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  1. The benefits of building a garden room office

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    Working from home is the dream scenario for many people, but if that dream becomes a reality, where will you work from?  Unless you have a dedicated room that can be used as a home office, then you’re going to be working quite literally from your dining table or squeezing a desk into a shared space. 

    It’s not always ideal to have to share space, especially if you have young children running around your feet when you need to work.  I’m talking from experience as my office space is shared with the playroom for my children.  We are very lucky to have the space for me to fit a desk into, but if I need to work when the children are home then it can be very difficult. 

    One idea that has popped up in conversation several times with my husband is the idea of building an office in the garden.  Looking outside of the space available within the home and instead looking at the space available outdoors could be the perfect solution.  In this blog post I am going to explore the benefits of building a garden room office.

    The benefits of building a garden room office

    Less hassle than an extension

    Whilst an extension might be the first obvious choice, they come with a lot more upheaval than garden rooms do.  Not only do you need suitable space on your existing property for an extension, but you’ll need foundations dug, planning permission, building regulations and the build itself could take weeks, as well as be very costly.  Plus you’ll have all that noise, dust and inconvenience right where you are living and working.  It might not be ideal. 

    In comparison, a garden room might be built away from the house disrupting your actual home very little.  A build can take as little as two weeks.  Planning laws are more relaxed and many garden offices will fall under permitted development meaning you won’t need to gain permission so long as it’s less than 2.5 metres high and takes up no more than 50% of the back garden.

    Enjoy the summer weather

    There’s nothing worse than being cooped up in an office all day long when the weather is glorious outdoors.  A garden office with open bi-folding doors, or even just open French doors, will make you feel more connected to your garden and outdoor space and less like you are trapped in a stuffy office.

    No need to take up valuable space inside

    One of the greatest benefits is not having to sacrifice space inside the home for a home office.  You can keep your home exactly as it is and create another room outdoors instead.  Of course there are many genius solutions to create a small home office if you have to create something inside the home, but if you have the funds and garden space then a garden office is the perfect solution.

    30 second commute

    Of course some people have absolutely no room in the house for a suitable work space, so instead will hire an office space or frequent cafes and WiFi spots.  Not only can this begin to add up in rental fees and daily coffee expenses, but there is also the cost and time needed to travel to a different location.  By investing in a garden room as an office you’ll have a 30 second commute, no rent to pay and much cheaper hot drinks!

    Better work-life balance

    One of the trickiest parts of working from home is being able to separate work and life.  It’s possible to work all the time and you can never leave work at work, because you’re always technically at work!  It’s a dilemma!  By creating a garden office that can be locked shut and forgotten about when you are back in your home, you can create a real sense of division and keep your home simply as your home.  Having an office away from the house will create a better work-life balance and a clear mental separation.

    Away from distractions

    As well as creating a better work-life balance, it will also help to create a more productive work environment too.  As much as it’s tricky to switch off from work if you work in the home, it’s equally as challenging to switch off from the housework when you are meant to be working!  Being at home all day means you are surrounded by chores that need doing and it can be hard to let them go when they are right there in front of you. 

    Creating a garden office gives a space that is for work only and allows the mind to switch off from any other distractions.  It also means there is a place to work that is away from partners and children to allow for greater concentration if work needs to be completed when the family are at home.

     

    There are so many benefits a garden office can bring, from a more productive work day to a better work-life balance.  The more I think about it, the more convinced I am to go for it!

     

    Related blog posts:

    Setting up a successful business space from your home
    How to set up the perfect home office
    Why adding a garden room is a great investment

    Collaborative post - Photos from Canva

    The benefits of building a garden room office (2)

  2. Make money at home with Prolific Academic

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    I signed up with Prolific Academic, also just known as Prolific, quite a long time ago.  I’d read rave reviews from other bloggers and home money makers about it being the best sort of survey site out there.  I say sort of as it’s not really a survey site, but the tasks are more like studies and research for academics.  Well, I’ve only just got round to properly using the site recently and making money as I was using the site totally wrong!  Read on to discover the best way to get notified of studies on Prolific.

    Make money at home with Prolific Academic

    The best survey site?

    I’d actually totally forgotten about this site until I saw a money blogger mention it the other day as a better way to make money than most other survey sites.  Really?  I thought.  I remembered I’d been signed up for ages and never been sent a study!  Coincidently, a couple of days later I received my first email from Prolific saying I qualified for a study!

