Off-beat ways to make some money

If you have time on your hands, there may be a few ways of bringing in a little extra money. Here are a few ideas…

1. Focus Groups
Market research companies organize focus groups for all sorts of things. The people they use to get others into these groups are always on the lookout for people who match certain criteria (age, sex, employment, like Shredded Wheat, Mars Bars, Pepsi or whatever). These usually pay quite well, though you’ll have to live near to a major city to be able to benefit. Often, the companies organize them for just after you’ve finished work. Start out with the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) for advice and guidance on this.
2. Modelling / film & TV extras
You and/or your children may be able to do a few modelling assignments. You don’t have to look a certain way as agencies are looking for different people of different types and ages all the time to fit their clients’ requirements. Be careful here, though; some agencies are rip-off merchants who ask you to pay registration / ‘portfolio’ fees etc., and this is usually a sure sign that they aren’t kosher. You’ll probably need a lot of time on your hands for this one and you or your kids may have to go to castings without being chosen – though there’s usually a small payment to cover your expenses and if you do get picked, it can be pretty lucrative.
3. Freelance writing
Freelance writing is a very competitive and generally poorly paid arena – so the best advice is to write about whatever you’re interested in and have genuine expertise in. If it’s a labor of love, you won’t mind the effort too much. More than the cash, though, it is truly rewarding to see your written work published.
4. Medical research
The lending of one’s body for medical research is really a matter for individual choice, but it can pay well. Some trials are safer than others. For example, the McGill University Health Centre has over 400 clinical trials currently underway, with around 160 new trials starting every year.
Looking to work from home full time? Check out 6 Companies that hire remote workers


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