Our parents called it moonlighting – working a second job in the evening. In their day, the options were limited – driving a taxi cab, maybe schlepping shots at a neighborhood bar. Now, however, there are plenty of options for someone who’s looking to earn a little extra cash.
A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report explained that the national unemployment rate is sitting at about 6% as of March 2021. That being said, there are a lot of people who find themselves hoping to get a leg up on their financial situation with a side hustle.
Check out these recommended gigs if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or just want to make some extra cash on the side.
On The Internet
1. Sling Collectibles and Wares on eBay
When the Internet was fairly new, a little company by the name of eBay made headlines by offering an auction platform that was fun, efficient, and easy to use. Years later, the powerhouse still offers people around the globe a shot at making a quick buck.
You can find just about anything on eBay, from used cars to human skulls. If you’ve got a collection of action figures collecting dust on a shelf, you might consider putting them up for auction to make a quick buck. There are stories of people having such success as a seller of niche items that they quit their full-time job to work on their growing eBay store.
2. Recycle Technology
If you collect tech, you could be sitting on a pile of cash. Websites like Gazelle offer money for certain cell phones and tablets. There are other websites for various devices, and the in-person route might also pay a pretty penny.
To really milk the arrangement, ask friends and family if they have any devices they’d like to dispose of. Sometimes people are willing to throw away an old iPhone thinking it has no value. You could turn around and sell it for a profit. It’s a win-win situation!
3. Manage Social Media Accounts
If you have a knack for marketing, social media, and hashtags, you could capitalize on your talents pretty easily. There are a lot of small business owners who don’t know the first thing about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. They need your help.
For the young guns, however, these platforms are old hat. In other words, you could get paid for posting consistent content on social media channels. You can do this work from a cell phone or computer. Staying consistent for the brand’s audience is the hardest part.
This work can be a good investment of your time, too. A lot of techies who get started in social media find themselves with enough work to fund an agency or to land a hotshot corporate job with a fat salary, so big that “side hustle” might one day sound like a dirty word.
4. Live Like an Influencer
On the opposite end of the social media spectrum, the person who’s not behind the scenes but instead in front of the camera, the influencer, can make bank, too. Influencers are often online as a side hustle, at least at first. A lucrative vision (and strategy) could allow for alliances, collaborations, and partnerships that result in a check being cut in your name.
To get started, you have to be fairly certain of your own identity – at least on the Internet. Are you an expert? Are you sexy? Are you a sexy expert? If nobody knows more than you about some topic, and you sparkle in front of the camera, go ahead and cash out on the skill.
This one has some drawbacks, though. There’s something to be said about the emotional vulnerability in putting yourself out there for the whole world to judge you in the comments section.
Additionally, sometimes the payment doesn’t come in cash – it’s free or discount products, dinners, and hotel trips. That doesn’t necessarily help you make rent.
5. Teach English
If all of this buying, selling, marketing, and influencing sounds exhausting to you, don’t fret – you have another option in teaching English classes online.
Teaching English puts you in control of your schedule and your workload. Don’t want to work 40 hours? Don’t book 40 hours. Thousands of people have made teaching English online their full-time job, but not everybody finds that much success.
The qualifications for this job can be tough. The best-paying employers require experience (teaching, working with children or adults in the past, etc…) and a credential (undergraduate degree, certification, etc.). Some websites just require a person to be a native speaker. One of the highest paying and most famous companies for teaching English is VIPKid based in China.
6. Leverage Skills and Services
Teaching isn’t for everybody, but maybe there’s something else you do that you could package in a neat little bundle for Internet consumers on websites like Upwork or Fiverr.
On Fiverr, you can list what you are willing to do for a person for five dollars (or in increments of five). For example, there are users who will write a poem, process a translation, or create an entire business plan. Make a list of skills and services you can provide over the computer (copywriting, consulting, press releases, graphic design, etc.), and scope out the market for it.
If you’re pretty web-savvy, you could skip the middleman altogether. By avoiding the big contenders, you miss out on marketing but make up for it in fewer fees and commissions.
On The Streets
7. Drive Uber (or Other Ride Sharing Services)
Have you considered driving Uber? Anybody who’s complained about being unemployed or underemployed and has a driver’s license has probably been asked this question more times than they care to count. Yet, it’s a valid one!
If you like dealing with people and know your city like the back of your hand, driving ride share experiences can be sort of fun. Start up the old car, and you’re already at work. The application sends you jobs. Delivery driving works the same.
