Best Side Hustle Jobs to Make Extra Money
We could all use a little extra cash. It doesn't matter if you're a college student or a working parent. That's where side hustles help.
Taking on an actual part-time job is a major commitment, but the best side hustles are flexible. A side job with hours that you can pick and choose sounds pretty appealing, doesn't it?
Luckily, the market for flexible side hustles is filled with opportunity. Here are some great options for anyone who just wants to make some extra money.
Become a Photo Editor
When Theresa Anderson had a baby in 2014, she quit her job as a prop and costume maker to stay home with her son full-time. She soon realized, however, that she missed having a creative outlet — and that bringing in some extra money for her family would really help with expenses.
Anderson, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, had heard of Fiverr, a freelance services marketplace, through another mom. She joined and soon began working a flexible side hustle as a photo editor for five to 10 hours a week around her son’s nap schedule.
Now, she puts in 15 to 30 hours a week, charging $5 to $25 per photo, depending on how much time each requires. To date, Anderson has made about $25,000. She puts some of the cash toward trips to England where her family lives and is saving the rest for her son's future.
"It’s a great way to continue to do what I love, but on my own schedule," she says.
Share Your Skills
If you have expertise in an academic subject like science, math or a foreign language, or if you play a musical instrument, then you might be able to teach kids in your spare time. Tutoring and music lessons usually take place after school and on weekends, so if you have kids, you'll need to have someone available to watch them while you work. In the era of pandemics, however, tutoring can easily be a side hustle at home.
Anyone who has knowledge in a particular subject or plays an instrument can give it a go, but those with a certified teaching degree can generally charge more for their services. Subject tutors earn an average of $30 to $40 per hour, though certified instructors with experience may charge up to $85 an hour. The fee for music lessons varies.
Amy Woodard, a mom of two in Hillsborough, New Jersey, charges $35 for piano lessons, but teachers in big cities often charge at least twice that amount.
Serve as a Mock Juror
Mock jurors for OnlineVerdict.com review legal cases at home and provide feedback through an online questionnaire. Attorneys use the feedback to determine the strengths and weaknesses in their cases, as well as to assess a general attitude and opinion about their cases to use in court.
Mock jurors must be U.S. citizens that are 18 years or older. Jurors are paid a check each month for between $20 and $60 per case, and jurors can pick the cases they want to review.
It's an easy side hustle if you'd like to work from home.
Sign up with a company that hires people to do things for others who don’t have the time. At TaskRabbit.com (which has locations in 53 markets across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada), clients pick taskers for different jobs like grocery shopping and furniture assembly through their profiles on the website or app.
If you’re picked, you bill the client your agreed-upon hourly rate. (TaskRabbit takes a 15 percent commission.) It's easiest to make this into a flexible side hustle if you're already proficient in a certain area, like being a handyman or moving furniture.
Get Paid to Search the Web
Sign up for a Bing/Microsoft Rewards account and earn points by searching, shopping or playing on Microsoft. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, sweepstakes entries and nonprofit donations, among other things.
Members earn five points per search on Bing and one point per dollar spent when shopping online at the Microsoft store. It's not the most lucrative side gig, but it's definitely the easiest.
Become a Fitness Instructor
Jen Brewer, a mom of seven in Rochester, Minnesota, asked how she could teach aerobics while taking a class — and got hired on the spot. She now makes up to $50 for each class she teaches. "Not only do I get paid to exercise, but the club watches my kids on site, and I get a free membership," she says. The best side hustles don't always fall into your lap, but this one's achievable for most people if fitness is already an interest of theirs.
Other potential fitness opportunities: Teach yoga or become a personal trainer. You can teach aerobics with minimal training, though some gyms offer on-site courses to further your skills. To become a yoga instructor, it’s best to get certified, which does cost money. You don’t need a license to be a personal trainer, but it’s also worth getting certified through an organization like the American Council on Exercise to ensure safety and bolster your reputation.
Yoga instructors typically make $20 to $60 per class, says Mariam Gates, director of programming for Rolf Gates Yoga, which offers online training courses. Personal trainers may charge less than $20 per hour or more than $100 per hour. The range depends on experience and location. Nice gig.
License Your Smartphone Photos
Anyone who's handy with a smartphone camera can give this easy side hustle a shot.
Foap works as a customized visual-content platform for companies to search for photos to use with their brands. On the seller side, users can create a profile and add photos with captions and tags for companies to buy (generally at $5 per photo).
Or they can join a "Mission" and be provided with specific tasks that require unique and professional photos, which are usually rewarded anywhere between $100 and $2,500.
