Are you looking for some of the best side hustle ideas? We’ve got an huge list of them for you here, so you’ll have plenty to choose from!
Some can be done without any experience, some can be done from home, some are great for moms & dads, etc.
But before we get into the list, let’s talk real quick about side hustles in general. (Or you can just jump straight to the list if you’d rather.)
What Is a Side Hustle?
“Side hustle” doesn’t have a bad meaning the way like the word “hustle” alone sometimes does. Instead, a side hustle is just extra work you do in addition to your normal job. A side job or side gig, in other words. So it’s more like hustle in the sense of “get a move on and work hard”.
It can be work you do a few hours a week, no set number of hours, or even a lot of hours if you are full of fire.
Usually side hustles are done as a freelancer or independent contractor/entrepreneur, so those are the kinds of things we’ll focus on here. But working part time for an employer can also be called a side hustle if you’re doing it on top of your regular job.
You may be doing it solely to make extra money, because it’s more fun than your regular job, or both.
How to Choose a Side Hustle Idea That Works For You
First, think about your goal. Is it purely to bring in more money? If so, how fast do you need the money? If not, is it that you want to do something you like better? Do you want to test the waters in a small business? Learn new skills?
Next, look at what it will cost to get started. If your main goal is to make money fast, try to avoid things that need an investment up front. (Especially if it’s something sales-related *cough* MLM *cough*.)
Because contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to spend money to make money. You can make money without spending a dime. Or you can start out with things that don’t cost you anything, and put money into it later if you want to grow.
Finally, look at the skills and equipment you have. Do they match any of the ideas? Or are any of them easy to learn or get?
Once you’ve thought about those things you can choose from the side hustle ideas that are the best fit. Don’t spend a ton of time trying to find the “best” idea ever. Pick something that appeals to you and give it a solid try.
Now, let’s get to that list of side hustle ideas to make extra money. (If you see something you want to try, be sure to scroll to the end of the list for some related tips.)
The Best Side Hustle Ideas for Making Money in Your Spare Time
The ideas are here to get you inspired, since coming up with possible ways to make extra money isn’t always easy. I’ve tried to include a wide variety of ideas so that you will be likely to find at least one (and hopefully many!) ideas you could put into action.
No matter what you choose, always make sure to meet any legal, health, tax, & insurance requirements there may be related to what you want to do. Note that if someone wants you to deposit money and then send them part of the money back, it is a scam. Don’t lose money in your effort to make more.
Now onto the side hustle ideas. They’re broken down by:
- Side hustles ideas to make money fast
- Longer-term side hustle ideas
- Weird side hustles people have made money at
For some of the ideas, you might need things like:
- being able to do physical labor,
- technical skills
- an internet connection
- or creativity
On the other hand, for some you’ll just have to put yourself out there and get some clients. Note that you can also probably just do more of whatever your day job is part time somewhere else, as long as they allow it.
Whatever you choose, remember that taking action is the key.
Side Hustles Ideas to Make Money Fast
All of these side hustle ideas are things you can do pretty fast, often without needing to spend any or very little money to start. They’re broken down by things you can do at indoors, outdoors, and anywhere or online. A few are seasonal, but if the time is right they can be a way to make money quick.
Side Hustles Ideas to Make Money Fast From Home or Indoors:
- Pet sit – Pet sitting can be as simple as stopping by once or twice a day to care for a neighbor’s cat (feeding, watering, petting it, and cleaning out the litter box) to caring for horses by living on the property while the owner is out of town — plus everything in between. Be sure to spell out what you’ll do while the owners are away, and to have emergency contact information for them and their vet.
- Babysit – Babysitting can be done in your home or the child’s. No matter where you babysit, you can do it on an as-needed basis (such as while the parents go out to dinner) or on a regular basis (such as every Friday night, or every weekday from 6am-6pm). If you sit in your home, you could also offer a drop-in service during set periods of time. You may want to include activities for the children, meals, and provide reports of the child’s day. Useful skills to have for babysitting include knowing CPR and first aid, and having the ability to think on your feet. Make sure that you have emergency contact information for the parents, doctors, and a list of any allergies or other issues to be aware of.
- Clean houses – Finding a reliable and thorough house cleaner can be hard, so once you get your first few clients your popularity is likely to grow. Decide whether you’ll clean using supplies the owners provide, or whether you’ll bring your own. Clearly outline what you’ll clean during visits, how long you’ll be there each time, and how often you will come. It’s best to get agreements in writing to avoid misunderstandings. You may also want to be bonded.
- Clean offices – This is similar to cleaning homes, but you’ll clean in the off hours when the office building is closed or just has a skeleton staff. An easy way to get started is to sign on with a company that does this; here at least they are always short staffed. (Probably because it’s hard work for pretty much minimum wage.)
- Teach people in person how to do something you’re good at – Whether you realize it or not, you’ve got skills. (Such as scrap booking, guitar playing, basic car maintenance, swimming, knitting, etc.) I guarantee you are good at SOMETHING. Figure out what that something is (hint: it’s usually something you think is really easy, and that you assume everyone can do) and then offer to teach others how to do it for a fee. You can do this one-on-one or in small groups.
- Create bulletin boards for teachers – You know all those themed bulletin boards that line the hallways and classrooms of schools everywhere? Someone has to put them together, and that’s usually a teacher. But teachers are busy people, and they may be happy to pay you a fee to get those bulletin boards done for them. You’re probably not going to get rich off this, but I made a few hundred dollars doing this as a kid in summers.
- Donate plasma for money – This is like donating blood in that you can only do it every so often and you recline during the process. But unlike donating blood, you can get paid to donate plasma. Do a Google search to find a location near you.
- Do small repairs for people – Have you ever tried to get someone to come out and do small repairs on your home? (Things like fixing holes in walls, repairing broken tiles, replacing a light fixture, etc.) It’s often hard to get anyone to show up because the jobs are so small. That means YOU could fill that niche by offering services as a handyman/woman.
