As the cost of living continues to rise, and the RBA raises interest rates, millions of Australian households are looking for ways to cut back. But spending less isn’t the only way to boost your bank balance. With remote, or semi-remote, work becoming the norm for many, there are plenty of ways to earn a little extra cash from the comfort of your own home.
A quick word about taxes…
Before you start earning additional cash, it is important to understand that any additional income will be taxed accordingly by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
If you take on additional work through an agency, second employer or as a freelancer with an ABN, you can nominate to claim the tax-free threshold of $18,200. This means that the first $18,200 you earn will be tax-free, reducing your bill at tax time. You can nominate the employer from whom you wish to claim the tax-free threshold, which is usually the payer from whom you earn the most income.
However, if you don’t plan to earn more than $18,200 per year in total, you can choose to claim the threshold from each payer.
Visit the ATO website for more information on the tax implications of second jobs.
1. Rent out your driveway
If your driveway or parking lot is empty for most of the day, renting it out through sites like Parkhound, Parkable AU, and YourParkingSpace can be an easy way to boost your income. Your space does not have to be available all the time, although the most popular spaces are those that allow 24-hour access.
Parkhound claims that owners can earn up to $300 a month for renting their driveway and up to $450 a month for an indoor or lock-up garage.
Earnings are likely to be higher the closer you are to transport links, shopping centres, attractions or hospitals. Parkable Australia, for example, estimates that tenants of car parks on the edge of the CBD can earn up to $1232 per month or $14,784 per year per space.
2. Rent out your storage space
If you don’t have a driveway to spare, renting out your home’s unused storage space can be another profitable option. In Australia, you can use sites like Spacer or SpaceOut to list your extra storage space, which can come in the form of a storage loft or unit, shed, spare bedroom, carport or even a garage (see above). It’s free to list on the Spacer site, which then adds a fee to handle payments and add that to the price you set for your space.
Before renting out your storage space, contact your home insurance provider to make sure your existing coverage will still be valid and whether you will be covered if a tenant causes damage. If you live in a unit or a villa, check if the legal entity allows this type of arrangement.
3. Explore ‘passive income’ ideas
As the name suggests, passive income refers to income that – after an initial investment of time, money or resources – can generate an ongoing, steady cash flow with relatively minimal effort and monitoring.
Examples of passive income include asset sharing (such as renting your house and car which we cover in points 1, 2, 6 and 7), and asset building (such as creating your own income streams which we cover in points 8 and 10).
Another way to generate passive income is to put your money (if you have any savings) to work – such as depositing into savings accounts or investing in the stock market. You can find out more about this aspect of passive income with our guide.
Just keep in mind that, as with any investment, your returns can go down as well as up. Also, income tax will typically be payable on passive income, so talk to your tax agent or financial advisor.
4. Sell what you don’t need
Getting rid of clutter at home can be a great way to reduce stress. It can also be a neat earner if you successfully sell any items online. In fact, research from online marketplace Gumtree estimates that Australians can earn an average of $5,800 per household by selling around 19 unwanted items – whether it’s a chair, fridge, clothes or tech gear.
When you list an item for sale on eBay in Australia, you only pay to list if you choose a premium upgrade, such as being listed in more than one category. Sellers are typically billed one final value fee for items you sell on eBay, calculated as a percentage of the total sale amount per item (item price + postage and handling), plus a flat fee of $0.30 per order.
Once you’ve created an eBay account and completed verification, you can immediately create a listing.
Alternatively, you can sell on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
5. Make money from technology
If you have a drawer full of unused devices – think mobile phones, tablets and PC games – find out how much you can earn by recycling or selling them to thrift stores, such as Cash Converters, or online marketplaces, such as We Buy Back or Greener Mobile.
Once you have agreed to a price for your gadget, Greener Mobile will send out a paid reply package so you can pack your item and mail it back to them. Sellers are paid once payment is received and it is worth noting that they take phones in a number of conditions: Perfect, Good, Faulty or Dead condition.