    To my surprise, when I signed in I saw there was not one, but two studies in my dashboard.  Thinking this strange and perhaps I hadn’t been receiving all their emails I spoke to customer services. 

    Don’t rely on emails

    Turns out they don’t email everyone about every study they are eligible for, but only email a random selection of people.  I had totally not realised this as every other similar site I’m with emails every time there is a study available and it’s just tough luck if you don’t get to it on time.

    So what was I meant to do?  Check the site every five minutes for a study?!

    Install a notifier

    With a bit of digging I found a solution.  There is a browser extension on Chrome called Prolific Assistant which will notify me whenever a new study is available.  Phew!

    I now realise I must have been missing out on so many studies and so much money!  As soon as I installed Prolific Assistant I completed 10 studies over a couple of days and now have over £10 in my account!

    How many studies do Prolific have?

    It’s very early days for me actually actively using the platform, now I realise what to do!  The studies  seem very sporadic as yesterday I wasn’t alerted to any studies at all, but there were loads the day before.  Even some I didn’t take part in as they were 40 minutes long and I couldn’t spare that time.  But most of the tests I’ve done have been 5-15 minutes long.

    It will also depend on which studies you are eligible for.  They have an ‘About You’ section with loads of questions to fill in so you’ll be allocated studies you qualify for.

    Out of the 10 studies I have completed so far they have all been accepted no problem.  I’ve also read you’ll never be booted out of a study which is great news.  If you read my recent blog post called how to make money searching the web then you’ll see I was booted out of 23 studies in a row when trying another survey site which was so frustrating!  So I’m pleased that on Prolific everything has been accepted so far.

    A survey site with a difference

    They aren’t your typical survey site as I mentioned.  Some of the studies I’ve done have been questions, one was a game to play and in another they flashed words up on the screen and I had to try and memorise them.  The variety makes it so interesting and nothing like many other mundane survey sites!

    They say ‘Prolific empowers great research. We enable fast, reliable and high quality data collection by connecting diverse people around the world. Our mission is to make trustworthy data more accessible in order to help improve human knowledge and decision-making.’

    A great referral program too

    If you sign up friends and family using your referral link then you’ll get 10% of their first cash out, up to £5 maximum.  If you know any researchers who would be interested in the platform and you refer them, then even better, you can each get 10% of the value of the first study.

    Simply go to your account and click on ‘Referrals’ to find your referral code or exclusive link to share.

    Payments by PayPal

    I’ve not cashed out yet as there is a fee for cashing out anything under £20, but you can cash out with a fee once you hit a balance of £5 if you want to.  I’d rather wait and I’m building up my balance.  I’ve chosen PayPal as my payment method and there are plenty of reviews online to confirm they are reliable and pay quickly.

    I’m really excited to start using this platform regularly as an enjoyable way to top up my side hustle earnings.

    Click here to sign up to Prolific Academic today and start making extra cash from home!

     

    More ways to make money from home:

    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    Easily make money from home by testing websites with Whatusersdo
    How I earn up to £50 per hour matched betting from home
    Get paid doing simple tasks from your phone with Streetbees
    Earn cashback on things you already buy
    Not sure about Matched Betting? Make £40 now to see if it’s for you!
    Make money in your free time with RedWigWam (perfect for busy mums)
    Sell your unwanted Books, CDs, DVDs and Games for cash at We Buy Books
    Make money online with OhMyDosh!
    Make money at home from receipts with Receipt Hog and Shoppix
    Make extra money online with YouGov
    How to make money from your phone with Roamler
    20 ways to make and save more money in 2019
    How I made £35000 from home  in 2018

    Make money at home with Prolific Academic

    Image source: Canva

  3. Make money at home searching the web

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    Many of you may have heard of Swagbucks as a way to make money online at home, but not really explored any further.  If you’re like me then that’s because you think it’s just another low paying survey site.  For some reason I also thought they only paid out in vouchers which had also put me off.  A few weeks ago I decided to sign up to Swagbucks for myself to see what it’s really all about.  I’ve heard several people talk about it lately and seen it on income reports, so I felt like I was being called to check it out!  I always find it spooky when I don’t hear about something for so long and then it pops up in several places I’m looking in a short space of time.  That’s what happened, so I signed up.

