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.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
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 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 July 31, 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.
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2 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.
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 September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 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 September 10, 2020.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
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 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.