34 Best Side Hustle Ideas to Make an Extra $2,000/month
Side hustles are my jam. Seriously, I wouldn’t be a millennial millionaire and have achieved financial independence at the age of 30 without extra money from side hustling.
I’ve always been hustling. It’s in my blood. I can’t help it. Everything I look at in life I see a business opportunity or hustle idea.
Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a…. well I guess it’s always a blessing.
Below is a list of the best side hustles that I have personally used to make extra money, invest more, and reach financial independence.
34 Best Side Hustles for 2022
Here are our top picks for the best side hustles to start earning extra cash:
- Start A Blog
- Virtual Assistant
- Deliver with Postmates
- Host with Airbnb
- Share Your Car
- Drive with Ridesharing Apps
- Freelance on Fiverr
- Freelance Graphic Design
- Walk Dogs with Rover
- Teach English Online
- Help People
- Digital Marketing Campaigns
- Get a Part-Time Job
- Become an Amazon Seller
- Freelance Writing
- Sell Jewelry with Worthy
- Concert/Event Ticket Reselling
- Resell Domains
- Build a Website
- Sell on Etsy
- Buy & Sell on eBay
- Sell on Shopify
- Sell with Dropshipping
- Design an Online Course
- Start Your Own Podcast
- Join Focus Groups
- Start a Coaching Business
- Become a Mobile Notary
- Social Media Influencer
- Become a Consultant
- Become an Affiliate Marketer
- Buying & Flipping for Profit
- Watch Advertisements
1. Proofreading or Copyediting
If you’re a super detail-oriented person (you know who you are!!) or you like proofreading (I do not!) then starting a proofreading side hustle might be perfect for you.
There are a ton of bloggers, websites, and businesses who are looking for proofreaders and will pay you well for your services. And not only can you proofread or copyedit from your laptop from anywhere in the world, but you can also set your own rates and bill by the hour.
In addition to becoming a proofreader yourself, you can build your own business where you can broker other people’s time for money. What I mean is after you get a few clients, you can hire others to do the proofreading, freeing you up to focus on getting clients and then more hiring! You can be the boss!
Whether you decide to start a proofreading or copyediting business, you can easily do it yourself. I recommend you check out the FREE Proofread Anywhere course below.
It has an extremely high return on investment and worth taking if you are seriously considering or want to learn more about creating your own proofreading or copyediting business. I’ve explored a bunch of these courses and this is by far the best.
2. Launching A Profitable Blog
Yes! You can actually make money blogging! Your blog can make over $10,000 per month on advertising and affiliate revenue. This is money that you have to do nothing to get – readers just read, they sometimes click, and then sometimes they sign-up or try a service at no cost to them.
I didn’t launch Millennial Money to make money — I launched it because I really like thinking and writing about money. Also I feel like it’s my personal mission to share sound personal finance advice and spread financial literacy.
It just so happens that pretty much everything I get interested in turns into a business opportunity. The money from the blog is simply a by-product of my passion for writing.
- How to start a blog [Guide]
- How to launch a profitable blog [Free Email Course]
- Best Web Hosting Services?
- How to start a blog on BlueHost [Tutorial]
- How much money can you make blogging?
- 15 Best Free Traffic Sources to Scale Your Website
3. Become a Virtual Assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is one of the most in-demand, profitable, and best side hustles in the digital economy.
You can also work as a virtual assistant from anywhere in the world on a laptop making them perfect side hustles for digital nomads or full-time travelers. As more people are launching digital businesses there is an incredible demand for people who can help run those businesses.
For a comprehensive blueprint for the types of skills you sell as a virtual assistant and how much money you can make, check out my post on how to become a virtual assistant.
A simple summary: any skill you have, even if you’ve never been a virtual assistant before, you can turn into a hustle idea.
You can pretty easily become an online entrepreneur who helps other online entrepreneurs as a virtual assistant or proofreader.
While I have never personally worked as a virtual assistant, I know many people who have made quite a bit of money doing it, including my friend Sarah who after just 3 months of launching her own virtual assistant business was able to quit her full-time job and both make more money and spend more time with her kids.
4. Deliver with Postmates
Making deliveries is one of the easiest, most accessible side hustles of 2022 It might not be the most lucrative, but it can provide you with a steady stream of income delivering food, groceries, and supplies to customers.
You can easily pick and choose the hours you work and everything is done through an app on your smartphone making it a great hustle idea for college students. Making deliveries as a side hustle is not going to build you passive income, but you can save the money you earn to launch your own company and increase how much money you’re able to make.