- Sew or alter clothes – The ability to sew and alter clothes is becoming a little bit of a lost art, even though there are plenty of people out there who have a hard time finding off-the-rack clothes that fit properly. You could specialize in sewing custom clothes for tall people, petites, plus sizes, or specialty items like bathing suits or wedding attire, or you could offer general alteration services.
- Errand runner/personal shopper – There are plenty of people who either can’t get out and run errands, or would prefer to have someone else do them. You could drop off prescriptions and dry cleaning, grocery shop, wait in lines for folks, etc. You could offer these services on your own, or via sites like Dumpling or Instacart.
- Organizing – Many people struggle with organization, and would love to have someone come in and do it for them while offering suggestions on how to stay organized afterward. There’s even a National Association of Professional Organizers, and of course Marie Kondo’s show put this top of mind for folks.
- Wash windows – Be the one that does do windows and you can get paid for it. Quote per job or per window (remembering to charge more for windows that are above ground-level.)
- Assemble things – Do you enjoy putting together things like furniture, bikes, and children’s toys that are billed as “some assembly required”? Not everyone does, so there are people who will happily pay to have that taken care of, especially around the holidays.
- Decorate for Christmas parties – It takes time and effort to get ready for Christmas. Many people enjoy the look of a beautifully decorated house and tree, but don’t enjoy doing what it takes to get those results. Offer your services to get the decorating done for them (and to take the decorations down again when the season is over.) You could do so using their decorations, or you could charge extra to supply those too.
- Do taxes – If you actually like doing your taxes and are confident in your ability, chances are you could make some money by doing other people’s taxes too. You could do this by working for firms like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt (check with them in advance of tax season for their requirements), by helping out a local CPA or tax firm, or by getting clients of your own.
- Scan & digitize photos – A lot of people still have old-school photo albums laying around. You could offer a service to scan in photos and save them in digital format.
Ideas to Make Money Fast While Working Outdoors:
- Walk dogs – You can walk one or more dogs at a time. You should make sure all dogs are current on their shots, and have emergency contact numbers for their owners and vets. If you walk more than one dog at the same time, be sure you have permission from all of the owners to do so. (And of course, make sure the dogs get along.) You’ll need to choose routes that are safe for the dogs, and pick up and properly dispose of waste. You can find clients by posting in your local neighborhood group, at dog parks & pet stores, or by using an app like Rover. (Here’s my review of using Rover for dog walking.)
- Mow lawns – Mowing lawns can be offered as a stand-alone service, or it could be combined with other yard-related services you may want to offer. If you really want to start doing this on a shoestring, you could use your clients’ lawnmowers. Otherwise, you’d need to be able to bring your own mower to the site. You may also need to be able to haul away the yard waste.
- Pull weeds – I don’t know many people who enjoy pulling weeds, but if you do this could be a good side hustle. Offer your services online (or by going door to door if that’s allowed in your area) and you’ll probably get some takers.
- Trim trees & shrubs – Yes, we are on a yard-care kick here. Depending on the equipment you have and your experience, you could offer anything from complete tree trimming services to simply trimming back shrubs and keeping things neat.
- Rake leaves – This is exactly what it sounds like: raking up leaves and bagging them up for folks.
- Snow removal – Removing snow can be as simple as you shoveling the walks of a few neighbors using a good old-fashioned snow shovel, to taking care of many driveways using a snow blower.
- Hawk concessions – You may need an in for this, but when stadium sports are in season it can be a good way to make some money fast. Be warned, hawking is also a LOT of work because you’re carrying a tray of drinks from top to bottom of the stadium steps for a couple of hours. But you usually make more from it than the flat rate from working in the concession stand. I did this in high school and funded a trip to Europe with the money.
- Clean gutters – Many people hate having to climb up and clean out the gutters on their house. Let folks know why it’s important to keep their gutters cleared out (preventing roof damage, water leaks, etc.) and you could make this a recurring service, where you automatically return at specified intervals to take care of the job.
- Detail cars – Detailing involves giving vehicles the white-glove treatment: hand washing, scrubbing, drying, waxing, vacuuming, and polishing the exterior and interior. It could also include the engine, although that doesn’t seem to be as common. You could offer this service at your client’s homes. You may need to meet local requirements regarding how to handle the water runoff.
- Clean up dog doo-doo – It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. If you’re willing to tackle cleaning up after dogs in the backyards of pet owners, there’s opportunity waiting for you.
- Paint addresses on curbs – Have you ever gone looking for someone’s house and been unable to find it because their address wasn’t clearly visible? While it’s not such a big deal in the case of regular visitors or pizza delivery, it can be a big deal if police, rescue, or firefighters can’t find a house in an emergency. That’s exactly why someone might want you to paint their address on their curb. All you need are stencils, a template for the rectangle that surrounds the address, and both black and white paint.
- Power wash houses, driveways, and decks – People like the look of clean houses, driveways, and decks (and having them clean is a must before painting or refinishing) but they may not like doing the work themselves — or have the equipment or time to do so. Solve their problem by offering power washing services.
- Clear away downed trees after storms – While the work for this is likely to be sporadic, it could also be lucrative. Just knock on the doors of folks with downed trees after a storm and offer to clear them away for a fee. Better yet, leave your card in tree-lined neighborhoods when a storm is forecast, and folks may end up calling you on their own afterward. You’ll need a chainsaw, safety equipment, gloves, and possibly also something to haul away or mulch the wood. (Which you could later sell, or leave for the homeowner to use.)
- Sell extra produce from your garden – If you’ve got a green thumb and a plot of land, you can sell extra produce from your garden to bring in a little extra money. If you have an organic garden, you can charge even more for your fruits & veggies.
