Solar Panels to Generate Free Energy For Your Home

We all understand the impact that humans have on the planet and also understand that we cannot rely on big business to make the changes that are necessary. As a result more and more people are taking their energy needs into their own hands and building solar panels for homes.

A growing trend is for people living in the cities to move towards off grid or hybrid power systems in their homes. Whether they choose to have independent power supplies and only rely on the grid for times of low energy production or whether they have incorporated their systems into the grid in order to take advantage of the storage facilities that the grid offer, the motivation is the same…

To generate free, clean, renewable energy for their homes.

The only disadvantage of investing in solar energy is that if you don’t want to build the panels yourself, then you are still going to pay a premium price for these devices. For many people the idea of building their own panels is just too much to consider, but if you understand that the building process is no more difficult than making a stain glass window, with soldering being the most difficult aspect, then it becomes a much more accessible option.

Recently there has also been an upsurge in the number of people who are having homemade solar energy panels built for them by freelance diy enthusiasts. During difficult economic times, this is a very lucrative industry to get involved in and with the demand for panels on the rise, it’s an industry that is growing by the day.

8 Ways to Make Money This Summer

Make Your Skills Work For You

If you have a sellable skill for the summer (or the winter for that matter) put up a free ad on forum-based website Jobsgrapevine. The site is free and allows you to post your skills, search job opportunities and even find people with rooms and space for rent!

Distribute Leaflets

As a paid job with added exercise, distributing leaflets for shops, businesses, nightclubs etc. is the ideal way to get paid while getting fit. Often leafleters are only needed a couple of times a week and usually earn upwards of £6/hour, making it a simple and convenient way of earning extra cash. Try searching Gumtree to find a job as a leaflet distributor.

Be a freelance interviewer

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) has a national panel of over 1000 interviewers, and all receive paid training and reimbursement of transport costs (if you have a car then this is ideal). You can get around £15 for a 35 minute interview, and around £5.50 for every hour spent travelling – for full details, visit the NatCen website and click on ‘jobs’.

Be a Pedicab driver

Driving a Pedicab/bug/rickshaw is a great way to stay in shape, meet loads of people and offer emission free transport to London’s visitors. The BugBugs Community offers training with an accredited National Cycling Certificate awarded. Training costs £50, with a £100 deposit required for the duration of your employment – you keep everything you earn, so the harder you work, the more you make.


Streetcar employs teams including students to promote their brand on the street, especially in London. You can even ride a bike covered in their advertising around London for £8 an hour, stopping occasionally to promote the brand. The shift times are 10:00am to 4:30pm with occasional extended hours, and they request that you’re physically fit, fun, and confident in promoting their brand. To become a team leader on the foot based street teams, you can earn £10 an hour. They ask for a minimum commitment of 25 hours per week which can be spread over a seven day period. As well as looking at the Streetcar website, you can also find more details by keeping an eye on websites like Gumtree and Promojobspro.

Become a dog walker

If you’d like to combine your love of the outdoors and animals then dog walking can be a great way to earn some extra money too! You can advertise yourself as a dog-walker for free on websites including Jobsgrapevine. Earnings range from £6-£10 per half hour.

Work at events

Jam Staffing is looking to employ people for events all over the UK. Depending on your age you’ll be starting on £5.50-£6.15/hr. It’s looking for waiters/waitresses, security, models and much more. You can apply through the Jamstaffing website and clicking on the ‘apply’ tab.

Be a travel writer

The publishing company Lonely Planet is looking for freelance writers and editors with special knowledge of a city, country or region.You must be an experienced traveller and have professional writing experience, be able to write with authority, have excellent research and organisational skills and meet deadlines. If you have an idea for a book or book series then send details of your idea, your CV/resume, and two examples of your writing (preferably travel related) by clicking on the ‘work for us’ link at the bottom of the Lonely Planet homepage. A word of warning – as you’ll be working freelance, work is not guaranteed.

My Favorite Technology for Freelance Bookkeepers

Technology can make your life easier as a freelance bookkeeper. But on the other hand if you’re not careful, it can make it needlessly complicated. Before you chose to implement any new technology, you need to do your due diligence.

Getting recommendations from fellow freelance bookkeepers is a good place to start. While I don’t consider myself a technical guru, I want to share some things that I’ve found that can make your life easier.

For a safe and secure way to share information, I like ShareFile. You can brand it with your own company logo. You pay one fee by the quarter. I think it’s about $90. You can have as many users on it as needed and set up a private folder for each one. If you’re working on a project for someone, you can give him or her a link where they can upload their information. It’s really helpful.

To consolidate your phone calls with an 800 number, I like Grasshopper. You can use it to route calls to any phone number you want. You log onto the panel and set up your parameters so that it goes to your cell phone. You’ll also get an e-mail notification whenever you have a message.

When your staff is virtual, you don’t want your clients to call six different numbers to reach six different people. You want to give them one phone number to call and then choose from the dial-by-name directory. All your virtual assistants get his or her own extension. For $25 you get the number and the service.

For a scheduling tool, I like TimeTrade. It’s a great way to allow people to schedule their own free consultation with you. You set up the times that you have available ahead of time. When someone is interested, they can take care of scheduling their own appointment. If someone decided to schedule an appointment with you at midnight, they can do it right then rather than waiting until the next day to reach an assistant. While the interest is alive, TimeTrade can capture it.

A good motto for incorporating any new technological tool into your business is: Do it if it’s going to make it easier for your customer. That’s the bottom line. If it’s easy, people are going to do it.

There are a lot of tools and programs to choose from out there. And if you’d like to talk with other freelance bookkeepers about what they like, join us at the Bookkeeper’s Club where we discuss subjects that really make a difference to your bottom line.