Kimanzi Constable is an author of four books and a freelance writer whose articles have been published…
A side hustle can increase your monthly income significantly with a time commitment of just a few hours a week. It can also support you with extra money when unexpected work circumstances arise.
“I started a YouTube channel in March of 2020 when COVID got real in the United States,” says David Dilworth, a Delta Airlines flight attendant. “I’m in the airline industry, so there was a lot of not knowing what would happen next.” Dilworth’s fitness-based YouTube channel now generates $3,000 a month and has a variety of revenue streams. It even makes him money while he’s in the air for his day job.
One in three Americans have a side hustle, according to a poll of 2,001 Americans commissioned by Zapier, a marketing automation company. If you’re curious about entrepreneurship, but want to take a financially sound approach, side hustles offer the best of both worlds and can put extra cash in your pocket.
Here are the side hustle ideas that are popular now, along with stories from people who are using them to make extra money every month.
Not only is it possible to make extra money with a side hustle, but doing so can be a way to stay ahead of inflation and add an additional 10%, 20%, or 30% to your monthly income outside of your full-time job. Here are 12 popular income streams to consider.
If you have a vehicle that doesn’t get used much, you could rent it out and make extra money.
Apps like Turo, HyreCar, and Hagerty DriveShare let you list your car for rent in select cities. Think of these services as being like an Airbnb, but with your car.
“Every time we would travel, we would pick a rental car category and not end up with the car we wanted,” says Daniel Veiga, a business growth strategist. “We switched to using Turo instead.”
Veiga enjoyed his experience as a customer. His family household juggles five cars in total, so he decided to list some of them on Turo. The extra money was so good that Daniel and his family bought five more cars and listed them. They made $4,339 in April 2022, an average of over $400 per car per month.
If you don’t need to use your car all the time, renting your vehicle could be one of your best side hustles for your situation.
The online training and education industry will be valued at $243 billion in 2022, according to Statista, a data reporting company. If you are knowledgeable and/or experienced in a certain topic, your expertise could be used to make good money coaching or consulting people online as a side hustle.
“What’s exciting is that you can take skills you already have and coach others,” says Meredyth Mustafa-Julock, CEO at Coach Jennie, her wife’s coaching and consulting brand. Mustafa-Julock leveraged her expertise to build a new revenue stream in the business called “Borrow My CEO“; the offer generates $30,000 to $40,000 annually.
“You can get certified or share your skills and experiences,” she says. “Online coaching can be great if you enjoy solving problems and working with people.” The overhead to run an online coaching side hustle is minimal, and you can charge per hour or per month to create recurring revenue.
A shortage of inventory and rising material costs have resulted in a red-hot housing market. Even with mortgage rates being more volatile than usual, real estate investment is one of the best side hustles when you’re strapped for time.
“My husband and I have talked about investing in real estate since we got married twenty years ago, but [we] never did,” says Amanda Hammett, a leadership development strategist who started investing in real estate as a side hustle.
“We never had the mental space,” she says. “Suddenly, I was off the road as a public speaker. I spent 2020 researching [real estate], and narrowed down a location where we wanted to buy investment properties.” Hammett now has 32 properties that collectively generate $50,000 a year (plus all the tax write-offs) in extra cash.
Real estate investing can be done by buying individual properties or joining a group that invests in real estate. It can be a side hustle that pays good money while not eating up all your spare time, but it’s important to know your numbers before getting started.
In-person services are a tried-and-true side hustle. If you have time on your hands, consider leveraging it to make more money and increase your overall monthly income.
Take pet care, for example. Pet-sitting is a multi-billion dollar industry, according to reporting from Grand View Research, a data research company. Easy-to-use apps such as Rover and Wag! let you sign up as a pet care provider, offer dog walking service on demand, and start earning money.
“I started dog sitting six months ago via Rover,” says Djemilah Birnie, a creative consultant who signed up to walk dogs as a side hustle. “I generated a few hundred extra dollars the first month and quickly made it to $1,000 to $1,500 extra a month.” Birnie now projects that she’ll make $36,000 this year with this side hustle.
“I am booking out a month in advance, and it is something that easily fits into my current lifestyle.”
Remote work sometimes means more time flexibility at home. If you have extra spare time on your hands, consider animal sitting or other in-person services as a fun side hustle that helps you earn money.