If you love pets, this gig’s a natural fit. Ask around, and you’ll likely find neighbors who need someone to give their animal fresh air and exercise while they’re at work or out of town. You can also find customers online. Rover.com has a roster of more than 200,000 pet sitters and dog walkers around the country. Simply create an online profile, set your rate and availability, and decide which breeds you prefer.
The doggie matchmaker service provides 24/7 support, background checks, vet consultations and GPS walk tracking in return for a 20 percent cut of your commission. Classes in animal first aid, pet behavior and/or dog training are recommended (and may help you generate more business), but they aren’t required.
Dog walkers and sitters can set their own rates on Rover, but walks average between $15 and $25, while overnight stays range from $25 to $35 per night. As long as you're responsible and good with dogs, it's an easy side hustle.
Blog for Dollars
If it seems like everyone has a mommy blog, that’s because ... they do. To make yours profitable, you need a passionate voice, consistent posts and an ability to leverage social media to broaden your audience, says consultant and author Elisa Camahort Page, who co-founded BlogHer, a blogging network.
Most bloggers make money through ad networks like Google AdSense or SheKnows, though some prefer the Amazon Associates Program, which lets you link to recommended products in return for a commission of up to 10 percent on sales. "Some also use their blog as a platform to become brand ambassadors or to consult or freelance for companies," adds Camahort Page.
Basic HTML or WordPress skills are helpful. So is an ability to take and search for good photos (which will enhance the aesthetic and appeal of your site) and the ability to implement video content, such as via Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Keep in mind that you aren’t likely to get rich with this side hustle, so blogging should be something you truly enjoy.
Still, people who devote an hour or two per day on content and marketing can pocket $200 to $300 dollars per month, says Camahort Page.
Earn Free Gift Cards
Signing up for Swagbucks is free, and users earn points by answering surveys, watching videos, shopping online and more. Points can then be redeemed for gift cards to more than 100 retailers such as Target, Amazon and Starbucks.
While this isn’t the kind of side gig that puts money in your pocket, those gift cards sure would come in handy come birthday and holiday time.
Become a Mystery Shopper
While the details of this flexible side hustle are a little hazy, it's probably the coolest gig on this list. Sign up to become a mystery shopper at BestMark.com by submitting an online application. If picked, mystery shoppers are used to evaluate clients in retail stores, restaurants, casinos, financial institutions, hotels, resorts and more.
The best mystery shoppers have reliable transportation and access to the internet. They can write well and pay close attention to detail. Shoppers are usually compensated in cash, although the specifics are provided prior to acceptance of a particular assignment.
Run Social Media for a Business
Leverage your social media skills to make some extra cash by running a social media account for a business. Amber Masters of Tulsa, Oklahoma, creates pins and does some general Pinterest management for a business that happened to notice her own images on Pinterest and reached out to see if she’d be willing to help them out. She estimates that she spends less than 10 hours a month on the gig, since automated tools have made it easier to do the work, and she brings in about $500 per month.
While Masters was approached for this gig, freelance or hourly social media posts sometimes go up on sites like Mediabistro or FlexJobs, so it’s worth checking there for these types of positions.
Other than that, "always do your best work, no matter what you are doing," Masters suggests. "You never know who is watching and what opportunities can come your way just by doing good work. This situation only fell into my lap because I’d been working hard on my own Pinterest account for one of my businesses."
Become a Food Delivery Driver
Working as a delivery driver for companies like Doordash, Grubhub and Instacart is an awesome, flexible side hustle. It's not technically a side job from home, but you do get to work on your own schedule.
Drivers can easily make $15-20 an hour, particularly if they work on weekends or during the dinner rush. It's not going to make you rich, but delivery driving is one of many good side jobs for extra money.
Work for a Rideshare App
Have a nice car? On the list of best side hustles, driving people around is just about as easy as it gets.
The pay is decent, especially with tips, but you do have to plan your strategy carefully. If you don't mind the extra mileage on your vehicle and you have a clean driving record, you may have just found your next gig!
Before you start, learn more about what it's really like driving for Uber or Lyft.
If you love working with kids, babysitting can be a great gig. To be a babysitter, you need a clean background check, experience with kids and first aid/CPR certification. The latter isn't technically required, but most parents prefer a babysitter who has been trained to deal with urgent medical emergencies.
Babysitting is a great way to earn extra money as long as you're responsible, reliable and know a thing or two about changing diapers.
Bonus points if you can also help with algebra homework.