How To Make Extra Money With A Side Hustle

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This story was originally published July 16, 2018.

When it comes to managing your money, there’s a lot of talk about saving money by reducing expenses like: cutting back on lattes and avocado toast, nixing cable and ditching the gym membership.

I totally get it. If you are trying to pay off debt and build a solid financial foundation, those things can help. But I also know from personal experience that there is only so much you can cut back on before you are left without any options.

Luckily, there’s another way to strengthen your financial foundation. Enter the side hustle, which can help you make extra money beyond your primary career. I’ve had dozens of hustles over the years, and I’ve made up to $50 per hour (and even more in some cases).

To find one that’s right for you, let’s answer these two questions:

What is a side hustle?

Side hustling is a term that refers to work you perform outside of your regular job. So if you work full-time, but you babysit on the weekends, that’s a side hustle.

A side hustle can refer to anything you do on the side to make extra money. Some examples of typical side hustles include babysitting, pet sitting and tutoring, but can also include more specialized things like being a writer, consultant or coach.

Side hustling is a great way to boost your income and reach your financial goals. Instead of focusing on penny-pinching, you are focusing your energy on earning more.

Personally, I find this to be a lot more motivating in helping me reach my financial goals. Want to pay off your student loans faster? Side hustling is where it’s at. Need to save up some spending money for an upcoming trip? A side hustle can help you do just that.

Side hustling can also help diversify your income streams and strengthen your financial foundation. Through side hustling, you no longer have to rely on one source of income to get by — which can be a lifesaver in scenarios such as layoffs or downsizing.

Side hustling has been a game changer in my own life, as I’ve worked to increase my income and pay off more debt. Through side hustling, I was able to pay off $68,000 of debt in under five years while still enjoying the more fun things in life, like traveling and happy hour with friends.

How can you start making money on the side?

Anyone can earn more through side hustling. We all have skills and abilities that are valuable, and in today’s digital age, there are more resources than ever to get started.

If you want to get started with side hustling, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I bring to the table?
  • What are my unique skills? Is there anything others routinely tell me I’m good at or have a gift for?
  • What will people pay me for? Or what do people already pay me for?
  • How much time am I willing to devote to side hustling?
  • What is the minimum pay I’m willing to work for?

These questions will help shape what type of side hustles you should try. The good thing about side hustling is that you can try a variety of things and see what works best for you. There’s no need to quit your job or make any long-term decisions out of the gate. Side hustles are generally low-risk and low overhead options.

If you’re looking for inspiration, consider reading side hustle blogs or listening to side hustle podcasts.

I’ve dabbled in many different side hustles, including:

  • Housecleaner
  • Pet sitter
  • Brand ambassador
  • Event assistant
  • Focus group participant
  • Coach
  • Editor

From these side hustles I’ve been able to make anywhere from $10 to $50 per hour. Because of side hustling, I have increased my income and have been able to add to my vault of experiences, while also boosting my social network. It’s a win-win situation.

To get started with side hustling, let your friends and family know about your desire for more work. Your network is your net worth in this regard, and can play a powerful role in helping you secure more gigs. It can be surprising how much your network can propel things further simply by asking. But you have to take the first step and ask! Send out personalized emails and post on social media.

In addition to reaching out to your personal network, look into various resources and platforms to help yourself get started.

For example, to make extra money, you can:

  • Work as a TaskRabbit. Typically, I’ve made $15 to $30 per hour as a TaskRabbit.
  • Teach others as a tutor using Tutor.com or even sell your courses on Udemy. The rate depends on the subject matter.
  • Become a babysitter or pet sitter (or dog walker) with a service like Care.com.
  • Use your internet skills and make $10 per test as a web tester with UserTesting.com.
  • Become an Uber or Lyft driver – or DoorDash Dasher.
  • Become a short-term rental host on Airbnb if you have a spare room, or rent out your car using an app like Turo.
  • Work remotely as a writer or editor using Upwork or other work-from-home websites.
  • Start a blog or pen an e-book.
  • Use Fiverr to get paid for your creative skills (while many gigs are offered at $5, you can make more than that).
  • Sell your art, clothes, and creative wares on Etsy.com.
  • Join Facebook groups related to your side hustle (for example, I am part of the Brand Ambassadors of Portland Facebook group, which posts upcoming gigs).
  • Become a consultant or coach, and set your own rates.
  • Pitch a company and offer to do their social media.
  • Get paid for sitting as a portrait model at your local art school and make $20 to $25 per hour.
  • Sell your clothing and other old items on eBay, Amazon, or Craigslist.
  • Become a caterer.
  • Be a mystery shopper.
  • Participate in medical studies at your local university (at your own risk!) Rate depends on the study, but I’ve made $30 to $100 per hour.
  • Become a Postmate and deliver food and make up to $25 per hour (and get paid for car wrap advertising along the way).
  • Work holiday-themed events or parties — you can make more during the holidays and make $20 to $25 per hour.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to make extra money in your free time. The best thing about side hustling is that it is all on your own terms, when your schedule permits.

So instead of wondering how you can save five cents on your next purchase, think of the big picture and think about how you can earn more. Earning more can help you pay down debt, save for emergencies and fund your passions.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2021!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.89% – 5.99%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.99% – 5.64%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.99% – 6.84%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.91% – 5.25%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

2.25% – 6.53%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.17% – 4.47%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit PenFed

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.

The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.

To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of Feburary 1, 2021.


2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. ‍All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.


4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: 1. Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.99% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.53% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.12% plus 2.38% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the interest savings are applied to the principal loan balance, which may help pay the loan down faster. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score.Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

PenFed Disclosures

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.99%-5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.17%-4.47% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.