Earning some extra dough each month could help you afford more hobbies or even a vacation that could boost your mental health. Or maybe you’re looking to bring in a little extra that could help you to pay down debt and save for retirement, which could lead to a comfier lifestyle later. Maybe you’re looking for a way to get out of debt sooner. No matter the motivation to increase your income, a side hustle could help. Here are 20 side-hustle ideas—plus tips to get more shine out of your moonlight.
Are you great at math, writing, or speaking a foreign language? Was excelling at standardized tests your thing in school? If so, you could consider tutoring someone else in one of these areas. Tutoring can come with high hourly wages—generally north of $20 an hour.1 It could be much more for higher-level or more specialized studies in high cost-of-living areas. You could sign up with one of the many online services that match you to clients or scour parents’ social media groups for opportunities. In either case, you can likely score flexible hours, and you may be able to do it remotely over video chat instead of in person. Or you could tutor for a center near you, but rates may be lower.
2. Offer your opinion for market research
Some companies will pay more than a penny for your thoughts. A quick online search can surface many market research firms looking for people to fill out surveys or participate in IRL or virtual focus groups. You’ll have to fit a specific demographic to qualify, but the questionnaires they send can be low effort to fill out—maybe something you can do while watching TV. And the focus groups usually don’t require more than a couple hours of your time and could pay over $100.2
3. Sell your stuff
If your trash could be another person’s treasure, it might be worth it to post your belongings to online marketplaces. The cash may not be a steady income stream, but if you sell seasonal items just as people may be searching for them—think: sunglasses as spring sets in or giftable electronics right before the holidays—you may be able to maximize profits. To set your prices competitively, check completed listings on online marketplaces. Just remember that those platforms may take a cut of the purchase price or even charge listing fees.
4. Try reselling
More and more, people are making money by buying and reselling items, particularly with collectibles such as trading cards or antiques. If you have the time, knowledge, and passion, you could bargain hunt at yard and estate sales—or stores that accept used goods, such as video games and designer clothing—and turn them around for a potential profit. Or you could creatively package together new store-bought items and resell them as a third-party seller on an ecommerce platform. Make sure you know what sells and for how much, and factor in fees. Successful resellers can net anywhere from $1,000 to 6 figures a year, depending on how much time and effort they devote—and their deal-finding skills.
5. Do more of your main gig
One of the easiest side-hustle ideas: doing what you do for your full-time job as a freelancer. After all, you’re already a pro. Working a few hours a week for another business or completing a couple side projects a year could feel second nature. Just make sure your full-time employer is cool with it. Some businesses may prohibit this kind of side hustle or have strict rules about working for competitors, clients, vendors, or former employees.
What should you charge? Check how much your company pays contractors or ask freelancers you know. Or you could start with figuring out what your hourly rate would be if you divided up your salary—then increase it considerably to account for the benefits your company pays you, but you wouldn’t receive as a freelancer.
6. Plan events for others
If you’re the default party planner for your family or friends, it might be fun to put your organizing, budgeting, vendor-sourcing, and designing skills to work for others. You may even be able to copy a recent personal event you planned and paste it for a client’s special day. You could get the word out through your contacts or drum up interest in local social media groups by posting photos of past events you’ve planned. As for your rates, you could talk to recent party hosts to find out how much they paid their planner or talk to a local small business-owners association to get some ballpark ideas. Broadly speaking, part-time event planners earn around $20 an hour.3
Got a strong golf swing? More swim trophies than space to put them? You could help others unlock their full potential to achieve the same. If you’re not so athletic but killing it in the corporate world, you could serve as a career coach for those just starting out in your field. Consider making yourself legit by training for and investing in a coaching certificate. It could not only bolster your reputation but also allow you to charge clients more. There’s a wide range of hourly rates, depending on the kind of coach you are—and even within specialties. Check out what the competition near you is charging before you set your rate.
8. Mow lawns and shovel snow
A classic that bears repeating: Yard work pays. If you’ve got a lawn mower and like the great outdoors, a few regular grass-mowing clients could lead to a steady income stream. You could also let the weather dictate your schedule. Next time there’s a snowstorm, consider knocking on doors to offer your shoveling services. People may prefer to pay up over heading out into the cold. And they could fork over between $25 and $75 an hour, on average.4 Landscaping companies might advertise their lawn maintenance rates right in local social media groups, or you could call around for estimates.
As any parent knows, babysitting rates are steep, generally between $15 and $20 an hour.5 If you wouldn’t mind spending a Saturday night looking after little ones, ask friends and family to see if anyone could use a sitter—they’re often in short supply. Consider asking local daycares if you could hang a flier at their center, and post in local online parents’ groups. Becoming a certified sitter through the Red Cross could attract more clients and maybe allow you to hike your rates.
