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Times are tough and a lot of Americans are struggling financially. The ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic are still being felt as inflation reached a four-decade high in June of 2022. As a result, many Americans have started to take on side gigs or side hustles to gain a little extra income in addition to their day job.
According to a recent survey, roughly 44% of Americans have at least one side hustle to help them make ends meet. Another 28% of survey respondents said that they started a second job as a direct result of inflation. The survey found that individuals with a second job worked an average of 13 hours a week at their side hustle to bring in a little less than $500 extra each month.
If you’re interested in dabbling into the gig economy, there are a ton of options available. Your bookkeeping skills or that pile of certifications could mean you are always in demand. People that know graphic design or writing, could pick up freelance work as freelance writers, bloggers, or designers, while people that love to cook can sell dishes and cater parties. You get the idea.
Monetizing a hobby or interest can be an excellent way to turn work into fun. If you have a unique skill, talent, or education, then look for a way to use those skills to make a little extra money on the side. Think beyond basic babysitting.
Other side hustles are more like second jobs, and are going to require more effort and intentionality. However, many people prefer to work second jobs because of how unpredictable a gig-based structure can be.
If you need a few ideas, here are 10 of the best side hustle ideas that can make you more money regardless of your skill or education level:
1. Survey Taker
Taking a survey is about as easy as it comes to having a second job. All that you need is a smartphone, an internet connection, and an email to get started. You’ll probably get flooded with many emails, so it’s a good idea to create a new email account separate from your personal one.
Brands are always looking to learn more about their products and services. One of the ways that they do this is by employing the use of paid surveys. Answering these questions doesn’t require any previous knowledge and is largely confined to your personal opinions. You might even get sent free products to test and provide feedback.
You won’t be able to make a lot of money by taking surveys, but you could make around $100 a month while sitting on your couch. The more surveys that you take, the more money you can make. Typically, payments come in the form of gift cards or through apps like PayPal.
2. Food Delivery
Picking up a weekend job as a pizza delivery person has long been used as a way to make extra money. Restaurants are almost always looking for additional food delivery drivers and the weekends are their busiest times.
Not only can you make a decent chunk of change through tips, but you’ll probably get a hefty discount on food as well. It’s worth asking your favorite restaurant if they need some help on the weekends.
Working for a restaurant isn’t the only option that you have. The pandemic created many unique business opportunities, one of which is grocery delivery. The job is as simple as it sounds: a customer uses an app to create a grocery list, then you pick up the groceries from the store and deliver them to the customer. You’ll be paid by the app and hopefully, receive a generous tip from the customer.
3. Dog Walker
Roughly 38.4% of American households (more than 48 million) have at least one dog. Unfortunately for pandemic dogs, life has largely returned to normal in the years since the pandemic first hit.
People are back at work, kids are back in school, and dogs are back to lying around being bored all day. The good news is that this return to normalcy allows you to make some extra money. Rover needs a walk.
Dog walking is a job that’s often so fun that people might pay to do it. You get to spend your free time hanging out with humanity’s closest four-legged friends and make their tail wag with joy.
There’s nothing to dislike about it. The money will vary depending on your location, and you might not make very much overall. But does that matter when you get to spend more time hanging out with dogs? Bonus: it could even turn into a pet-sitting gig.
4. Rideshare Driver
The concept of taxis has been around since the horse and buggy days. In recent years, the idea has changed with the evolution of technology. Regular everyday people can use their personal vehicles to pick up and drop off people that have places to be.
You’ll be able to set your schedule and get paid to drive around in your car. Nights and weekends are typically the busiest times, so if you have a full-time day job, then you’re the perfect candidate for ride-sharing. You’ll meet new people and get paid for each ride you make, plus a tip.
5. House Sit
One of the worst things about traveling is that you’ll leave an empty house behind. It can be hard to enjoy a vacation when you’re worried about the mail piling up, the plants getting enough water, or wondering if you locked the back door.
Fortunately, there have been online services popping up over the years that can help solve all those problems. These services hire a house sitter to take care of all the household needs while the owner is away.
In some cases, you might have to take care of a few pets while you’re house-sitting. But a lot of the time, it’s as simple as keeping an eye on everything. You can relax and watch TV or perhaps take a few surveys online or work on your freelance writing skills while house-sitting. Outside of the occasional chores, it can be a piece of cake.
6. Food Service
Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit industries during the pandemic. The food service industry has been short by about 750,000 jobs (more than 6% of its workforce) since the pre-pandemic days.
These shortages have led to restaurants having longer waiting times for customers, limited hours, and sometimes closing their doors completely. A lot of restaurants are desperate to find additional help. Even without much experience, it shouldn’t be too difficult to land a job as a host, server, entry-level cook, or bartender.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and make some decent money. It will likely be a more stressful job than some of the others on this list, but the money could be much higher as well.
7. Personal Assistant
Most people would love the opportunity to have a clone that can handle their various tasks and responsibilities throughout that day. While you might not be a direct clone, you can be the person that assists someone with their busy schedule.
As a virtual assistant, you might answer emails or make phone calls. As a personal assistant, you might have to run everyday errands like dropping off dry cleaning, going grocery shopping, or picking the kids up from school. The list can vary, as can the pay, but it’s usually a fairly simple way to make some extra money.
8. Rent Extra Space
Space has become quite the commodity in the modern era. For example, storage units are popping up everywhere because people lack the room to house all their things. If you’re fortunate enough to have extra space in your home, then you can use it to your advantage.
An empty room probably isn’t doing you much good. But renting it out to someone can make you quite a bit of money, and you don’t have to do anything. You could turn your extra room into an Airbnb for some extra cash.
Taking on a roommate is beneficial to your bank account and theirs. The price of rent is skyrocketing, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding someone looking to pay you for the space.
9. Teach English Online
Technology has brought together people from all around the world. Humanity has never been more connected, but there are still a lot of barriers between countries. One such barrier is the language barrier.
Roughly 1.5 billion people speak English which makes it the most commonly spoken language in the world. As a native English speaker, you are in a unique position to help teach even more people how to master the English language.
You’ll largely be working one-on-one with students to tutor them and improve their skills. There are few jobs as rewarding as teaching a child how to communicate more efficiently.
10. Lawn Care
There are a lot of awesome things that come from owning a home. Having to take care of the yard isn’t one of them. These chores are usually a tremendous burden on homeowners of all ages. Their disdain for lawn care makes it the perfect job for someone looking to make more money.
Mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and weed-eating are rough jobs that people will pay good money to avoid. You might need to buy your own equipment (if you don’t already have some).
However, you can make some serious money by offering to take care of people’s lawns. Plus, you’ll be able to get some sun and get a nice workout each time.
Side hustles can be an easy way to increase your income.
It’s becoming increasingly common for Americans to work more than one job. There are so many benefits that come from working an extra job that’s become impossible to resist, even for people that don’t necessarily need the money.
Obviously, the combination of making extra money and spending less will help boost your savings account. But those aren’t the only benefits of working a part-time job.
Since you’ll already have security with your full-time job, you can get more creative with your side hustle. You’ll have the option to pursue your passions and potentially turn your side job into your full-time profession. You’ll also be able to meet new people, increase your network, find a new source of passive income, or stay active when you’re away from work.
The benefits of working a second job are pretty clear. It’s worth looking into if you need the extra money or want to make the most of your free time. The list above is just 10 examples of the possibilities, but there are so many more options out there.
There’s no such thing as having “too much money” so pick up a side hustle and boost your income. Pay off your student loans or save up to own your own small business. Either way, you’ve got plenty of options.