If you’re trying to make extra money to save for something, pay off debt or take a few more steps toward financial independence, a side hustle may just help you get there.
In this article, I’ll go through some great side hustle ideas you can do while keeping your full-time job. This lets you earn more money to get you where you want to go.
Besides making extra cash, side hustles are great springboards for bigger things down the road. They’re a financially secure way to slowly make your move to another industry or career. Similarly, you can also use it to test your business idea before going all in and working for yourself.
So, if you’re planning to do any of these things, here are some ideas you can try to get you started.
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What is a Side Hustle?
Before we jump into the different side hustles, I’ll quickly explain what a side hustle is.
A side hustle or side gig is something you do besides your primary 9 to 5 job. You do it because it allows you to make extra money which you can spend on paying the bills, loans or buy yourself something you’ve always wanted.
If you’re just fresh out of college, you’ll probably realize that your salary doesn’t cover all your monthly expenses. Rent, utilities, bills, eating out, clothing and everything else added leaves you with no savings.
This can also be the case if you’ve got student loans or credit card debt. The monthly payments you need to cover eat up a good chunk of your take-home pay.
Finally, there’s the cost of everyday things. Over the years, more and more people are doing side hustles to help them stay afloat. The reason is that the cost of things often go up in price much faster than your salary does.
Think about it. Unless you get a promotion, your salary probably goes up anywhere from 5% to 15% a year. On down years when the company is struggling and laying off people, it’ll probably be zero. And, you’ll be happy just to keep your job.
Some other reasons to consider getting a side gig may be:
- Pay off debt faster
- Save for retirement
- Set some cash aside for your dream vacation
- Save for your kids’ college education
- Get rid of student loans
- Pay your mortgage faster
Whichever reason may apply to you, a side hustle is a great way to make a few extra thousand bucks every month.
Practical Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Money While You’re Working Full-Time
To help you get started in choosing a side hustle that works for you, I’ve made a list of things you can do. Notice that I didn’t put best or any crazy superlative beside the word side hustle.
That’s because there’s no such thing as the best side hustle for everyone. It depends on your situation, how much time you have, your schedule, your interests, skills, and experience.
I know from experience that making extra money is always great. But, if it makes you miserable or makes you “hate your life”, it’ll come back to bite you later on.
So, do consider how much time, effort, stress, learning curve, and interest each item on the list is to you. You can try a few of them to see how they work before finding the best one for you. I think that’s probably the best way to figure out which one to stick with.
But, don’t just jump into something because it pays more now. Some may not pay much initially. But, will let you earn more later on.
The only exception to this rule is if you think that your current situation will change in the near future. Say, you or your partner gets a huge raise. Or, you have some windfall you’re expecting.
If that’s the case, then you can go ahead and get the high-earning temporary gig.
Otherwise, working an extra gig besides your 9 to 5 job and hating both will increase your odds of burning out faster or making yourself miserable.
Start a Blog
Blogging is a great side hustle because it lets you work from home. That saves time and money. Plus, you’ll be able to spend time with the kids while earning extra cash.
One of the best things about blogging is that there are no requirements or application to fulfill. You can write about whatever you know or whatever you like. It’s your blog, it’s your personal story.
The best part of blogging is that you’re working towards an investment, your financial freedom.
Because blogs grow.
So over time, you may be able to make a full-time income from blogging. If things go better than just fine, you’ll probably be able to make a 6-figure income from blogging alone.
When that happens, you’ll have a new problem, albeit a nice one. Decide if you still want to continue doing your 9 to 5 job or live off of blogging because you can.
Do Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make extra cash without having to create, manufacture or distribute your own products.
Instead, you’ll sell other peoples’ products.
But, you’re not the dubious sales rep from the car dealership. Nor are you the pushy telemarketer.
Instead, you only recommend products you use and like yourself. Because there are so many products around, you’re not limited to selling awful items that you don’t believe in.
You get to choose only the items you like and use or would use yourself. And, only them do you recommend these items to your blog readers.
For each product you sell, you earn anywhere from 5% to 60% commission. So, if the product you sold costs $100 and the manufacturer gives its affiliates 50% commissions, you get $50 for each sale.
That’s not a bad deal, especially if you have a lot of readers who follow your recommendations.
Be a Virtual Assistant
This is another side hustle I love because you can do it at home. And, it doesn’t require any special expertise.
Virtual assistants or VAs help their employers do all sorts of tasks. This can be something your boss doesn’t have expertise in. Or, it can be something that they don’t have time to do themselves.
As a VA, your job to make life easier for whoever you work for. This can be odd jobs here and there. Or, it can be very specific jobs related to your boss’ main line of work.
For example, a mom blogger may ask for your help to manage her schedule and make sure that her project management calendar is updated.
Similarly, a journalist may ask you to do research, read up on certain topics related to their next article or do interviews over the phone with some people.
For your services, you get paid. In the beginning, pay is often an hourly rate. If your boss likes your work, it can become a long-term gig. When this happens, they’ll pay you by the month.
Make Money By Taking Online Surveys
If you want to make a few extra bucks every month during your extra time, consider answering online surveys. Survey sties like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie are our top picks because they offer lots of opportunities and have good payouts.
Do Some Freelancing
Freelancing is another side job I recommend because it gives you the freedom to choose what you’re good at and what you like to do.
Plus, you get to work for yourself.
Freelancing is basically offering your services for a fee. Thanks to the internet, you can post your gigs on job boards or freelancing sites like Upwork.
You also get to choose which jobs to take, get to set your own rates and decide what kind of work you want to do.
Since a lot of freelancing work is done over the internet, you get to work at home. And, you get to set your own schedule.
