10 easy ways to make money on your lunch break

There are 200 hours a year where you could be earning extra cash — we’ve compiled some tips on how to do it

If you’re keen to make some extra cash, but feel like your spare time is all booked up, then why not consider making a little on the side during your lunch break? If you get a full hour’s break, and work five days a week, that’s over 200 extra hours a year which you could be putting to good use! Check out the ideas below for inspiration.

1. Run other people’s errands
Offer to run around doing errands for all the stress heads in the office who are pushed for time. Pick up their dry cleaning, post letters or do their grocery shopping. You’ll also be getting a good dose of exercise by increasing your step count, particularly if you squeeze in several jobs! If you need more ideas, take a look at Airtasker — the site features a vast array of tasks ranging from errand running and delivering, though to cleaning and computer work.

2. Use apps to earn money

So, if you’ve got a smartphone there’s dozens of apps you can tap into which offer a small fee for a few minutes of your time. On Swagbucks you get paid for playing games, watching short videos, searching the web and giving opinions. For every 100 Swagbucks earnt you get a small amount of cash. Slicethepie will also pay up a small amount per review on music tracks, clothing and lots more. Meanwhile Amazon’s Mechanical Turk pays when you read a sentence and answer a question on it. Not all apps will be compatible for your phone or Australian users, so check first.

3. Find cheaper provider deals

Lunchtime is the perfect chance to get a better deal on bills. Research from debt solutions provider Fox Symes reveals that 60 per cent of all Aussies are particularly worried about the rising costs of electricity and gas bills, and 49% are unhappy about rising health insurance premiums. If being on the phone for half an hour gets you a monthly discount of $10 a month on a bill, it still adds up. You’ve basically earned yourself an extra $120 for the year in one lunch break. Why not check out the 9Saver special offers on energy and Health Insurance and see if you can save?

4. Make lunches for workmates

If you like to cook why not take over the office kitchen and make your colleagues lunch? You could bring a few things prepared at home and whip up a delicious Caesar or Thai Beef Salad, or fantastic sandwiches. Or bring in a few homemade dessert treats like brownies or choc chip biscuits. People often pay $10 or more for lunch, so you could offer a more affordable, homemade option! Test the waters by offering lunches once a week on a busy day and crank it up if it’s popular.

5. Have fun as a mystery shopper

Mystery shopping is fun if you like to hit the stores – particularly if you work near a retail hub. You’ll be required to visit a business to evaluate customer service, products, presentation and other details before doing a report. Check out organisations such as Retail Mystery Shopping Australia. Shoppers choose the amount of assignments they can fit in with no minimum monthly number of visits.

6. Teach someone to drive

Driving lessons can be expensive and are usually more than $50 an hour. If you drive to work and know someone who wants to learn, you could offer basic half-price driving lessons. But make sure they take some expert lessons beforehand and check with your insurer that you’re covered in case they have a bingle whilst driving your car!

7. Complete online surveys

Doing online surveys on behalf of market research companies is a painless way to earn extra dollars. Some companies such as Pureprofile pay money directly to you. Each survey usually earns you up to a few dollars. Others such as Valued Opinions will keep a tab on how many surveys you do and then pay in $20 shopping vouchers for major outlets such as Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings, iTunes and Hoyts.

8. Sell stuff online

Have a good clear out, take a bunch of pics and upload your unwanted stuff onto eBay and Gumtree. With small items visit the post office with them first and ask how much each item costs to post. This will give you a base price on your goods. As long as the profit is a couple of bucks, then it’s still better than nothing, right?

9. Become a dog walker

Exercising the poor old dog is often something worn-out workers put off, so you may as well help them out. If you work near residential streets, you could letter drop houses offering your services. Or you could ask around the office to see who has a dog. If someone’s keen to bring their pooch in, offer to be their walker. Just make sure your workmates don’t mind having a pooch around!

10. Freelance

So it’s probably not a good idea to do freelance work at your desk with your boss hovering nearby, however if you’ve got a laptop, why not fire it up at a café or in park? Upwork has a wide range of work – whether it’s in writing, virtual assisting, marketing or software developing. Whilst some of the pay rates can be low, you can always pick and choose your clients, or try to negotiate your rate up.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.