How to start a side gig

5 ways to make an extra $100 a month.

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Key takeaways

  • A side gig can pad your monthly budget, perhaps giving you wiggle room to do more of what you want.
  • But saved and invested over many years, your gig earnings can grow to help tackle large financial goals.
  • There are many different ways to have another income stream. Think about which one makes the most sense for you.

A little extra cash can go a long way. Earning an extra $100 a month can pay for a nice dinner out or a splurge purchase. When saved up over a year, it could even cover a fun vacation. But the key is thinking long term.

Babysitting, tutoring, even shoveling driveways may not seem ambitious, but over time that income if invested can snowball and help you achieve major financial milestones. These could be short-term goals like paying off high-interest debt or creating an emergency fund, or long-term goals like saving for your children’s education, buying property, or even retiring early.

How to start—the side-gig mindset

A great way to think about starting your own side gig is asking yourself: What do people need, and how are people paid for it? These can range from very basic tasks to more complicated ones. Then write them down in a list. Each of these could be a source of inspiration for an additional income stream.

Now ask yourself: What am I good at? Look at your list of what people need and see if there are any things that you are naturally talented at. Give yourself plenty of time to mull over options. Don’t rule out any talent or skill because it’s not related to your main source of income. And don’t give up if a side hustle doesn’t work at first or has a barrier to entry. Sometimes side gigs require persistence.

Looking for ideas? We came up with 5 that might jump start your efforts.

Tutoring

Are you good at math? Writing? Know a foreign language? Perhaps you scored very well on standardized tests? If so, consider tutoring someone else in these areas. Tutoring can have a high hourly wage and flexible hours. Finding clients can be as easy as advertising in a local coffee shop or asking friends and family if they know anyone who could use tutoring.

Tutoring can extend further than just subjects you may have learned in school. If you are an avid golfer, you could try to help others on their swings. Exceptional cook? Try to find a way you could teach someone else to cook a new dish. Don’t count out online tutoring either. You could tutor someone from states or even another country away through video call.

Paid focus groups

Believe it or not, there are many companies out there who will pay good money for your opinion. With a quick search, you can find many market research firms who can help you get paid for filling out surveys and questionnaires, or for live focus groups either in person or over a call. Filling out these online surveys and questionnaires can be low effort, even something you do while watching TV.

Reselling

Have things sitting around your house collecting dust? Reselling your no-longer-used belongings on online marketplaces can give you extra cash. To make it a consistent income stream, you could set yourself a goal of selling 2 unused things a month. Sometimes, selling things can be as easy as just a post on social media.

More and more, people are also making money buying and reselling, particularly with collectable items such as trading cards or antiques. If you have the time, knowledge, and passion about collectibles, this could be another way to make money. You could frequent yard and estate sales to see if you could get any items for a bargain to resell.

Monetize your craft or passion

Think about what you do for enjoyment during your time outside of work. Likely, there is a way you could turn your hobby into a money maker. If you enjoy making things—like jewelry, knitting, or woodworking—there are online marketplaces and platforms that make it easy to sell your handmade goods. You could consider selling your artwork if you paint, sculpt, or take photographs. If you have a knack for interior design, you could consider consulting for friends and family or advertising your skill in your local community.

Regardless of what your hobby is, there is likely a way you could market it to others. You might be surprised how much money you could make with the things you enjoy doing.

Freelance gigs

One of the easiest ways you could make money is doing what you do for your full-time job in a freelance capacity. If you are already getting paid to do a task, it is likely that you could find someone else to pay you. Working a couple hours a week for another business or completing a couple side projects a year could generate some more money. Just make sure your full-time employer is OK with you accepting a freelance position. Some businesses may have policies preventing this kind of side gig.

Sometimes the small things are the big things. A side gig can take just a couple hours a month to make a big financial impact later in life if invested wisely. So consider how you can best supplement your income. And don’t forget to look at that money in the long term.

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