Ways to make extra money while living on Centrelink

Do you need to make extra money while living on Centrelink?

I have relied on Centrelink a couple of times in my life for various reasons, each time my expenses were more than I got from Centrelink, yet my circumstances were such that a full-time job wasn’t doable. Many people I speak to who are currently accessing Centrelink are in similar circumstances, unable to work full time, yet also unable to live on Centrelink alone. I’m trying to create some useful resources, if you currently live on Centrelink, I’d appreciate you taking the time to do this survey to help me create the right content and resources for you.

Here are some ways you can make money to help you get by, while still living on Centrelink.

Ways to make extra money while living on Centrelink

1.) Online surveys
When I was a single mum I started with online surveys because they can be done anytime, even from your phone. Payments vary drastically, but overall it can be an extra $1,000+ per year you get doing surveys. Most have apps you can use on your phone to so you can do a survey while sitting in the drs office or waiting for the bus or anything else. The best sites I have found are:
SwagBucks – you earn points through doing surveys, using their search tools instead of Google, participating in team competitions and doing daily tasks. You can redeem the points for PayPal cash, gift cards or items.
PureProfile – do surveys in the newsfeed and get paid in cash when you reach the payout amount of $25. You are matched to surveys based on your profile and if it happens that after a few screening questions, you aren’t quite a fit, you still get paid 5cents or 10cents.
WDYT – earn money for shopping, doing surveys and updating your profile every now and then. Cash it in at $20 intervals.

2.) Start your own business
Centrelink has the NEIS scheme, there are loads of business grants and many ways you can have a business from home. It takes a lot of work, marketing, knowledge and sometimes cash to get it all happening though, so not an easy option. Depending on the type of business, you might be able to do it part time or be classed as a hobby (according to the ATO at least) and if it’s not something you plan to pursue full-time, the extra income a business brings in might help. Check out this post to help you set up and market a business.

3.) Sell on eBay
Selling what I had, along with selling items for others then buying things to resell was the difference between being able to afford my daughters speech therapy or not some weeks. Selling on eBay is relatively easy – find things to sell, take good photos, list them then post once sold. Check out how to sell on eBay or read how I have made over $10,000 in a month buying things to resell.

You can take the photos with your phone and upload them to eBay through the app. Make sure you write clear descriptions and calculate the correct postage for the items you want to sell. I have bought clothes for $2 which I have sold for $100, books, Tupperware and other items. I do a quick search in completed listings to see if the items I am looking at selling are actually selling, then I list accordingly.

Buy/sell/swap groups on Facebook, GumTree and CraigsList are all places you can sell items as well. Personally, I found branded clothing, Tupperware and books sold best. For more tips on how to sell books, I have a free guide you can download.

4.) Sell at markets
When I was a single mother, living in a garage, I made aprons and other items to sell at markets. It didn’t make a huge amount of money at the time, but in the lead up to Christmas I made a reasonable amount of money which I was able to use to buy my daughters Christmas presents.

5.) Uber
I haven’t personally been an Uber driver, everyone I know who has enjoys it though. If you have a relatively new car and time, it’s an easy way to make some money if you don’t mind driving around.

6.) AirTasker
AirTasker is a platform where people can list jobs they need others to do such as clean, deliver items, set up furniture, do social media or admin tasks. You join, place bids on tasks you are interested in doing then if selected you get paid once you have completed the job.

You can look for similar tasks on GumTree and many online job boards.

7.) Rent a room
I used Airbnb with great success when renting out a room. The room rented for more than twice the price of what I would have got if I had rented it weekly. At other times I listed a spare room through Facebook and Gumtree to get a boarder.

With Airbnb, the guests were short term and had higher expectations in terms of hospitality and expecting treatment like a hotel. They paid more though. Check out renting a room on Airbnb for more details.

With renting it to a boarder, each agreement was different. The weekly amount was lower, however, less was expected of me and it was usually for at least a month or in 3 to 6 month blocks. Read 14 tips for renting a room to a boarder before you look into this.

8.) Freelance writing
I was already writing because of blogs I owned, which meant people approached me to write for their sites. If you are just getting started there are many sites that will pay you for articles.

9.) Blogging
Blogging is not a short term income solution. You need to create the site, have unique content and a point of difference, get traffic, be active on social media, work out how you want to monetise it such as through sponsored posts/side bar ads/affiliate links/your own products etc. You need to write regularly, create graphics for each post, share the content, be active in groups and be committed.

To get started with blogging, I recommend going with a self hosted wordress site. I use SiteGround. You can find out more about setting up a blog and making money from it here.  Also, I have some monetisation resources and tips here.

10.) Childcare
At home childcare is an option either as a proper business (for which you will need qualifications, registration and insurance), or you can do it on a casual basis as a babysitter or nanny. The going rate I see tends to be around $20 per hour with some people happy for you to do it in your own home, others want you to do it at theirs.

11.) Party Plan
Almost every product imaginable now has party plan attached to it from kitchenwares to beauty, from linen to appliances. If you enjoy sales, like to host parties, have time and don’t mind either paying up front for a kit or working your first few parties to pay for your kit, then party plan can be a great option. Many let you do online parties now too.

12.) Cleaning/Ironing/Gardening
Any domestic work such as cleaning, ironing, gardening, mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, walking dogs, feeding animals and so on is outsourced by many people and the pay can be between $20 and $50 per hour depending on where you live and what is required (are you supplying your own tools or are they?)

Don’t forget, if you currently live on Centrelink, please do this survey to help me create more resources to help. Thank you!

These are just some of the things I did to make extra money while living on Centrelink. What have you done/do you do to make ends meet?

You might also like this complete list of discounts and everything you can use your pension/healthcare/DVA or seniors card for.

*Always declare your earnings to Centrelink. You don’t want to get caught out having to repay Centrelink because they overpaid. How much you can earn each fortnight before it affects your payments depends on which payment you are on. The lowest amount I saw on Centrelink was $164, meaning on some payments, anything over $164 would start to reduce your payments. Other payments have higher thresholds.


  • Michelle

    I do Mystery Shopping casually. I usually earn around $20 per job, but some companies do take a dollar or two out for tax. I’ve been doing it on and off for over 10 years with all different companies…and you can take your little ones with you in most cases. I love the flexibility of hours and generally you can pick and choose locations and days to suit you. I discovered Mystery Shopping just by doing a Google search.

    • admin

      I completely forgot about mystery shopping! It can be fantastic. I’ll add it to the list, along with a few other things I just remembered. Thank you!

  • Breharne

    These are really great tips. Not only does the extra income help you out but it also makes you feel good within yourself and continues to motivate you to keep going.

    • admin

      Yes! The feeling of self-worth and the motivation when you have extra income has a ripple effect on life.

  • Mim

    This is absolutely brilliant lovely – and I think they’d also be great tips for a someone looking to work from home after having kids or an illness. Thanks for these ideas 🙂 x

    • admin

      Absolutely, they’d work for anyone. I have a few other posts with loads of work from home ideas too. I love that we have so many options now.

  • Kimmi

    This is an amazing post. Kylie. I know a lot of people really struggling, even though they are getting some support from Centrelink. It’s really quite sad but I think this could be really helpful to them. Thank you.

  • Joe

    I once lived in Centrelink until I moved to Sydney. Reading your blog gave me inspiration and letting me think to go back in Centrelink. Time flies so fast. There are more ways to make money at home. You are right here. You don’t have to move house to look for new opportunities but just in your own home, you can earn big. I love the way to discussed tips. For me, It made me clear that making money is possible.

%d bloggers like this: