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 to do 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, a side hustle offers the best of both worlds and can put extra cash in your pocket.
Here are side hustle ideas that are popular now, along with stories from people who are using them to make extra money every month.
Is it Possible to Earn More Money with a Side Hustle?
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 ten popular approaches to consider.
Top 10 Side Hustles to Consider
- Rent out your car.
- Become an online coach.
- Build passive income with real estate.
- Offer in-person services.
- Start a YouTube channel.
- Monetize your property on Airbnb.
- Sell a product online.
- Do freelance work.
- Launch a paid newsletter or subscription.
- Promote other brands and take a commission.
No. 1: Rent Out Your Car When It Isn’t in Use
If you have a vehicle that doesn’t get used much, you could rent it out and make extra money.
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.
No. 2: Help People Online with Coaching or Consulting
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 at 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.
No. 3: Invest in Real Estate and Create a New Passive Income Stream
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. 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,” she says. 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.
No. 4: Offer In-Person Services That Can’t Be Automated
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.
No. 5: Start a YouTube Channel
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.
No. 6: Monetize Your Home (or Even Just One Room) with Airbnb
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.
No. 7: Sell a Physical Product Online
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.
No. 8: Do Freelance Work
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:
- Writing articles, social media posts, newsletters, and/or blogs.
- Managing social media accounts, email lists, digital marketing, and/or websites on your client’s behalf.
- Having a remote, “fractional” role at a company, where you are not an employee, but are available for questions and guidance throughout the month.
- Becoming a virtual assistant and completing tasks on behalf of your client for an hourly rate.
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.
No. 9: Launch a Paid Newsletter or Subscription
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.
No. 10: Promote Other Brands Instead with Affiliate Marketing
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.
What Side Hustles Earn the Most?
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.”
How to Make Time for a Side Hustle
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.
Do I Need to Report My Side Hustle Earnings on My Taxes?
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 writeoff opportunities that will allow you to keep more money in your pocket.
What to Do Next
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.