Some people don’t like this work because it’s monotonous, and in some cities, the demand for rides is low. However, as a side gig, it’s a good way to make extra cash without having a lot of pressure to succeed. You set your own goals and schedule.
8. Teach Music Classes
Whether you design beats, create DJ sets, sing, dance, or compose orchestras, there are students out there waiting for you to take up the role of maestro. Musical talent should be cherished, and with the pandemic still asking us to redefine our skills and hobbies, many adults (and children) have taken to a search engine to find out what private music lessons are available in their neck of the woods.
If you know how to tickle the keys, offer piano lessons. You can do it online or in person. Drum up a flyer or post to neighborhood groups. You could offer lessons at schools, park districts, or libraries.
Bartending is the ultimate side hustle. It’s got glitz. It’s got glamour. It’s got booze flowing around the clock. The gig usually pays alright in tips. In fact, some bartenders in New York City make six figures serving craft cocktails into the wee hours of the night.
Experienced staff comment that drunk patrons can be annoying (but add that meeting new people is a fun perk). As a part-time job, the erratic schedule is easier to manage. As an added bonus, being a bartender scores major cool points these days. Everybody wants to know how to make the perfect martini, and you’ll have the recipe down pat.
Babysitting is one of the easiest jobs in the world if you’re a natural with the tikes. If you know people with kids, and you’re the all-around responsible type, let them know that you’d be down to babysit (for payment) if the need arises.
Male babysitters are often in demand, especially in big cities. Some progressive families don’t really think about gender roles when choosing a babysitter. Others want a male sitter or nanny for their sons. If you speak another language, are good at art, or into sports, you can find families with the same interests and charge for the knowhow.
Private one-on-one babysitting might not be your thing, but you can also look into daycare centers, preschools, park districts, summer camps, and after-school programs. Not only is this decent part-time hourly employment, often the work happens in off-hours.
11. Walk Dogs
Maybe you read “manny” and said “No way. I hate kids.” Okay, how do you feel about man’s best friend? Taking Fido for a jaunt at the dog park could be an income stream you’ve overlooked. Dog walking is a great job for the stay-at-home types who do like a little fresh air. You pick the client, the schedule, and the route – so you don’t have to deal with a boss.
In the past, this path took a bit of networking, but community bulletins, social media groups, and mobile applications make customers needing a dog walker easy to find. Rover, a dog walking application, puts the power in your paws. Get to clicking to see what it’s all about. Perhaps the only downside to this job is picking up dog doo doo in the rain.
12. Connect with Nature via Lawn Care
Guys with a green thumb should consider raking in the cash with a stint in lawn care, gardening, or field maintenance. In fact, plenty of seasonal jobs make this a great way to earn extra cash.
The best part is the market allows for various entrance points. For example, the classic mowing and raking your neighbor’s lawn for a few bucks is still a legit way to get ahead. Maybe you can cut the grass your favorite NFL team plays on.
Seasonal parks departments can put you to work in a safe environment. This can be fun if you want to maintain city gardens or community sports fields. If you like it a lot, there are full-time opportunities.
Private companies offer other jobs, too. Just be aware that it gets hot under that summer sun. In the winter, there’s plowing and shoveling, but that will require you to brave the elements all the same.
13. Wash or Detail Cars
There are a lot of car owners who love washing and detailing their cars. They’re so into the process that they even do it for their girlfriends or family members to show how much they care (but also because they like being out in the driveway with a beer in hand). While we can’t recommend drinking on the job, we can suggest a gig that will give you a little extra beer money at the end of the month: car wash attendant or car detailing specialist.
Some entrepreneurs go on their own, buying the necessary equipment to offer cleaning services inside and out. Others find an establishment looking for part-time help. Evenings and weekends are popular but don’t rule out a day shift if you have the availability.
14. Hold a Garage Sale
Having a garage sale is a great way to kill two birds with one stone: clean out the garage and make money hand over fist in the process. The first step is to organize all that clutter. Price it well. Pick a weekend, and sell it in a garage sale or yard sale.
This side hustle is going to be inconsistent if you do it just once or twice a year. The inventory changes, and you might need a permit. The cash comes in the advertising. Don’t expect everybody who comes zipping down your suburban sidestreet to make a pit stop because of a foldable card table and a yellow poster board at the end of your drive.
Use strategy to bring traffic. Write the big sellers on the announcement (i.e., tools, baby clothes, furniture, gym shoes, etc.). Then, place those signs where the right type of consumer will work its way over, probably on busier street corners.