Other than food delivery with Postmates, here are the other Best Delivery App Jobs available currently. (Spoiler alert – Amazon Flex is growing like crazy and jobs are in demand!)
Best Side Hustles for 2022
If you’re looking for how to get started earning cash on top your 9-5, you’re in luck! We just published our completed guide “The Best Side Hustles for 2022.” It features our top 23 side hustles that can earn anything from a little extra spending money to thousands of dollars per month! Just enter your e-mail below and we’ll send you the full guide!
Thank you! Please check your e-mail inbox now to receive the The Best Side Hustles for 2022 guide!
Transcribing audio or video files is great side hustle job that still must be performed by humans since robots are unreliable.
Companies often outsource transcription jobs because they require a lot of attention to detail and can be difficult. The likelihood of you earning a decent hourly wage by transcribing depends on how quickly you can type and who your client is.
There are a few sites anybody can join. One is Transcribe Anywhere, where you can not only find work as a transcriptionist, but also learn how to do it. Another is is Scribie where you have to pass an online test. Scribie recruiters claim you can earn between $5 and $25 an hour – however, the reality may be as low as $3 an hour if you’re not fast enough.
Another option is Transcribe Me which claims to have ‘the industry’s best rates’ — between $15 and $22 an hour. However, your wage is likely to be much lower unless you’re super fast.
Another option is Go Transcript, where you can earn up to $0.60 per minute. Again, you must pass an assessment to get a job.
Finally, Speechpad offers $0.25 to $2.50 per minute, which works out at least $15 an hour. However, they demand high quality and experienced transcribers – you’re unlikely to get accepted unless you start on another platform first.
Editing transcripts for court reporters is called scoping; instead of transcribing audio, scoping involves turning shorthand from court reports into legible writing. You can expect to earn between $20 and $30 an hour
Medical transcribing is another option, although this requires a certificate approved the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity to work in the USA. The earning potential is similar to scoping.
6. Host with Airbnb
Renting out a room or an entire apartment can help you pay the bills and even save some money. How much extra income you’ll earn will depend on the location of the place and the type of accommodation you are offering. You can easily see the going rate of similar places in your area and work it out from there.
Airbnb offers a number of protections and you can set your own availability to keep things flexible. If you have multiple properties, Airbnb can prove to be even more profitable as the economies of scale kick in to drive your earnings up.
Where you’re hosting on Airbnb matters a lot – some cities have a much higher earning potential than others.
7. Share Your Car
When sitting idle, your car is losing money as its value is depreciating but you are not getting anything in return. Enter apps like Turo where you can share your car with those looking to rent one and make a bit of money on the side for it.
Turo accepts many different cars from family cars to classics and exotic. Listings are completely free and you get to set your own daily price and availability so your car will still be available when you need it.
If you have a spare car or barely use yours for multiple days at a time, definitely look into this hustle idea for quick cash.
8. Drive With Ridesharing Apps
Ridesharing apps allow you to pick up passengers and drop them at their destination. You can set your own hours, and it works best if you live in a major city with plenty of offices and tourists around. Some companies also allow you to rent a car on demand so that you don’t have to worry about wear and tear and servicing.
You’re not going to make a lot of money driving for companies such as Uber or Lyft as a full time job and probably it’s not going to be a very viable long term side hustle. But, any hustle is worth at least trying to see if it fits your lifestyle and earn some extra money in the meantime.
If you do go with driving for a ridesharing app, make sure you make the most out of it and save as much money as you can to be able to invest in a side hustle that can earn you even more money.
9. Freelance Work on Fiverr
When it comes to freelance work, you can do just about anything there is a demand for. Platforms like Fiverr make it easier to find odd jobs and get paid, allowing you to focus on growing your freelance practice and make even more money.
Freelancing is the perfect side hustle for flexibility. You get to set your own hours and rates but remember you will be competing with other freelancers from all over the world. In any case, this means that you can easily keep your day job while joining other side hustlers in the gig economy.
10. Freelance Graphic Design
With many businesses focusing their marketing efforts on websites and social media, graphic design is in high demand. Small business and startup owners will typically turn to freelancers for their graphic design needs since they won’t necessarily afford to have a graphic designer on their payroll.
You get to work with different clients on different projects which keeps things exciting and fresh. Of course, you can choose the projects you work on and you get to set your own hours and rates.
11. Walk Dogs with Rover
Dogs are one of the most fun creatures around making a side job such as this one fun and rewarding. Rover offers a number of dog-related services including dog walker, boarding, and house sitting.
