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9 Ways to make cash during a recession

Now that we've all come to terms with the R word - recession - the question is how to make money out of it? Surely it can't be all doom and gloom and the smashing of piggy banks for everyone? Contrary to popular opinion, a recession is often the best time to launch a new business, and so here are 9 ways to make cash during a recession.

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Car boot sale

Why not spring clean and make money in one fell swoop? Clear out old CDs, kids' clothes, instruments, toys and vinyl records - anything you are no longer using may be someone else's treasure - and take it to your local car boot sale. You'll make the price of your entry free back pretty quickly and free up some dusty corners at home.

Extra tip: take a flask of tea or coffee so you don't have to buy it on site.

Sell online

An alternative way to selling unwanted gifts which may still be in packages, or nearly-new goods hanging around cluttering up space at home is online. For a small per-transaction fee with eBay or Amazon among others, snap a photo of your product, write a short description, give it a price and you're in online business.

Flyering

Check out Craig's List or Gum Tree websites for some part-time work. While handing out flyers or leaflets may not sound terribly glamorous, the idea of a a few quid in the back of your pocket is and could be pay for an evening out, a birthday present or be put toward holiday spending money. The point is, it's not forever, but it can help stuff that piggy.

Supper clubs

If you love to entertain for friends, why not turn that passion into a weekly business by opening up a supper club at home. If you do your maths right, you could make some cash from something you enjoy. Choose a menu theme - Italian, Spanish, Greek or whatever you please - pair each course with a particular wine, and spread the word via Facebook for free.

Sit for the babies

Although friends and neighbours may not go out so often when times are tight, an offer to babysit for them may be just the encouragement they need. If you already know the kids, they may behave well for you, giving you the chance to catch on homework, coursework, work work or just kick back with a DVD. Once words gets out that you are a reliable babysitter, you'll soon have desperate parents calling all the time.

Part-time work

In a recession, many business cut down on staff or take on part-time employees, so if you have the energy, you could add some extra shifts to your working week. Whether it is call-centre work, in a reception or even helping out at the family business, you will learn new and important skills which will help boost your CV, and earn a few more quid.

Snap happy

If you own an SLR camera and have some interest in photography, now could be the time to further develop your knowledge. Wedding photographers eat into budgets but are an essential part of the big day. Although your experience may be less than a professional snapper's, you can make up for it with enthusiasm and cost-cutting and still produce fabulous photographs.

Mystery shopper

It's the shopaholic's dream to be paid to go shopping but as a mystery shopper, that is exactly what happens. By going out and testing unsuspecting shops, restaurants or hotels on behalf of www.retaileyes.co.uk, you can make around £20 for your time and will also be reimbursed for whatever you spend. Now that's being paid to live the high life.

Clinical trials

Although this is not for the squeamish, clinical trials is a good way to make some money in a completely safe environment. Whether it is for PhD research or to help in the development of a new drug, clinical trials may involve cognitive, sensory, visual or vaccine studies among others, and are strictly regulated at clinics. Some take a few hours, others a few days, and trials take place around the country. Volunteers should be over 18 and healthy, but do be certain of what you are participating before the trial begins.

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About the Author

An Argentina-based British journalist, Sorrel Moseley-Williams writes two weekly columns for English-language dailies "Buenos Aires Herald," "The Expat" and "Wining On." She contributes to Time Out and Fodor's city and country guidebooks, "SHOP Buenos Aires" and "Fodor’s." She also contributes to "Wallpaper*," "Screen International," "Oryx" in-flight magazine (Qatar) and "Songlines," and blogs for The Real Argentina website.

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