More and more young people are choosing to get second jobs to make ends meet. In one study, 61% of respondents said the current generation needs a side business for money, while 31% predicted having a side job will be the norm in the future.
So, if you’ve been thinking about getting a part-time job on the side in addition to your full-time job, you’re not alone.
This article explores why getting a second job is important, and how you can pick up extra work to start earning more income.
15 Best Second Jobs to Boost Your Income
Here are the top second jobs you can start today:
- Drive for Rideshare Apps
- Take Online Surveys
- Meal Delivery
- Grocery Shopper
- Babysit or Other Care Services
- Do Odd Jobs
- Walk Dogs or Pet Sit
- House Sit
- Restaurant Server
- Fast Food Worker
- Freelance Writer
- Teach English Online
- Start a Blog
App Based Second Jobs
1. Drive for Rideshare Apps
Chances are you use rideshare services like Lyft and Uber on a regular basis. Why not consider driving for them? You could earn money in a way that is fun and flexible while using your own vehicle and setting your own work hours. It’s great for people in busy metro areas like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, or Boston.
The great thing about rideshare services is they operate 24/7. So if you wake up at 2 a.m. on a Saturday with a burning desire to make money, you can grab your keys, fire up your engine, and roar off into the night.
2. Take Online Surveys
Completing online surveys is an easy way to earn extra cash in your spare time. Businesses are looking for feedback about their ideas, products, and marketing campaigns, so they team up with survey companies to solicit your opinions in exchange for cash (or points redeemable for cash or gift cards). All you need is a Wifi connection and a mobile device or computer.
There are plenty of online survey companies out there, but we’ve found that Branded Surveys and Swagbucks have the highest average payout and the lowest minimum cashout. Whichever company you choose, do your research ahead of time, and make sure it will pay you decently for the time you put into it.
Additionally, make sure it’s a legitimate company, and watch out for scams. Check out our guide to the best online survey companies to ensure you register with one tested and approved by Millenial Money.
Want to earn some extra cash in your downtime? Sign up for Branded Surveys and get paid to not only take surveys but by completing polls or referring your friends!
3. Meal Delivery
Through apps such as DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, you have the freedom to deliver food in your area, on your own time, and keep 100% of the tips you earn. You could also make an additional hourly wage and have your tolls reimbursed. However, you will be responsible for your own gas and auto insurance.
Delivery hours are completely flexible—you deliver on your schedule. Just switch your availability on and off within your driver’s app. To be a meal delivery driver, you will need a car (or a mode of transportation) and a smartphone at the bare minimum.
Some companies may have an age requirement, ask you to consent to a background check, and show a clean driving record.
4. Grocery Shopper
If you always find yourself at the store, why not make some extra cash shopping for someone else? Like other app-based delivery services, grocery delivery can be done entirely on your own schedule, with 100% of your tips going right in your pocket.
Depending on the service, you can apply to be just a shopper or a shopper and delivery driver, which entails shopping for grocery orders, checking out/bagging, and delivering the order to the customer.
Instacart is a great option for grocery delivery, as it is the most widely-used and available service in the U.S. It offers shoppers an hourly rate and will pay more if it is a sizeable order or has several heavy items.
Instacart shoppers can earn between $10 and $25 an hour. After five completed shopping trips, Instacart will direct deposit your earnings to your bank account.
Learn more about becoming an Instacart full service or in-store shopper today and start earning extra money.
5. Babysit or Other Care Services
If you truly love spending time helping others, you can make a second job out of caring for children, seniors, or those with special needs, and it won’t even feel like work.
Babysitters and nannies are compensated for providing childcare, which could involve meal prep, light housework, and homework help. Care services for the elderly or disabled could include visiting, running errands, cooking, and cleaning.
You can utilize a service such as Care.com to set up a caregiver profile, your available hours, and hourly rates. You can also offer more than one service on your profile.
Care.com offers you the ability to list your services as a care giver, or to list your needs for a caregiver and review background checks.