- Event security guard – Outdoor events and festivals often need extra security. Depending on where you are located, you might just have to take a short class and pass a test to be licensed as an unarmed security guard. Then you can contract as-needed with the companies who staff events.
- Put up and take down Christmas lights – There are lots of folks who would like to hang Christmas lights but either don’t want to get on the roof or can’t do it themselves. It’s a good idea to get seasonal Christmas light installer insurance if you do this though.
- Recover & sell golf balls or frisbee golf discs – Let’s face it; golfers lose their balls while golfing, and frisbee golfers lose their discs. Collect the lost ones (with permission of course), clean them up, and resell them for less than new.
Side Hustles Ideas to Make Money Fast Anywhere or Online:
- Comment on blogs for a fee – You don’t have to be a blogger to make money from blogging. Bloggers sometimes generate traffic and interest in their writing by leaving relevant comments in response to articles on other blogs. Relevant comments directly relate to that the article is about, not things like “Visit my blog at www.example.com!”. In fact, good comments won’t mention the blog name at all — other than filling in the name & url where requested in the comment form. Instead, they thoughtfully respond to what the post said. In other words, they participate in the conversation. Some bloggers are happy to pay to have someone take over this task, either at an hourly rate or per comment.
- Deliver food – You can do this on a more regular basis as a delivery driver for a local restaurant, or more on your own schedule through apps like Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, and UberEats.
- Tutor students in one or more school subjects – What were you good at in school? Even if you weren’t a star student, you could probably help others. Students of all ages (college, high school middle school, and even elementary) need tutoring in a wide variety of subjects — everything from learning how to study and how to prep for tests, to the basics like reading, writing, math, the sciences, and foreign languages. You could even tutor in computer-related skills. Find out what the going rate is in your area, which may range from $10 to $150 an hour for private tutoring. You can do this online over Zoom or in person. If you’ll be tutoring a child in person, it’s smart to have their parent be there.
- Teach people via Zoom webinars or tele-seminars – Not only can you tutor students in regular school subjects (see previous item) but you can teach many things over the internet or the phone. Webinars and tele-seminars can be a great way to bring in quite a bit of money at once. Get 200 people signed up at $20 a pop and that’s $4,000. Think about what you know (in your field, your hobbies, or your life experience — maybe you’re good at sales, showing dogs, or traveling), target an interested audience, and get people signed up. People like webinars & tele-seminars that provide actionable takeaways that can make their life better. Leave your participants with something of value (maybe a link to special files they can download that are just for them) and make sure you deliver what you promise.
- Sell your own courses – Create video or written instructions on how to do something you know well, and sell them via your own site, or sites like Teachable or Udemy. You’ll need to market it often to bring in clients.
- Haul away junk for people – Not everyone has the means or desire to go through junk that’s accumulated and get rid if it. “Junk” could include everything from large items like old appliances to items left in an estate. Get paid to haul away and (properly) dispose of the stuff, plus you can always sell anything that others might want. If you only want to do this outdoors, you can require people to leave it out for you. If you don’t mind going inside, you can do that as well.
- User testing – Companies want to understand how people use their websites & apps, plus what they think of them. If you meet their requirements, you can sign up on a site like UserTesting.com and get paid to test.
- Review resumes – If you have a good sense of what employers are looking for and are good at catching typos, you can review people’s resumes. Give them feedback on what they should do to improve it, make formatting suggestions, and fix errors.
- Resell items on eBay – These can be items you already have or things you pick up for a song (or even for free.) You can also offer to list things for other people on eBay in exchange for a cut of the sales.
- Turn a hobby into paid work – If you have a hobby and are good at it, chances are someone may pay you either to do it OR to help them do it. For example, someone who loves LEGOs might create & sell instructions for their own creations like these MOCs.
- Sell on Fiverr – If you have a service you can do quickly, you can offer it on Fiverr by setting up your gig and delivering it if you’re selected. People are often looking for quick turnaround and low costs there though, so be aware of that.
- Drive for Lyft and/or Uber – If you’re ok with having passengers and you have a newer car that you don’t mind putting miles on, this could be an option. As with many side hustles, you may need to add to your insurance policy to be covered with this. Do take into account the wear & tear on your car + gas when figuring out how much you might make with this, and know that it’s probably a very bad idea to buy or lease a car for this purpose.
- Install WordPress for new bloggers or small businesses – Many web sites use WordPress.org’s offering as their content management system — including some big-name corporations and universities. And of course, it’s hugely popular with bloggers. In part, this is because it’s easy to get up and running, and equally easy to maintain. Still, it’s beyond the technical comfort level of a number of folks. Get paid to meet this need by installing WordPress for blog owners and small businesses.
- Resell tickets – If reselling tickets is legal in your area, do ticket arbitrage. That’s where you buy tickets to shows and events (ideally ones that are likely to sell out) and then resell them to someone else at higher than face value.
- Optimize existing web content for search engines. – Are you good at optimizing articles to improve their chances of ranking higher in the search engines? There are people who will pay to have their existing content reworked to target specific keyword phrases.
- Provide SEO analysis & suggestions for web sites – Sometimes people want to learn search engine optimization for themselves, but they don’t know where to start. You could analyze their web site to show them what they’re doing well and where they could improve, and then teach them techniques for doing so themselves.
- Write posts for bloggers – Bloggers get busy, just like everyone else. They also sometimes find themselves needing to write about topics they’re not all that interested in (such as for sponsored posts or giveaways.) You could get paid per post to write for them, either as a regular staff writer or on an as-needed basis as a freelancer.
- Edit videos for small businesses – Edit videos for small businesses using some type of video editing software (such as Windows MovieMaker, iMovie, Camtasia, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, etc.) Windows Movie Maker and iMovie (for Mac) might be on your computer already. One way to get your foot in the door doing this might be to find a company that’s clearly posting unedited videos and clean one up a little as an example of what you can do. You could edit out any obvious “oops” and add an intro and closing sections. Or you could even just sell animated logo introductions for videos on Fiverr.
