We all know London is an expensive place to live. £5 flat whites and £15 earl grey cocktails mean many of us feel the pinch way before pay day.
So how can you earn extra cash to tide you over without resorting to taking a second job in a bar or, y'know, crime? Thankfully, the burgeoning 'sharing economy' - companies like AirBnb and Uber who connect customers directly with services they want - is throwing up some interesting options that can make use of your assets or skill sets without causing too much disruption to your everyday life.
Here, then, are some of the capital's easiest and most enjoyable ways to make some extra money.
Take tourists sightseeing - Vayable
Vayable offer unique city tours so you can get to know an area with local knowledge. This might sound like you need to revise a complete history of every fire and building in London, but in fact you can offer tours based on your speciality, be that the pubs that inspired literary greats or the best chocolate shops on offer. There's even a loo tour showing you how to find the best free toilets in London, so no topic is too niche...
Get paid to have dogs stay with you - Barking Mad
Yes, you can really get paid to hang out with a dog. Barking Mad offer a more reasonable and personal alternative to putting your dog in kennels by pairing dog owners with hosts to look after their canine companions. Granted the money isn't brilliant, but it is still money for hanging out with a dog - one of the life's simplest pleasures after all - and being a host can be done flexibly according to your schedule.
Rent out your exercise equipment - Splinster
Have you got the skis from your brief flirtation with snow sports still clogging up your garage unused? Splinster is a way you can make money renting out your exercise equipment from bikes to surfboards to skis. In London most of the listings are for bicycles rather than beach or snow equipment - unlike in America where you can actually do those activities - but you can still list all of these items and watch the cash flood in without doing anything.
Store other people's stuff - Stashbee
If your garage isn't full of surfboards but, in fact, totally empty you could turn that empty space into a cash cow. Stashbee connects people looking to store their belongings with people wanting to make cash from unused rooms. Win, win. The service is competitively priced compared to professional storage companies but you can earn good money long term. You can charge per item or per square foot so you can be selective with how much space you give up. Just imagine if that empty study was earning you $$ every week without having to do anything.
Host dinner parties for strangers - VizEat
If you're after something more hands on to earn money, VizEat is a dinner party hosting service where you get paid to cook and host dinner parties for groups. Show off your knowledge of a particular cuisine or cook your hits to your guests and earn money doing something creative.
The dining platform recommends calculating your meal price by "adding up your grocery expenses plus the amount you'd like for your hospitality". You can also factor in how long the preparation takes so you don't end up with a hours going unrewarded. You might even make some friends in the process.
Rent a room as an office space - Vrumi
You might not be able to give up your whole house à la AirBnB but Vrumi lets you rent out individual rooms for meetings. You'd be surprised at what people might pay to avoid a team bonding or client meeting in a dire pub. Vrumi offers unique spaces so don't worry that you don't have a tea station or forty plug sockets, people can search for 'thinking, creating and wellbeing' rooms so your quiet loft might just be perfect. You get to select the times of day for rental and fix the price to exactly what you're after.
Complete other people's tasks - TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is an already well established sharing economy platform where strangers complete your 'to do' jobs for you. A reported $4 million worth of tasks are posted on the network every month. Though some of the tasks are quite dull (help with moving, giving rides to the airport, etc.) it is worth keeping an eye on it for some more unusual tasks like gardening or helping at parties.
List random services - Fiverr
If what you've got to offer is a little more unusual then get it listed on Fiverr, where you can offer up any random job from designing business cards to your skills as a voiceover artist. Tasks include help on design projects, proofreading, help with SEO, session musicians, business plans and pet care. The more bizarre listings include "I will uncurse you forever" and "I will scream your name into a bush". There's something out there for everyone.