Want to earn some extra cash to pay bills or build savings? There’s never been a better time to start a side hustle. With the rise of the internet, social media, and the sharing economy, it’s easier than ever to make money without quitting your job or starting another regular part-time job.
More than 44 million Americans have a side hustle. It’s a great way to create a second stream of income, which could make you more secure during the next economic downturn. Plus, a side hustle can be a creative outlet and bring a sense of purpose to your life, as long as you find the right one.
Ready to get started? Chances are you already have the skills you need to succeed. All you need is an idea and some time and determination. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common side hustles, and get tips for juggling your 9-to-5 with a side hustle.
Would $500 extra a month better your life? Thirty-six percent of Americans who have a side hustle make more than $500 a month from it.
Unfortunately, side-hustle scams are common. Maybe you’ve seen work-from-home offers that sound too good to be true; they probably are. Avoid getting deceived by following these common-sense strategies:
- Research companies online to make sure they’re legitimate.
- Look for complete contact information on companies’ websites before doing business with them.
- Only partner with companies that don’t ask for money upfront.
- Sign a legal contract spelling out the job and payment before providing work.
- Work with companies that use a verified payment method.
The key to a successful side hustle is finding a gig you enjoy. Consider these common types of side hustles.
If you have a car and enjoy driving, you may be able to bring in some extra cash by giving people rides. Driving people around isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. According to a recent survey, rideshare drivers make an average of between $13.96 and $15.68 an hour before paying for expenses. Plus, the turnover rate for drivers is high. But it’s a way to earn extra cash with equipment you probably already own. Interested in trying it? Check out these two popular ride-hailing companies:
If transporting strangers doesn’t appeal to you, you could make extra cash by driving goods around. These companies pay self-employed drivers to deliver packages, food, beverages, take-out, flowers, gift baskets, restaurant food, or groceries.
- Amazon Flex
- Uber Eats
If you live in a big city and drive a lot, you may be able to get paid for displaying advertisements on your car while you do your normal driving. These companies pay drivers to wrap their vehicles in ads.
- Free Car Media
Want to declutter and make some cash? Many people make side income by selling used stuff online. You’ve probably heard of these well-known online marketplaces for used goods.
If you have unwanted CDs, DVDs, or video games, check out these marketplaces.
- The Old School Game Vault
If you have used clothing you’re ready to part with, these used clothing marketplaces are popular.
- Handmade at Amazon
If you have a passion for words and want a flexible, location-independent gig, freelance writing could be the perfect side hustle for you. If you’re new to freelance writing, study the current edition of Writer’s Market to find places to sell your writing. Would you prefer writing for corporations? Contact businesses or content agencies directly to pitch your services, or check out these online marketplaces, which help connect writers with brands.
If you have a knack for teaching and you’re proficient in a particular subject, you could make anywhere from $10 to $200 per hour tutoring kids or teaching extra-curricular lessons. Make business cards, distribute flyers at local schools and libraries, and advertise your services on Craigslist, or check out online tutoring marketplaces that match students with tutors.
Are you an expert in a computer program, specific test, or skill? You could make extra cash by creating and selling an online course on the subject. People have created successful online courses teaching speed reading, email marketing, website creation, photography, software programs, and almost every other known topic. But don’t let the competition stop you from making your own course. Different students connect with different teachers. Check out these websites to learn how to publish, launch, and sell an online course.
Juggling your 9-to-5 with a side hustle
If you’re contemplating a side hustle, you’re not alone. According to a 2018 NPR/Marist poll, 20 percent of jobs in America are done by freelancers. Moreover, freelancers and contract workers could make up half of the American workforce within 10 years. But you don’t need to leave your full-time job to enjoy the benefits of freelance work. Use these tips to juggle your side hustle with your day job:
Keep your side hustle small
Your full-time job should be your priority, unless you plan to quit soon.
Keep a regular schedule and establish an efficient organizational system to help you manage work duties and clients. Popular project-management tools for entrepreneurs include Evernote, Asana, Trello, or Basecamp.
Growing a side hustle requires trial and error. Check in frequently to assess what works and what doesn’t. Expect mistakes, learn from them, and keep moving forward.
Outsource if necessary
You can’t do it all. Don’t be afraid to hire someone to help you create a website or take photos if those tasks fall outside your expertise.
Don’t overschedule yourself
Err on the side of giving yourself extra time to complete tasks. And prevent burnout by regularly taking time off to recharge, whether that means a daily trip to the gym, a lunchtime walk, a weekend away, or a full-blown vacation.
A side hustle is a great way to bring in extra cash, and it can also add enjoyment and meaning to your life. For instance, if you’re a bookkeeper who loves music, teaching banjo lessons to kids in the evenings may bring you more than just money. Likewise, if you’ve always had a passion for words, freelance writing on the weekends could help you reconnect with your creative side. What are you waiting for? Start hustling!