- Do internet research – Some people are a whole lot better at using the Internet for research than others. If you’re one of them, people may pay you to find the answers to their burning questions. Or they may pay you to do more in-depth research on a particular topic, freeing up their time for writing once you’ve gathered the information and provided the sources.
- Edit writing – A good editor can vastly improve someone’s writing. It takes an experienced eye to spot typos, grammar, and readability issues. Offer your services to writers. Bloggers are often interested in getting help with this, especially if you also know how to format a blog post.
- Take baby, family, pet, or engagement photos – If you like working with people AND get great photos of them, why not do portrait photography? Put out the word to family and friends that are familiar with your work that you’re available to shoot photos if they know anyone who is looking for a photographer. You can also put a portfolio up online for prospective clients to look at. You can probably use a corner of your house as a studio for indoor shots, but you don’t need a studio to get started. (And you may not need one ever — outdoor “on location” shots are very popular.)
- Fitness instructor/personal trainer – If you have experience with this, you could get a few clients and meet up with them at a park as a personal trainer, yoga instructor, or tai chi teacher. Or you may be able to do it online as well over Zoom.
- Wardrobe consultant – Do you have an awesome sense of what piece of clothing coordinates with what? You could get paid to make wardrobe suggestions based on the items someone already has in their closet, to offer tips on what styles and colors will be most flattering, or even to go clothes shopping with them and say yay or nay.
- Dog training – Training dogs (and let’s face it, their owners too) can be a rewarding source of income because it helps keep dogs and owners happily together. You could specialize in the basics (sit, stay, come, heel, etc.), agility training, new puppy training, problem areas, or just keep things flexible. Charge per hour, per class, or per training topic. You could meet at a public park, your home, or your client’s home.
- Dog grooming at the owner’s house – Taking the dog to the groomer creates additional hassle for the owner. You could reduce that hassle by offering grooming services at the owner’s house. This is especially helpful for dogs who are nervous about going to the groomers.
- Podcasting – Like blogging, you can make money podcasting. You’ll need a mic, somewhere quiet to record, and Audacity to edit your podcast. You can do an interview show, a panel, or just talk yourself. It may take awhile to build an audience though, which is what you’ll need in order to get ad sponsorships. (And sponsors are how podcasts usually make money.)
- Transcribe other people’s podcasts and videos for web sites – People prefer to get their content in different ways. Some prefer reading, while others prefer listening or watching. The thing is, people who mainly produce audio or video content usually do so at least in part because they don’t like writing. Offer to transcribe their content so they can have it in written form too, which is an added benefit that can draw people to their site.
- Make YouTube videos and accept advertising on them – If you have enough watch time, sign up for YouTube’s partner program to accepts ads on your videos, and you could make money that way. Hit a home run by creating a massively popular video, and you could really rake in the dough. You can also make money with YouTube by doing sponsored videos.
- Social media influencer – Social media influencers usually make money through sponsorships, but hugely popular influencers may make money from appearances too. You’ll need a good-sized following on your target social media channel, and to post regularly about things sponsors would be interested in advertising.
- Offer personal finance consulting – Many people have trouble with the basics of personal finance: everything from setting up a budget to figuring out how to get out of debt. If you’ve got experience in those areas, you could offer your consulting services.
- Offer life or business coaching – Life and business coaches help others successfully pursue their dreams, often by guiding them through various exercises, providing insights, and acting as an accountability partner.
- Create mood boards – Mood boards are a way of showing others groupings of items that coordinate. For example, you might create a mood board to provide suggestions for decorating a room, putting together an outfit, or throwing a party. You could charge for the boards themselves, and provide affiliate links to the suggested products.
Longer-Term Side Hustle Ideas
All of these side hustle ideas are things that may take a while to start making money in. (And some of them are things you could do for the long term.) Again, they’re broken down by things you can do indoors, outdoors, and anywhere or online.
Longer-Term Side Gigs You Can Do From Home or Indoors:
- Paint house interiors – House painting is a huge job — one that many people are glad to leave to other folks. Be sure you’ve got the skills and tools necessary to prep, finish, and do an overall excellent job. You could specialize in regular interiors or even custom paint designs or faux finishes.
- Sell prepackaged muffins to office workers – You could do this a couple of ways. You could set up on a regular basis in a fixed location, such as in the lobby of a large office building with many workers. (The building may allow you to do so for free, since you’ll be providing a benefit to their tenants that makes the building a more appealing location.) Or you could set up a route to follow by going from office to office on certain days of the week. In that case, cries of “the muffin man/lady is here!” will probably announce your arrival. In either case, you could buy your muffins in bulk from a store like Costco, and then sell them for $3 a piece or so.
- Start a plant-watering service – Do you have a green thumb? Offer to care for the plants that grow inside local offices and restaurants. If you live in an area with lots of seasonal residents, you could also offer to care for homeowners’ plants during the off season.
- Do voice work – If you’ve got a smooth or distinctive voice — or the ability to do a variety of “voices” — you could record podcast introductions and outros, radio commercials, and more. Create some short samples and post them on voices.com or submit to local agencies. Audacity is a great free software program you can use to edit your audio. While I don’t personally do voice work, I’ve used Audacity to record for podcasts and love it. You’ll need a mic and a quiet room (closets full of clothes can work.)
- Clean up foreclosures and rental properties – Renters and people leaving their house due to foreclosure can leave the property in bad shape. A rental property I had was left with every flat surface covered in up to a foot of the former renter’s belongings. The fridge was full of spoiled food, and they’d left the washer filled with mildewing laundry and water. It took three solid days to get it to the point where I could even start to clean it. I absolutely would have paid someone to clear all that out for me. Chances are, someone else will pay for that type of service too. Offer your services to real estate offices, property managers, and apartment complexes.
