How To Make Extra Money With A Side Hustle

 December 18, 2020
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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 9 lenders of 2022!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.74% – 8.70%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.74% – 7.99%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

4.44% – 8.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.74% – 7.99%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 5.90%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.74% – 7.99%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit NaviRefi

1.90% – 5.25%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

1.86% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

N/A8Undergrad
& 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 May 4, 2022.


2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 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%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.


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 Apr 22, 2021 and may increase after consummation.


4 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.


5 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

All credit products are subject to credit approval.

Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


6 Important Disclosures for Navient.

Navient Disclosures

You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 2.99% – 8.24% APR (2.74% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (1.74% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.


7 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 11/15/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.


8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.

PenFed Disclosures

Fixed Rate Loan Terms: 5 years/60 monthly payments, 8 years/96 monthly payments, 12 years/144 monthly payments or 15 years/180 monthly payments. Annual Percentage Rate is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed rates range from 3.29% to 5.43% APR. Rates are subject to change without notice. Fixed APR: Fixed rates will not change during the term. This rate is expressed as an APR. Since there are no fees associated with this loan offer, the APR is the same percentage as the actual interest rate of the loan. 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.