust to someone who needs to park there.

A new website, www.parkatmyhouse.com, enables people to offer their space for parking. Just put your details in, including your postcode, and then just wait for desperate parkers to contact you!

Mystery shopping

Thousands of ordinary people in the UK get paid to go do free shopping, eating out in a restaurant or having a drink in a pub as mystery shoppers. Fees per visit vary between companies, but are usually between about £6.00 and £20.00.

And you get what you buy for free! Contacts: Retaileyes - www.retaileyes.co.uk; TNS, www.tns-global.co.uk ; High Street Central, www.highstreetcentral.com; Mystery Shopping Agency, www.mysteryshopagency.com, 020 8325 8974

Market research

There are a few companies - not many - in Britain that have a pool of people they call on regularly to join a focus group. Sometimes they specifically need mothers or fathers to test out child or baby-related products. Saros Research is one company that conducts focus groups like these.

Just log onto their website at www.sarosresearch.com, put in your details and wait for those invitations. You will only be allowed to do two sessions with them per year but you could also apply to other companies and get extra work.

You can make between £30 to £100 for a session depending on what you are talking about, plus free food! You can also make money by recruiting other people for the focus groups. You earn money each time one of your recruits takes part in some research.

Think up a TV game show format

TV companies are always looking for game show formats so if you spend a lot of your day watching them, why not make money thinking one up? The idea should be simple but fun.

You should be able to fit the description of it onto one A4 sheet, so it is up to you to come up with an idea that is not already being aired, hone it down to some simple rules and a few fun gimmics and send it to TV production companies or direct to TV channels. Then be prepared for a long wait and lots of knock-backs while you try to sell, sell, sell!

Contacts: BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/talent; Celador - www.celador.co.uk (makers of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'; Yorkshire TV, www.yorkshiretv.co.uk (makers of 'Countdown')

Selling on the internet

You can sell pretty much anything on www.ebay.co.uk. Some people make a constant, good living out of it, others just use it to sell stuff they don't want any more. Many people just like to sell old books, videos, DVDs and CDs and www.amazon.co.uk is the most popular for this as well as www.abebooks.co.uk.

Many people go to car boot sales at the weekend looking for collectibles that they then sell on eBay during the week. If you are an artist, jewellery maker or other creative then you can have your own 'stall' on eBay for just £6.00 a month.

Jasmine Birtles is from moneymagpie.com, the website that gives you a richer life.


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