Some businesses, such as Recycling Enterprises, will also buy a large selection of used computers, laptops, phones, TVs, general electronics, motherboards, CPUs, RAM, power supplies.
6. Rent out your spare room
If you have a granny flat or studio at the back of your house, or don’t mind some company in the form of a flatmate, you can advertise your free living space on sites like Airbnb, Stayz and Flatmates.com.au
Short-term rental sites are perfect for those who only want to rent out their rooms from time to time, while flatmate sites are better suited for those looking for a long-term tenant. As a general rule, the closer you are to your local attractions and transportation, the more you’ll be able to charge for your space.
If you’re using a third-party app, like Airbnb, check to see if you’re covered for any damage a renter might cause. In any case, it may be worth taking out landlord’s insurance to protect yourself.
If you are a renter yourself, check the residential rental law in your state to determine if you are able to sublet.
7. Rent your car for a fee
If you often work from home, your car may sit unused in your driveway. But while this will help you save money on fuel, you can earn extra money by renting out your car to others through Australian sites such as Car Next Door, Drive Mate, Go Get and Drive My Car.
You will be able to set and customize your own ground rules when your car is available. Car Next Door boasts 5000 cars for rent across Australia, with rental rates starting at $5 per hour or $25 per day.
There are likely to be a series of conditions attached to renting your car. For example, your vehicle will need to be in reasonably good condition, with Comprehensive Third Party Insurance in place.
8. Exploit your skills
Whether you work in education, are a keen writer or an avid photographer, there are many ways to use those skills to help increase your income.
Research from online marketplace Airtasker and YouGov reveals that Gen Z is embracing the “flexible economy,” with Zoomers reporting earning an extra $429 a month through side projects. According to the survey results, many Gen Zers make money through app development, which has an average job price of $255 but can range up to $5000.
Other popular skills on Airtasker include graphic design ($160 average task price) and social media support ($122).
Alternatively, if you are a writer, designer or web developer, you can pick up freelance work by joining dedicated freelance platforms, such as Upwork. You will then either be matched with jobs that match your skills or you can bid on certain projects.
Demand for online education has increased since the Covid-19 pandemic, with many students still catching up after missing so much school during lockdowns. Check out Australian tutoring sites such as Learnmate, The Tutoring Company or Superprof (among many others). Superprof estimates that the average rate for a Year 11 or 12 tutor is just under $40 an hour.
Budding photographers can sell their photos online to stock photography sites like Alamy, allowing you to earn up to 50% of any sales. You will receive payments once your cleared balance reaches $50 and you can be paid in USD, GBP or EUR via Paypal, Skrill or bank transfer.
9. Turn your home into a movie location
Imagine your home as the following Neighbors TV set? Businesses like Pure Location or Set Book specialize in connecting homeowners with location scouts for film, TV or even photography.
Pure Location offers over 1500 location homes across Australia and New Zealand for photo shoots, filming and corporate events – specializing in everything from pure luxury to suburban homes.
Set Book notes that homeowners can earn between $500-$3000 per rental, and listings are free to set up. They will also market your property and ensure that all crew are fully insured.
10. Take Paid Surveys
If you’re good at answering questions and don’t mind a bit of one-way probing, you can make money doing paid surveys.
Some of the best known paid survey companies in Australia include Octopus Group or Opinion World. Some sites may claim that you can earn up to $50 per hour, but this is not very common. More likely, you’ll receive points for answering surveys that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards. It’s more pocket money than a lucrative second job.
This article is not an endorsement of any particular scheme or incentive, nor does it constitute a recommendation of a particular investment or asset class. Readers are encouraged to do their own homework.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest way to make money from home?
It depends on your skills and money making abilities. If you want money to arrive quickly, look for money-making businesses that pay dividends almost immediately. While signing up to freelancing platforms can be a pretty quick way to make money – depending on the payment cycles – selling unwanted items online can be the quickest of all. After all, you don’t have to complete any work or jump through administrative hoops before you get paid.
How do I work from home as a teenager?
How can I make online from home?