6. Doing Odd Jobs
Are you handy around the house or yard? If so, TaskRabbit connects those that need help with random jobs at home with those willing to lend a hand. Possible tasks include cleaning, mounting a TV, furniture assembly, yard work, or minor home repairs.
Earnings depend upon the job type, location, and skillset but often range between $15 and $75 an hour. To become a “Tasker,” you must be at least 18 years old, have a smartphone and bank account, and pass a background check. FlexJobs also offers great ways to connect with those needing odd jobs completed.
Price: $9.95 w/ 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
The biggest site for finding remote, work-from-home jobs, both full-time and part-time for your skillset. The trained researchers at FlexJobs hand-screen job listings to eliminate ads and scams found on other sites. Find everything from entry-level to executive positions at FlexJobs.
7. Walk Dogs or Pet Sit
If you’re an animal lover and have experience caring for dogs or cats, look into opportunities to work as a dog walker or pet sitter. Rover.com connects pet owners with dog walkers and pet sitters.
You set your schedule and rates through Rover.com and can offer any combination of services (pet sitting, dog walking, boarding, or doggy daycare). You can also set the preferred pet size and age you feel most comfortable working with. After you’ve completed service, you can withdraw your earnings within 48 hours.
Want someone to pay YOU to have a roof over your head? Housesitting is a great option for a second job, as you earn while living rent-free in someone’s house. This is particularly ideal if you’re currently working remotely.
Of course, housesitting often requires additional duties such as pet care, watering plants, yard work, and heating or cooling system maintenance. You should be able to show the homeowner that you are trustworthy and will be responsible with their earthly possessions, so share any prior experience of caring for someone (or something) with your prospective clients.
9. Restaurant Server
If you have good people skills and enjoy a job where you’re on the move, working as a restaurant server might be an ideal option for you.
Servers rely primarily on tips, so working at a restaurant with a higher price point should earn you a larger tip. Also, if you work during the dinner shift, waiting tables is something you can work around your regular full-time job.
Stop in your local restaurants and inquire, or search for part-time serving opportunities on sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter.
10. Fast Food Worker
Consider joining the 5.9 million Americans currently working in fast food. While the hourly pay may start low, some chain fast-food restaurants will pay between $10 and $15 an hour. You don’t need a degree or prior experience for this type of work, and you can work your schedule around your full-time gig. Certain fast-food restaurants even offer health insurance to their part-time workers.
Even if you don’t stay in the fast food industry for long, having experience as a fast food worker shows future employers that you can multi-task, work under pressure, follow directions, and have communication and customer service skills. Inquire at nearby fast food locations near you, such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, Chipotle, or Dunkin’ Donuts.
Bartending is one of the best second jobs out there—especially if you work behind a desk all day. It gets you out of the house and away from the computer. You can make money pouring drinks and hobnobbing with patrons.
Bartending can be hard work, but it can also be a lot of fun. You’ll make all sorts of interesting connections. And as the bartender, you’ll most likely get control over the music you play and what’s on the television.
That said, most of your money is going to come from tips. On a busy night, you can make a small fortune. On a slow night…
If you would rather serve food instead, consider getting a job as a server or bussing tables.
Work from Home Second Jobs
12. Freelance Writer
You may have a knack for the written word. If so, freelance writing offers numerous opportunities to earn money for your words and ideas. You can be hired to write blog posts, articles, e-books, web content, social media posts, sales pages, product descriptions, and even novels.
Websites like Upwork and Fiverr connect freelance writers with clients looking for a copy, facilitating your job search, interviewing, and payment process.
Freelance writers can be paid by the word, by the hour, or by the project. Sometimes that is a decision you can make as the writer, and other times, your clients may call.
However, I advise that you don’t get into the habit of writing lower-paying articles with a fast turnaround—it’s not worth it financially and will lead to burnout. When you’re just starting, find a niche or subject matter you feel you have experience in or have some knowledge about, and promote yourself as a writer in that niche.
You’ll find better-paying gigs from those seeking your unique experience.
