8 Savvy Side Hustles You Can Start for Free

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

savvy side hustles

The best side hustles are easy to start and pay enough to offset your costs and time. But not everyone seeking extra income has the cash to invest in a side business. Plus, your return on investment will be higher if you spend less to get your side gig up and running.

If you’re interested in generating a new income stream, you don’t have to spend money to do so. Take an inventory of the resources, skills, and equipment you have on hand and consider how you can use them. Then try any of these eight side hustle ideas that don’t cost anything to start.

1. Part-time worker

One of the most obvious ways to earn extra income without investing your own funds is to get a second job. An ideal side gig will be a part-time position with high pay and flexible hours.

When choosing a second job, consider one that’s different from your day job to avoid getting burned out. If you want something that provides more than an hourly wage, find a job with the opportunity to earn tips such as waiting tables, bartending, or valet parking.

2. Tutor

Tutors are in high demand among parents and students alike. If you’re knowledgeable in certain subjects, turn your know-how into a side gig by offering to tutor students.

You can seek out your own clients or kick-start your tutoring by partnering with a local tutoring agency. Online tutoring platforms also can be an option, such as Tutor.com or Varsity Tutors.

3. Class instructor

You could earn more by teaching multiple people at the same time. Instead of charging one person for an hour of tutoring, you could charge several people to teach an hour-long class.

Consider the skills you have that you’d love to teach and share with others. Options include teaching a fitness class, offering an introductory course for a musical instrument, or leading a webinar on valuable career skills.

You also can offer virtual classes through websites such as Udemy or Skillshare.

4. Pet walker or sitter

If you’re an animal lover who’s comfortable caring for various pets, consider pet walking or pet sitting. Many pet owners would be willing to pay well to make sure their cat or dog is being looked after by someone reliable.

Often, you can take care of a pet at the owner’s home. Most pet owners will provide all food, gear, and other items needed to care for their pets.

You also can find clients in your area through websites such Rover or Sittercity.

5. Personal coach

If you’re an expert in a practical or life skill, consider coaching. Options include being a career coach, fitness coach, or life coach.

To start coaching, figure out your area of expertise and how you can use this knowledge to help others. Then, start building a clientele base to work one-on-one to help people achieve their goals.

6. Resume writer

Looking for a job can be a high-stakes, high-stress situation, and many people will pay for help in getting a leg up on their competition. If you have a background in recruiting, hiring, or writing, consider a side gig in writing resumes for others.

Resume writers often charge about $100 to $150 for basic resumes. You can earn more as you prove yourself and build your clientele. You can easily offer other services, too, including writing cover letters or helping people prepare for job interviews.

7. Home maintenance worker

Is there a home care or maintenance task you excel at or love doing? Maybe you find lawn mowing to be relaxing and meditative, or you love the thrill of overhauling and organizing a closet.

Consider offering to do these tasks for other people as a way to earn extra cash. Some busy homeowners will hire others to do yard care, home cleaning, window washing, repairs, organization, and more. Try finding work through local listing sites such as Craigslist or offer your services online with Handy, which helps users find workers. Make sure you or the person hiring you has the tools necessary to complete the job.

8. Rent your stuff

Lending your stuff for a fee is an easy way to earn more using something you already own. You can use Turo to let people rent your car, for example. Or you can rent out your unused parking spot through websites such as Pavemint.

“People with parking near an airport, college campus, popular venue, or in any hard-to-park area can list their space on our platform and start making money from their unused bit of concrete,” said Maggie Boles, the communications lead for Pavemint. “All a person needs to become a Pavemint host is a computer or smartphone and about 15 minutes to set up their listing.”

As you consider different side hustles, it’s important to compare your options and find one that’s a good match for your resources. You’ll want to choose an opportunity for which you have some knowledge, skills, and the proper equipment to get going.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.325% APR to 15.615% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 14.70% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 3, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. 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. 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.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. 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.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. 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.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.28% – 15.62%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.