I need to make extra money. What should I do? – The Guardian

I desperately need to make some extra cash and need to find the perfect second job. I already work 9 to 5 and will have to use my weekends and evenings. I am numerate, literate and energetic and do not care what it is as long as it is legal and not amoral – so no lapdancing. What have other readers done in such circumstances?
Log off
Despite having a reasonably well paid job, I was looking to buy my first house and needed to put in some extra hours to save a deposit. I took a job as a driver for Tesco, delivering shopping for customers who have ordered online. I work from 7pm to 11pm three times a week. This is pretty much the perfect job, but I find it impossible to go straight to bed so I get very little sleep during the week. Working 60 hours a week is also very tiring. Nick Sims, Stockport
Economise first
I work as a team leader in a cinema. Over the years I have seen many people take on a second job but they never last more than a couple of months. Our evening shifts start at 5.45pm and our part-timers work every weekend, leaving very little time for relaxation. As the weeks go by you will find yourself more tired and then your day job will start to suffer as well. Look at your finances and try to generate extra cash by economising and making the most of the money you already make. Kati Reeve, Kettering
Find something fun
The perfect second job complements your main job without interfering with it. If it is also something you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it. These are the qualities I have in my second job and for these reasons I will keep the job despite dreading the Saturday morning alarm call. So think of something you’d like to do in an alternative career and then try it out on weekends. Alternatively, see what is available in your local area. I went looking for bar work and found a great job selling real estate, despite having no experience. It is fun and the perfect antithesis to my day job as a scientist. Name and address supplied, London
Log on
Start an eBay business. It enables you to work from home, and the hours will be totally flexible. Specialise in one or two subjects that you already know something about and are really interested in – something you collect already, perhaps. Start by selling things around the home you no longer want but you think you can sell. Use the profits to build up your stock of items for sale. Deidre Ashdown
Go direct
Join a direct selling company and you can be earning from week one. Choose a company that is part of the Direct Selling Association (www.dsa.org.uk); select a product that people need and buy regularly, is reasonably priced and is not easily available elsewhere. Keep your expectations modest – say £250 per month – and do not be seduced by promises of wealth. Robin Croft, Glamorgan Business School
Rent a room
If you have a spare room you can rent it to a lodger or student tax-free up to £4,250 per year. It will not suit everyone, but for less effort than having an extra job you could cover a significant portion of your monthly expenses. It can be difficult finding someone you get along with, but you could rent to short-term foreign students to take the pressure off. Fiona Cobb, London
Wait tables
Find part-time work in a bar or restaurant near your home. My sister works flexible shifts around her college hours and occasionally does the weekend breakfast shift. You could work 6pm until close maybe twice a week, then do a double shift on Saturday or Sunday. The pay is quite good, and will earn you extra cash relatively quickly, without being too mentally taxing. Lisa Cross, Swindon
Hit the books
When my partner was expecting our first child she took up book keeping. It pays reasonably, is flexible and no qualifications are required so long as you are numerate. It does take some learning to understand what to do and how to record things correctly. Contact local recruitment agencies or accountancy firms. Matt, Enfield
Get talking
Work for the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) as an interviewer. This entails visiting people in their homes, asking them questions, entering their answers into a laptop and sending their responses to the statisticians. NatCen writes to randomly selected subjects first, so there is no cold calling and no trudging along streets looking for willing participants. Women have an edge, as they are more successful than men at getting interviews. Most of your calls will be at evenings and weekends. The work is interesting and the money is not bad. Jeremy Schmid, Dundee
Become a carer
I was in a similar position, trying to fund a three-month trip to Australia. I ended up working for the British Nursing Association as a carer. After a two-day training session, I was able to dictate what hours I worked. The pay was £7 to 14 an hour depending on the time and day. I generally worked 5 to 10 hours a week, which brought in an excellent second income. The only drawback is that you are helping people during the “winter of their life”, which can be distressing. You also need a car. Rosalind Harrison, London
Can you cope?
I too am a full-time worker who had to take on a second job to supplement a meagre income to help pay for a college course. I got a job as a waitress at a pizza restaurant and worked Friday and Saturday nights, with the odd week night. Even though I was young, working those extra hours absolutely wrecked me. My day job started to suffer and I had to take some time off and give up the evening job. Consider if you can physically manage additional work. I would go for some kind of office job where you are sitting down. Kendra, Chippenham, Wiltshire
Have fun too
I took a second job as a waiter. As well as an hourly wage, you are rewarded for good service with tips from customers. My financial situation improved by about £6,000 a year for working an extra 12 hours a week. There’s the added bonus of it being sociable and you will have fun along the way too. Jason Roberts, Manchester
Tutor students
Either quit your job and get one that pays more or get a second job. You could do tutor school students – it is not difficult and does not take up much time but produces more cash than most jobs. Another big money maker is buying and selling flats but this may take up more time than the amount you are willing to use. Ehsan Abedi, London
Hung up
I got a very flexible job as an “as and when” telephonist at the local hospital. There is a bank of staff to man the switchboard 24/7. I can be called upon to fill shifts at any time including evenings, weekends and bank holidays. I fit these in with my existing work pattern. JW
Any answers?
I am a stay-at-home mum and recently found my ideal part-time job. I work as a researcher for AQA (Any Question Answered), a popular mobile text service that answers questions about any subject, any time. Researchers are self-employed, paid for the number of questions they answer and work from home. I can work the hours I choose but weekends and evenings are the busiest times. You need your own computer with broadband and must have good writing skills. AQA regularly recruit at www.63336.com
Rachel Broome, Newcastle upon Tyne


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