Fiverr is one of the top platforms for finding freelance gigs for around the world. Sign up now for free!
13. Teach English Online
If you’re a former teacher or have a background in education, companies like VipKid are always looking for educators to teach English online. To apply, you’ll need to submit an online application and complete two mock lessons to showcase your abilities.
Teachers typically earn between $7 and $9 per class. Classes run about 25 minutes, so teachers can make $18+ an hour. However, be prepared to work at odd hours. The classes are for students in China, and VipKid teachers tend to work early morning hours between 4:00 and 7:00 am EST.
14. Start a Blog
While there may be better options for fast money, if you have the time to put into starting a blog, it can absolutely be worth it in the long run. Writing for your blog is something that you can do on your own time, from anywhere, and at a comfortable pace for you.
Usually, the first year as a blogger requires a lot of hard work to get posts written and published and your website launched. However, you could see anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a month in your first year of blogging.
We recommend registering your blog’s domain through Bluehost.com. Use our link and get your domain for free and a 63% discount on your monthly hosting fees.
Transcription will require concentration, but if you’re already a good listener or a fast typist, this might be your side gig. Transcriptionists listen to audio files and type what they hear into a text document.
There are plenty of opportunities for beginners to transcribe audio, such as podcasts, interviews, and lectures. Transcriptionists are hired as independent contractors, so you can work on your own schedule.
Most commonly, transcriptionists are paid by the audio hour or minute, meaning you are paid by how long the audio track is, and not by how long it takes to transcribe it. An audio hour could take a beginner anywhere between four and six hours to transcribe, so if a job pays $50 per audio hour and it takes you five hours to transcribe, you’re technically earning $10 per hour with that particular gig.
However, after gaining some experience, you should be able to increase your speed and earn more money.
What To Do With Money From a Second Job
One of the most important things you can do for yourself after getting a second job is to tighten your money management skills and set some financial goals.
By getting a second job, you could easily start pulling in hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars per week. As great as this sounds, it can be overwhelming.
Managing this kind of money requires discipline. If you’re not careful, it could be tempting to go on a spending spree. With discipline, you can maximize your earnings and protect your revenue stream.
With that in mind, here are some ideas for how to allocate your side hustle money when you pick up a part-time gig.
1. Pay Off Credit Cards and Debt
If you have thousands of dollars in credit card debt and student loans, you need to get out of the hole as quickly as possible. In some cases, it makes more sense to pay off debt than to invest because you can get a better return.
Start by organizing your debt, and focus on paying off the highest-interest debt first. You may also want to consider consolidating your debt into one loan for easy monthly payments at a lower interest rate.
2. Save Money in an Emergency Fund
Once your debt is at a reasonable level, start building an emergency fund. Open a high-yield savings account (HYSA) for flexible, high-interest savings, and start putting as much money in as your budgeting allows.
Build up enough emergency savings to cover at least six months of savings in the event your main job falls through. If you’re working a lucrative side hustle, this shouldn’t take you long at all if you’re diligent about saving.
This is one of the smartest personal finance decisions you can make. It prevents you from having to rely on debt during an emergency and can help you coast until you get your next full-time job offer.
As you put money into savings, you should also invest through a brokerage account and a tax-friendly retirement account like an individual retirement account (IRA) or Roth IRA.
Take a portion of the extra income you bring in and spread it around into strategic investment accounts like stocks, exchange-traded funds, and bonds.
You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. Anyone can do it.
Just make sure you’re smart about how you handle taxes, especially if you’re working a side job as a 1099 freelancer or independent contractor. You’re going to have to set aside a portion of each invoice to cover income taxes, so you don’t want to tie all your money up in investments.
4. Buy a House
Once you get a decent chunk of change saved up, you might decide to break the renting cycle and buy a house. At this point, pick an area where you want to live, find a real estate agent, and go through the process of securing a mortgage loan and buying property.