You can choose the services you’re most comfortable with and enjoy the time you spend playing with pooches.
Walking dogs is not going to make you rich and you need to have a passion for our furry four-legged friends to make it work. Having said that, it can be quite relaxing and a way to fit some regular exercise into your schedule, while some earning extra cash.
If you are highly educated – bachelor’s degree or above – then becoming a tutor could be a great side hustle. Especially for work-from-home teachers.
There are several online tutoring platforms that can help you find work. For example, Chegg, which facilitates online tutoring via video call in a wide range of subjects, and pay starts at $20 an hour.
Studypool focuses on homework help – students post questions they need help with and offer a price, which will vary depending on time and difficulty. Studypool claims on its website that you could make up to $7,500 a month.
Steady App is another great job marketplace to find local tutoring opportunities.
13. Help People
Few jobs are as rewarding as fulfilling as helping those in need. From childcare to senior care and everything in between, websites like Care.com make it easy to turn the act of helping others into a side hustle. You will need some previous experience or a relevant qualification to join and some traveling may be required to visit clients.
$12 per hour is not going to make you rich but it will allow you to understand how the industry works. Once you have gained enough experience you can use what you have learned to open your own care company or move up the corporate ladder for even bigger payouts.
14. Run Facebook Ads and Digital Marketing Campaigns
I have worked as an SEO and digital marketing consultant for over 10 years, booking side gigs ranging from $500 to over $100,000. This has been by far my most successful side hustle.
Even though SEO has become more of a commodity service – it feels like everyone and their mother does SEO these days – I have built a referral network that continues to generate new clients. In total, the SEO work I’ve done has resulted in hundreds of millions of additional traffic, which I’m super proud of.
If you want to take your traffic to the next level, take a few minutes to read my Free SEO Tips for Bloggers.
The other profitable side hustle in the digital marketing sphere is in running search and social campaigns. You can get started by reaching out to small businesses in your local community. The business owner also might be looking for a part time social media manager.
Personally, I specialized in Google and Facebook CPC campaigns when I was working as a digital marketing consultant.
I used to make over $10,000 a month running Facebook ads and it’s never been easier to do.
This is a really in demand side hustle and can be done from anywhere in the world.
Learn More: Check out my friend Bobby’s Facebook Ads course to help get you started.
15. Get a Part-Time Job
Depending on your skills and qualifications, you can find a very well-paying part-time job and make it your side hustle. Part-time side jobs take away the hassle of finding clients and can be excellent for saving money to pay debts such as student loans.
The type of job you’ll find will determine how much extra money you are able to make with certain jobs paying way more than others. It can be anything – from part-time design work to part-time teaching.
If you struggle to find a decent paying job, it might be time to invest in a new skill set with many online resources offering free tuition that can increase your earning potential. Check job boards for any part-time jobs near you or consider remote working for extra money.
16. Become an Amazon Seller
Just like eBay, Amazon enjoys a worldwide audience. You can find pretty much anything on Amazon which is why people keep visiting. This means there’s a potential for repeat customers which lowers your cost of acquisition (how much it costs you to acquire a customer).
If you don’t have space where to hold your stock, you can also use Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon). Through this scheme, Amazon will not only handle your stock but take care of returns and customer queries leaving you free to focus on selling more and building up passive income.
17. Freelance Writing
I’ve never worked as a freelance writer for any websites because I was never able to find lucrative enough gigs. I didn’t want to write posts for $200-$300 each.
I wanted to get paid to write $5,000 – $10,000 reports! So I haven’t written as a freelancer for any websites, but what I have done quite a bit of is write white papers for companies.
Here’s basically how it works.
Consulting companies, engineering firms, law firms, and tons of other professional service firms like to put out “thought leadership” reports which basically are blog/research reports on steroids. Sometimes they are pretty big.
The firm wants to look smart on a topic and then use the white paper as part of their sales strategy. The funny thing about these reports is that very few companies actually write them – they hire freelancers to do it.
If you were good at writing college papers then you will be awesome at writing white papers. I’ve written papers on all kinds of things and even hired my own researcher in India to do most of the fact-finding for me. Always be hustling!
A great place to look for these gigs is on Craigslist or through networking at local corporate events. If you go in expressing interest in white paper writing you can find likely find some gigs for extra income.
18. Sell Jewelry with Worthy
Have jewelry from a previous engagement, an old high school class ring, or other items that you no longer wear? Sell it on Worthy.com, a jewelry auction site.
