You’ve started your personal finance journey, you’re getting on a good monthly budget, and you’ve pared back your lifestyle to squeeze as much extra money as you can…but it still doesn’t seem to be getting the job done. You’re either still in the hole every month, or you’re not making progress on your debt payoff or savings/investing as fast as you’d like. So what now?
It may be time to think about picking up a side hustle. Part-time jobs, small businesses on the side of your full-time job, or even a place in the gig economy, like driving for Uber or Lyft, are a hot topic today. More and more people are using these side hustles to supplement their income and reach their financial goals faster than planned. So if you’ve thought about trying to pick something up on the side, where to start? Today, I’m compiling my list of side hustles you can start with little to no money out of pocket, an are flexible enough to fit in with a full-time job.
- Driving for Uber/Lyft (or similar company) – this one stands out as the side hustle that a lot of people think of when they think of side hustles, at least in the circles I move in. If you’ve got a fairly newer car (I know at least Uber has model year requirements) and you don’t mind hauling strangers around in your free time, this is a great flexible option to fit in when you have free time. It’s especially profitable when you live near urban areas that either popular with tourists or have a bustling nightlife. Be sure to read all of the requirements for whichever company you’re signing up with!
- Food/grocery delivery – If you’d rather not have strangers in your vehicle, but like the idea of being out and about in your car, earning money, check into food or grocery delivery programs such as Instacart, Shipt, Uber Eats, or Door Dash. And there are more local programs than these, so Google your local area for additional options. The grocery delivery options may require you to actually shop in the store for the items (I know Instacart does), but the food delivery is merely picking up the takeout from the restaurant and delivering it to the customer. And, of course, pizza delivery is the OG of this category, so don’t count that out!
- Dog Walker/Pet Sitter – Love animals? Why not get paid to spend time with them? There’s apps/companies such as Wag or Rover that you can get started through, or you can just network with people in your neighborhood that may need someone to help them with their animal. People are willing to shell out money for their fur babies, so capitalize on this if you can!
- Freelancer – Do you have skills that are easily utilized online, such as graphic design, bookkeeping, virtual assistance, etc.? Check out apps/websites such as Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr, and others to see how you can utilize skills you already possess to earn additional income through the online gig economy.
- Teach English Online – VIPKid is one company where you can apply to teach English to kids overseas (mainly Korea and China), and have the ability to earn upwards of $22/hour doing so. The hours may be a bit wonky due to the time difference, but especially if you have a background in either teaching or working with kids, this may be a great fit for you.
- Sell Stuff Online – This option can be as simple as listing items you already have laying around your house on sites such as craigslist, eBay, or OfferUp. Recovering haute couture junkie? Check out Poshmark to list high end clothing for resale. If you love scoring deals and start small, you could turn scouring the clearance bins at Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s into big business by becoming a seller through Fulfillment by Amazon, a program where you can sell items through Amazon, but they warehouse and ship the items to the buyer for you. It’s not super easy, but if it’s something you enjoy doing and can use the money you earn at it to grow the business organically, it could be a huge money maker for you.
- Tutoring – Have a subject you excel in? Tutors can earn upwards of $60/hour and are in high demand. Local moms’ Facebook groups are a good place to connect with people looking for tutors for primary and secondary-aged kids, while local college campuses are a good place to scout for would-be tutees. Once you get a few clients under your belt, word of mouth will be your biggest growth booster.
- Get a Roommate – while technically not a side hustle, this can dramatically improve the expense side of your equation, just by sharing the cost of living with another person. Of course, this assumes you have a spare bedroom to rent out, but if you do, this is a great option to increase the margin in your budget.
- Do Odd Jobs – Apps/Websites such as Takl or TaskRabbit link people who are looking for one-off projects to be done, such as raking leaves, cleaning, hanging curtains, etc., with people who are willing to do those jobs. If you’re especially handy, this could be a great way to work in a little extra cash on your own time. Even if you’re not handy, look into some of the tasks that people are looking to have done – you’d be surprised at what people are willing to pay someone to do for them!
- Start a Blog/Vlog – this is not an overnight moneymaker, and you do have to put time and constant effort into it, but if you have a subject you’re passionate about, you might be able to monetize your passion by sharing it with others. It’s absolutely free to start a Youtube channel, and you can start a free WordPress blog as well, although you’ll have to pay if you want your own website domain, etc.
While this list is certainly not exhaustive, I hope it gives you a few ideas to generate a little extra income to help you achieve your goals. Is there a big idea I missed? Let me know what you think in the comments below!