    Oh and I also read an article about the top 20 survey sites and it rated it as number one!  I can’t remember which site that was on, but surely it’s good if they rated it at number one?

    Well, I signed up and tried quite a few surveys and I didn’t have a great experience.  I’ve tried 23 surveys and I’ve been booted out of them every time as I don’t match their criteria.  Frustrating is an understatement.  Why don’t these survey sites ask for all your info, especially employment, and then match you to suitable surveys instead of me getting booted out on nearly all the same questions after wasting my precious time?

    So I was about to give up on Swagbucks, but then I stumbled across another way to make money with them which is much easier as it’s something I do numerous times every day – searching the web.

    That’s right – you can make money with Swagbucks just by searching the web as you usually do!

    How to make money by searching the web

    Make money at home when searching the web

    Image

    To earn money when searching the web you need to use the Swagbucks search engine.  To make this easier they have a browser extension called ‘Swagbucks Search’ which defaults your search engine to Swagbucks.  It also links to your account so you can always see your points and reach their main dashboard easily from the top of their search engine.

    I always used Google prior to this and I’ve still been going to Google if I need to search for content on this website, as I don’t have a search bar and the Swagbucks search engine doesn’t pull up all the results like Google for my own site.  It just pulls up one or two.

    But for general searching and researching for my content it’s fine.  I’ve been using it every day and every few searches they will award me some SB.  It’s only pence, I think the most a search earned me was 9SB which is 4.5p.  It all adds up though and I search so much every day I might as well earn some money from it with no extra effort on my part!

    Like most of these sites, once a threshold is reached with their points (SB in this case) then they can be exchanged for vouchers or even cash to a PayPal account.

    Other ways to make money with Swagbucks

    There are lots of other ways to make money on the platform if you have a lot of spare time and nothing better to do!  I do see people saying they make money from the surveys and for some reason it’s rated as the number one survey site in a survey site review I read on another blog.  In my experience so far I’m just wasting time answering a load of questions to get booted out, so I think they can refine the process a lot more and ensure people are only seeing relevant surveys to them.  But, I know people do make money from their surveys, so perhaps I’ve just had really bad luck so far.

    Alternatively you can earn cashback when shopping with certain online retailers (their handy browser extension will let you know automatically if you’re on a cashback website of theirs).  You can also make money from watching videos or doing certain online tasks.  The site has loads of ways to earn SB, but to be honest I’ll probably just stick with the search engine as an easy way to make money doing something I am already doing.  What’s better than that?!

    Get 300SB with my referral link

    If you are interested in making money when searching online then sign up with my referral link.  At the time of writing we’ll both get a bonus of 300SB when you reach your first 300SB!

    Do you have success with Swagbucks?  Connect with me here on Twitter and let me know!

     

    More money making blog posts and links:

    Get £5 free cash if you sign up to Curve with code FL2KH at https://dw92j.app.goo.gl/ZV9a

    Make money at home from receipts with Receipt Hog and Shoppix
    How I made £35000 from home in 2018
    Earn cashback on things you already buy
    Save money at the supermarket with Shopmium
    Make money from your phone with the Roamler app
    Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing
    Make money at home testing websites 
    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    How I earn up to £50 per hour matched betting from home 
    6 secrets to make more money from your blog

    Make money at home when searching the web

  4. Blog and home earnings income report December 2018

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    Get ready for a blog post stuffed full of resources to help you make money online, blogging, from smart phone apps and other side hustles at home!

    Welcome to my monthly income report where I share how much money I have managed to make from home.  This income is from freelance blog writing, various side hustles online, apps for mystery shopping, website testing, matched betting, online selling and I also include any cashback I have earned.  

    To read an in-depth reason behind sharing my income reports start with the blog post why I publish income reports and click here to discover the top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017.

    If you missed it then I recently published How I made £35000 from home in 2018 so do pop over for a read!

    Here goes, from smallest to largest...

    My December 2018 blogger and online earnings income breakdown

    Income report - how I made £2500 online in december from blogging and side

    Please note - the below are my totals before any deductions, so my total turnover for the month, not including any expenses.  My yearly business expenses are around £4000.  I also save £500 per month to cover my tax, national insurance, student loan and pension.  So my total monthly business expenses, tax savings and so on are around £830.  So deduct this from the overall figure at the end of this blog post for an idea of my take-home pay.

