Making money on maternity leave can be tricky. You need to find side hustles that can work around you, your baby, and of course, your new nap and feeding schedule!
The ideal tasks should be not too time consuming, with minimal to no set up costs.
Certain side hustles can be very lucrative, but can take a significant time and level of investment before they begin generating any notable income. Blogging is a great example, as it can be a fantastic side hustle, but can take a couple of years before becoming profitable. It’s not worth writing these types of side hustles off completely… but maternity leave may not be the best time to start a huge new project!
In this post I have detailed 13 ways to make money which are straight-forward, suitable for beginners, and can be started this week!
How to Make Money on Maternity Leave
1. Renting out your car
If you already own a car and it spends a significant amount of time sitting on your driveway collecting dust, then it’s worth looking into renting out your car for cash.
The premise is similar to Airbnb, but the apps focus on car rentals instead of property. Renting your car can be a passive form of making money, and you can select the availability around your own schedule. This Londoner made £25k by sharing her vehicles on car sharing apps, funding an entire house renovation!
Karshare, a car rental app, are currently offering £100 for all new renters too, so it’s a great time to get started. For more information and to sign up, pop over to this post with all the details on how to rent your car for cash.
2. User Testing Websites
Website testing is an interesting side hustle which can be very lucrative. All you need is a laptop with a speaker and webcam enabled, and an internet connection, and you are good to go!
By completing user testing tasks, you will be testing brands’ websites and commenting on your user experience. Is the website easy to navigate? Is finding information clear and simple? By visiting these sites during their trial period and providing honest feedback, you will be helping to improve on the customer experience, which is very valuable to brands.
User testing assignments can be paid at around £8-10 per 20 minute test on average. Websites for user testing include:
3. Shop and Scan
Shop and Scan is a market research company which collects data on the weekly shopping habits of the average UK customer. Participants in the scheme are sent a barcode scanner, known as ‘The Clicker’, and are required to scan and record all items bought during their weekly shop. Participation in this survey is free, and can be completed at home.
In return for the market research data provided, all participants are rewarded with points. These points can be cashed in for a wide range of gift cards, including Amazon, Argos and New Look.
If you submit once per week, you’ll make £83 per year in vouchers through this side hustle, just by scanning your usual weekly shop.
Participating won’t make you big bucks, but it’s an easy way to build up your gift card balance throughout the year. Pop over to Shop and Scan for more information and to sign up if you have an invitation code. Alternatively to apply to be accepted, try their volunteer panel site to register.
4. Receipt Scanning
Receipt scanning was my first ever side hustle, and one that I always recommend to those new to making extra cash online.
It’s very simple; just scan your shopping receipts for points in the app, and then exchange your points for PayPal cash or gift cards.
It’s a very straightforward side hustle that takes minimal effort, and you can make around £10 per month if you use multiple apps. I’ve written a guide to the five receipt scanning apps I use if you’d like to get started. Some of the apps are closed to new participants however, so you may need to join a waiting list.
5. Selling unwanted items
Of all the side hustles, selling your stuff is the number one fastest way to raise some cash fast. Look around your room; everything here was once money in your pocket, and the good news is that it can be again!
Websites such as Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree do not charge fees, so by listing your items on these sites, you can keep 100% of your profits. You will need to arrange for collection usually, so your pool of potential buyers is smaller.
Ebay and Vinted are also great apps to use when selling on your items – there are fees to pay and postage to contend with, but with shipping you can sell to buyers across the country, or even further afield.
As a general rule, try to sell larger items or breakables that would be difficult to post on Facebook or Gumtree (think furniture, electronics, garden items etc), and smaller items (such as clothes and shoes) on Ebay or Vinted.
You could also try a good old fashioned car boot sale too if you have lots to declutter. You’re likely to make less money, but it you prefer to get it done and dusted in one morning, they can be worthwhile.
If you are comfortable with the above apps and have sold your own items with success, reselling could be your next step. You will need a small pot of cash to get started with buying your items, and it’s important to keep in mind the fees and delivery costs too, so calculate this as you go to ensure you are making a profit.
The months leading up to Christmas are particularly great for reselling – make sure you check the apps to see which items are popular, and the average selling price too!
You can source your items in charity shops, supermarket sales or car boot sales; wherever you can spot a bargain or reduction. Toy sales in your local supermarket can often be a good place to start on your reselling journey.