A YouTube channel is a side hustle idea that has the potential to earn you additional monthly income on social media. You can record and publish videos that educate viewers on a certain topic, create reaction videos, or vlog your life.
Related: How to Make Money on YouTube
Dilworth, the previously mentioned flight attendant whose YouTube channel makes around $3,000 per month, says that 60% of this revenue comes from affiliate links on his videos. The remaining 40% comes from a combination of paid partnerships, personal training inquiries, and AdSense, YouTube’s program for paying creators a cut of the ads that run on their channels. Dilworth says YouTube has helped him find clients and get his online business off the ground.
If having a creative outlet appeals to you, consider creating content and publishing it on a platform like YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram to grow an audience and eventually pursue additional income streams. Online platforms can be a great way to make extra cash and relieve financial stress.
If you like the idea of real estate investing, but don’t want your property to be leased out for years on end, consider listing your property or spare room on Airbnb. Millions of consumers book Airbnbs as an alternative to hotels; as someone who travels full-time, I’ve booked over 150 Airbnbs in 40 countries.
You also don’t need to list an entire property for your side hustle to fly on Airbnb. Many people choose to list a portion of their home or even a single spare room, says Michael Marcial, a business consultant. Marcial makes about $10,000 a month in extra money listing property on Airbnb as a side hustle.
“A house, part of a house, or even a room can be listed on Airbnb,” he says. “You may have a side hustle opportunity in the space you already have.”
Airbnb can also be a great option if you want to stay connected to a part of the world that has special meaning to you.
“After going through a divorce, I was invited to speak at an event in Jamaica,” says Alicia Lyttle, CEO of Monetized Marketing, a company that coaches entrepreneurs. “I was in the process of restarting my life. That event was so successful that my sister and I went back to Jamaica for two years. Since I was spending so much time in Jamaica, I looked at purchasing a home there.”
“One of the houses I looked at was in rough condition, but the family of Bob Marley owned it. I bought the home, remodeled it, and listed it on Airbnb when I was not staying in it.”
In the first three months, Lyttle’s property generated $9,011.33 on Airbnb. It has since brought in $152,000 of extra cash since first being listed in 2017.
“I have an Airbnb manager who maintains the property in Jamaica, so it’s generating passive income for me,” she says. Some of the best side hustles are ones in which you treat the work like your own business, step into the role of CEO, and start generating extra money passively.
Millions of people buy things every day from an online store like Amazon, their favorite retailer, or a small business on social media. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce sales for 2021 were estimated at $870.8 billion. If you’re passionate about a certain industry or want to solve a specific problem, consider producing and selling the product you wish you had. Set up an online store so you can start selling online and bring in extra money each month.
Your products don’t have to be new. Listing gently-used items on social media, eBay, or Facebook marketplace groups can be a side hustle that not only brings in more money, but also declutters your home.
Freelance work is a great side hustle, and companies are almost always looking for skilled labor to help them get things done. A few examples of freelance work include:
If you plan to pitch business owners or companies, you might want to consider creating a business formation. This will allow you to operate as a company, even if it’s just you, and doing so will give you tax perks and keep more of your extra income in your pocket at the end of the year.
Why only be paid once for your efforts? Subscriptions, memberships, and paid newsletters let you get paid over and over again for the work that you do in your spare time.
Tools like Patreon and Ko-fi are designed to help people develop recurring revenue streams. Creator culture is one of the hottest side hustles at the moment, and the thought of offering direct-to-consumer memberships or subscriptions as a way to generate extra income is compelling to many.
If you’re strapped for both time and brain power, but are still curious about having a side hustle, one of the best side hustle ideas to consider is affiliate marketing.
Affiliates use special links or discount codes to promote their favorite products and services. If you’ve ever listened to a podcast episode and heard the host mention a discount code during a commercial, that’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell. Depending on the terms and conditions of the agreement, affiliate marketing can be either a one-time payout or a recurring monthly payout, and commissions vary widely.
If you need a side hustle idea that doesn’t require you delivering a product or service, affiliate links might be one of the best side hustles for bringing in extra income each month.