    From smallest to largest:

     

    Top Cashback £4.42

    My Top Cashback amounts seem to be smaller recently, but because I've not been buying very much online.  I've not booked any holidays or flights for this year yet either.  My car insurance, MOT and home insurance are all due in the spring, so I'm hoping to get some nice cashback for these!  I'm on a saving mission at the moment so I'm not spending much on home improvements which is keeping our cashback levels low.  I do still buy things we need from eBay and so I always get a little cashback for all these purchases (around 1%)  as well as any Holland and Barrett online shops - they usually give 10-12% cashback which is quite a lot!

    We’ve had over £800 from Top Cashback, as a household, since signing up in April 2016.  You’re crazy if you’re not doing it.  It's money back on things you were going to buy anyway.  Learn how to earn cashback on things you already buy and be amazed with how much extra cash you have back in your pocket!   

    Read my blog post about it here: Over £800 cashback in 2 years with Top Cashback

     

    GreenJinn £5.05

    This is my first payout from supermarket cashback app GreenJinn.  I've recently started using GreenJinn, Shopmium and Checkout Smart to see if I can save money on items I buy in-store.  you simply buy the items and then upload your receipt to get cashback if you've bought any of the items that are on offer on the apps.

    Related - How to save money at the supermarket with Shopmium

     

    Roamler £10.29

    I cashed out some of the money I'd had sitting in my Roamler balance for a while.  Roamler is an app where you can take part in mystery tasks in stores and other establishments to earn cash.

    I have an invite code for you in this blog post - How to make money from your phone with the Roamler app [and a Roamler invite code for you]

     

    Scarf boutique £20.80

    A couple of sales from people I presume had found my dedicated Twitter account for my scarf shop.  I decided early last year that I won't be continuing with my scarf shop anymore, so I've just been letting the scarves sell out, albeit it slowly!  I will be updating my shop soon to a pop-up shop for Wood-Create to showcase my husband's amazing furniture.  I've also some ideas for some smaller handmade wooden home decor items so we may be collaborating in the future and listing the items in my shop.  Watch this space!

    If you want to browse what's left of my scarves, then pop to my shop today before they all sell out!  Here's the link: https://www.lyliarose.com/ourshop/

    Income report - how I made £2500 online in december from blogging and side

     

    Awin £21.07

    Woohoo a payout from Awin!  I have around £280 in my pending balance, but some of them take so long to clear!  Awin  is an affiliate marketing platform where us publishers can have access to over 6000 brands!

    If you want to make money from your blog and socials with affiliate marketing then it's the go-to platform with many brands you know and love already.

    Related - Make money from your blog with Awin affiliate marketing and get £30 per person you refer to Awin!

     

    WhatUsersDo £40

    I do website testing at WhatUsersDo and it’s so easy!  I get paid £5 per test and some of them are only a question or two. This is by far my favourite side hustle.  It's fun to do and doesn't take much time.  There are usually more tests too, but I miss out on a lot as it's first come first served.  If you're more available than I am then you'll be able to take part in more tests!

    Read my blog post easily make money from home by testing websites and sign up yourself!

     

    Personal eBay £106.38

    I've been consistently making around £100 per month by selling our outgrown and unwanted items on eBay and sometimes on Facebook Marketplace.  It keeps our home clutter free and provides us with a bit of extra pocket money each month.  If items don't sell after a while, then I donate them to the charity shops.

    I'm sure this income will reduce this year as I am so minimal now!  We cleared out nearly our whole attic last year, so I'm not sure there's much left to sell now aside from when our kids grow out of things.

    Related - 5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum

     

    PA referrals £125.95

    This is from referring people to Profit Accumulator who I highly recommend for matched betting.  I use them myself and have done since January 2017 making over £5000 profit so far!

    Related - Matched betting milestones 18 months and £5000

     

    Matched betting £173.30

    Much better than last month which was my lowest ever at under £40.  This month was great as there were lots of Christmas and advent calendar offers to take part in.

    I highly recommend matched betting as it's made me £5000 in just under two years which is tax-free cash.  At first it was very time-consuming, but once I got the hang of it I could make around £50 per hour with the little time I spent doing it.  As a side-hustle it is a brilliant and fun way to make extra money from home. There's no need to do every offer and you can take your time working through the sign up offers.  