Anyone can sell jewelry online, including diamond rings, gold, platinum, and gemstone earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, and other valuable jewelry. They’ll even provide you with a GIA-certified appraisal completely free.
Worthy isn’t just for selling your old engagement ring and your great aunt’s pearls. Did you know you can sell any diamond and any legit watch with Worthy? You can “flip” jewelry there just like you flip furniture, cars, and houses. And just like any form of flipping, you need some capital to start.
If you have gold or silver items that you no longer want, at over $1,600 an oz for pure gold, you could be looking at some serious cash! Sell at sites like CashforGoldUSA.com and they’ll even throw in a $50 first-time bonus! That’s a truly lucrative money making strategy.
- Read the full Worthy.com Review
19. Concert/Event Ticket Reselling
I can’t buy tickets to an in-demand concert without buying 4 extra tickets to sell on the side to pay for mine.
Sometimes if I can get a pre-sale code I’ll buy 12 tickets just to make the extra money. I bought 12 Beyonce tickets and made over $5,000 just from less than 3 clicks on my computer.
“Buy” “List in Stub Hub” “Confirm Purchase”. What did I do with the money? I used it to make my annual IRA contribution.
I have repeated this many times over the years and it’s actually pretty easy to do when you are already planning on buying tickets for an event.
A piece of advice, there are a ton of people who try to do this so it’s hard to make a full time job out of it, but I do know one guy who makes over $200,000 every year simple buying and reselling concert tickets to the big name shows.
Something about ticket reselling has always felt a bit skeezy to me, but good tickets get bought up immediately anyway. Might as well make a few bucks doing it.
20. Domain Reselling
Investing in domains is one of the easiest side hustles. There is no other place where you can get a 1,000%+ return on your money in a pretty short amount of time (less than 90 days in some cases).
I buy and sell them at $400+ profit regularly and have been doing so for over 10 years. Domains are the real estate of the internet and they are only getting more and more valuable.
I have seen the average price for a mid-tier domain jump from $400 to $3,300 in the past 3 years alone.
One huge driver of these price increases, of course, is the growth of WordPress and as building websites have gotten easier, more people have been willing to shell out pretty big bucks to get the exact domain they want.
I currently own over 800 domains and a vast majority of them have a “Domain For Sale” landing page where visitors can submit an offer to me. I have them all set-up so unless an offer is over $1,000 then I don’t receive the email. So I don’t have to deal with low-ballers.
21. WordPress Website Building (& Maintenance Fees!)
I no longer build WordPress sites, but back in the day I easily built over 100 of them and worked on even more. I was an OG WordPress adopter and loved building websites for anyone who needed one. My early clients were found on Craigslist and eLance (now UpWork) and started building websites for law offices, consulting firms, non-profits, churches, real estate companies, and e-commerce startups.
One bonus is that I got to learn about so many different industries, for example, hydroponics, which I would have probably never learned about had I not had to build WordPress site for the second largest (at the time) online hydroponics store.
Another cool thing is that afterward my clients wanted to buy on-going website maintenance services from me. These services included things like keeping the website secure and uploading content. This is where the real gold was…I was able to get some maintenance contracts at $1,000/month – which is a tiny expense for a big firm.
Unfortunately, while there are still a ton of WordPress website projects – it’s now more of a commodity service. The best WordPress developers now on UpWork are based in India or the UK. WordPress development becoming a commodity is fine if you want to build a $500 website for your friend’s local business, but it’s a lot tougher to scale.
22. Sell on Etsy
Etsy is the go-to marketplace for everything handmade including jewelry, clothing, and home decor among other things. If you’re good at making things that people might want to buy, setting up your own shop on Etsy can be one of the most lucrative side hustles available today.
There’s a $0.20 listing fee and a 5% transaction fee whenever you sell something. If the sale comes through an advert hosted by Etsy, there will be an additional 15% charge but this is optional in most cases.
23. Buy and Sell on eBay
Selling on eBay has huge potential with a worldwide audience of shoppers turning to eBay for just about anything. Earning good money will take time and a lot of hustle but it is certainly possible if you play your cards right.
Due to the very nature of eBay, you can go about selling on this marketplace in several different ways so how you execute it is totally up to you. This means you can dedicate as much time as you would like to this hustle idea but the extra money will reflect this.
24. Sell on Shopify
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows you to sell products and services online. It offers an end-to-end solution that includes an online store as well as a POS (Point Of Sale) system. You can also integrate your website and social media channels to increase the number of channels through which you can sell.