10. Walk dogs
With more people returning to workplaces, there are more pups home alone needing exercise and bathroom breaks during the day. Hanging up fliers, especially near dog parks and common walking routes, and posting in local fur-parent groups could help you build a pack of clients. There are also apps that can help connect you to dog owners in your area. If you work from home, walking dogs midday might line up perfectly with your lunch break, and you may be able to charge $20 for a 30-minute walk. If you’d rather clients come to you, consider joining a platform that pairs you.
11. Clean gutters
With a ladder and some work gloves, you could make some green fall right into your wallet by cleaning gutters. To find clients, try some good old-fashioned door knocking at homes with gutters that could use a clear-out. Fees depend mainly on the size of the house. Asking neighbors in a local social media group what they’ve paid could give you enough market research to set reasonable prices.
12. Deliver food
If you have time and a car, consider delivering take-out meals and groceries with one of the many delivery companies out there. Just brush up on what veteran food-delivery drivers already know: Picking up orders during peak hours when more grocery-shoppers are needed and positioning your car near areas with a lot of restaurants are a couple of the many ways to get more money. Drivers for some popular services average between $12 and $24 an hour, but tips can add to those wages.6
13. Test new apps
Apps pride themselves on being easy to use, but that ease is usually the result of a lot of testing. It’s not hard to find companies online that will pay you to try out new apps and give your feedback. If you become a regular tester and receive a high tester rating, you may get more app-reviewing work. User testers typically make around $10 per test, but depending on the job, can make more.7 The best way to see how much you can make is to check the sites that connect testers with apps.
14. Become a notary public
Notary publics often act as witnesses to document signings and verify the identity of the people signing. Though notary publics are few and far between, they’re necessary for fairly common events, such as getting mortgages and filing identity theft complaints. Costs for becoming a notary public vary by state but are usually inexpensive, and if you partner with local businesses who frequently need documents notarized, you could get plenty of work. About half of part-time mobile notaries make $500 a month or more.8
Got a gift for grammar? A sixth sense for spelling? Many small businesses hire freelance proofreaders to keep their company communications error-free. If you find a client in an industry that you’re interested in breaking into, proofreading for them may help get your foot in the door. Scanning job posts for proofreading gigs can give you an idea of how much you’ll be paid, but freelance proofreaders typically earn about $20 an hour.9
16. Write or edit resumes
Anyone who’s applied to a job can attest that drafting resumes and cover letters can be like writing in a whole different language. Luckily for you, translators could get paid well—typically $100 to $400.10 Plus, helping people express their experiences in resumes and cover letters could be rewarding. You can see what resume writers charge per hour on the major online freelancer marketplaces.
17. Be a TV or movie extra
You might not be in the spotlight, but being a TV or movie extra can make your bank account feel like a star. Depending on where you live, it may be a cinch to get cast as an extra. Generally, background workers are paid between $100 and $200 for a day of filming.11
18. Help others move
Moving is hard work, but all that heavy lifting can make your wallet heavier. Tell friends and family about your new venture—chances are someone knows someone who’s changing homes or offices soon. We can’t promise free pizza, but there’s a chance of tips on top of your hourly rate, which averages around $17 an hour.12
19. Grow houseplants
If you’ve got a green thumb, neighbors might be willing to throw down green for pretty houseplants. Yes, you can fit this side hustle into your schedule if you stick to low-maintenance picks, such as succulents, which can multiply from a single plant to many more in just a couple months. If you’re able to bulk-buy some interesting pots, you could grow trendy products with a hefty profit margin. To properly price your plants, check out online marketplaces that sell plants to see what the growing rate is.
20. Become a virtual assistant
If you’re good at coordinating calendars, you could maintain someone else’s schedule part-time for a couple hundred bucks a week. Personal assistant jobs can have a slight barrier to entry—employers usually want to see you have past relevant experience. But if you’ve been an entry-level worker in corporate America, you probably do. Bonus: You could build new skills that could make you more marketable in your main gig.
How to pick your side hustle
With so many options, how do you choose? Think about what you’re already good at so you don’t have to invest a lot of time in learning the ropes. Consider what you enjoy too. Even if you’re the fastest box-packer in the West, if you’ve always hated moving yourself, you might not love doing it for others.
Now account for what people are willing to pay for in your area, plus upfront and ongoing costs. Then research what your net earnings could be. Before you embark on a side hustle, you want to have a good idea that the level of effort and investment is going to lead to a big-enough reward. Once you find that gig, tell friends and family that you’re looking for clients—and post in local social media groups too. Don’t give up if you’re not immediately successful. Sometimes side hustles require persistence. But if it’s not paying off after a while, it might be wise to try something else.