- Stage homes – Not everyone understands how to make a home appeal to buyers. (Check out the Ugly House Photos blog for some cringe-worthy examples of just how in need of help some would-be sellers can be.) Offer your services to home owners directly, and/or to Realtors and real estate offices.
- Paint murals in baby’s and kid’s rooms – Get out your paint brush and use your artistic skills to create murals in baby’s and kid’s rooms for a fee. Your local hospital might be willing to include flyers in their childbirth classes, and you could post notices at obstetrician’s and mom’s groups.
- Calligraphy – If you’re already an experienced calligrapher or are willing to learn the art, you could address wedding invitations for a per invitation fee, and create fancy wedding menus and place cards. (Calligraphy is basically a fancy way of writing, and there are multiple styles of calligraphy.) Check out Calligraphy for Beginners to get an idea of what’s involved in learning calligraphy. There are also many calligraphy books out there.
- Photograph homes for sale – Once a home has been all gussied up and is ready to go on the market, it needs to be photographed for the MLS. Good photos can make a huge difference, too. Get on the radar of local real estate agents and offer to shoot photos for their new listings (or to reshoot photos of existing listings).
- Bake cakes for special occasions – If you’re skilled, you could bake and decorate cakes for birthdays, weddings, and other events. The ability to translate someone’s vision into reality from a few photos is a plus. Remember to check food/licensing requirements in your area first. Depending on what you’re making, you may qualify for a cottage food license.
- Catering – If you’ve got a knack for cooking, consider doing catering to bring in extra money. Maybe you know an organization that often holds events. They may need everything from boxed lunches to full-blown meals. Don’t forget to check food/licensing requirements in your area first. Some areas require a commercial kitchen, but you may be able to have your home kitchen set up as one, or to arrange with a fire station or church to use theirs on a regular basis.
- Personal chef – On a similar note, you could be a personal chef who comes into someone’s home to prepare meals, either for single meals or for batch cooking.
- Arranging flowers – Flowers play a big part in weddings, funerals, and special occasions like Valentine’s Day. Offer your flower arranging services for those types of events and occasions. Don’t have anywhere refrigerated to store the flowers? Depending on the type of flower, they may be fine for a couple of days kept in large buckets of water. You can also place special orders of cut flowers with Costco ahead of time if you know you’ll need certain types for an event.
- Playing organ or piano for a church – Many churches pay their keyboardist to play at Sunday services. If you’re talented at playing piano or organ, you could let local churches know you’re available on either a regular or fill-in basis. You could also play at weddings.
- Respite care – There are many families out there struggling with long-term illnesses and medical conditions. Their lives revolve around caring for their loved ones, but everyone needs a break on a regular basis. Respite care provides just that. Basically, you sit with the ill person while their regular caregiver takes a little time off.
- Property manager – While many people like the idea of owning rental property, they soon find out that actually managing it is not their cup of tea. That’s where you could come in. Property management takes the ability to interact with renters, vendors, and owners. You should also be good at screening prospective renters, and knowledgeable about the fair housing laws.
- House sit – Unoccupied homes can be targets for thieves and vandals. Ease those worries by offering your house sitting services. You could live in the home while the owner is out of town, or offer services where you stop by daily to take in the mail, water plants, and generally check on the place. It’s a bonus if you’re also able to combine this with pet sitting.
- Rent out space in your house (or your entire house) – If you’ve got some extra room in your house (and it doesn’t take much) you could rent it out to a roommate, overnight guests, as storage, or as a vacation rental. Some sites where you could do this include AirBnB, VRBO, and Neighbor.
- Stain garage floors – Car buffs and proud homeowners love the look of a finished garage floor. Stain their concrete garage floors for a fee that includes the cost of supplies. Supplies are available at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s. There are also kits available on Amazon. Make sure you’ve done this before and are good at it first though!
- Doggy daycare – If you’re great with dogs, you may be able to offer doggy daycare in your home. That’s where folks drop off their dog for part or all of the day for you to watch them, just like people do with human daycare.
- Vending machines – You can own and service vending machines (candy, coffee, snacks, knick-knacks, what have you) in just a few locations or on a route. Just be sure there is enough traffic and need for the machines.
Longer-Term Ideas You Could Do Outdoors:
- Paint house exteriors – House painting is a huge job — one that many people are glad to leave to other folks. Be sure you’ve got the skills and tools necessary to prep, finish, and do an overall excellent job.
- Paint windows at local businesses or homes – Are you artsy enough to paint seasonal designs and announcements on the windows of local businesses? There’s a holiday or sale around every corner. Some homeowners might like the idea too.
- Sell bottled water, soft drinks, or snacks at local activities – It gets hot watching kids play soccer, baseball, t-ball, and all kinds of outdoor activities. People get hungry and thirsty, so why not meet those needs by selling bottled water, soft drinks, and snacks?
- Clean up construction sites – Construction is messy work, so sites need to be cleaned up once the building is complete. If you’ve got a truck (or if you can get paid enough to make something like the Bagster Dumpster in a Bag worthwhile) and some elbow grease, you can probably clean up construction sites.
- Referee games – Do you know the rules of major sport inside and out, and have eagle eyes? Consider becoming a referee in your area for a recreational, peewee, or school league.
- Coach sports – If you’re well-versed in a sport (anything from badminton to wrestling) and are good at motivating others and helping them improve, you may want to become a sports coach. This could be on an individual, group, or team level.
- Street performer – Busking is a time-honored tradition that could bring in a little extra money, especially if you are in an area with lots of pedestrians and you’re good at what you do. Play a musical instrument or juggle and pass the hat.