Just like other online selling solutions, the earning potential is only limited by your target market and the time you put into it.
Either way, Shopify presents an easy way to start selling online especially if you have your own website. This allows you to keep control over the experience you provide to buyers which can increase customer satisfaction and ultimately, sales.
25. Start a Dropshipping Business
Dropshipping offers an easier way to get into the online retail business. You don’t have to hold any stock, you simply take the order and let the manufacturer do the rest without any of the risks usually associated with purchasing and holding stock. You’ll earn a nice commission for your work.
You will need to build your own eCommerce website which you can easily do with WordPress and other CMSs (Content Management Systems).
To maximize your sales, make sure you have a strong marketing plan with a strong enough advertising budget. You can also leverage the power of social media to boost those numbers up. Your website can also bring you passive income via affiliate marketing.
26. Design an Online Course
Designing an online course is no easy feat, but once done you can look forward to residual, passive income from your creations. Online course platforms like Udemy and Teachable make it easy to sell your courses online with plenty of help available to make sure you can get the most out of it.
To get the most money for your efforts, pick a subject you understand deeply, and focus on the value you offer to students. Do keep in mind that you’ll need equipment to record the lectures and some video editing skills to make them shine as an enjoyable online course. You can easily see which courses have the most students and study the approach they take to better your USP (Unique Selling Point).
27. Start Your Own Podcast
Starting a podcast is as exciting as it can be financially rewarding. You will need to focus on growing your listener base to a good number before you can start seeing the serious money coming in. You’ll get to interview and speak to some of the most interesting people on the planet with sponsorship making the bulk of your revenue.
Podcasts come in all shapes and sizes so you can be as creative as you would like to be. Identify the format of your podcast early on but don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best.
Podcasts have huge earning potential (if you go mainstream) – and, according to Bloomberg, top podcasts can bring in more than $1,000,000/ year in revenue. That’s big money we’re talking about, making it the perfect side hustle if you think long term and can provide good value to a wide audience.
28. Join Focus Groups
As far as hourly rates go, focus groups offer some of the most lucrative pay rates out there. By being part of a focus group, you get to share your opinion and provide feedback about upcoming products and services which in itself can be very rewarding.
Focus groups are usually held in physical locations but we are starting to see these move to the online space making it easier to find new sessions to join.
Survey sites are also a way to give feedback and opinions for extra money. But, most online surveys don’t pay well at all, so I don’t recommend sinking too much valuable time into this as a side hustle.
29. Start a Coaching Business
Coaching is a big business and you can choose your area of specialty. Executive coaches tend to make the most money but you can also become a life coach, sports coach, health coach. Or anything in between. There are different certifications available that can increase your credibility as a coach and you can coach online or in person.
Coaching is a very rewarding job as it allows you to help people in need. The pay is quite good especially if you have your own practice. Once you build a name for yourself, you can start hiring other coaches to expand your reach and increase your earning potential.
30. Become a Mobile Public Notary
A mobile notary is Notary Public that comes to your house or workplace to legally witness the signing of documents. Notaries are used in all types of industries, but most commonly in real estate when purchasing a house or signing loan documents. In the old days, people would have to travel to the bank or court house to sign closing documents, but mobile notaries are becoming more common and convenient.
The process to become a notary public is different for each state in the US. Typically it involves a background check, a short exam, and some state required insurance. Once you are licensed, there are several freelance websites that can help you book clients, and the pay can be anywhere between $100 – $200 per signing appointment.
31. Social Media Influencer
Influencers are the social media royalty who make money from the posts they upload. The amount of money you make will very much depend on how many followers you have. The more followers you have, the more money you’ll make. The unwritten rule is that you can make $10.00 for every 1,000 followers once you go past the 100,000 followers benchmark. This varies depending on the platform, whether you’re an Instagram influencer, TikTok influencer or YouTube star.
As an influencer, you can pick any niche you like – from sports to philosophy to food to makeup and anything in between. You’ll need to know how social media works since this is your primary toolset and creating engaging content including videos.
32. Start Consultanting
If you have a lot of expertise in a given area, consulting can be a very lucrative side hustle. How much money you’ll make will depend on the nature of the problems you solve with more complex problems demanding higher hourly rates.
In some cases, you can also charge a retainer. This will put your mind at rest that so much income is going to come in for the duration of the contract.
Marketing and business management are usually hot areas that demand higher prices. To succeed as a consultant, look for areas that are experiencing growth then figure out how you can add value.
33. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has huge potential to make decent cash without too many investments. You’ll need to build a website (or more than one) to attract visitors and attempt to convert them to paying customers. You do not make the sale, but instead earn a commission from the company offering the affiliate program for each sale they make.
There are many different affiliate programs from selling software to online casinos. Different programs tend to have different rules so you’ll need to check the ones you’re interested it to understand how much money you could potentially make.
34. VW Westfalia Campers and Moped Flipping
This is probably the side hustle I have the most fun doing.
I have been buying and selling both VW Campers and mopeds since I was in college.
A lot more mopeds than VW campers, but when I find a good camper deal I don’t hesitate. I love VW Westfalia Campers from the 1970’s and 1980’s and have owned 2 over the past 10 years.
They have gone up a ton in value over that time, but you can still find deals on them locally.
I also buy and sell mopeds – little 49 cc Italian and Austrian mopeds made in the mid 1970’s to the 1980’s. These are super cool and command premium prices in cities since they are easy to ride and get 100+ mpg!
I have Craigslist alerts set up in Chicago for mopeds and pounce quickly on the deals. I actually have a storage facility just for my mopeds and still love buying and selling them.
These two hobbies of mine are actually great side hustles that I don’t ever imagine stopping. Facebook Marketplace is quickly becoming a great local Craigslist alternative to find and sell items too!
35. Watch Advertisements
Getting paid to watch ads isn’t going to make you rich, but it can make you a considerable amount of coin if you do it consistently. There are many reputable companies out there willing to pay you to watch their advertisements. These include InboxDollars, Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and even Nielsen TV Ratings.
By watching these video advertisements, you can earn points which you can then redeem for cash withdrawals or gift cards. Many offer sign-up bonuses as well to provide you an introductory incentive.
DO THIS: 3 “Musts” Before Starting Your Side Hustle
01.Figure out what you want to do
Even though you may have many ideas, I recommend you start with one side hustle at first so you don’t spread yourself too thin. But, because you’re your own boss, you can test out a lot of different ideas to find the one you really love and/or that makes you the most money.
That’s the beauty of side hustling – you aren’t stuck with any one idea. Use every opportunity to learn, build new skills, and make new connections.
02. Open a high yield savings account
Starting with the very first penny, your side hustle money needs to be stored in a safe place earning as much interest as possible, even while you sleep. Learn about top online high yield savings accounts or go straight to one of my favorites: CIT Bank.
03. Keep track of your net worth
Manage your finances and keep track of your side hustle money in one place while tracking your progress towards retiring early. My favorite FREE tool is Personal Capital.
What is a Side Hustle?
A side hustle is anything you do to make extra money outside of your full-time job. You can often side hustle even from the comfort of your own home.
However, you’ll quickly discover that not all side hustles are created equal.
The best side hustle is finding something you love, that also happens to have loads of profit and growth potential. It will be a gig that isn’t strictly limited by your own time, but rather, could scale if it takes off or could generate passive income after an initial time investment.
I’m not saying that walking dogs for a few hundred extra bucks a month isn’t worth doing. It definitely is, and you don’t have to scale to a dog-walking mega-corp for it to be worthwhile – any additional money you make and then invest will help you retire or reach financial independence sooner.
If you’re not looking to begin a full-blown side hustle, but instead just want to fill some extra spare time you happen to have right now, then that’s cool too. Try making food deliveries or taking online surveys.
BUT, understand that you really can make a ton of money in your spare time, and settling for less because you think that’s all you can squeeze out of a few hours each week is a disservice to yourself. Instead, having the right mindset and strategy as you evaluate your own side hustle ideas will help maximize the return on your time.
So, what are examples of poor side hustle ideas?
Stop driving for Uber and wasting your time. I’ve talked with too many people who tell me that they want to be career Uber drivers, despite the fact that Uber is clearly trying to replace all drivers with robots.
Also, I see too many people trying to side hustle on websites where the only way they can compete is on price – essentially turning your time into a commodity product. It is very hard to get ahead in life this way.
Understand the difference! If you’re just trying to drum up some extra cash fast, then both of the above could work. But as a long-term, sustainable side hustle, there are much better ways to spend your time.
Benefits of a Side Hustle
So, why should you consider starting a side hustle? There are many reasons for doing so, which I’ll briefly explain next.
Make More Money
By working a side hustle, you can bring in more cash and start socking it away toward retirement. The more money you bring in now, the less you’ll have to work later in life. There’s never a better time than right now when it comes to making money.
Pay Down Debt
Let’s face it: Being in debt is no fun. That said, there’s no reason to be ashamed if you fall into debt. Plenty of people do for various reasons.