    I recommend using Profit Accumulator for matched betting as a beginner.  I've always used them since starting.  They have so many guides and walk you through the process in the first few offers.  If you get stuck you can ask a question in the forum and someone will get back to you.  They also have a 30 day money back guarantee on their memberships, plus you can try the first couple of offers without even signing up to anything to see that it really does work and is so simple once you get the hang of the free bet offers! 

    See also:

    One Year Review: How I earn up to £50 per hour matched betting from home 

     

    matched betting box

     

    Blog writing £1992.14

    This is always my most lucrative method of income from home each month.  I love to write and thoroughly enjoy writing about topics that I am passionate about, sharing my experience, or researching topics I enjoy to learn more and then share it on my blog in a relatable way.   I write for four blogs.  One makes the bulk of the income and I'm building up the others with an aim to have four money making blogs to provide (hopefully) a more steady and reliable income by the end of 2019.

    Want to make money from your blog?  Check out these blog posts:

    Make money blogging
    Blogging tips
    10 ways to make money blogging.
    6 secrets to make more money from your blog
    How to improve your domain authority (DA) 
    6 handy tax tips for bloggers
    Make money blogging with Link Monster

      

     

    December 2018 grand total £2499.40

    Top Cashback

    £4.42

    Green Jinn 

    £5.05

    Roamler

    £10.29

    Scarf boutique

    £20.80

    Awin

    £21.07

    Whatusersdo 

    £40.00

    eBay

    £106.38

    Profit Accumulator referrals

    £125.95

    Matched betting

    £173.30

    Blog writing

    £1,992.14

    TOTAL

    £2,499.40

     

    More money making blog posts and links:

    Get £5 free cash if you sign up to Curve with code FL2KH at https://dw92j.app.goo.gl/ZV9a

    Make money at home from receipts with Receipt Hog and Shoppix

    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018

    How I made £26000 from home in 2017

     

    Pin me to your Pinterest boards:

    Income report - how I made £2500 online in december from blogging and side

  5. Help your business could actually benefit from

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    Every business, no matter how big or small, needs help from time to time. Even if you’re a long established entrepreneur, you will run into situations along the way that leave you stumped. A simple fact is, nobody knows everything and no amount of business acumen can solve every hurdle that you run into. So, what help could your business benefit from? Check out these handy tips on how you could improve and solve problems within your business from here on out!

    Help your business could actually benefit from

    Image

    Time management tools

    As a business owner, you’ll know how quickly things can get out of control if you’re not organised. Small tasks can turn into huge piles of work that you need to catch up on, and urgent tasks can come through faster than you can complete them - so how do you deal with this problem? No matter how organised you are, every business can benefit from time management tools. Not only can they help prioritise your workload, help you ensure everything is done within a time limit, and help you delegate work out to your employees, but they will also help schedule in breaks for you and your staff members too. While you understandably want the work completed, having regular short breaks can help all parties involved. After all, a refreshed brain is better than an overworked one!

    IT support

    Even the most up to date systems can fail from time to time, and if you’re no IT expert you can be left stuck without the use of your computer system. This can lead to you falling behind on work which of course, then leads to loss of profits for your business. In a situation like this, it’s always best to have a trusted IT support company like Prosyn to help fix problems you might have with your technology infrastructure. Rather than having to deal with third parties like your internet provider, they can help completely solve the problem for you so that you can concentrate on anything else that might crop up.

    Cybersecurity

    Whether you like it or not, hackers and fraudsters are still at an all-time high. They now have the ability to be in and out of your systems without a trace which could, of course, completely ruin your business. That’s why it’s important to invest in a reputable cybersecurity system rather than trying to prevent the problem yourself with a simple antivirus. Protect your business and your customers from hackers that want to see the world burn.

    Social media

    Believe it or not, social media has a huge pull on businesses these days and can help your business soar from a small town company to a worldwide sensation. Learn how using social media can help accelerate your business and take advantage of it so that your business can thrive to its full potential.

     

     

    Great work-from-home blog posts:
    3 important things to consider when starting a self-employed business
    The 5 ways I made £30000 money from home in 2017/2018
    5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
    How to deal with overwhelm as a work at home parent
    How to survive the half term when you work from home
    5 tips to stay healthy if you work from home

    Collab

    Help your business could actually benefit from (1)

    Help your business could actually benefit from