Five ways to make extra money this summer

White fluffy dog having a nice walk
Walking dogs for cash - what's not to like?
"Self-taught Jenny fell into it by accident when her children asked for cake"
  • | by Dave Jenkins

Fancy earning a bit of extra cash this summer? With the daylight hours there’s no better season to squeeze in a few extra hours work.

Better still; set up your own enterprise. There are all sorts of ways to do it. Read on for a broad selection of ideas on how you can ease wallet-weariness this sunny season. In some cases, it could even turn into a full-time venture...

Set up your own YouTube channel

Video camera on laptop

Got a niche music collection you’d like to share? Fancy doing your own cookery tutorials, gaming walk-throughs or guitar lessons? Get yourself a YouTube channel.

Luke Hood did, sharing his favourite new music with friends. Five years later and his channel UKF is a global brand with over a billion views, compilation releases and international events.

“I always knew you could make money directly off YouTube, but we never made money from it until I had more personal relationships with record labels,” he explains. “We were essentially pirate radio back then, but again, once we started working more closely with labels it allowed us to support their promotion plans.”

A great example of making a living out of something you love, Luke’s YouTube tale is one of extreme success. Google’s Terms Of Service means he can’t divulge any insight on revenue. Plus it’s not clear-cut. You don’t receive money per views, but how many viewers react to adverts that are based on highly personalised, cookie-based placements.

Do event work

Orange festival stweward jacket

(Photo: Faith Monsoon)

Stewarding, traffic management and bar work are potential options for those looking to bolster existing jobs with additional hours. Festivals, sporting events, corporate bashes… There’s a wealth of options out there.

Rates start at minimum wage but most mid-level roles go from £8 an hour and, if you’ve got proven experience and you can get in early, backstage management roles can fetch upwards of £20 an hour. Two companies who are active in event work outsourcing are CTM (for all logistical roles) and Barcode (for bar work)

Be aware that many popular festivals offer ‘volunteer’ roles where you pay the ticket value (even though you don’t get to enjoy the whole event) and get reimbursed afterwards. If you overdo it one night and miss your litter-picking shift they no longer have to pay you. I speak from personal experience…

Join the I.D Police

An off license

(Photo: Emily Webster)

Strictly for those lucky to be aged between 18 and 20, Serve Legal is an independent age-verification service. A mystery shopper job with a legal twist: fresh-faced young staff visit nationwide establishments and buy ciggies and booze. The business will know you’re coming… but the staff won’t. And if they don’t ask for identification, they’ll be in a spot of bother!

Serve Legal is currently looking for young staff across the country; rates go from £6.75 to £10 an hour. Yes, a tenner an hour for going to the pub!

Take up dog walking

White fluffy dog having a nice walk

Dog walking in the summer; it’s a winning combination - but you’ll need public liability insurance. There are sites such as Dog Walking Now where you can pay a subscription fee, advertise your services and, when you get work, rates are usually between £10-20 an hour.

It’s best to test the water first and post adverts in your neighbourhood to see whether the job is for you. Or if there’s even a call for it in your area. There’s certainly a demand in London…

“People treat dogs like their babies in London,” says TV presenter and entrepreneur Sara Damergi. She set up Dog Walking Now with her business partner James while on the hunt for a walker herself. She advises it’s a very personal process, so don’t be upset if an owner doesn’t think you’re right for their dog. “Expect reference checks,” she says. “I met 14 different walkers before I chose mine. She’s an ex-police officer and I trust her implicitly.”

One final legal consideration is, if you’re asked to look after the dogs overnight, check with your council and their policies on dog boarding.

Make cakes

Delicious moist carrot cake

(Photo: Hallum)

Not quite a summer job, but, like setting up your own YouTube channel, it’s a great year-rounder with huge potential, as proved by the viral success of one Chris Holmes who resigned from his job to set up his own cake business earlier this year.

Start off selling to friends, neighbours and at car boot sales. And great news: as far as food hygiene laws are concerned, cakes and jams are a low risk and successfully applying for public liability insurance and a basic Food Hygiene Certificate is an easy, simple and cheap process. Keep your professional ingredients separate from your domestic sundries, maintain complete kitchen spotlessness, liaise with your council and you’re in business.

“I’ve never known anyone to get poisoned by a cake!” says Swansea-based cake start-up Jenny Kircough. “It’s only when you’re cooking with raw meats and fish that commercial cooking from home becomes a problem.”

Self-taught Jenny fell into it by accident when her children asked for cake. She discovered she had a skill. So much so that people started asking for cake-decorating classes.

“It spiralled quite quickly,” admits Jenny. “And now I’m able to hold classes in my own house and regularly get asked to do classes at children’s parties. It’s not 100% full time but, with a little more organisation, it will eventually go that way.”

Clean fascias

A house with windows and a roof

They say look up for inspiration. Welsh builders Jonathan Jagiello and Chris Ball did just that when their last contract ran out in March. It paid off; they saw rows of filthy fascias and gutters. Armed with a ladder, they started knocking doors and offering scrubbing services at a tenner a pop.

“Everyone’s offering building services and window cleaning but no one’s cleaning the gutters,” Jonathan explains. “It was a massive gap in the market. I made £150 on my first day!”

Ideal for summer evening or weekend work. Or, like Jonathan and Chris, a new full-time venture. One essential piece of advice, though: don’t tread on any local business’s toes. They’ve been offered window cleaning jobs but, because there’s already an established cleaner in the area, they’ve declined them. “Don’t annoy a window cleaner,” he warns. “They get nasty!”