- Keep chickens and sell the eggs – If you’ve got a yard, you can probably keep chickens (even in cities — it’s roosters that are likely to be banned.) Eggs from free range and organically fed chickens command a pretty good price. While you’re not likely to get rich by selling eggs, it can bring in a little extra money.
- Rent out your parking spot – You can rent out parking. You may have an assigned parking spot that you don’t use to rent out, or space in your garage, driveway, or even yard. This could be especially profitable if you live near a college, popular attraction, or where major events take place. You can also sign up on various sites (such as Just Park, for example) to offer your space for rent.
- Rent out your vehicle – If you don’t use your car, truck, or RV often, consider renting it out to bring in some extra cash. Services that let you do this include Turo for cars, FluidTruck for cargo vans and trucks of all sizes, and Outdoorsy for RVs. (Just make sure you’re covered insurance-wise.)
- Pool maintenance – If you live where there’s a lot of pools, this can be a good source of income from repeat customers. Customers pay for you to stop by weekly to care for their pool. This would usually include things like brushing it down, balancing the chemicals, cleaning the salt cell (if it has one), and backwashing & cleaning the pump now and then.
- Drone photographer – Do you have a drone with a camera and a commercial drone pilot’s license? You can get gigs shooting events, weddings, and land from the air.
- Deliver door-hangers and flyers to neighborhoods – To make a little extra money, deliver door hangers and flyers to neighborhood homes. Small businesses and politicians will pay to have their ads delivered. Charge by the number of pieces delivered. You may even to be able to get additional work creating the ads too, if you’re graphically inclined.
- Run a hot dog cart or an ice cream push cart – These do require a good deal of cash up front: for the cart, supplies, and an ice machine unless you factor buying ice into your prices. So be sure it’s something you’re really interested in before you invest — ideally by running an existing cart for someone for a while. It’s a lot of work but it can be fun to interact with customers — as long as you’re up for the weather. You can do this in a set location (if you don’t want to have to trailer your cart around) or a series of locations if you do have a trailer.
Longer-Term Side Hustle Ideas to Do From Most Anywhere or Online:
- Answer questions – You can get paid monthly to answer questions on JustAnswer if you’re accepted and are an expert t in fields like appliances, home improvement, appraisals, cars, boats, computers, consumer electronics, engineering, finance, heavy equipment, homework, law, medicine, pets, etc.
- Blogging – You can make money blogging, especially if you’re writing on a topic that appeals to both advertisers and yourself. For example, popular topics might include personal finance, investing, parenting, pregnancy, photography, travel, politics, home improvement, decorating, real estate, etc. Keep in mind though, that blogging isn’t something you’re likely to make money at right away. It takes time to build up a good blog — typically 6 months to a year before you start getting readers. Once you have a readership and domain authority, you’ll have more options. You could sell regular text links (which Google can penalize your site for, but people sometimes do anyway), have sponsored posts, and have ads. Or you could weave in relevant affiliate offers by signing up as an affiliate for products you’re familiar with and feel comfortable recommending, then writing about them and including your affiliate link. You’ll likely want a self-hosted site that uses WordPress.org. If you aren’t sure about blogging period, give it a try on a free site first to see if you like it and then switch to self-hosted if you want to keep at it.
- Bike repairs – Biking is pretty popular now, which means there are many people who will need bicycle repairs. You could do this at the person’s home or at yours. If you have a bike rack or a track, you could even offer to pick them up for repair and delivery them when done.
- Computer repairs & maintenance – Like many things, computers break down and need maintenance (software updates, virus removal, etc.) If you’re good with computers this could be a nice service to offer.
- Handle someone’s social media for a per item or monthly fee – Social media is all the rage. Think Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The only thing is, many businesses and bloggers don’t have the time to keep up with it, or to fully understand how to take advantage of it. If you’re great at it, offer to handle someone’s social media. You could charge per pin, tweet, or Facebook post, or you could charge a monthly fee to engage as a community manager.
- Create and run an event – Scavenger hunts and various types of races are popular events. Why not put one on yourself? Just be sure that the entry fees you ask are enough to exceed any associated costs and permits.
- Drop shipping – This is where you sell products to customers, but you don’t have the products in stock. Instead, when someone places an order you order the product from a third party and have it shipped to them. You’re the middleman, in other words. You’ll need reliable suppliers and an online storefront or other way to sell, and there are startup fees involved.
- Write and sell ebooks – Ebooks are basically books delivered in pdf or Kindle format. What do you know well? What do people want to know? Find out where those two things intersect, and start writing. Pat Flynn’s eBooks the Smart Way guide is an awesome (free!) resource you can use to get started. You can also create your ebook for Kindle, using their publishing platform.
- Format ebooks for Kindle – Don’t want to write books yourself? You can format them for Kindle for authors who want to sell on Amazon.
- Create print on demand products
- Public relations – Are you good at getting media attention? Why not put your contacts to work for other people by doing PR work. You can promote books, websites, people, etc.
- Buy and resell baby and children’s clothes – Baby and children’s clothing are always in demand, especially gently used name-brand items. If you can scoop them up at garage sales for a song, you can probably make a profit by reselling them later online.
- Design logos for web sites – If you’ve got graphic design skills and access to the appropriate software (Pixlr is free to use) you could design logos for web sites. Keep in mind that you should not include clip art or stock photos as part of a logo if the site you’re designing it for wants to be able to copyright or trademark the logo, which most people would. Expand this service to include designing headers for sites and blogs.
- Flip storage unit contents – Buying and selling abandoned storage units as a side hustle is similar to flipping items on eBay (in fact you may use eBay to sell some of what you buy) but it has a bigger element of chance to it. You never know what you may or may not find to sell. I imagine any profits on this may vary a lot.
- Create a monthly membership site – You can easily set up a subscription-based web site using WordPress.org and the WishList Member plugin. (Or other options.) People then pay a monthly fee for access to your content. This is especially good for academy-type sites where content is rolled out to students in modules, or for sites where new information and updates arrive each month (such as a stock tip or similar site).