By working a side hustle, you can pay down student loans or credit card debt and get yourself in a situation where you can start saving more. Starting a side hustle is an excellent way to pay down debt and create a better financial situation for yourself.
Expand Your Skills
We’re living in an unstable world, where many workers are at risk of displacement. The best way to protect yourself is to keep learning, growing, and expanding your skills. If you get complacent, you’ll get lazy. And being lazy is a terrible trap to fall into.
Working a side hustle can teach you valuable skills that you can use to improve your trade and knowledge and become a more well-rounded person.
Make no mistake about it: Investing in yourself is one of the most important things you can do in life. Try to learn something new every day — like how to become a blogger or how to open up a shop on Etsy — even if it’s something small and seemingly insignificant.
Build Your Own Career
In the past, people went to school, got a degree, went into a certain field, and then worked until retirement. However, the world has changed significantly. It’s up to you to build your own career and determine where you want to go in life. And by starting a side hustle, you can open doors that you never thought were possible.
Keep in mind that if you start a side hustle, there is a nonzero chance that you can become extremely successful beyond your wildest imagination. Plenty of people have done it before. And you can do it, too, if you set your mind to it.
Is Your Side Hustle Scalable?
Before you begin investing your time into a particular side hustle, you should consider the potential for scalability. This will help narrow your ideas to only the most profitable.
Shift your thinking from ideas that are strictly limited by your own time, to side hustles that have the potential to be scaled.
|Limited to Your Time||Potential to be Scaled|
|Being a dog walker||Launching a dog walking company|
|Driving for Lyft or Uber||Launching a Party Bus Company|
|Shoveling snow||Launching a snow removal company|
|Making deliveries||Launching a courier service|
|Babysitting||Launching a babysitting platform or daycare|
|Mowing lawns||Launching a lawn service company|
|Doing handyman services||Launching a handyman company|
How Much Money Can You Make Side Hustling?
I launched my first business at the age of 5 when I started a newsletter for my neighborhood. Selling subscriptions for $10/year to my neighbors, I promised to keep them informed of the happenings in the neighborhood.
They paid up-front either with cash or check. I sold 18 subscriptions and made $180 in one weekend at the age of 5.
These days, I track all of my side hustle income through the free net-worth tracker Personal Capital. I’ve made so much I bought my condo with side hustle money.
My car was also bought with side hustle money. And I’ve traveled to over 25 countries using side hustle money. I invested as much of the extra income as I could.
It’s pretty easy to make at least an extra $1,000 – $2,000 per month side hustling in your first few months, then if you keep at it and look for opportunities to grow you can realistically get to $10,000+ a month in side hustle income if you keep at it.
How Can You Find the Time to Side Hustle?
If you want to make money side hustling you’re going to have to put in the time. Before picking a side hustle, you need to evaluate how much time you are really willing to commit to it, because how much time you have will determine the types of side hustles you can launch.
Some side hustles will take a lot more time to get off the ground than others – for example, if you have an amazing idea for a new mobile app, but you don’t know how to code, it’s going to take a lot of time to get that idea off the ground.
You’re Never Too Busy to Side Hustle
If you’re 25 and single, then you have a lot more time to do it than if you’re 30 with 5 kids. But walking dogs in the evenings or on the weekends doesn’t require anything more than the ability to walk.
This doesn’t mean that if you’re busy you can’t find time to side hustle, it just means that you should calibrate the difficulty of your side hustle based on the amount of time you have.
I know many families who work side hustle at night after their kids go to bed and some who even bring their kids along on the weekend. They are able to do it because they schedule their time well and they just really want it.
I had the opportunity to work personally with two Millennial Money readers, Rob and Melissa, who have three kids and run their own side business flipping items they find at thrift stores and auctions.
Since they have 3 little kids, time is incredibly limited, but they always spend a few hours each night working on their business after the kids go to sleep – since they are working on it together they still get to spend time together and make money.
While time is really limited, both Rob and Melissa also realize that the time they are investing today is their investment in a growing business – that will hopefully grow and compounding over time.
Even with 3 kids, they are willing to make sacrifices today, to generate a bigger return on their time investment for the future.
Remember, side hustling is also about the time/money tradeoff, so it’s up to you to decide how much time you are willing to trade today to make more money to invest in the future.
But, just like saving, I viewed the time I was prioritizing for my side hustles, as an opportunity, not a sacrifice. When I was hustling super hard, I did have to turn down offers to hang out with my friends or go to certain events.