If your property has unused space, you might be able to use it to make more money. Neighbor is a unique marketplace that connects people with unused space in their garages, attics, basements, and driveways to renters looking for affordable storage.
“I saw a local news station segment on Neighbor and thought about the unused space on my lot,” says Carol Ann Wood, a full-time teacher. “Getting started was simple. I downloaded the app, then took a few pictures of my property. Once I uploaded the photos to the app, I set the price.” Wood uses Neighbor to offer her large yard as RV storage space. She’s made $12,718 over the last twelve months by using the service, an average of over $1,000 a month, which helps to offset the cost of her mortgage.
“My side-hustle allowed me to free up my finances, and the best part is I’m renting out space that would have otherwise gone unused,” she says. “I love how this is something I can do in addition to my full-time job.”
Nana Academy is a free online appliance repair training school and jobs platform. Anyone can sign up to train, and once you’ve completed your training you can book repair jobs with top employers like Samsung, GE and Miele. Since launching in 2017, NANA technicians have completed over 78,000 jobs at an average rate of $90 per job, according to internal metrics supplied by the company.
“Learning a trade [skill] can be a more lucrative and rewarding side hustle than the ones most people typically think about, like driving for a ride share or being an on-demand shopper,” says founder David Zamir. “The pandemic increased the demand for appliance repair since so many people were at home and using their appliances more regularly. Because of this, there continues to be a growing need for people to repair them.” Zamir says that for many technicians, trade skill development has been impactful.
“Taking jobs on Nana has made my quality of life better by allowing me to have more time to be home with my family,” says Sandro Fernandes, a Nana graduate and technician based in San Francisco. Since 2020, Fernandes has made over $190,000 by taking jobs on Nana. “I worry less about money now.”
For Zamir, using a side hustle or skill to dig yourself out of debt is a personal experience he knows well.
“I went through a period in my life where I felt hopeless, I had no savings, and faced large debt,” says the founder. “Learning a trade skill helped me to not only provide for myself and my family on a day-to-day basis, but to actually build a long-term, successful business that changed my entire life trajectory.”
The prospect of starting a side hustle in order to make more money can be exciting, but also daunting. You only have so much time outside of your full-time job, and you want to optimize how you spend it.
You only have so much time; one thing you should consider before starting a side hustle is its potential profitability.
As you discover your groove and find clients, make it easier for people to pay you. If your side hustle doesn’t use a marketplace or an app like some of the examples listed above, it might be worth your time to set up a sales funnel. Sales funnels are digital marketing assets that prevent your ideal clients from getting lost in the noise of the internet, says Brianca Johnson, a marketing strategist and educator.
“Side hustles can make more money with sales funnels because it takes the pressure off of you to constantly have to find new clients — the funnel converts them for you,” she says. “All businesses need a sales funnel.”
Johnson also recommends sales funnels because they don’t require any knowledge of coding to set up and implement.
“I think anyone can learn how to set up a sales funnel — even those [who are] not techy.”
The beauty of a side hustle is that you’re building it in your spare time. Blocking off time each week to work on your side hustle can help you make progress and earn extra money. Remember, the goal is not to have your side hustle turn into another dreaded task on your to-do list in addition to your day job.
“I managed social media in my corporate life and saw an opportunity to manage social media freelance on the side,” says Rahkim Sabree, CFEI, an author, speaker, and financial coach. Sabree slowly built up a side hustle outside of his day job as a financially stable way to move toward self-employment.
“Monetizing my skillset seemed to make the most sense as I built out my financial coaching business after leaving corporate America.” Sabree’s side hustle, still intact, generates about $37,000 per year in revenue and requires less than ten hours a week of his time.
When your side hustle starts to make money, there are reporting requirements. You have to report your earnings if they are $600 or more, per the Internal Revenue Service. The laws on earnings reporting are clear.
If you anticipate generating thousands or tens of thousands a dollar a year from your side hustle, take the time to learn about business formation. When you set up a business, you enable additional tax write-off opportunities that will allow you to keep more money in your pocket.
Side hustles are exciting and a great way to bring extra money into your bank account every month. Take some time to examine each potential side hustle, and do your research. Then choose the side hustle that best fits your life and goals.
A side hustle can both complement your primary source of income and eventually grow into something bigger. Leverage the power of side hustles as you work your way toward financial independence.
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