This experience can be a pain, and it could take months or even years to find a house that’s right for you. Yet it’s a great financial decision. You’ll essentially be paying yourself instead of a landlord every month by building equity and paying down your mortgage.
If you already own a house, consider buying an investment property so you can start collecting residual monthly income from tenants. Passive income is one of the keys to building long-term wealth.
One option is to combine homeownership and real estate investing into one purchase. Buy a multi-family house you can live in along with tenants. You’ll pay down the mortgage much faster this way.
5. Look into Alternative Investments
As time goes on, continue diversifying your investments with your side hustle money. For example, you may want to look into a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, commodities, or fine art.
The more diverse your portfolio, the more financially secure you’ll become. So look around and explore different opportunities in addition to traditional deposit and investing accounts.
Benefits of Second Jobs
While getting a second gig will leave you with less time for leisure, there are several reasons why it might make sense.
1. Protect Yourself
Despite all the advancements in worker rights over the last few decades, the fact is that most workers are highly replaceable. Unfortunately, this is going to get worse in the coming years, as employers move forward with automation.
At the same time, remote work is increasing competition, giving employers access to a wider global talent pool.
Getting a second job is a way to protect yourself. By diversifying your income, you can still have a way to bring in money if your main source of income disappears.
2. Get Ahead for Retirement
Planning for retirement isn’t easy when you’re struggling to pay your bills and put food on the table. By picking up a second job, you can put more money away for retirement and inch yourself closer to financial freedom.
3. Live a Better Life
Money doesn’t buy happiness. However, it provides fertile ground for happiness to grow. When you have more money in your pocket, everything gets easier. You’ll be able to eat better food, wear nicer clothes, and live in a better house.
That said, as you think about getting a second job, it’s also important to think about burnout. You need to make sure to achieve an effective work-life balance so you can stay healthy.
4. Open Up New Opportunities
There’s nothing more frustrating than working a dead-end job that doesn’t expose you to exciting people or ideas or teach you new skills. By taking on a side job, you can make new connections and create new opportunities for yourself. A side hustle can open many doors for you and lead to exciting possibilities—potentially even a new day job altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is finding a second job worth it?
Getting a second job is totally worth it. You’ll bring in extra cash, grow your personal network, and improve your overall situation in life. If you’re thinking of getting a second job, you should put a plan into action.
What’s the difference between being an employee and a business owner?
Working as an employee or becoming self-employed both require time and effort. It should be your goal to eventually make your money by owning a business or investing, which requires less of your time for a higher return on your investment.
As you look into second jobs, consider doing something that can propel you forward and eventually make you more money while working less.
For example, don’t just start a side hustle. Launch a business and start hiring people to work for you. Eventually, get to a position where you rake in cash while letting others manage your operations.
Can an employer stop you from getting a second job?
An employer can definitely stop you from getting a second job if what you’re doing constitutes a reasonable conflict of interest.
For example, if you work in marketing and start an advertising agency on the side, go after your own clients, or employ your coworkers, you could open up a massive can of worms including lawsuits and penalties.
If you have a contract in place with your employer, scour it for any details that could potentially inhibit you from doing other types of work on the side. You should also talk to an attorney to understand your rights in advance. Always better to be safe than sorry.
How do second jobs affect taxes?
Having a second job can impact your taxes in a few different ways. First and foremost, you’ll be bringing in extra money, which can potentially push you into a higher tax bracket.
At the same time, not all employers are going to take money out of your checks. If you work a job as an independent contractor on a 1099 basis, you’ll need to set aside your own money for taxes. Don’t expect your second employer or clients to do this for you.
Should You Get a Second Job?
Getting a second job in addition to your primary job can be a life-changing experience. In today’s digital age, it’s never been easier to get a second gig.
You can moonlight as a bartender, Uber driver, Amazon delivery driver, social media manager, or virtual assistant, to name just a few possibilities.
The type of job you get in your free time for additional income should correlate with your skillset and personality. Explore available options and find something that you won’t mind putting extra hours towards during the week.
Who knows? It might not even feel like work at all.