Put side hustle time on your calendar and make it a priority.
Tips for Starting a Side Hustle
Here are a few important things to keep in mind before launching a side hustle.
Be Smart about How You Manage Money
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re successful, paychecks could start to roll in faster than you anticipate. If you’re not careful, this could create some unintended consequences.
For example, if you’re working under the table or freelancing as a 1099 employee, you’ll still have to pay taxes on the money you earn. Consider working with a tax advisor so that you don’t fall behind and owing a large chunk in earnings to Uncle Sam when tax season rolls around. Check out my Freelance Tax Guide for more information
In addition, you may also have to start hounding people for money you’re owed. When you work a full-time job, it’s easy to get spoiled having checks roll in every week or two like clockwork. This is not always the case when you work a side hustle or found a startup.
Over time, though, you’ll learn to strike a balance and understand when to be patient and when to be aggressive about payment. If you’re not careful, some people are going to try to take advantage of you.
It’s also a good idea to set up a retirement plan if you haven’t already done so to delay having to pay taxes on capital gains and dividends when you start investing your side hustle money.
Be Careful About How You Promote Yourself
Even if you’re legally allowed to start a side hustle, your employer may not like the fact that you’re working extra on the side instead of devoting all your spare time to the company. So, it’s best to be smart about how you promote yourself if you want to avoid any awkward conversations.
For example, broadcasting to LinkedIn that you’re working on the side may generate questions — mainly because it could signal that the company isn’t paying you enough.
That said, if you’re a savvy business person, you may be able to use your side hustle to your advantage when asking for more money from your employer when it’s time for a raise.
Only you can determine whether this is a smart move. But it is a potential way to get more out of your full-time job.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Yet)
If you’re serious about it, there is a legitimate chance that you’re going to start bringing in a substantial chunk of money once you start a side hustle. However, be smart about quitting your day job and going to work full-time for yourself. This can be a risky move if you’re not prepared.
Before you quit and start working for yourself full-time, make sure you are in a position to absorb risk. You should also take a look at your side income, think about how stable it is, and determine how you can potentially bring in more leads for yourself.
Remember that working for yourself can seem great. But there are hoops that you have to jump through to make it work — like paying taxes, bringing in new customers, budgeting for seasonal dips, dealing with competitors, and more. Be smart before you take the plunge and turn your side gig into your full-time profession.
Test Multiple Side Hustles
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t ever start a side hustle is because they have no idea where to start.
Using an app like Steady can eliminate some of that stress by delivering side hustle opportunities straight to your inbox based on your preferences, location, and skill set.
This can be a great way to get exposure to multiple side hustles and discover which ones you like the best. Plus, you’ll be able to discover new opportunities that you may have never heard about before.
Their side hustle categories include work from home, anytime work, part-time & full-time work, and recently added work. So whether you’re looking to work a few extra hours per week or become a full-time side hustler, there are plenty of different opportunities.
Build Your Side Hustle Business
I encourage anyone who is interested in side hustling to try and look at your side hustling as a business – and then build that business.
Don’t just offer commodity services for a fee. TaskRabbit, Uber, Instacart, etc. are fine to pay the bills, but your time is better spent making money while learning skills that you can use later.
It’s one thing to make a few extra bucks on the side so you can go out to a nice dinner or buy a nice pair of shoes, but if you want to walk away as quickly as possible you’re going to need to up your side hustle game.
You need to move beyond simply trading your hours for a limited amount of money, and transition to thinking about side hustling as a way to become your own boss. This is one of the important steps to financial freedom.
While you can literally sell anything, you will probably either sell a product or a service – either your own product and service or someone else’s. While it can be difficult at first, side hustling definitely gets easier and you’ll get better at identifying ways to make money.
After coming up with a few side hustle ideas just get started. Don’t overthink it. You will figure it out as you go. Remember, you aren’t stuck with any of your ideas – you can always test and move onto another one if it doesn’t work.
Start Making Side Hustle Money Today
I’ve done other side hustles, but these have been my most profitable and all helped me build new skillsets. I strongly recommend that you try side hustles that enrich your skills and teach you new things. Those are the side hustles that will pay you back for a lifetime.
To learn more about how to pick, launch, and grow a profitable side hustle check out “Chapter 12: More Money in Less Time: How to Start A Profitable Side Hustle” in my international bestselling book Financial Freedom: A Proven Path To All The Money You Will Ever Need (Penguin Random House), where I break down step by step how you can launch your own successful and profitable side hustle.