When it comes to work, sometimes one paycheck just isn’t enough. Or, conversely, maybe a full-time job just isn’t in the cards. That leaves many of searching for just the right opportunity to make a little extra cash on the side. Today, as we shift into a gig economy, the notion of “work” is no longer bound by traditional nine-to-five chains, making it easier to earn cash on the side without sacrificing too much of your time or sanity. If done right, your side hustle can even turn into full-time business.
Whether you’re trying to fund your next entrepreneurial adventure, pay down debt, or bring in just a little extra cash, here are eight side gigs you can start today.
1. Freelancing & Consulting
Freelancing or consulting work can be a great way to make money off skills you already have, and often from the comfort of your own home. Writers, social media gurus, web designers, developers, HR experts, etc. may all find a robust collection of side gigs that can boost their current income, or, with enough motivation and opportunity, become a primary source of income.
Check out sites like UpWork and Toptal, or you can network with other professionals on sites like LinkedIn, to see what’s out there. Keep in mind that rates vary based on industry and experience, and always read up on any current employee contract you have so you don’t end up in breach of it.
2. Pet Walking & Sitting
Love our furry little friends? Like long walks and cuddles? Pet sittings and pet walking may be just the right thing for you. Dog walkers can make anywhere from $15 to $45 a day per client, depending on frequency and duration of walks. Similarly, if your living situation and schedule allows, you may even be able to earn extra money watching pets for longer periods of time.
3. House Cleaning
If you don’t mind getting down and dirty, particularly in someone else’s dirt, you may find house cleaning to be a rewarding and reliable source of additional income. In some locations, residential house cleaners can make anywhere from $50 to $90 for two hours of work, though some charge more based on the work required.
4. Teaching & Tutoring
Do you know your way around a math equation? Can you spot punctuation errors a mile away? You may want to consider extending your knowledge base to online teaching and tutoring (though the real-life counterpart is also an option).
Many organizations, as well as individual students and professionals, are in need of some extra one-on-one academic support. Check out sites like Tutor.com, VIPKid, or even Udemy, to see if you have skills in demand. You can also check with local schools and community centers to see if there is a need for paid services.
5. Uber or Lyft
Ride share services are quickly becoming a popular way for citizens to get around, and that makes Uber and Lyft natural considerations when looking to make money on the side. If you have a reasonably nice car (of course, that’s not necessarily required), a good driving record, and don’t mind strangers in your car, then you may find driving to be a good side gig.
As a quick word to the wise: how much you make will vary and depends on a slew of factors. The city you live in, the amount of time you spend behind the wheel, and the cost of gas, tolls, and maintenance all factor in to how much you make, so be sure to consider that as you weigh your options.
6. Selling Your Wares
If you’re the crafty type (lucky you), or if you find solace in hunting down vintage finds and rare items, then you may find that selling stuff of Esty or Ebay can be a lucrative side gig. Want to see how your product performs for a smaller audience? Consider testing the waters on social media with friends and family members.
Obviously, how much money you can make depends what you put into it (time and money) and how in-demand your product is, so do some research before setting a price or investing in tons of inventory or materials.
7. Start a Blog
If you have something to say (or a lot to say) about a specific topic, and you’re a relatively good writer, consider starting a blog. Initially, your blog many not be huge a money-making venture, but over time, as traffic and awareness increase, you can begin to monetize your blog through affiliate partnerships and guest writing spots.
8. P2P Lending
If you’re looking for a way to grow income over time, and don’t mind the risk and reward nature of investment, peer to peer (P2P) can be a great way to earn some passive income on the side. Operating much like a bank loan — but without the bank – P2P lending connects people with money (even if it’s only a few hundred dollars) with people who need it.
The lender can pick the risk profile that they’re comfortable with, and P2P sites, like LendingClub will match your funds with borrowers that pass their credit checks. Investors recoup the money within 3 to 5 years, with interest accrued over that time.
Whether you just want a little extra cash on the side or your saving up for your next adventure, the right side-gig is out there waiting. Evaluate your skills, check out the market, and get hustling. And keep an eye on your personal and business credit scores for free at Nav.
This article was originally written on April 30, 2018 and updated on February 1, 2021.