If your event turns you into a garage sale shark, you might consider upping the game and getting into the flea market racket. You travel with the goods, expanding your customer base while cashing out.
15. Act as a Tour Guide
Sites like Tours By Locals match tourists to guides who know the area better than anyone else. If you’re chatty, cultural, and love to linger like a traveler, this could be the side hustle of your dreams.
Think about where you live. What’s the cool thing to do? Where’s the action? What’s the 411? The guy in the back who is shrugging his shoulders would hate this job, but if you have an enthusiastic response brewing – you’re ready.
Create a profile and outline your tour. When people click on the experience, the cash will roll in. To find success in this endeavor, it’s important that you be friendly and focused while avoiding the fear of putting yourself out there.
16. Donate Bodily Fluids or Organs
Both television sitcoms and Hollywood blockbusters have put the idea in our heads that we can easily waltz into a clinic and sell various bodily fluids for cash money. In a way, they’re not wrong.
There is a market for bodily fluid donations although compensation and regulations vary across the board. People have been able to donate blood, plasma, sperm, and even urine for cash. In a world where eggs and hair can be donated or sold, it’s no surprise some people have made a side hustle out of it.
17. Become a Personal Trainer
How often do people ask you about fitness? If you’ve been bulking up over the years with at least mild success, then perhaps it might be time to become a certified personal trainer.
Personal training relates to athleticism and health. A class can get you certified in just a few months, and from there, the earning potential is tremendous. If you’re savvy with social media and technology, taking the training program virtual offers more opportunities.
18. Offer Moving Services
If you’ve got a truck, you could score some extra cash by offering moving services. Doing your buddy a favor on a Saturday morning is a lot different than selling your services as a licensed, insured, and bonded agent, however.
Either way, most people are moving on weekends and evenings because they don’t want to miss work. It’s also a great side hustle to do with a friend or two. You work together and divide the assets after the gig.
19. Coach Youth Sports
There are a lot of guys out there who were the captain of their football team, the center on the basketball squad, or who broke state records in the pool. What are they doing now? If they’re smart, they’re working a side hustle sharing their passion and talents with America’s youth!
There are plenty of ways to cash out on private lessons for all sports. From wrestling to fencing, archery to rugby, parents are willing to pay top dollar for the expertise.
20. Go Dumpster Diving
Look, there’s a way to make money, but you’re going to have to get your hands dirty. Trash picking might not be entirely legal in some jurisdictions, but who hasn’t snagged an old dresser out of the alley during their college glory days? You don’t even have to cruise the alley for finds thanks to the Internet.
Many people post “free to a good home” for unwanted furniture, for instance. Just keep an eye open for opportunities. The process is the same for the money-making hustlers out there.
Find the product (cheap, free, trash, etc.) and resell it at stores or online for a profit. The saying is true! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
21. Try Craigslist
Good, old craiglist. Craigslist started in 1995, and from there, it’s only grown more and more famous throughout the years. If somebody’s looking to make some extra cash, and they’re “down for whatever,” clicking around this website may be worth it in the end.
Beyond the for sale listings and the odd request for some specific item, the website boasts a job board that often has one-time gigs, odds and ends, and various announcements of upcoming side work. That being said, be careful with this one, men. Scams are out there, and if something’s too good to be true (or dangerous sounding), it probably is.
22. Rent out Your Spare Room
If you’ve got a spare room, try listing it on Airbnb. You could meet new people from around the world, earn a few extra bucks, and have a little fun in the process. You could also consider a roommate or two.
Some people even intentionally rent large apartments, three or four bedrooms, in big cities. Then, they divide the rent up amongst the roommates, not paying their share. That’s a great way to save hundreds of dollars each month.
23. Trade Bitcoin
Investing carries risk. Be sure to consider risks and talk to an expert. Nothing in an article about side hustles constitutes sound financial advice. We’re just brainstorming here.
If that type of language doesn’t scare you, you might look into bitcoin. Bitcoin has made some traders into millionaires or billionaires. The explanation is technical, but a little research could pay off big time.
24. Invest in the Stock Market
We’re still not over what happened with Reddit and GameStop a few months ago. The market is interesting, but again, there’s a risk. If you have a way to get in on the action, you might consider it as a side gig.
Buyer beware! Investing carries a risk that other side hustles do not. You could lose everything you put into it. As they say, though, the higher the risk, the higher the reward.
25. Enter Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing can be a tough full-time job, but as a side hustle, a lot of folks are into it. For example, if you already use essential oils like they’re going out of style, why not promote and sell them to your friends?
