The start of a new year can be a struggle financially, with a lot of money having been spent on Christmas gifts, parties, food and shopping.
Many people are also paid early in December, meaning it’s an even longer stretch until the next payday.
But there are easy ways to make sure you’ve got enough money in your pocket to see you through January – and you don’t even have to leave your home.
The Sun asked some top money bloggers for their tips to make some extra cash in January – and it includes everything from selling your unwanted Christmas gifts to taking pictures of job ads.
Here's what you need to know…
1. Complete online surveys – earn £6 a survey
You've probably heard of this one before but you can get paid up to £6 per survey – and it’s a great way to make money, both Emma of Emmadrew.info and Francesca of From Pennies to Pounds, told us.
Even though £6 per survey doesn't sound like much, if you do a few then the cash really begins to add up.
Francesca recommends trying out the various sites to see which ones work best for you. But says she uses the sites that pay well and are easy to use such as YouGov.co.uk, Prolific.ac and PineconeResearch.co.uk.
Other websites are OnePoll.com and PopulusLive.com, and you can do them from a PC or on the go via your tablet or smartphone.
Louise Harper-King from OnePoll.com told The Sun: "As long as you qualify for a particular survey, there’s rarely a limit to how many you can take or how much you make."
The money is usually paid via PayPal or into your bank account once you’ve earned a certain amount.
2. Take pictures of job ads – earn £1.50 per job spot
If you’re out and about and also observant, The Job Spotter app can be a great way to earn some extra cash, Naomi Willis of Skintdad.com told us.
Naomi said: "You simply take photos of job vacancies you see in shops or restaurant windows as you’re walking around and can earn Amazon vouchers for each photo you submit."
"The cash adds up quick!"
You’re able to make a maximum of 150 points per advert, according to the app, which is the same as £1.50 in cash.
"But I’ve been able to make as much as 190 points (£1.90) on some of my spots," Naomi said.
"For big chains, you will get less and for smaller, independent places you’ll get more."
You can download the app for both Android and Apple phones.
3. Get a refund from HMRC – earn £100s
Another easy way to get extra money is to get a refund from HMRC, Naomi said.
“If you work in certain fields such as nursing, retail or construction, you may be able to get a tax rebate for work-related expenses.
“This can be for things like repairing or replacing tools (scissors or small drills) as well as cleaning a branded uniform.
“It doesn’t take long to put in a claim on the Government's website, and you’ll usually get a refund in around three weeks,” she said.
The amount you can get depends on the industry you're in, but you may be able to reclaim a tax rebate worth £100s for up to five years of expenses.
4. Sell your unwanted gifts – make up to £470
January is the perfect time to de-clutter your home, especially if you got a lot of Christmas gifts that you didn’t like.
Lynn James, otherwise known as Mrs MummyPenny, told us that selling a cupboard full of things that you no longer use is another good option.
If that’s you, you should make sure that you get rid of the items in return for some cash.
“Get onto eBay, Gumtree or the Facebook marketplace and declutter whilst making some money,” she said.
Indeed, said Francesca – “it’s a win win!”
How much money you can make of course depends on the type of gifts you received, but last year we found that Brits could make up to £470 from selling unused presents including popular gifts such as Hatchimals, Fitbits and Nerf guns.
5. Start mystery shopping – get £80 per review
Companies employ outside mystery shopping agencies to recruit mystery shoppers to carry out assignments.
These shoppers will act like a normal customer and look at certain aspects of the service they receive, and will then complete a report afterwards in return for a payment or freebies.
Mystery shoppers are usually given between £5 and £20 to spend at each store, but the payments can also be a lot higher depending on the type of assignment.
Both Lynn and Emma recommended those who are low on cash to start mystery shopping.
Lynn says she’s registered with GFK, and ProInsight and says she gets regular emails asking her to complete mystery shops at supermarkets, banks and gyms.
“Just yesterday I could complete a mystery shop at a gym to get a free month's membership, plus £80 for my review,” she said.
Emma also recommends companies such as Market Force, which she says is a good start for mystery shoppers.
“With lots of clients, you are sure to recognise many of them.
“You are able to select a few areas, perhaps where you live and where you work, and search for jobs.”
She also recommends Grassroots and Red WigWam, with which she’s completed a lot of jobs and made lots of money with recently.
But as well as shopping in physical stores and restaurants, mystery shopping can also be conducted over the phone or online, meaning you don't have to leave the comfort of your home.
6. Renew your regular bills – save up to £1,070
You aren't usually rewarded for staying with the same provider, whether it be broadband, energy or insurance – so once your contract has ended, it’s smart to do some research and find a better deal, Lynn said.
“I switch all of my bills every year as very few companies offer great deals for staying loyal."
“I switch and get the best deal possible.
“You can even earn extra money by getting cashback with energy companies, such as Octopus Energy, and earning income for signing up to broadband, insurance and mobile deals on cashback sites such as TopCashback,” she said.
Regulator Ofgem estimates you can make annual savings of £300 on your energy bills simply by shopping around for a better deal and then switching.
While broadband comparison site Broadbandchoices.co.uk says households could save up almost £340 a year by switching broadband provider.
Meanwhile, motorists can save an average of £430 by switching their car insurance provider three weeks before the renewal date, according to comparison site Compare the Market.
7. Re-sell items for a higher price – make £100s
If you’re a bargain hunter and good at spotting good-value items for a cheap price, you should try and sell them on for a higher price, Francesca said.
It can be a great way to earn some extra cash if you often find yourself at car boot sales or similar, but you’re also not guaranteed to make a fortune.
“Not everything will sell for more, so you will have to do a bit of research and there will be trial and error to know what to look out for, but it's definitely a fun way to earn some extra money,” Francesca said.
If you're good at spotting bargains, there's no limit to how much money you can make – you could find yourself raking in hundreds of pounds.
8. Earn serious cash from blogging – earn £100s
Last but not least, a more-long term way of making money is to start blogging – and it could earn you hundreds of pounds if you manage to attract large audiences.
“It’s easy to set up, and if you love writing and marketing, this is perfect for you,” Francesca said.
“I run my own personal finance blog, which helps a lot of people with their money, but also brings me in a steady monthly income too.”
Emma agrees with this and says she was able to leave her full-time job to blog instead.
“If you aren’t put off by hard work – this stuff doesn’t happen overnight – then you might want to consider making your own blog and seeing how you can successfully monetise it.”
She recommends any budding bloggers to first decide what to blog about.
You can then build a blog and create content, and once you’ve got visitors, you can start making money from it through advertising and partnerships.
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But paying £25 extra a month will get you mortgage free a year earlier and you'll save thousands in interest.
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