- Sell stock photos – Are you a great photographer? Especially a photographer who’s good at translating concepts and ideas into photos, or a photographer with plenty of model-released shots? If so, you can probably sell royalty free stock photos on sites like DepositPhotos.com or iStock.
- Create a niche website to do affiliate marketing – When you’re an affiliate for a product or service, you get paid each time someone buys that product or signs up for the service. A niche website focuses specifically on a particular topic — in this case one that would be relevant to the product or service you’re an affiliate for. Become an authority on that topic, and folks will likely view your site as a resource and click on your affiliate links. Clickbank, Commission Junction, and ShareASale are popular places to sign up as affiliates for free. If you’re looking for more info on how affiliate marketing works, I’ve heard good things about the (paid) Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course.
- Do translation work – If you can read, write, and speak more than one language fluently, there’s opportunity out there for you. You could translate books, documents, brochures, advertisements, instructions, software, and more.
- Programming – There are plenty of folks out there with ideas for software or web applications that don’t know how to program. Help them make their dreams a reality by taking on their programming project. Upwork is one place to list your programming services and bid on projects. If YOU don’t know how to program yet, there are plenty of programming books available at the library, or you could take a (free) MIT Open Courseware class.
- Test apps – Do you have the skills it takes to test an app and document any bugs you find? Quality assurance is an important part of successfully bringing an app to market. Contact iPhone, iPad, and Android developers to offer your services as a QA tester if you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
- Data entry – If you can keyboard accurately and pay attention to detail, you can do data entry. Look for extra work at payment processors (think banks and credit card companies), rebate companies (someone has to enter all the forms that were mailed in), catalogs, and other data entry-intensive types of businesses. You may also be able to find side work doing the traditional typing up of manuscripts or memoirs. Post flyers at local schools and retirement centers.
- Work as a virtual assistant – If you’ve got a reliable computer, an internet connection, and the ability to handle a variety of work-at-home tasks, you could work as a virtual assistant for one or more clients. Virtual assistants (called VAs for short) may provide secretarial-type services, marketing-related services, internet research, handling customer questions, or various other things that people with internet-based businesses may require. See Everything You Need to Know about Becoming a Virtual Assistant for a nice summary.
- Technical writing – Technical writing is a specialized type of writing that turns difficult terminology or jargon into something that’s readable by the average human. You don’t actually have to know how to do whatever you’re explaining, because subject matter experts will tell you what you need to know. You just have to be able to explain things to people who are unfamiliar with what they need to learn and do. Software companies and other high-tech industries often hire out their manuals and help files to contractors, so try picking up work there.
- Create wedding and birthday invitations – Getting married and throwing birthday parties (especially for kids or milestone birthdays) is big business. People want custom invitations to set the tone for the party. You could offer your invitations on Etsy and/or on a website of your own.
- Start a pizza (or other) tour – Yes, here’s proof that you can actually succeed at sharing something you love — like eating pizza: Scott’s Pizza Tours. (Which is an awesome tour, by the way.) Of course, it doesn’t have to be a pizza tour. You could start a tour of anything of interest in your area — even a walk of downtown or a ghost tour. You just need to bone up on the subject/area, find out interesting tidbits to share, and be entertaining. You might also look into creating an AirBnB experience.
- Make balloon animals for tips – All you need for this is someplace to hold the balloons before you blow them up, a tip jar, and to have practiced making various balloon animals. (Dogs and swords seem to go over well.) You could do so at local events, school fairs, restaurants, malls, businesses, etc. Just be sure you have the permission of the person in charge. You might even be able to get paid to make balloon animals for a set period of time as something the business offers to the children of their customers.
- Face paint at children’s parties – Learn some of the popular face painting patterns, buy or make your own face paints, and you could be the hit of a children’s party or other child-friendly event. (For a fee, of course.)
- Magician – Can you do magic tricks that impress, and do you like to perform for a small crowd? You could do that at children’s parties or maybe even corporate events.
- Costumed character – If you like cosplaying (or are at least willing to buy a costume) you could entertain children at parties or hang out in a busy area and take photos with pedestrians.
- Ad broker – Many blogs and web sites accept ads and/or sponsored posts, but their owners don’t enjoy negotiating with advertisers to agree on a price. Act as the go-between for a percentage of the ad revenue. You’ll need to build up a list of bloggers who want you to handle their advertising, and then have them forward all requests to you. (You could also give them an dedicated email address to place on their blog, so that requests automatically come to you.)
- Refinish thrift store furniture and sell at profit – There are some hidden gems of furniture lurking in thrift stores, garage sales, and curbs. Pick up furniture for a song that has seen better days, refinish it or freshen it up with some elbow grease and a coat of paint, and resell it for a profit.
- Create wedding favors – Brides and grooms order all sorts of wedding favors for their guests. Offer anything from custom “How sweet it is” wraps for Hersey bars to specially-created labels for the boxes small favors might come in.
- Sell handmade or vintage items on Etsy – Etsy is a web site where sellers post either handmade items they have created or vintage items they’ve found. There are many categories of items — everything from art to weddings. You could sell your items here to make some extra money. (For example, I sold several of my abstract paintings there.)
- Plan parties – Party planning is a headache that some folks hate to undertake. If you’re good at pulling off fabulous parties, offer your services for engagements, baby showers, birthdays, retirement, and business parties.
- Bookkeeping – Small business owners eventually realize that they can’t do everything themselves, and that it’s important to keep their financial books in order. If you’re experienced with bookkeeping, you could handle that for one or more clients.
- Offer notary services – You can generate a bit of extra income by acting as a notary on an as-needed basis, or you could make it a more regular thing by working in concert with a title company to do real estate closings, sometimes even at the owner’s home. See the National Notary Association for info on becoming a notary.