7. Cashback apps
Cashback and grocery apps are great tools to make money back on your usual day to day spending.
When online shopping, simply click through to your chosen website via the cashback site, and a percentage of your purchase will track and land in your wallet.
There are lots of cashback apps, but these are my favourites:
- Airtime Rewards (add referral code B4VF9MMU to earn your first 50p bonus to get you started)
8. Mystery Shopping via Task Apps
Mystery shopping tasks via apps can be a great source of additional income, and you can accept tasks for places you might be visiting anyway, such as the local supermarket.
Download the apps and pass a few initial tests or practice tasks before your real mystery shopping missions begin. Some of my favourite apps for mystery shopping tasks include:
You will then be able to participate in mystery shopping tasks in your local area, which you will be able to view and book via your app. These tasks could include taking photos of items on supermarket shelves, locating promotional items or recording prices at your local fast food stores.
The tasks tend to be relatively easy and quick to complete, and the amount you can earn ranges from around £3 up to £15 per mission. It can really add up!
During your maternity period, it’s likely you’ll spend a fair amount of your time at home. Ironing is a task you can do in the comfort of your own home, whilst you catch up on Netflix or listen to a podcast.
Ironing can fit around your life, and there will always be people looking to outsource some of their daily tasks to make life a little easier.
Setting up an ironing business can be quite profitable too; you can earn up to £20-£25 an hour. Alternatively, you could try running a home laundry business; the premise is similar, but instead you wash dry and iron the items before returning to your customers, fresh and clean.
10. Dog Walking
If you are keen to spend more time outside, getting your daily steps in, then dog walking might be the side hustle for you.
Busy puppy parents can always use some help from a local dog walker to take their furry friends out of the house for a few hours. You could spread the word starting with your street or block of flats to get your first client, and go from there!
A dog walking business is a cheap hustle that requires minimal investment to get started, and there are excellent health benefits for you too! A multi-tasking win-win.
11. Cat Sitting
If you are a pet lover but perhaps don’t have the time for dog walking, maybe cat sitting could be a preferable side hustle.
Sites such as Cat in a Flat and the London Cat Sitting Company make it easy for you to find local clients, or simply begin sharing your new venture with neighbours and friends to find customers via word of mouth.
This can be particularly lucrative during the Christmas period and summer holiday season; people are willing to pay top dollar to know their feline friends are being fed, watered and cared for whilst they are away from home.
You can usually select to pop in to feed the cats once or twice a day, or even opt to move in to the property for the period, depending on the owner’s preferences.
Data shows that the average pet sitter hourly rate is £15 per hour – not bad!
12. Seasonal Baking
If you have ever been tempted to apply for the Great British Bake Off, and would love to put your baking talents to use, then making seasonal treats could be the ideal side hustle for you.
Instead of selling all year round, try selling cakes or baked goods in the lead up to some of the most popular holidays. Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are all great opportunities to sell to those looking to buy handmade gifts or treats for their loved ones.
Set up free social media accounts, such as an Instagram page or Facebook page, and join local community groups to promote your goods and find your first customers.
It’s generally a good idea to take pre-orders ahead of seasonal events so that you can prepare and buy the correct amount of ingredients, without risking wasting your time and money.
13. Consumer Research Focus Groups
Consumer research panels pay for your honest thoughts and opinions, as a form of market research. From mortgages to gaming, sustainability to food habits, there will be a company out there interested in hearing what you have to say about a certain topic, and who is happy to compensate you for your time.
If you are new to focus groups, then the following companies are a good place to start:
Opportunities often depend on passing a short questionnaire, and you can sometimes get screened out at this point. Don’t be disheartened though, as you will be selected if you persevere!
The more companies you sign up to, the more opportunities to participate in focus groups, so it’s worth signing up to several sites.
More ways to make or save money during maternity leave
Take a look at these posts for more money saving tips and tricks:
- 31 Best Apps to Make Money in the UK
- Frugal Living UK: 46 Tips to Save More
- 44 Frugal Food Hacks To Help You Save More Money
Final Thoughts: How to make money on Maternity leave (13 BEGINNERS SIDE HUSTLES)
If you are looking for side hustle suggestions for how to make money on maternity leave, I hope at least one of these could work for you.
Starting to make extra money can be daunting at first as you’re unsure where to start, but there are plenty of methods to try. The Money Making and Money Saving posts on this site might be a good place to have a browse if you are looking for more inspo!