Side Hustle Economics: How Much Can You Really Earn?

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.

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Side hustles are everywhere these days. As the gig economy has picked up over the years, all of a sudden the idea of taking on a “second job” has gone from something you only do when seriously in need of extra cash to a regular part of life. You could even say it’s become trendy.

As someone who’s always looking for ways to diversify my income and create a more financially stable future, I often think about side hustles. But I can’t help but wonder, is the money worth the time? Can I be as successful as the people who earn thousands of dollars outside of their day jobs?

Extra money is great — it can rescue a tight budget — but some side hustles require a lot of time, and even a sizable financial investment. That’s why it’s so important to do the math before jumping in. Here are some numbers to help you find the right side hustle for you and see how much you can earn.

Common side hustle ideas

First of all, let’s talk about what kind of side hustles you can do. There are many things you can do for extra money, including jobs that some people do full-time but which offer flexible hours. Below is a list to help you find something you like or even generate some ideas of your own.

  • Become a bartender, caterer, or server.
  • Become a Tasker for TaskRabbit.
  • Clean houses.
  • Do data entry.
  • Deliver for companies like DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates, and more.
  • Drive for Uber or Lyft.
  • Offer your services as a landscaper or even handyman (or woman).
  • Pick up seasonal work in retail.
  • Rent out your car on Turo or Getaround.
  • Rent out your home on AirBnB.
  • Take on part-time work as a babysitter or pet sitter.
  • Teach courses (such as test prep) or become a private tutor.
  • Work as a freelance designer, editor, web developer, or writer.
  • Work as an interpreter or translator.

As many options as there are here, this is only the beginning. Deciding on a side hustle is a lot easier to do when you think about activities you like or skills you’ve picked up over the years. If you can find side hustle work that you enjoy, or at least feel comfortable doing, it might not feel like extra work at all.

But how much can you make? And is it worth the time commitment? We took a look at data on median earnings for various jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale, Earnest, and some of the companies involved in these side hustles to find out.

Average earnings by side hustle type

Online lender Earnest anonymized data from tens of thousands of their loan applicants to find out just how much people might be earning from their side hustles. As well as uncovering earnings, the report shows which side hustles in the sharing economy were most popular.

Earnest discovered that 85 percent of people in the study take in an average of $500 per month from their side hustles. AirBnB ranked head-and-shoulders above the competition in terms of the most profitable side hustle. TaskRabbit came in second, and Lyft in third.

But beyond just the money, what kind of side hustle would you most enjoy doing? Here are different groupings of side hustles you could try, as well as how much they can earn.  The list is broken down by how much you can earn if you prefer to work from home, if you love being around people, if you want to earn money off of what you already have, or if manual labor is your jam.

Opportunities you can do from home

Have speedy internet and a reliable computer? Prefer to spend your moonlighting hours in the comfort of your own home? Check out some of these options.

  • Customer service representative: Help people via phone or email for approximately $15 per hour.
  • Data entry specialist: Type your way to approximately $14 per hour.
  • Proofreader: Spot grammar and spelling errors for about $17 per hour.
  • Resume writer: You can earn about $20 per hour.
  • Social media manager: Your earnings will be based on experience, but come in at approximately $15 per hour.

As you can see, the earnings vary quite a bit — and your monthly take-home will depend on how much extra work you can get and do. The good news is, with work like this, you won’t have to invest much of your money since you can use the technological resources you already have.

And if you do need to upgrade your computer or other equipment, it could be tax-deductible. Just remember you also have to pay taxes on your earnings (as you will with all side hustles).

Side hustles for the ‘people’ people

If you’re a people person, the idea of going from an eight-hour workday to sitting at home in front of your computer all night might seem too draining to be worth the extra cash. Here are a few opportunities that will serve your extroverted ways and bring you some added income.

  • Babysitter: Revisit your teenage job roots for about $10 per hour.
  • Bartender: Serve drinks for an average of approximately $10 per hour.
  • Brand ambassador: Represent your favorite companies at events for about $15 per hour.
  • Pet sitter: Pets are people too, right? You can earn about $10 per hour.
  • Tour guide: Show off your hometown pride for an average of $11 per hour.

Like the work-from-home options listed above, you can take on these out-of-home side hustles for little to no financial investment on your part. And the ones that tip have the added benefit of instant gratification — if you want to become a waiter or waitress for your side hustle, you’ll get to take home cash every shift you work (and you might even be able to get a free meal as well).

Rent out your assets

And for those who prefer their side hustle income to be more of the “passive” variety, renting out the assets you already own can be a great way to do it.

  • Rent out your car: You can let someone else use your car when you’d have it parked and earn about $700 per month if you use a service such as Turo.
  • Rent out your room or home: Depending on the desirability of your location and the type of home you have, you could earn an average of $400 per week for renting a room all the way up to $800 per week for renting an entire home.
  • Become a rideshare or delivery driver: Okay, this one is more active than passive, but you can use your car to earn about $13 per hour.

Of course, if you don’t have a car or spare room to rent out (or the desire to rent your home out and leave each time), then these options won’t work.

Manual labor for those who just like to get stuff done

Love to work with your hands? Manual labor side hustles can help you get some exercise as you pad your bank account:

  • Fix things around the house: If you’re skilled with tools and already own a set, you can fix yourself up with around $17 per hour.
  • Housecleaner: Clean your own home and get nothing, but clean others’ and you could earn approximately $10 per hour.
  • Lawn care: Homeowners already care for their own lawn — do you want to do it for your neighbors, too? Take home around $12 per hour.
  • Mover: If you have a truck and can lift, you can earn about $11 per hour to help people move from one home to another.
  • Paint houses: You’ll have to purchase painting equipment, but you can earn approximately $18 per hour.

Unlike the previous side hustles, you might need to invest money into tools and materials. Costs will vary based on the side hustle you choose, but you might not want to spend more than you can earn back in a reasonable amount of time — and then, only if you’re booked solid on jobs.

Capitalize on side hustles that earn you more than money

Out of all the side hustles, the best ones provide you with more than extra money. They also enable you to grow skills that you can use as stepping stones for your career or even start a business. Or they can simply provide you with enjoyment or fulfillment.

When you’re living on a tight budget, it’s easy to get stuck in the things you have to do to make it work. But if you approach the “second job” with an opportunistic mentality instead, then hopefully the extra work can benefit your life in various ways.

And if you need a little more inspiration on the way, read these seven side hustle blogs to help you stay inspired and earn more money, and use our marketplace to find the right side hustle for you.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 8 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 3.03% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.38% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.38% 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 February 4, 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 2/04/2020. 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 hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2018 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.


2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.20% APR to 6.48% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.31% APR to 6.48% 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 2.31% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 1.81% plus 0.75% margin minus 0.25% for AutoPay. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your credit history and the term of the loan 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. *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. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

3 Important Disclosures for Figure.

Figure Disclosures

Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.


4 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

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. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
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.

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.

FEE INFORMATION

There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.

LOAN AMOUNT

For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.

ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS

Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).

Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.

For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.

INTEREST RATES

The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.

DISBURSEMENT OPTIONS

The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.

POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS

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.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.

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

This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.


5 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.


6 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

College Ave Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 1/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). 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 1.68% effective January 10, 2020.


8 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 12/019/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

1.89% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.31% – 6.48%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.93% – 6.68%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Figure

2.29% – 6.65%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.99% – 7.06%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.62% – 6.12%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.77% – 6.25%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 8.59%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.

Published in Make More Money, Side Hustles