Even if you don’t have a lot of spare time, you can turn a few extra hours into extra money with the right side gig. That extra money can help you reach financial goals more quickly, stay on top of everyday expenses or just be used as guilt-free “fun” money.
I chatted with experts to get their picks for the best side gigs to do when you don’t have a lot of time to spare — here’s what they suggest.
Flip Lightly-Used Bulky Furniture
“If you have a truck and a means to store bulky items, Sharetown wants your help,” said Nick Loper, founder of Side Hustle Nation. “The company is a ‘reverse logistics’ provider that has partnered with bed-in-a-box mattress companies and other direct-to-consumer furniture brands to handle their return requests. That’s when a local Sharetown rep gets dispatched to the customer, picks up the item, cleans and sanitizes it, and — in many cases — lists it for resale. The reps I connected with reported earning $150 to $250 per item and don’t have any inventory expense until the item sells, making it a very low-risk side hustle.”
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Flip Other Goods
“Flipping items is a great way to make some money on the side,” said Joel Larsgaard, co-host of the “How To Money” podcast. “It’s best to find a specialty where you have outsized knowledge or expertise. Whether you’re buying and selling furniture or hitting up your local thrift stores for hidden gems to profit from by selling them on eBay, this is a side hustle that offers significant amounts of flexibility and the chance to scale.”
Participate in Market Research Studies
“It can be tough to get selected for these, but if you are, they tend to pay well,” Side Hustle Nation’s Loper said. “For example, on UserInterviews.com, online market research studies typically pay $50 to $150 an hour. The site specializes in industry professional research, but occasionally you see general population studies pop up as well.”
Start a Blog
“It doesn’t pay well at first, but if you consistently publish two to three times a week for a year, you could make $500 to $3,000 a month blogging,” said Sam Dogen, founder of Financial Samurai. “You could create your own e-book or e-course, or sell anything online in addition to earning advertising income. If you keep going, you could make much more. I started Financial Samurai in July 2009 and was able to leave my investment banking job in June 2012 thanks to a severance, passive investment income and blog income.”
Tutor or Coach
“We all have something we are good at. Why not utilize our skills and tutor or coach in-person or online?” Dogen said. “I used to give private tennis lessons for $60 to $80 an hour while my wife used to give private piano lessons for the same price. You could easily make an extra $500 to $1,000 a month coaching 10 to 30 hours.”
Become a Freelance Writer
“We all took English in high school — some of us even took English in college,” Dogen said. “Freelance writing is an easy way to make between $50 and $500 an article from the comfort of your own home. It’s easier to get gigs if you have your own blog to showcase your content.”
Misty Larkins, president of Relevance, recommends specifically looking into writing or editing for marketing agencies.
“True, it will take a few weeks or months to power up and get your name out there, but if you only have a few hours a week and truly enjoy working with words, this might be the perfect fit,” she said. “You can generate content based on your interests at your preferred pace and fully remotely.”
“The earning potential isn’t amazing — $15 to $30 per hour — but you can do other productive work while you earn,” said Andrew Schrage, chief executive officer at Money Crashers. “You can take calls for your day job while you walk the dog or finish up a project for your graphic design side gig after you feed the cat.”
Mark Dasko, founder of Studenomics.com, recommends using the Rover app to find pet-sitting and dog-walking gigs.
“Once you create your profile, you can decide how much you want to do since you get to pick and choose your clients,” he said. “You can pick up a few dog-walking gigs throughout the week to get paid up to $35 for your afternoon or evening stroll.”
Len Penzo, founder of Len Penzo dot Com, has seen this side gig really pay off.
“My daughter makes a nice chunk of change on the side by caring for pets of those who go on vacation,” he said. “She generally earns between $40 to $100 per day, depending on the circumstances.”
Board Dogs at Your Home
“One overlooked side gig is dog boarding,” said Brian of Lazy Man And Money, who has earned over $150,000 through dog boarding over the last seven years. “Many people got dogs during the pandemic, and many are going back to offices and catching up on travel. The demand for dog boarders has skyrocketed. Dog boarding is unique to other gig jobs because you can do it while working a second job. You can’t drive an Uber and work another job simultaneously.”
Rent Out Your Car
“Renting out your car on Turo is one of my favorite side hustles that doesn’t require much of a time commitment,” said Bob Lotich, CEPF, author of “Simple Money, Rich Life.” “Depending on the car you own, you could earn $50 to $100 a day in many cities.”
Perform Household Chores
“Keep it simple,” said Derek Sall, founder of LifeAndMyFinances.com. “Mow yards, clean gutters, shovel driveways, detail cars, clean houses, etc. You don’t need to build a fancy website or sign up for someone’s program to get started. Just call your friends, advertise through any groups you’re associated with — book club, church, the office — and boom, you’re landing gigs within a day. And, gigs like these easily earn $25 per hour, if not way more.”
Leverage Your Existing Skills
“The best side gig you can do is something that leverages your skills,” said wealth artisan Kris Phelps. “If you can sell what you do in your day job to other businesses on the side then that’s probably your best bet. Working directly with clients will yield the highest return, but don’t discount selling your services on marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork to start building a client base on the side quickly.”
Provide Transcription Services
“More and more people have podcasts and are doing videos,” said Ted Jenkin, CFP, CEO and co-founder of oXYGen Financial. “If you can use software like Zubtitle and transcribe videos or transcribe podcasts, you can make $25 to $50 an hour.”
Become a Ride-Share or Food Delivery Driver
“Some popular side gigs that immediately come to my mind that are easy and inexpensive to get started, pay well and are super flexible include Uber, Lyft and Door Dash drivers,” said Tracie Fobes, founder of PennyPinchinMom.com.
“If you have relationships with realtors or lawyers, you might consider becoming a mobile notary,” said Deacon Hayes, founder and CEO of Well Kept Wallet. “This will require that you go through your state’s requirements to become certified, but once you do, you can make up to $45 per hour notarizing documents like home deeds or legal papers.”
“The ubiquitous availability of high-speed internet and online trading platforms makes this a side hustle that has the potential to become both lucrative and enjoyable,” said John Rampton, founder of Due. “The days when you needed thousands of dollars to get started investing are long gone. Nowadays, there are platforms available that will allow you to get started with as little as $5. It helps if you have an intrinsic interest in following the news, both business-related and international. If you’re doing that anyway, why not leverage that knowledge?”
“There’s a lot of money to be made housesitting,” said Kristy Rampton, CEO of Buttercup. “Most people hear that and think of something suitable for high schoolers or college kids, but think bigger. By providing a higher level of service and accountability, you can target higher-end clients who care very much for their homes and pets. Charge more than your competitors, but offer benefits such as light cleaning, regular check-ins, learning the ins and outs of the alarm system, texting photos of beloved pets, providing a written report upon completion and so on. If you do it right, word will spread fast. Before you know it, you’re getting paid to live in other people’s houses while you work your day job.”
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.