We live in the time of the gig economy. In addition to a full-time job, more and more people are turning to part-time side hustles to bring in extra money, pay off student loans, or start an investment account.
Thankfully, there are now a ton of apps and online services that make the side hustle easier to find than ever. And with more and more companies comfortable with remote work, many of these jobs can be done from the comfort of your couch.
In this article, we’ll talk about life in the age of the side hustle, and how to find the right gig for you. We’ll also list 16 money-making opportunities you might want to try and answer some frequently asked questions.
The Age of the Side Hustle
We live in a time defined by the side hustle. The recession of the late 2000s, combined with the rise of online companies eager to disrupt traditional businesses, led to a new “gig economy.” Many workers in the United States — and around the world — gave up the nine-to-five day job, instead embracing multiple smaller, freelance or part-time jobs that would add up to a livable salary.
As the economy stabilized, many of the regular full-time jobs came back, but people still realized there was great money to be made with these side gigs. Why settle for just a salary when you can increase your cash flow by also taking on short-term projects that don’t require too much time investment?
These jobs became known as “side hustles.” Workers channeled their passions into finding part-time jobs that would let them make more … and have some fun in the process.
Finding the Right Side Hustle for You
The best side hustles are ones that take advantage of your passions or skills. Work is hard enough, and adding a side hustle on top can be tiring. The people who find the most success with a side hustle are those who find what they love to do, then turn that into their side gig.
Passionate about art? Maybe take those drawings or crafts you’ve created and set up a small business selling them on Etsy. Love real estate? You could set up an Airbnb rental, or join a crowdfunding group to invest in real estate and generate passive income.
The best side hustles take advantage of your know-how and your passions, and let you make money doing what you love.
16 Side Hustles to Bring in Extra Cash
If you’ve got your heart set on finding that great way to bring in extra income but don’t know where to start, here are some side hustle ideas to get you thinking.
1. Drive Uber or Lyft
Want to bring in extra cash and love spending time behind the wheel? All you need is a safe car, a clean driving record, and a willing attitude, and you’ll be ready to drive for Uber or Lyft. People can book you from their cell phones, and no matter where you are, Uber and Lyft are always looking for safe drivers who can work in their spare time.
To learn a lot more, read our step-by-step guide to getting hired by Uber.
2. Sell Extra Things on Craigslist
One reliable way to bring in extra cash is to take the stuff in your home that you don’t use and find a place for it … and make a little money in the process. Selling unwanted items on Craigslist can help you clean up and simplify your life, plus put some cash in your wallet.
3. Rent a Spare Room on Airbnb
You don’t need to own a rental property to make money on Airbnb. Lots of people have taken spare rooms and brought in extra money by renting them. Others will rent out their room while they’re away on vacation or staying with family.
4. Sell Items on Etsy
If you’re an artist, or specialize in creating craftwork, you can start your own small business selling items on Etsy. The platform will allow you to reach a wide audience, and with it, you can accept credit card payments. It’s a great side hustle for people trying to monetize something they’re passionate about.
5. Work as a Virtual Assistant
A great part-time job is being a virtual assistant. Small businesses and people alike are turning to the web to find people who can help them with administrative, planning, and customer support tasks. If you’re detail oriented and love planning, this could be a great side gig for you.
6. Sell Things on eBay
eBay is another great platform for selling things online. Many people just sell things they’ve collected or have around the house. But there’s also money to be made from buying things at auction, at garage sales, or in bulk, and then selling them for a profit through eBay.
7. Become a Social Media Consultant
It’s hard to run a business now and not have a social media presence. Companies know that these emerging platforms are a great way to reach customers, but many aren’t sure how to best approach social media. That’s where you come in. If you love spending time on social media and have marketing experience, you can make a killing as a social media consultant for businesses near and far.
8. Pick Up Freelance Design Work
If you’re an artist or have a passion for graphic design, you can bring in extra income doing design work for companies and individuals alike. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork connect freelance artists with clients, and provide an easy platform for invoicing and processing payments.
9. Work as a Mystery Shopper
Mystery shopping is when a company hires someone to discreetly enter their store, then either check inventory, or test employees with a question or product request. For people who love shopping, this side hustle can be a great way to explore your neighborhood, visit local stores, and bring in cash as you do.
10. Write Freelance
If you have a love of the written word, freelance writing can be a great way to bring in money on the side. SEO writing, marketing writing, proposal writing — all are in demand by companies and organizations that are looking to communicate clearly.
11. Do Odd Jobs With TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is an app that lets you sign up for odd jobs around your city. The tasks run the gamut, from picking up someone’s dry cleaning to waiting in line for concert tickets to hanging posters in a new apartment. You can set your price and bid on jobs, and if you’re vigilant about checking the app, you can make good money.
12. Walk Dogs
Love pups? Dog walking can be a great side gig. Apps like Rover are always looking for experienced dog walkers. And if you work from home, being a dog walker can give you some much needed exercise and fresh air. This gig will let you walk outside, hang with some good dogs, and make money.
13. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when companies use affiliates (which would be you) to promote their products. If someone clicks a link you shared and then buys the product at the link, you get a cut of the action. For people with an online following, affiliate marketing can be a really lucrative side business.
To learn more, and find out how to get started making money through affiliate linking, read our guide to the highest paying affiliate programs.
14. Sell Real Estate
Getting a real estate license takes some work, but once you’re licensed, selling real estate is something you can tackle on nights and weekends. Being a realtor doesn’t have to be a full time job, as long as you hustle in your free time.
15. Become an Online Teacher
Thanks to the power of high speed internet around the world and video conferencing software like Skype, it’s now possible to teach online courses to people no matter where they are. Online English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are especially popular, and there are companies like Udemy that are always looking for qualified teachers.
To learn more about qualifications, and places to apply, read our guide to becoming an online teacher.
16. Start a Cleaning Service
If you find zen in the art of tidying up, you can bring in a lot of extra money by starting a cleaning service. Websites like Care.com let you list your services for a small fee, or you can just start advertising on Craigslist. If you’re up front about your hours, you can just work nights and weekends and make good money in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered side hustles, and how to find the best one for you. We’ve also given some examples you may want to try. Let’s get to some FAQs about side hustles.
1. Is there a jobs site that lists side jobs you can do from home?
There are several websites that specialize in part-time jobs you can do remotely. FlexJobs is one of our favorites, as it has a clean interface, is easily searchable, and only lists jobs you can do from home. Many of the jobs are part time, as well. So if you know what you want to do, start your search there.
2. How do I file taxes on my side job?
No matter how small an amount you make on your side hustle, the IRS will expect you to pay taxes on that income. Many freelancers like to set up quarterly tax payments so that they don’t get hit with a huge bill at the end of the year. Read our guide to conquering taxes as a freelancer to learn more.
3. Are there more resources for landing a side hustle?
Our website is full of resources for finding, applying to, and landing that side hustle you’ve dreamed of. Some articles to get you started on your journey:
- Your Complete Guide to Making Money in the Gig Economy
- 12 Legitimate Work-at-Home Jobs (and How to Find Them)
- FlexJobs: What Remote Job Workers Need to Know
Bring in Extra Income With a Side Hustle
Finding something you’re passionate about then channeling that into work that pays is the dream of the side hustle. Choosing the right side hustle is about making money, yes, but to make the work last — and make it meaningful — you should try to find a side hustle that channels your skills or passions.
To avoid burnout, you want to find a side gig that brings you joy. These sample jobs and resources can help you find that joy — and that extra income — by helping you find the perfect side hustle for you.