Are you looking for ways to make extra money? Several side hustles can help you get extra cash from home — the virtual working world is making it easier than ever. If you need a little extra money (and who doesn't?), here's what you need to know about side hustles and nine ways to earn extra money.
In this Guide:
What Is a Side Hustle?
As the saying goes, “Don't quit your day job.” Your day job is your bread and butter and pays the bills in what is hopefully a rewarding career. But sometimes we need just a little extra — perhaps to help finance a wedding or save money for a down payment on a house. Side hustles are jobs that give you the boost you need.
Sometimes, side hustles can be quite lucrative if you have extra time to devote to them. One could even spin-off into a new career where you call the shots. A side hustle is a great opportunity for someone who wants to develop a business while working a full-time job to pay the bills until that business can stand solidly.
How to Develop a Successful Side Hustle
If you are wondering how to make extra money from home, remote job opportunities are readily available (see below). This is especially true now that many companies have implemented work-from-home policies due to COVID-19. However, if you're looking to start a side hustle as a way to kick start a business, you will want to consider the following:
- Do you have the time? If you're already working a 40-hour week, do you have the time to put in another 20 or even 40 hours for your side hustle? To turn your dream into reality, you'll want to go all-in on your side hustle.
- What are your skills? Doing what you are good at means, you'll have the success that can quickly spin into more freelance work, selling more products, or gaining more clients.
- Who wants it? Working on the side to build your own business or produce a new product is an investment in yourself. But you first must be sure there is a need for what you want to do. Do some market research to ensure the time and effort you're committing is worth it.
- What are your goals? You don't need a full business plan to start a side hustle. But you should have goals in mind. These should include a timeline, so you aren't working two jobs forever.
We also recommend that you set up a separate bank account, especially if you want to go freelance full-time. This makes it easier to track your income and expenses and makes it easier to report your income to the IRS during tax season. There are a couple of online banks that specialize in helping freelancers, including Lili, Novo Bank and NorthOne. Here's a quick comparison of the three:
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Best Side Hustle Ideas That'll Make You Money
Are you looking for ways to make extra money? Try these side hustle ideas.
— Teach English as a Second Language (ESL) or Tutor Some Other Subject
Online programs that teach children and adults English need teachers who can join them online. Similarly, tutoring websites need college graduates with a background in math, science, business, programming, etc.
- How much can you earn: Online tutors earn an average of $20 per hour, and ESL teachers average $18 per hour.
- What you need: A computer with internet and phone connection.
- Where to start: Platforms such as Brainfuse, QKids, and Tutor.com provide students 24/7 access. This means they need tutors at all hours. ESL teaching opportunities can be found through platforms such as Gogokid or Magic Ears.
— Freelance Writer or Editor
If you are creative and good with words, you could find work freelance writing or copyediting for websites. Some companies that are building their websites need content writers to fill their pages. Other media websites welcome freelancers. Freelance writing and editing pay by the word or by the hour, with new writers and editors lower on the pay scale. If you're just starting out, take what you can get. But as you grow, you will be able to set your own rates.
- How much can you earn: Between $12 and $64 per hour with the national average at $24 per hour.
- What you need: A computer with internet.
- Where to start: You can find freelance work on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork. These websites connect freelancers to businesses that are hiring.
— Virtual Assistant
Life gets crazy busy, and there are people and businesses who need help staying organized. A virtual assistant manages calendars and meetings, books and organizes travel, fields phone calls and provides data entry. Like freelancers, virtual assistants can set their rates.
- How much can you earn: Between $10 and $28 per hour with the national average $16 per hour.
- What you need: A computer with internet and phone.
- Where to start: Upwork provides connections for these jobs. So do platforms such as TaskRabbit, PeoplePerHour and HireMyMom, the latter of which is for work-at-home moms.
— Web Designer or Graphic Designer
Businesses these days cannot survive without a website. Whether you code and design a website or create newsletters and ads, designers are in high demand and often are needed on a project-by-project basis.
- How much can you earn: Freelance web designers average $27 per hour, and freelance graphic designers average $29 an hour.
- What you need: A computer with design programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, stock image membership, and internet connection.
- Where to start: Find web design clients on platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, and sell designs on 99Designs or CafePress.
