If you are looking to become financially independent, a good way to get there is to have multiple sources of income. In this article, I share different side hustles that you can start today. Each of them has different investment requirements in terms of time or money and also have different earning potentials. Be sure to do your own research before taking up a side hustle.
How to use this list of side hustles
Income or earning potential is obvious. A higher number for a side hustle indicates you can earn more more doing it. If the time investment number is higher, it means the side hustle requires a smaller time commitment from you and will be good for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to spare. A high number for dollar investment indicates you need an initial outlay or will incur ongoing expenses during the side hustle.
Here are some of my top side hustle picks for 2021
1. Sell stuff5/10 7/10 8/10
Easiest money you will ever make! You may be able to find valuable belongings that you no longer use or need and other people willing to pay money for. It’s a great way to declutter your home and make money at the same time. You may have clothes, bags, shoes, jewelry that you no longer use. Just make sure that the stuff is yours and don’t accidentally sell something that belongs to your significant other!
Other avenues to find stuff to sell are garage sales, Facebook marketplace, NextDoor, and Craigslist. Also check free stuff that people post on Facebook groups. People are always giving away belongings they no longer need – furniture, trinkets, clothes, etc. I know someone who revamps old furniture from garage sales and sells it at a profit on Facebook.
You may also be able to buy stuff from suppliers in bulk and sell on Amazon. This may require some upfront dollar investment.
If you are creative, a great place to sell stuff is Etsy. You will find a ton of sellers selling custom jewelry, stationery, decor, art, party decorations, plants, seeds, etc. Of course, if you are making stuff yourself, the time investment will be higher but so is the earning potential.
2. RIde sharing4/10 8/10 9/10
If you take proper precautions, ride sharing can be a good way to earn extra money on your own schedule using your own car. Perfect for people with full-time jobs! Just make sure you carry additional insurance to work as a ride-share driver. Also account for fuel and repair costs on your car because of the additional driving. Please take extra care to protect yourself and passengers while driving people.
3. food delivery4/10 8/10 9/10
Another great use of your car to earn additional income is to deliver food. Some people think they don’t need additional insurance because they are not transporting people but they are WRONG. You need to get additional insurance even for food delivery. A lot of people since the pandemic like to get groceries and food delivered.
4. pet sitting5/10 8/10 9/10
If you are comfortable around pets, you could earn money by walking dogs or feeding pets while the owners are away or boarding pets in your home. Cats can be low maintenance. Some dogs, on the other hand, could be lot of work. On some apps you could potentially earn, on average, $15 to $30 per hour. Again, make sure to purchase additional insurance running a pet-sitting business.
5. teaching & tutoring9/10 6/10 9/10
If you are good at something useful, why not teach others! Online teaching is a great way to make extra cash. You could teach kids and adults business, music, art, sports, etc. Pick your niche, and spread the word through your community and local Facebook groups. You can also teach English to kids in foreign countries.
Piano teachers can earn $50 to $100 an hour for one-on-one lessons. You may also be able to teach small groups or a large audience. If you are tech savvy, you could make instruction scalable by creating an online course. I take a lot online courses ranging from $20 to thousands of dollars. You will incur some expenses for hosting your courses and advertising but this is a super scalable model. Udemy is a great platform as well. Depending on how you choose to teach, whether through a course or one-on-one, your time commitment will vary.
Here are a few platforms you could try.
6. share your car5/10 8/10 4/10
If you work from home or are planning to travel, you can rent out your car to earn extra money. Make sure you have the right insurance to cover any losses. There have been cases where renters have crashed cars and the loss wasn’t covered. Be sure to check what car owners say before you decide.
7. mystery shopping5/10 6/10 9/10
This is a perfect opportunity for people who want to earn extra cash for shopping. As a mystery shopper, you get paid by a company to pretend to be a real shopper at specific locations and then report to the company about your experience shopping. You get paid a fee for your time as well as reimbursement for the items you purchase up to a specific amount.
8. online surveys5/10 6/10 9/10
By participating in marketing surveys, you can make some extra money in your spare time. Beware of scammers. You can participate in consumer focus groups and earn $70 to $300 an hour.
9. bartending8/10 4/10 9/10
If you love interacting with people, bartending could be a great side hustle if you can mix drinks and get orders right :). Earnings from tips can be great if you can spare a few nights a week after your regular work hours. Check with local bars and restaurants.
10. Renting8/10 8/10 7/10
Rental income is a great way to earn extra money. There are several ways to do it depending on how much dollar investment you are willing to make.
If you have the money to invest, you could potentially buy an investment property to rent, either long-term or as a vacation rental.
If you own a home, you could rent out a floor or a room. Be sure to vet the people you let inside your home. Your local community, church and your circle of friends are great places to find like-minded people to rent to. One of my acquaintances rented out one of her rooms to me. We ended up becoming the best of friends.
Another friend used to own a 2-family home with a separate entrance. She converted the space upstairs into a bed and breakfast. She made more money by renting it out to vacationers than she would have renting it to long-term tenants (and with less drama).
Here are a few places to advertise your space.
11. blogging / vlogging9/10 6/10 8/10
Starting a blog is extremely easy. Making money from it is a whole different story. However, if you are passionate about a specific niche and love writing or recording videos, you can be a very successful blogger or vlogger. There are bloggers who blog full-time and earn enough to replace and far exceed income from their full-time jobs.
You can start a channel on Youtube for free. If people find your channel interesting, the possibilities are limitless. If you want to write, you can get a domain on GoDaddy and host your website for a small monthly fee.
12. SAT Proctor
Proctoring can be quite profitable for reading a few instructions, supervising test takers and checking their ids. You could earn $135 per test. Check with local schools. There are other standardized tests that may require proctors.
13. Freelancing9/10 5/10 9/10
If you have valuable skills as a software developer, data scientist, video editor, virtual assistant, writer, etc., you may be able to find work where you can set your own rate and schedule. You can start small and grow your profile through referrals.
Here are popular platforms to find freelancing work.
14. investing9/10 9/10 3/10
Investing can provide a good source of passive income in the future. Everyone should invest – for their retirement, and for other financial goals. If done right and with a long-term view in mind, it has a great potential to grow your wealth and income. Time commitment can be minimal if you invest in indexed funds.