Ten easy ways to save money from the comfort of your couch

There are some easy ways to earn a little extra cash online (Image: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

We’re all stressed out right now, but simply getting a better-paying job isn’t an easy task for most people.

But you can easily make some small cuts online.

Plus, in the midst of a cost of living crisis, there are ways to earn a little extra income to help ease the burden.

From money-saving switches to investing for beginners, these are the sites and tips you need to know heading into this tough winter.

1. Switch your mobile transactions

While most of us can’t save on our energy bills right now, we can save on other monthly bills by switching. Go online and compare SIM-only mobile deals – especially when your contract is about to expire.

A spokesman for Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert website said we were in a “SIM price war” – meaning it was possible to get a cheap deal on your phone.

You should also make sure you’re not paying for more data than you need – check your usage before signing a transaction – there’s no point paying for data you don’t use.

The spokesman added: “If you’re paying more than £5 a month for your phone, now is the time to check if you’re overpaying.”

You can find more information on comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket and Uswitch.

2. Make money with surveys and apps

If you randomly browse the internet at night, there are websites that make your hobby pay.

Try Swagbucks, which allows you to fill out polls or watch videos to earn money, or fill out surveys using Qmee, the Curious Cat app or branded surveys to accumulate points or cash over time.

The Qmee company logo on a website with a blurred stock market development in the background, seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen.

Qmee is one of the survey sites where you can earn extra cash (Image: Alamy Stock Photo)

However, if you do, remember to set a specific email address for your surveys and other money-making schemes, or your normal email address will be overwhelmed.

3. Clean up messy cash

OK, you may need to get off the couch for the first part of this money-saving exercise, but the rest can be done with your feet up.

Just take an inventory of unused items around your home and see if you can turn unwanted items into cash.

Clothes, books, and CDs are an obvious place to start, but you can also consider other items, such as outdated children’s toys.

“The value of Lego is so good, you can even make money for old manuals and remotes,” said David Beard, a personal finance expert at comparison site Lending Expert.

Woman taking photo of t-shirt with smartphone to sell or donate her clothes. Organize clothes, sort and clean up. Reuse, second hand concept.conscious consumer

Clothes, books and old children’s toys can easily be sold online (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In addition to selling on reputable sites like eBay, you might also consider Ziffit and Music Magpie to sell books and CDs.

These make it easier to sell items by allowing you to scan the barcode on the back for an instant listing, and you can even let a courier pick it up for free if you have enough to sell.

4. Sign up for cashback

Shopping online also gives you the opportunity to use cash-back sites, where your purchases will quickly save you. Sites like Quidco and TopCashback pay you a percentage of what you spend online at many retailers, as long as you click on them first.

For example, Quidco is currently offering 5% off all clothing purchased at Sainsburys through Tu, and a similar percentage when you book Travelodge. TopCashback offers approximately 5% back through Deliveroo and over 20% on Post Office Travel Insurance.

5. Start investing

The stock market is volatile, and you can lose money as well as make money, but research shows that over time, those who invest in a long-term and diversified way generally do better than those who put their money in the bank.

There are plenty of resources online to help you get started investing, whether you want to jump right in or try a virtual portfolio first.

Shoulder view of young man checking financial data using mobile banking app on smartphone while sitting on sofa at home

There are many apps and services designed to help beginners understand investing (Image: Getty Images)

DIY investing companies like Hargreaves Lansdown and Interactive Investors allow you to create a virtual portfolio to try out investments before you start.

Meanwhile, the new low-cost investing service Dodl is designed for beginners to help you understand investing.

6. Set up a side hustle

Earning some extra cash online will help pay household bills, and there are plenty of ways to use your talents and time to bring in some extra cash.

HMRC allows you to earn £1,000 per tax year from what it describes as ‘casual work’ without reporting it on your tax return.

A spokesperson for the website NetVoucherCodes.co.uk advised: “There are hundreds of ways to increase your monthly income and earn extra money, many of which can be done from the comfort of your sofa.” With expertise, or a life experience to share, they suggest starting a blog is worth it.

‘It’s not going to generate immediate income because it can take time to create and grow a blog, but if you do it consistently, it can be one of the most lucrative side jobs.

Young influencer vlogging with hands clasped on smartphone in cafe

Online tutoring can be a source of extra income (Image: Getty Images)

“Blogging’s growth potential is virtually limitless, so if you’re looking for a long-term side business, this is a great option,” the spokesperson added.

Other options on the couch include tutoring kids through sites like Tutor Hunt and Tutorful, if you have skills in the right field, while speakers also suggest virtual roles such as transcription jobs, online virtual assistant services, and online social media management.

7. Participate in competitions

Participating in free contests online can bring you some exciting prizes. Seasoned “Contender” Decole recommends focusing on the low-value things you’re interested in when competing to maximize success and satisfaction.

‘Think about the brands you’ve been using and see if they’re running giveaways and contests, whether it’s the cereal you eat every morning, your kid’s favorite chocolate bar, or even the gas in your car. And something you really want to have but can’t afford, maybe a Disney+ subscription? she suggested.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Stern, operator of promotional site PromoVeritas, suggests maximizing your chances by entering contests that require extra steps.

“Very few people will enter a competition simply because they need a certain level of skill – a tiebreaker, a photo shoot, or a recipe – that’s why they’re always worth a shot. You’re likely to find you’re more skilled than you think Much luckier!

8. Purchase discounts

Shopping online for shopping’s sake won’t save you cash this winter, but if you have items you really need to buy, the internet can make the process cheaper. Make sure you always use Google Shopping when searching for what you’re looking for – as it will try to find the cheapest price for you.

After you’ve found the cheapest site, searching for online discount codes can cost you more.

If you have time to hunt around for items and wait for prices to drop, Sam Whillance, savings expert at discount platform Deal.Town, recommends setting up an alert on CamelCamelCamel, which tracks Amazon prices so you can receive emails when items you want drop in price mail.

Even if a product is “discounted,” such as on Amazon Prime Day, Sam recommends checking to see if you’re really haggling.

“Which company did the research into last year’s Black Friday deals? Find that a staggering 85% of products sold have been sold at the same price or less in the first six months. Check your product’s price history to see if you really are Got a deal, which is important.

9. Improve your financial management with free technology

Some savers swear by Excel spreadsheets or even handwritten notebooks to control their spending, but these days, thanks to the new rules of open banking, there are some free apps that can really help you with your budget.

Open banking means you can allow third-party applications to view transactions in your online banking and credit card accounts, giving you the opportunity to view all your financial transactions in one place.

Clever websites and apps like Money Dashboard and Emma give you a complete picture of your finances and can show graphs of where your money is going to help you save.

10. Use technology for old-fashioned tricks

Technology can save you money, but it can also teach you more old-fashioned money-saving tricks. Spend some time on the Old Style MoneySaving Forum – part of Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert website – and learn from the best.

Current tips on the site include conducting a light bulb audit to check that you’re not paying too much for your electricity bill, and “reverse meal planning” — using what’s in your cupboard and fridge to plan your meal, rather than planning a meal and then buying ingredients.

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