- Officiate at weddings – These days, it’s relatively easy to be a wedding officiant. In many states, you just need to become an ordained minister. (Note that some states have additional requirements, so check with your state to be sure it doesn’t require that you pastor a congregation or file a certificate as well.) It’s becoming more and more popular to use a nondenominational wedding officiant, so offer your services and you should be able to pick up some extra money (and probably a few free meals as well, since officiants are often invited to the wedding reception.) Here is one site that explains how to become an ordained minister.
- Write sales pages – (For web sites, apps, e-books, courses, affiliate products, etc.) Good copywriters can command high fees. Why? Because good copy writing attracts eyeballs and then sells. The more people sell, the more they make — and the more they’re willing to pay for the services of someone who can help them do that.
Weird side Hustles People Have Made Money At
Last but not least, here are some weird side hustles to finish off the list. Some of these are pretty niche, unlikely to be repeatable, or in one case even illegal. So just enjoy reading some of these:
- Online casino promotion hunter – Jim from Wallet Hacks did this while in college. This was years ago, but he basically made money by carefully using casino promotions. You can read more about his crazy side hustle here.
- Playing frisbee – Wallet Squirrel’s weirdest side hustle was getting paid to spend the afternoon tossing frisbees with a company logo on them to people. So basically he got paid $100 for the day to play frisbee.
- Liquor brand mystery shopper – On a similar note, Annie was once a mystery shopper for a liquor brand. She got paid to go to bars and order their signature cocktails. Best job she ever had.
- Credit card churning & coin sorting – Trip of Lifestyle is a fan of credit card churning. (Signing up for lots of credit cards with large bonuses.)
- Silver hunting – ToL also once withdrew 12,000 half dollars from a local bank, unrolled them, searched for pre-1971 coins, sold them for their silver content, and then re-rolled and re-deposited the rest. Net profit was around $35/hour.
- Adult novelty education – Sandy of Yes, I Am Cheap once helped older women with education on adult novelties.
- Cleaning dorm rooms – April spent a summer in college making money by cleaning dorm rooms at Kansas State University for middle and high school sports clinics. She says middle and high school boys leave behind a lot of porn mags! She also cleaned dorm rooms at the end of a semester, and found lots of disgusting and disturbing things her fellow college students left behind.
- Selling bone marrow – Physician on FIRE sold bone marrow for stem cell research to the University of Minnesota at $50 a pop. He says, “It’s hard to describe the feeling of negative pressure inside your pelvic bones, but it’s certainly not a pleasant feeling. The harder the bone marrow harvester pulled back on the syringe plunger, the more unpleasant it was. That said, the procedure took about five minutes, advanced science, and netted me $600 an hour for the brief time I was there. I went back five more times after the first donation.”
- Condom booth attendant – Over at #moneyhungry, Michelle’s weirdest side hustle was manning a condom booth at a public health fair with a focus on helping college health administrators better serve their students. She says, “The owner of the company manned the booth with me and wanted to make sure that I was…ahem…being safe. I was given a huge amount of product at the end of the event. It paid well too.”
- Responding to unwanted messages – And then there’s this tweet from Kat Tretina:
- Sell used underwear – If you’re not creeped out by the idea, you could sell your used underwear to people who are into that kind of thing. There are sites that can help you do that, and it’s probably a good idea to do so anonymously. Here’s one person’s experience. I imagine this works for shoes as well, since a local radio DJ was talking about how someone offered her $1K for her used flip flops.
- Selling cigarettes – Athena of Money Smart Latina says, “When I was homeless in high school I sold cigarettes to my classmates. I was able to sneak them from family members and would then just go to the spot where I knew everyone hung out in the morning and hawked em. Maybe not legal but hey! I was innovative!”
- Driving the Amish – Amanda of Frugal Confessions made around $3,000 one summer in Pennsylvania by driving the Amish around. Her father and stepmother are full-time taxi drivers for Amish.
- Be a friend or cuddler – Sites like RentAFriend and Cuddle Up To Me let you provide regular human interaction.
So, what did you think of this giant list of side hustle ideas? I hope you found one or more to try out that will pay off for you. I’ve got a little more info for you below on how to start one, or you can jump back to the top of the list.
How to Start Your Own Side Hustle
If your goal is to test the waters with a side hustle that you hope to maybe take full time someday, you’re basically starting your own small business. That doesn’t have to be hard.
If you’re a sole proprietor, sometimes all it takes is saying you are in business and getting your first customer. You don’t need to make a business plan, create business cards, build a website, form an LLC or S-Corp, etc before you start in order to, say, write a few articles a week as a staff writer for someone’s blog. You just need to get a customer and go make some extra money.
But do be aware of any laws that apply in your area. For example, you may need to get a business license and permit. You may want to get bonded and insured, etc. And always make sure to meet any legal, health, and tax requirements related to what you want to do. You’ll also want to set aside money for taxes from every dollar you earn. I set aside 30%, but check with someone who knows your situation for advice.
If you aren’t sure what’s needed to start a business on the side, start by googling your state’s name + corporation commission. You can usually find plenty of info online from government sources. Check with a pro who knows your situation to be sure.
One Last Thing: How to Find Customers and Work
Put the word out among your friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers. Tell them about what you offer or what you want to do, and ask them to send people your way if they know of anyone interested.
Word of mouth is a great way to find clients or work, since people trust the recommendations of people they know. Really, it’s by far the best way, especially if you can get people piping up to recommend you all on their own. (You do that by being super helpful and flat out asking them to refer you if they hear of anyone who could use your services.)
For example, if you want to tutor students in German, you could pass the word to local high school and college teachers. (Who could then give out your name and phone number for you.) You may be able to post in neighborhood groups online too.
The important thing is to get started, ideally with something that’s not going to cost you much (or anything) up front. Which will you try?