One of the best things you can do for yourself financially is to start a disciplined savings plan. Whether you’re starting an emergency fund or saving for a home or a vacation, learning to put money aside for the future is essential in today’s world.
We get it, saving is not easy. Sometimes the hardest part about saving is finding money to save. Monthly expenses, unexpected bills and existing debt often prevent many people from putting money regularly into their savings accounts. This is where the side hustle comes in as an option. If you’re someone who can work a second job into your schedule, great. If not, a side gig where you’re your own boss and make your own schedule could give you the extra income you need to kickstart your savings plan.
Become a Vendor
DIY retailing might be right for you.
Web sites like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, allow individuals to act as vendors and sell pretty much anything. If you’re someone with a hobby or passion for creating things, why not monetize it? If you have a collection of items (like trading cards) that are accumulating dust, why not sell them? Set some time aside to write a listing describing the item and post some photos of the item. You never know who might be interested in paying you for what you have to offer.
Free classifieds like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Oodle are a few quick and easy platforms through which you can sell just about anything. If you’re planning to sell a bunch of (possibly random) things and not wanting to break the bank to do so, start here. Keep in mind that for some of these platforms, electronic transactions are frowned upon so you and your potential customers will likely have to meet up to make a sale.
You can easily make money off a yard sale and it won’t cost you much to set up; maybe a few dollars for some eye-catching bristol board signs to put on the side of the road. Getting your neighbors in on this money-making opportunity is another great way to add legitimacy to your yard sale since people are more likely stop if they see multiple homes with items they can browse through.
Spend a little money, make a little (or a lot) more money.
People buy used books all the time, why not cash in? If you’re a recent grad or a student, or if your kids have moved away from home and left their textbooks behind, selling them is a great way to make cash quickly. If you’re an aficionado of sorts and know a rare/good book when you see one, re-selling books you find at yard or library sales can amount to a few hundred bucks extra a year.
If you’re someone who tends to occasion shop for weddings or other events, selling that dress or suit you bought to wear only once is a great place to start. Vintage items or rare sneakers can double or triple (or more) in value, so if you have or can get authentic items, do a quick search and see what other people are selling them for. Spending time visiting thrift stores regularly to find unique items people have donated is a great way to start your clothes-flipping side gig for cheap.
Reselling items like jewellery, antiques, and collectibles requires some background knowledge or may require some additional research. If you have the know-how and are good at identifying authentic items or rare pieces from certain eras, it could be the start of a very lucrative enterprise.
See a sporting event or concert coming up that you think you might want to attend? Do your best to get extra tickets before you check out. You can then resell those in a secondary ticket marketplace like StubHub, list them in an online classified, or even sell them on the day of the event at the venue. You will want to choose your events wisely because you don’t want to get stuck with tickets that don’t sell out or an event you don’t want to attend. Before you start your ticket-flipping side job, find out if its legal in your state to resell tickets. StubHub has a helpful guide here on state laws on the resale of tickets.
Use your Hands
Not everyone has the magic touch (or patience).
Should you consider yourself handy and have successfully repaired things in the past you may be able to help others and make a little money on the side. Repairs could be anything from fixing your neighbor’s 10-speed bike to replacing their bathroom faucets. What matters most when doing work for others is that you have the know-how. If you are tech savvy you can get into computer or phone repairs. You can do software repairs like installing and updating operating systems or removing viruses, or hardware repairs like fixing broken screens and replacing hard drives.
Owning a sewing machine is one thing; knowing how to work a sewing machine well, understanding materials, and how to measure correctly, is another. If you possess these skills, know that they are valuable and there’s always someone out there who needs something hemmed, taken in or let out, and is willing to pay. Why not have them pay you?
Baby-sit. Pet-sit. House-sit. Whether a person, couple or family is going out for a night or on vacation for 2 weeks, being someone’s go-to sitter can make you some decent money on the side. As with any side business, it only takes one excellent recommendation to make you someone else’s go-to as well.
Share your Voice
You can do this publicly or privately, and still get paid.
You might think everyone has a blog so why bother? Everyone has a blog for a reason. For many people, it’s because they found a way to make money. Getting readers initially may take a bit of time, but selling ad space and making money off of affiliates later is an easy side job that only requires a few extra hours a week.
Like blogging, running a YouTube channel takes a bit of effort in the beginning, but like most things, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. Once you start hitting a certain number of views or subscribers YouTube will start paying you to run ads before your videos. Keep it up and you might even become a bona fide influencer that has brands reaching out to you with free stuff or cash in exchange for promotion.
All it takes is a simple online search like “Focus groups [insert city name]” and you could make $50 – $500 for your time depending on the company involved and the complexity of the research. One great thing about most focus groups and online panels is once you sign up you’ll be contacted when consumers with your profile are needed. You won’t have to keep checking every day to see if you fit a certain profile to try and make money.
Participating in surveys may not be as lucrative as focus groups, but they are a very convenient way to supplement your income. Surveys are often quick and easy to complete so you can do a bunch of them in a day or week if you have some spare time. When it comes to surveys there’s no shortage of sites out there, so you will want to do some research to find out which sites pay the best.
Sell your Knowledge
Time to share the wealth.
Skilled workers like carpenters, plumbers, welders, mechanics, technicians, even horticulturalists are always in high demand but often work in some of the most competitive industries. Should you work in a skilled trade and be in between work/have a slow season, becoming an independent contractor on the side can be a great way to make some extra money.
Whether you completed an apprenticeship or have a bachelor of sociology, chances are your education was not cheap. However, if you did well in school but aren’t seeing relevant jobs that leverage your skills, it doesn’t mean that you should stay broke or settle for a job completely unrelated to your field. Tutoring or teaching others might be your side hustle calling and it may even turn into full-time work.
Don’t sleep on the opportunity to make money from something that comes easily to you. Should you be fortunate enough to speak more than one language, you can find translation or tutoring gigs for the languages you speak.
A final note…
Using one of the side jobs mentioned above can be a gateway to retirement savings or self-employment. Even if you don’t dive in headfirst to starting your side hustle, taking advantage of small money making opportunities can help you save by paying for smaller expenses. $90 from a focus group or $200 from a garage sale might not help you pay for a mortgage but it may help your pay your utility bill, and that’s better than nothing.