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Spare change for spare time

By Lauren Leisk, Yahoo!7 Moneyhound Updated February 16, 2013, 8:00 am

How many of us really make the most of our evenings or weekends?


While it’s nice to unwind on a Friday or Saturday, the weekday evenings are often a bit of a blur – hours spent watching reality TV shows, browsing online shops or occasional trips to the gym.


Why not make the most of your after-work hours with one of the many employment options available and enjoy a little extra cash each month?


What works for you?


Have a think about how many hours you have to spare. If you’re strapped for cash, you may want to allocate four or five evenings a week to commit to a second job or a regular source of income.


If you simply have time on your hands and want to put some money away for a future investment, you may want a freelance job that allows you to work from home when and if you choose to.


Give your view


If you’re able to travel after work, look into your nearest market research institution or focus groups being held in your area. Companies often require consumers to test their products or give feedback on ideas in short (usually one or two-hour-long) sessions. Alternatively, there are many online survey sites that allow you to fill in your opinions and receive cash once completed.


Related: 6 Ways to make extra cash


Use your skills


Think about what skills you have to offer – there are numerous opportunities for language tutoring, babysitting, dog walking or teaching classes such as yoga or dance. Remember that you can often tutor or offer services via Skype or online if you aren’t willing to travel.


Perhaps you're good with DIY and around the home services like fixing stuck windows or broken washers, or maybe you're good with IT. Get some business cards made up and drop them in people's letterboxes in your area offering your services after hours.


Get specific


If you have a specific talent, make sure you use it to your advantage by building up a portfolio or showreel of your work. Create an online profile for yourself on LinkedIn or a creative site such as The Loop. Skills such as content writing, proofreading and graphic design can easily be utilised in the evenings as contract or freelance work for agencies.


Provide a service


Many large retailers are now outsourcing their customer service operations to third parties, or try a tele market research company. Often you may be able to sign up solely for evening shifts and all you need is access to a phone line and the internet.


Be an after hours gopher


The latest internet business model is to apply to do tasks that others need done in your local area. Using websites like AirTasker you can become a registered 'runner' and respond to tasks that have been posted by users near you. For instance someone might need their dry cleaning picked up, their grocery shopping done, or their IKEA furniture assembled. If you can do a task you bid for the job and get paid to do it if you are the chosen task runner.


Be creative


If you don’t have a specific skill, have a look at sites such as eBay and Etsy. Get ideas and make your own products to sell – anything from greetings cards or framed photographs to cushion covers or placemats. You could make these things whilst watching TV or when you're relaxing at home usually doing nothing with your spare time.


Related: How to sell stuff on eBay successfully


Make sure you make the most of your evening hours, especially if you’re in need of an increased cash flow. Evenings are a great time to get to work and you’ll enjoy the benefits of the extra dollars.


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