These 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:
1. 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.”
2. FREELANCE 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.
3. JOIN 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.
4. START 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.”
5. MAKE 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.
6. ANSWER 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.