You’d be surprised how much you can earn in a spare weekend or two.
- A variety of side hustles can fit into busy schedules without sucking up all your free time.
- There are lots of ways to monetize the things already in your life.
- Just about any skills can be turned into a viable side hustle.
In a world of increasing prices, it makes perfect sense that 41% of workers say they’re planning on picking up a side hustle. But when you’re already working full time, fitting a side hustle into your schedule can be a challenge.
The good news is that you don’t need to dedicate every spare moment to a side hustle to make an appreciable difference to your savings account balance. Even a few hours a week can result in a decent income from the right hustle.
Here are just a few ways to make a little money on the side without losing all of your free time in the process.
1. Rent out your unused stuff
If you’ve got it — someone else might need it. These days, you can rent out just about anything you’re not using. This includes your car, extra rooms in your house, tools, name-brand clothing, even your yard. And once you’ve spent the time setting up your listing on the appropriate app, the time investment is minimal.
2. Sell ad space on your car
Got a long commute? You could turn that headache into profit. A number of companies will pay you to do a partial or full auto wrap to advertise their business as you go about your normal day.
You’ll probably make the most money if you drive for a living (rideshares, etc.), but even regular commuters can make money selling ad space on their vehicles, especially if you drive by or park in well-populated areas.
3. Surveys and market research
When you talk about low-effort side hustles, this one always shows up. All you need is an internet connection and an opinion, and you can make money filling out online surveys and participating in market research.
While surveys aren’t the most lucrative job, they can be done from the comfort of your sofa or while killing time on your lunch break. (At the very least, you’ll earn more money doing surveys than you will doomscrolling your social media feed.)
4. Peer-to-peer lending and investing
If you have a little money to put into a side hustle and want mostly passive income, consider investing in your fellow humans — or their businesses. Quite a few platforms have popped up over the years that let you invest in peer-to-peer loans for individuals or small businesses, most of which have low minimum investment requirements (some let you start with $25 to $100).
Keep in mind that, as with any kind of investment, there’s risk involved; if the person defaults their loan or the business goes under, you could lose your investment.
5. Mobile notary services
Notaries are basically professional witnesses. You watch someone sign a document, then add your notary seal to verify that it happened. You’ll need to become certified by your state, which comes with a small fee. Some states may also have additional requirements, like a background check. Notaries charge for each notary act — fee maximums vary by state — and mobile notaries can be reimbursed for travel fees.
6. Tutoring / consulting
Almost anything you know how to do, someone else also wants to learn. Are you a great baker? Start a cooking class. Great at algebra? Tutor school children. Know another language? Teach it to someone else. The more specialized your skills, the more you can charge for them. Even better, most types of tutoring can even be done online these days.
7. Officiate weddings
Just about anyone can become an ordained wedding officiant, often through a simple online process. Once official, you can sell your services to happy couples (note that, depending on where you live, you may also need to register your business). Prices vary, but an average wedding officiant makes around $300 per wedding. You may even get some free cake out of the deal!
8. Coupon and savings apps
While not a traditional side hustle, savings and coupon apps are well worth mentioning here. They don’t require much time investment — many can be automated through browser extensions and other tricks — and you can save a good deal of money on the things you’re already buying.
9. Pet, house, or kid sitting
Watching someone else’s kids can be a bit of an active job, but it can pay well depending on your area. Or, if you’d like something a little more low-key, pet or house sitting can also be quite lucrative. Pet and house sitting can be an ideal side hustle for people who work from home. If you’re on your laptop all day anyway, may as well get paid to do it from someone else’s house!
10. Photo / video sales
This particular hustle lies somewhere between passion project and passive income. It works best for people who are already into photography and/or videography, particularly since it can require some specialized equipment.
There are a few ways to make this hobby into a hustle, such as hiring yourself out as an event photographer. Or, you can sell your photos and videos to stock sites. The latter works best when you can build up a large portfolio of content, since individual payouts can be quite small.
11. Freelance your skills
The age-old go-to of side hustles is freelancing. If you’re good at it, you can probably sell it to someone on the side. Having good writing skills? Pick up a few freelance writing gigs. Dabble in graphic design? Sell logos to small businesses. Like driving? Sign up for a rideshare app.
A good side hustle doesn’t have to eat up every extra moment of your life. Indeed, taking on too much work outside of your, well, work, can lead to burnout or worse. But having a busy life doesn’t mean you don’t have time to make a few bucks on the side, either. It’s all about balance.
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