If you’re paying your lender’s standard variable rate, then you could be paying more for your mortgage than you need to. Check if you have any redemption penalties on your mortgage and, if not, switch. Ask a fee-free independent mortgage broker such as London & Country Mortgages (visit www.lcplc.co.uk or call 0800 953 0304) to help you find a better deal.
Become a party planner
Sell products at people’s homes. Choose from The Body Shop at Home, Jamie At Home (0844 871 2010) or The Pampered Chef (01344 823600). You set your own income level and work the hours you want. For The Body Shop at Home, you make 25 per cent profit on all your sales.
Make cakes, sweets or hampers to sell at car boot sales
People love homemade goodies, particularly if they’re nicely packaged. You’ll need a food hygiene certificate from your local council if you decide to become a regular trader.
Work in your local library
Get paid to enjoy peace and quiet! Ask your local library, university or college if they need help. Pay is likely to be the minimum wage.
Work as a film extra
Rates range from £80 to £100 a day. You can earn more if you provide your costume or do overtime. Universal Extras specialises in finding film work for students, but also finds work for non-students. Visit the website (or call 0845 009 0344).
Become an Avon lady
There's a start up fee of £16 which is taken out of your first two orders. As an Avon representative, you drop off brochures and take orders from customers and earn £1 for every £4 sold. You work the hours you want when you want and there’s no age limit. Contact Avon by calling 0845 601 4040 or visit www.avon.uk.com
Be a mystery shopper
Some market research companies hire shoppers to judge service in hotels, restaurants and spas. You report on the products and services you receive. Payment varies depending on the amount of time the job will take, but expect to earn £5 to £25 per job plus expenses. Sign up with companies such as TNS Global or Consumer Intelligence
Green-fingered enthusiasts are always in demand. You could earn £10 to £25 per hour tidying busy people's gardens.
Claim what you are entitled to
Some £2.4 billion’s worth of tax credits went unclaimed by pensioners last year. To find out whether you are missing out, visit www.entitledto.co.uk or contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900.
Make your home pay for itself
Film-makers and ad agencies are on the look-out for ordinary homes to use as locations. Contact Lavish Locations (03337 007 007). Rates vary, but the minimum fee is £400 a day for a magazine shoot and up to £2,000- plus for a film.
Rent your spare room
Under the Government’s Rent A Room scheme, you can earn up to £4,250 in any tax year and be exempt from income tax. Advertise your room in your local newsagent or on the website www.spareroom.co.uk where listings are free.
Sell old CDs and DVDs
Type CD or DVD details on www.musicmagpie.co.uk and you’ll get an instant price. You need to sell a minimum of 10 at a time or £5 worth of stuff to complete an order.
Make money from your driveway
Various agencies, including www.yourparkingspace.co.uk and www.parklet.co.uk (0844 745 4977) match motorists with homeowners who have spare drive space. Rates vary with demand, but Yourparkingspace says homeowners can earn £50 to £300 a month.
Give your home a money-saving makeover
Save up to £300 on energy a year, using the Energy Saving Trust’s free Home Energy Checklist on www.energysavingtrust.org.uk or call 0300 123 1234 for free, impartial advice. Also check how much you could save on your gas and electricity bills by shopping around for a better energy deal. For detailed price comparisons call Yours switching on 0800 008 7777 or visit www.energyhelpline.com/yours
Be an exam invigilator
Contact your local secondary school about being an exam invigilator. Keep an eye on the students and you can earn up to £7 an hour.
Check direct debits
Look through your bank statements and see if you are paying for anything regularly that you no longer need or use.
Earn while you spend
Consider a cashback credit card that offers you rewards or cashback in return for your loyalty. Bear in mind this is only a good deal if you repay the balance in full when your statement arrives so you don't incur any interest charges. Also earn cashback on online purchases by getting paid to shop, switching financial products and booking holidays. Cashback website Quidco.com says £280 is the typical annual amount earned.
At any age
Be a house-sitter
Get paid to water plants, feed the cat and sort the post while people are away. Sign up with an agency such as Animal Angels (080 0 161 3242) which pays £49. 50 a day.
Take up dog-walking
Dog-walkers can earn upwards of £10 an hour. Post an ad in your local newsagent or on an online noticeboad such as www.gumtree.com