— Social Media Marketer
Along with websites, social media has become a must-have for growing a business. Many companies do not have the time, staff or know-how to manage social media accounts. And let's face it, you're probably on social media constantly. A side hustle could be managing social media accounts for someone else. That includes posting content, driving traffic to the website, and building social media followers.
- How much can you earn: Between $10 and $26 per hour with a national average of $15 per hour.
- What you need: A computer with internet and scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Later.
- Where to start: Turn to platforms like Upwork and Cloud Peeps.
— House Sitter, Pet Sitter or Caregiver
There is never a shortage of people seeking babysitters and childcare, pet sitters, and house sitters. By making this your side hustle, you can create your own hours and work when you like. Caregivers for seniors are also needed. Some seniors just need rides to doctors, or things picked up for them from stores.
- How much can you earn: Babysitters average $11 an hour, pet sitters average $13 an hour, and house sitters average about $12 an hour.
- What you need: A smartphone and a computer with web access.
- Where to start: Care.com is the leading platform for connecting caregivers, house sitters, and pet sitters with people in need.
The sharing economy has made it easier for people to earn extra money by becoming a peer taxi or delivery service. You can choose when you are available and for as many hours as you'd like. Ridesharing is one option, but some platforms, like Uber, also offer food delivery services.
- How much can you earn: Between $10 and $17 per hour.
- What you need: A registered car in good condition, license, auto insurance, smartphone.
- Where to start: Sharing platforms include Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, and DoorDash.
— Artisan Shop
Turn a crafty hobby into a money-making venture by selling your work online. Artisans are finding ways to operate businesses from home, using the web as a marketplace. Others use online selling platforms to sell discounted goods for a profit. For example, there are people who visit stores during sales and buy up goods to then mark up to full price and sell online for a profit.
- How much can you earn: It depends on the seller.
- What you need: A computer and internet service, some startup funds for materials.
- Where to start: Artisans can use platforms such as Etsy and eBay. Craigslist and eBay are best for selling store-bought goods.
To earn money transcribing, all you need to do is listen to audio and type exactly what you hear. Much of the time, it's legal and medical stuff. It's easily a job that can be done at night and won't interrupt your day job. To become a transcriber, you may need to take a quick training course and pass a grammar quiz.
- How much can you earn: The average earnings are $15 per hour.
- What you need: A computer with internet.
- Where to start: Enroll as a provider through companies like TranscribeMe and Tigerfish.
What Are the Benefits of a Side Hustle?
The main benefit of a side hustle is to make money, and you can often work from home with a side hustle. This could be helpful if you are thinking of starting a family and want to save for future expenses. Or maybe you want some extra cash to add to your investment portfolio.
As an example, let's say your annual salary is $50,000. Average raises are 3.1%, according to a Willis Towers Watson advisory firm survey. This means if you receive an annual raise, you'll get an extra $1,500 the first year. With the right side hustle, you could bring in more than that. Side hustles can earn between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars a month.
Side hustles are also an excellent way to earn money to invest in your own business. And by working part-time on your business, you'll gain experience, contacts, and clients. When you get enough work to sustain you financially, you can leave your day job for your new business without worrying about financial security.
A side hustle is also a way to test the waters of a new career direction to see if you like it, without having to sacrifice a good income.
What Are the Risks of a Side Hustle?
The most significant risk of a side hustle is getting fired from your day job. This could be due to a non-compete clause in your contract or other employment agreement. Or, if you work on your side hustle while on your day job, such as using your work phone or email, you are likely violating company policies and could be fired.
Working two jobs, possibly full time on each means burning the candle at both ends. That could result in increased mistakes, missed deadlines, and shoddy work as you attempt to keep up. Not only could you sacrifice your day job, but any new potential work could suffer.
Getting Extra Money Through a Side Hustle Has Never Been Easier
With a side hustle, you can set your hours and how much money you can make. Whether it is short or long term, a side hustle is a great way to earn extra money. It can also kick start a new career where you can work from home and call the shots. With so many careers and opportunities online these days, it's easy to find a side hustle you'll enjoy.
All you need is extra time and a little resource, and before you know it, you'll be on your way to better financial freedom.