This is true when you have a wide network or market that would be interested in your niche. There are programs to sell supplements, insurance, yoga pants, and vacations. Find something that matches your personality and interests for an easier fit.
26. Save/Manage Money
This is the side gig nobody wants to talk about… you could always invest your extra time in managing your own life. For example, if you’re spending too much money on coffee – you could get a part-time job as a barista or invest in a coffee company.
You could also just start making coffee at home. In other words, it pays to shop around and to plan ahead. Taking time to make budget cuts can pay off in the end, especially if you invest those saving wisely.
27. Buy a Business
A lot of people can’t make their small businesses work for one reason or another. It’s a lack of experience, a misunderstanding of the market, or not enough time to focus on the project. When this happens, the business might be sold to a new owner.
If the business is small enough for you to operate as a side hustle, don’t rule it out. Perhaps you just need to make an investment and allow somebody else to spend 40 hours a week at the reins – if you play your cards right, that could be easy income.
28. Participate in Market Research Studies
This is an old classic. Your opinion matters and some enterprises are willing to pay top dollar for it. Look into marketing firms that pay for user experiences and reviews.
29. Promote the Club
Another old-school option – promoting clubs and events. The owner will pay to get people in the door. This job pays in the form of a flat fee, a per head dollar amount, or on a general commission. Find a situation that works for you and get it poppin.
30. Write an Ebook
Do you have a story inside you? If you’ve got a narrative to share, or you’re an expert on a subject, you could write an ebook. Once that book is done, list it on websites like Amazon to sell to readers. One and done, the cash comes in.
31. Blog, Blog, and Blog
Y2K came and went, yet we’re still out here talking about blogging. Blogging pays out in two structures. First, there is the person who has their own blog. The blog operates as a business, like a virtual storefront or exhibition space.
The site sells products, services, and stories. Some success can come, but it isn’t easy. Another way to make money blogging is to sell blog content. In our SEO landscape (Search Engine Optimization), having a way with words can add a little cushion to your bank account. Find a topic you like, find a website that needs content, and voila!
32. Become a Freelance Writer
Beyond the blog, good writing is in high demand. Freelancers can cash in on copy, social media writing, brochures, white papers, essays, and magazine articles. The modern freelance writer must master the art of the pitch and develop a network of well-connected editors to hit it big, but making a couple of hundred bucks writing online has never been easier (if you’re a decent writer).
Nowadays, every Tom, Dick, and Harry with an expensive camera wants to run a side hustle as a photographer. What does it take to succeed? If you’ve got the eye, and you’re organized, the easy money could be all yours.
Making money as a photographer is just as much as (if not more so) about business sense and professionalism as it is about taking captivating shots.
34. Craft Digital Media (Drones, 360, etc.)
Photography is one thing; digital media is another. Producing digital media may include pictures, but that’s not all. There are video, audio (podcasts), and other formats that require technical equipment and know-how.
If you’re into gadgets and gizmos, like drones and GoPros, you might make money as a content producer. Venues like hotels and banquet halls need this type of content, but they won’t invest in the equipment. You can save the day by creating the media they desire.
A smart hustler could enter the scene to deliver. Invoices for such help can surpass $1000 – not bad for a day’s work!
35. Paint Murals
Artsy types who can create a mural in a day or two should celebrate that there are more patrons of the arts than ever before. Every bagel shop and brewery in town needs an original mural for the social media clout. Painters can make it happen, earning good money while practicing their passion.
36. Sell Crafts on Etsy
A lot of craftsmen who know how to use drills, saws, and welding tools could be making side money-making “live, laugh, love” decor (or something cooler) on websites like Etsy.
37. Cook and Cater
Grillmasters, bakers, and aspiring chefs might spin their kitchen skills on weekends and evenings if the side hustle feels right. Some specialize in one item like pastries, cakes, or tapas. Others are willing to create just about anything the client can demand.
It’s a side hustle that requires some knowledge (at least in the kitchen), but on a small scale, can be quite lucrative. Realize, however, the big league requires certifications and licenses to prepare food.
Our Two Cents
At the end of the day, we all want to get paid. And still, sometimes the full-time paycheck just isn’t enough. Side hustles remedy the problem with a hobby that increases the cash flow.
To find the right side hustle, one needs to consider what option is going to suit them best in terms of availability, skills, equipment, and know-how. Tap your passion. Move on with that. You’ll be seeing dollar signs before you know it.