Use your spare time to make money to pay off debt or for sav­ings, writes An­gelique Ruzicka

CityPress - - Business -

T 1hese days, re­ly­ing on your day job to make ends meet is not enough. As the cost of liv­ing in South Africa con­tin­ues to inch up­wards, many peo­ple are strug­gling to keep money in their sav­ings ac­counts, pay off debt or save for re­tire­ment. For­tu­nately, there are ways to make a bit of ex­tra cash. You will most likely need to make a few sac­ri­fices, such as work af­ter hours and at the weekend, but if the aim is to pay off debt or to save more, it may well be worth it. Here are six ways you can make more money: RENT OUT A SPARE ROOM OR GRANNY FLAT If you have a spare room or granny flat that you rarely make use of, you could earn ex­tra money by rent­ing it out to hol­i­day-mak­ers and busi­ness trav­ellers. A pop­u­lar way to go about this is to list it on the online hos­pi­tal­ity web­site Airbnb, which has been around since 2008.

It’s free to list your home or room, how­ever, Airbnb says: “We charge hosts a ser­vice fee (in­clud­ing taxes, if ap­pli­ca­ble) ev­ery time a book­ing is com­pleted. The amount of the host ser­vice fee is gen­er­ally 3%, but may range from be­tween 3% to 5% de­pend­ing on the can­cel­la­tion pol­icy se­lected by the host.”

2FREELANCE ONLINE There are plenty of free­lance mar­ket­place web­sites that of­fer a plat­form for em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees to ne­go­ti­ate a deal on work that could fetch a flat fee or pay by the hour. The web­sites in­clude Fiverr, Up­work and We Work Re­motely.

So­nia van der Westhuizen, the op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor of KrengJai, a mi­cro work-sourc­ing busi­ness that hires peo­ple to do work it has se­cured through Up­work, says her ex­pe­ri­ence of the plat­form has been fantastic

“We man­aged to land R60 000 worth of work in the first month and had a hec­tic time try­ing to de­liver it. When look­ing for jobs on the likes of Up­work, it’s best to in­vest in your pro­file – fill in as much as pos­si­ble about your­self.

“You can also do free tests via the site. It ranks you on how you did com­pared with oth­ers on Up­work,” she says.

3JOIN AN AGENCY Agen­cies such as Re­cruitMyMom have flour­ished be­cause of an in­creas­ing need for flex­i­bil­ity and the abil­ity to work from home.

Phillipa Geard, founder and CEO of Re­cruitMyMom, says: “The world of flex­i­ble work­ing is def­i­nitely widen­ing thanks to tech­nol­ogy. There are op­por­tu­ni­ties, par­tic­u­larly in the online world, where you can have a reg­u­lar job as well as some­thing af­ter hours. We look for peo­ple in the part-time and flex­i­ble work space, but we do have some job­seek­ers who work af­ter hours.

Typ­i­cally, Re­cruitMyMom will hire you as an in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor, but it also se­cures per­ma­nent jobs di­rectly with com­pa­nies.

Pro­vided you get the right clear­ance and qual­i­fi­ca­tions, you could work with chil­dren. For ex­am­ple, Soc­cer­mom.co.za is a place­ment agency that sources peo­ple for par­ents who are un­able to drive their kids to and from school due to work com­mit­ments. Work­ing for this agency re­quires some ad­min up­front. Evette Barnard, owner of Soc­cer­mom.co.za, says: “If you want to do this type of job, you have to regis­ter your pro­file on our site. We then con­duct an in­ter­view and you have to com­ply with a 10-point cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process, whereby you pro­duce things such as proof that your ve­hi­cle is not older than 10 years, that you have a road­wor­thy ve­hi­cle and that you’re will­ing to do a pro­fes­sional driv­ing test within six weeks of sign­ing up with us. We also do a crim­i­nal check and ID ver­i­fi­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to Barnard, you can earn be­tween R2 000 and R4 000 a month de­pend­ing on the num­ber of trips you make.

4START YOUR OWN BLOG By blog­ging, it’s pos­si­ble to make money through ad­ver­tis­ing, spon­sored posts, brand col­lab­o­ra­tions, af­fil­i­ate links, prod­uct and ser­vice re­views, give­aways and spon­sored so­cial-me­dia posts.

Meg Peta Sproat, founder of the Bor­ing Cape Town Chick blog, says: “Tak­ing a prod­uct and cre­at­ing an orig­i­nal piece of con­tent that en­ter­tains, in­forms or ed­u­cates is key to be­ing paid. Use your unique voice to make some­thing in­ter­est­ing and cre­ative to set your­self apart and en­tice brands to work with you.”

Writer, editor and brand con­sul­tant Mandy Lee Miller, who is the founder of par­ent­ing blog Preg­nant in Cape Town & Ever Af­ter, warns that you need to find the right bal­ance: “The temp­ta­tion to take any money of­fered re­gard­less of the brand can be very strong. Al­most ev­ery blog­ger I know has slipped off the slip­pery slope of over­con­fi­dence once or twice.

“If your con­tent shifts from shar­ing your story to writ­ing purely spon­sored posts about the things you are given or paid to talk about, your au­di­ence picks up on it very quickly. And be­cause there are so many other blog­gers out there, once your read­ers move on, they are very hard to get back.”

5MAKE MONEY OFF YOUR HOBBY If you are a crafty kind of per­son – if you can knit, sew and cro­chet, for ex­am­ple – you could make things like clothes and blan­kets and sell them online through clas­si­fied web­sites such as Gumtree. So­cial-me­dia sites such as Face­book also have a num­ber of groups where mums in par­tic­u­lar can do busi­ness and ad­ver­tise their ser­vices.

6ANSWER SUR­VEYS OR DO MI­CRO JOBS Com­pa­nies need in­for­ma­tion all the time and you could earn money by giv­ing it to them. There are sev­eral sites, such as An­swered In­sights, that of­fer you cash and other re­wards for reg­u­larly an­swer­ing sur­veys.

Af­ter be­ing ac­quired by In­for­mal So­lu­tions, the mi­cro-job­bing plat­form M4Jam re­launched in Oc­to­ber. Through it, you can do sim­ple jobs such as tak­ing a pho­to­graph of a shop or com­plet­ing a sur­vey from your couch.

There are plenty of ways to earn ex­tra money, and you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be­long to an agency or web­site – you can sell things you no longer use, or you can start your own small busi­ness on the side.

How­ever, if you are go­ing to rely on a third party to gen­er­ate an in­come, you must be care­ful about who you ap­proach and what you agree to do be­cause there are a lot of fraud­u­lent op­er­a­tors in this space.

“In South Africa, it is il­le­gal to ask a job­seeker to pay money to­wards find­ing work. Any job op­por­tu­nity that is of­fered where the re­cruiter is try­ing to so­licit money should ring huge warn­ing bells. Some may say that you need to pay a train­ing fee, but stay away from any­thing like that. If there is an agency in­volved, the agency will seek a fee from the em­ployer, not the job­seeker,” warns Re­cruitMyMom’s Geard.

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