Some of the best freelancing jobs include:
- Proofreading and editing
- Graphic design
- Managing other peoples’ social media accounts
- Language translation
- Web development
Get a Part-Time Job
This is an oldie but goodie.
Getting a part-time job works very well if you’re looking to make extra money to supplement your salary.
The one drawback to it is that many of them require fixed schedules. This means you’ll need to time in and time out.
So, you’ve got less flexibility in case anything pops up.
That said, if you can find a good part-time job to take up your evenings after you get off from work or weekends, it will help you make extra cash to set aside for whatever you need.
Take Advantage of Reward Programs
One of the things you can do with your extra time is to find ways to save money or get free money. This is exactly what reward programs are for.
At the top of the list are credit card reward programs banks offer. The types of reward can vary depending on the cards. Some banks offer them, others don’t.
So, your job is to find banks and companies that do. This way, you’ll be able to earn rewards, bonuses or discounts for purchasing things you’d normally buy anyway.
For example, some credit cards offer free annual fees if you meet certain criteria. If you can achieve these, then you’ve just saved some money.
Others go even further by giving you cash back of up to 30% of the items you purchased. That’s free money for you as well!
Walk Other Peoples’ Dogs or Babysit
Admittedly, these aren’t the most lucrative side hustles around. But, they’re among the easiest you can do.
Better yet, you’ve probably already done them at some point in your life.
This lets you earn extra money without having to stress a lot. Plus, you’re able to relax as well.
Babysitting often entails watching over young children. And, you’ll probably be able to sit around doing so.
On the other hand, walking dogs may require a bit more effort. But, it lets you get some exercise, go outside and do some walking. All of these things help you de-stress and relax. Plus, they’re also good for you.
Get Paid to Do Gigs
Online gigs are pretty much like mini side gigs.
They’re simpler, easier tasks that you can do for a set price. This can be anything from filling in some forms, buying groceries or picking up the laundry.
Gigs are very similar to freelancing. But, they’re typically shorter in duration, don’t pay a much per gig and require less skill.
This makes it easy to get done so you can move to the next gig to earn more money.
Teach English Online
If you speak fluent English, then you’re already qualified for this side hustle.
Thanks to globalization, everyone who wants to study, work or communicate with others internationally needs to learn English.
This is why you’ll see a lot of students, employees, and entrepreneurs in non-English speaking countries paying good money to learn the language.
For the most part, it’s conversational English. But, there will be cases that writing may be included in the package.
So, if you have extra time, a solid internet connection and a microphone, you’ll be able to teach someone English online and make extra money.
Programs like Skype and FaceTime make it easy to converse and see your student to speed up learning.
Teach a Course Online About Something You Know
Besides English, the sky’s the limit when it comes to teaching online.
English is by far the simplest because you don’t need any special skills. There’s also no upfront investment on your part.
That said, if you have the expertise, experience or knowledge is certain topics that people like to learn, you’re in luck.
You’ll be able to create your own courses and earn money every time someone registers to take your course.
The best thing about it is that you don’t even need a website.
You can sign up to sites like Teachable or Udemy and use their teaching platforms. These companies have already set everything up to take care of course management and payment.
All you need to do is record the videos and upload them to the sites.
Sell Products on Amazon, Etsy or eBay
In addition to teaching courses, you can also sell products.
This is great if you are creative or have an entrepreneurial mindset.
You can make your own arts and crafts and sell them on Etsy or eBay. These sites let you set up your own store where you can sell things you’ve created.
Similarly, you can find wholesalers or manufacturers of products who are willing to let you do private label. Essentially, this is an agreement where you’ll use their products but put a different brand on it.
Then, you can have them ship the inventory to Amazon where you can make money on each sale.
Since the wholesaler makes money from the price they sell the items to you, and you earn from the margin you add onto that price, everyone wins.
Publish Your Own Book
Speaking of Amazon, you can likewise self-publish an eBook.
eBooks are easy, low-cost ways for aspiring writers to get their work out there. There’s no publisher approval needed. And, there’s no red tape or long waits for the book to get on the shelves.
Once you’re ready with your manuscript, you can upload and format it on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and set your price.
This will let any visitor to Amazon who searches for books under your topic or title find your work. If they like what they see, they can purchase your eBook. The proceeds of which go to you.
Use Cash Back Programs
Cash back programs are great because they let you earn back some of the money you’ve spent to buy things.
While the individual amounts aren’t going to pay off your debt or let you save for retirement, they do add up.
Two of the programs I like are Ibotta and Ebates.
Ibotta is a cash back and coupon app that lets you earn back some money on select items you’ve purchased. To do that, you’ll need to perform some simple tasks, then purchase the product. Do make sure to keep the receipt since you’ll need it to avail of the cash back.
Ebates is similar. But, it’s more like a rebates app. Ebates works when you buy items through their site. Because they’ve made partnerships with well-known stores, they earn a commission for items you buy on the store through Ebates.
In turn, Ebates shares that commission with you. As a result, you get some of your money back allowing you to spend less than the original sticker price of the product.
Be a Rideshare Driver
If you have extra time on your hands and a car that’s not doing much on weeknights or weekends, you can try your hand at being a rideshare driver.
Uber and Lyft are the two leading rideshare companies in the market. By driving for them, you’ll be able to earn money whenever someone using their app hires you to drive them somewhere.
And, you also get a tip, which can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
Rent Out Extra Space
If you have an extra room at home or live in an apartment that’s too big, you can rent out the extra space to make extra cash.
Airbnb is a great place to list your room or extra space for other people to rent. In most cases, people who will rent it are tourists, on vacation or will just be spending a weekend or a couple of weeks there.
This lets you earn extra money with space you already have and don’t use anyway.