How to make extra spending money

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Are you one of the many older Australians looking for ways to subsidise your retirement? Or are you looking to save some extra bucks to get you closer to your dream holiday destination? Either way, finding gainful employment in the later stages of life can be a daunting and difficult process.

So what if we told you that you could make money from your hobbies? In fact, there are a number of desirable skills that, for you may be just a hobby, but to others are valuable commodities that could earn you some extra cash to help you fund your retirement.

Art and craft

Are you handy with a paintbrush or pencil? Or do you know your way around graphic design software? Well here’s some ways you can profit from your artsy craftiness:

  • teach art classes at home,local art store, or school
  • sell your work at retail outlets, makers’ markets, art and craft shows, school fetes or online (or you can find someone to do it for you)
  • speak to your local gallery to see if you could sell your work – you never know, you just may be good enough to be the next art-world darling
  • take custom commissions online or at designer markets
  • design and submit projects to craft, fashion, and design books and magazines
  • enter your work in contests to win prize money
  • do freelance graphic design work
  • design and create ‘seasonal’ crafts and decorations for local retail outlets.

Photography and video

After all your years of taking family portraits and landscape photographs, you may find you have a very good eye for photography. So good in fact, that you may actually be able to sell your skills by the following methods:

  • freelance newspaper photographer, or submit images to news outlets, magazines and other online publications
  • sell your work as photo stock to photo libararies such as Shutterstock, iStock, Cooee Picture Library, Getty Images or Thinkstock
  • put your videos online on YouTube or Digg and see if you can make some money from advertising. Find out more about how to make money from sharing video
  • teach photography/videography classes at your local community centre or adult education centre
  • turn your images into postcards, greeting cardsor souvenirs, and sell them online or at a market.


So you’re handy with a whistle and still got the legs to carry you about? Why not try a spot of sports officiating? Local clubs are always looking for umpires and refs, and are happy to pay a fee for your supervision. And you never know – you may look good in black and white stripes! Clubs are always on the lookout for:

  • umpires/referees
  • coaches
  • scorekeepers
  • statisticians
  • caddies
  • fishing guides, track-walking/hiking guides or river guides.

Looking after animals

Believe it or not, the pet industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. These days our pets are as much a part of the family as the kids. And with the need for young families to work in order to keep a happy home, often it’s the pets that can be overlooked when it comes to splitting time between work, family and social life. Here’s a list of ways in which you can help bridge the gap and put some pennies in your purse:

  • dog walking (dog walkers can get $10–$20 per walk!)
  • pet-sitting
  • doggy day care
  • grooming, including washing and clipping
  • feeding whilst owners are on holidays

Making music

Maybe you thought those piano lessons you had as a kids were a waste of time, but it could be put to good use and may even be a handy little earner. Here’s how you can make money from music:

  • offer private lessons
  • perform at bars, restaurants, weddings, etc.
  • sell sample jingles online (see Shutterstock Music

Next week, we will discuss further options for making extra money from hobbies and special interests. In the meantime, do you have any handy hints for how to make extra money? Why not share them with our members?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



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