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Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money (& Keep It In Your Wallet!)

By Nicole Bustamante

Dear Gwen Stefani: if I was a rich girl, I would also have all the money in the world. But instead of cleaning out Vivienne Westwood in a Galliano gown, I would pay off my student loan debt and never cook another day in my life. 

 

If one income source just isn’t cutting it for your rich girl aspirations, we present to you: the side hustle. While the idea of taking on a secondary gig may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. A side hustle can not only provide some extra cash for saving (or occasional “treat yourself” moments), it can also provide an avenue to explore a new interest or passion. 

 

Intrigued? We’ll break down the basics of having multiple sources of income, and how exactly you can earn your side job stripes. 

 

What is a side hustle?

 

According to Forbes, a side hustle is a job that you do in addition to your 9-to-5 job or in your spare time (what’s that?). This kind of work supplements your full-time job and typically is a role where you work for yourself versus at another company or organization. Side hustles can be very lucrative and an opportunity to explore your passions outside of your job. 

 

How do I find the side hustle for me?

 

Step one to being successful in your side hustle is to take stock of your skills and strengths. Writing out a list of what you’re good at—whether it be talking on the phone, organizing schedules, or creating online content—will help clarify how you can best use your free time to make money. Bonus points if you can find a way to channel your passions into a new project.

 

The next step is to consider what problem you can solve with your skillset, if there is a market for the solution you can provide, and if it’s a viable source of income. For one example courtesy of Forbes, “If you can charge $2,500 for a website design and you do two a month, that’s a $60,000 a year side hustle. Pretty good. If you charge $20 to mow a lawn and it takes you 4 hours ($5 an hour) – that’s bad.” If you’re not making a decent amount of money from your side hustle then it could end up morphing into a time-consuming hobby that may not pay off in any meaningful way. 

 

What side hustle options are out there?

 

If you’re staring at your skills and strengths list unsure of what solution you can provide with them, look no further! There are more side hustle ideas out there than you probably anticipated, starting with this list we’ve already compiled for you.  

 

Be a brand ambassador

Some brands will pay you to give away samples and promote their items to others. This is perfect if you enjoy chatting up anyone and everyone about your favorite things!

 

Drive for Uber or Lyft 

The best part here is that you can choose your own schedule.

 

Tutor

Whether we’re talking LSAT prep or Algebra class, tutoring can be a very lucrative side hustle depending on what you’re teaching and what your qualifications are.

 

Become a social media content creator

More and more people these days have created whole careers from social platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and it is becoming easier than ever to monetize your accounts.

 

Be a virtual assistant

Not only is this side hustle entirely remote, but it can be specified to your skills in social media, customer service, or as a bookkeeping assistant. Having strong organizational skills is a major plus here!

 

Start a dropshipping website

An excellent side hustle for someone with experience in marketing, creating a dropship website means you sell a product directly to a consumer without having to buy any inventory. 

 

Make items to sell on Etsy, eBay, or Amazon

Put your craft supplies to use and make something you love and can sell on a number of ecommerce retail platforms.

 

Sell stock photography

Got an eye for photography? Try creating stock images to re-sell on websites like Shutterstock.

 

Do freelance graphic design or website design

If you have a way with computers or a knack for digital design, you can create logos or websites for businesses that lack that magical (digital) touch.

 

Be a transcriber

Detail-oriented and love listening to interviews? You can be paid to type out conversations from audio or video files, whether they are legal proceedings, medical records, corporate meetings, or general interviews. 

 

Be a fitness coach

If you’re an athlete or gym fanatic, you can turn your physical passion into an opportunity to coach others to improve their health and fitness.

 

Teach a skill like sewing or playing an instrument

You can help teach others a skill you have, like playing guitar or sewing a dress…these things don’t always come naturally!

 

Be a freelance copywriter or editor

Literary genius gone to waste? Put your English Lit skills to work with freelance copywriting or editing gigs.

 

Be a pet walker/sitter

If you missed your calling as a veterinarian but still love animals, you can channel that passion into dog walking or cat sitting for some extra income.

 

Review and edit resumes 

Most people could use a second pair of eyes on their resume. If you have yours sharpened to perfection, you can sell your service to review or edit others’ resumes.

 

Take surveys

There are a number of organizations that need input from a wide variety of people—and most come with cash incentives! You can use sites like Swagbucks to sign up for paid survey-taking opportunities. 

 

Babysit or housesit

You can help a young couple take that date night they’ve been waiting for and make some good money by babysitting, or keeping an eye on someone’s house while they are out of town. 

 

Teach English online 

Native English speaker? You’re in luck: there are websites like vipkid.com
vipkid.com
where you can sign up to teach English virtually!

 

Rent out your parking space

Depending on where you live, your parking spot may be worth a good chunk of change. Websites like Spacer.com allow you to rent out your parking space so you can make money when you’re not using it.

 

Re-sell items you don’t use

Spring cleaning, but make it year-round. You can sell old clothing, accessories, home furnishings, and more on websites like Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, ThreadUp, The Real Real, and more to make some money back on items you don’t use anymore.

 

Become a notary

Getting your notary license does typically cost around $100 depending on where you live, but you can make that back quickly by charging a fee for your services.

 

Test websites 

With platforms like User Testing, you can be paid by companies to test out their websites and provide feedback. 

 

How do I start a side hustle?

 

Once you have an idea of what you’ll be doing, you can start to build out your business plan. While it doesn’t need to be extravagant, consider this a roadmap to ensure that your side gig is worth the time and energy you’ll be putting in and to identify the steps you’ll need to take to grow it. 

 

Some side opportunities may require building a network and garnering support from people that have hired you, which can take a bit of time. Having a business plan can help you manage your expectations by forecasting how soon you can expect to make a profit.

 

How do I best manage my side hustle money?

 

When planning out your side hustle, it’s important to keep your current financial situation in mind. Some side hustles might require a small upfront investment, like getting a notary license or paying for a monthly subscription to Adobe Acrobat. Creating a budget for those initial or recurring expenses will help you evaluate how much of a profit you can really make from your side hustle. 

 

You can also keep a separate bank account or savings account for your side hustle earnings, or you can allocate them toward specific goals like paying off loans or saving up for a car. Having a general budget will help you keep tabs on where your side hustle income ends up. 

 

Finally, you can stretch your earnings a little bit farther if you use buy now, pay later apps like Zip. Splitting your in-store or online payments and expenses into four installments over six weeks can help you keep your spending low and your savings at an all-time high. 

 

While none of us can bank on becoming famous overnight, it’s safe to say that we can now swap out Stefani’s infamous “rich girl” lyric for “financially intelligent and side-hustler extraordinaire girl.”

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Zip’s editorial content is not written by a financial advisor. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

About the author
Nicole Bustamante

Nicole Bustamante is a writer and journalist passionate about storytelling and the art of fashion. She has written for The Zoe Report, Angeleno Magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors California, and more in addition to writing for her personal blog.