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4 Ways to Boost Your Monthly Income With a Side Hustle

Posted by MoneyKey on May 12, 2019

As nice as it would be to have a steady income that pays the rent, utility bills, groceries, and all of our normal expenses without any worry, the reality is that many of Americans don’t have this luxury. When you’re stuck in a minimum wage job or your income fluctuates with the season, you might have a hard time budgeting, planning your finances, and finding the money you need each month to cover your base expenses. While an online loan may be what you need to cover an emergency expense you can’t ignore, an effective side hustle might be just what you need to fill in those gaps each month. Here are four side hustle ideas you can use to boost your finances.

Gig economy jobs

­It can be tough to put together an effective budget when you don’t have a predictable income. Maybe you work on commission or maybe your income is seasonal, but if you don’t have a consistent stream of money coming in each month, you might be looking for ways to fill in these gaps.

home office for a side hustle

If you’ve got a set of marketable skills, you may be able to sell your services online through freelancing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. Maybe you have some experience in design and you find someone looking for help designing their wedding invitations. Or maybe you already manage your own business’ social media platforms and can leverage this experience to find other small businesses who need someone to run their social accounts. There’s a wide range of tasks that are out there for you to work on, but the key is recognizing what your skills are and using these freelancing platforms to find the side hustle that’s suited to your skills.

How much extra money you can make is completely dependent on the types of gigs you’re working on and the amount of time you have to work on these side hustle jobs each month.

An important thing to keep in mind when you’re first starting out is that these freelancing platforms are very reliant on reviews. If you have no reviews, you may want to consider paying a friend to buy your gig and give you a glowing review after the work has been done. This will start you off on the right foot with a five-star review that you can use to start slowly acquiring new customers. Without this, you might have a harder time landing those first few jobs.

Freelance writing jobs

Speaking of the gig economy, there’s never been an easier time to make a few extra dollars if your passion is writing. If you’re looking to work from home, or even if you have a couple extra hours a day to use productively, freelance writing is a great side hustle for you to supplement your income.

freelance writing side hustle

With any freelance work, it’s good to have some examples of what you’ve done in the past for you to show potential clients. Take everything you’ve written that you think there’s a market for and pick your favorite pieces for your portfolio. Maybe you’ve written a few blog posts for your workplace’s website, or maybe you’ve even started a blog of your own to flex your writing muscles. Display this work on your freelancing site profiles and start scouring these platforms for freelance writing gigs that you think you’re well-suited to.

How much will you be able to make as a freelance writer? You’ll be limited by how much time you can spend writing, your experience level, and how much your clients are willing to pay. But it’s not unreasonable to make a few hundred dollars a month once you get the ball rolling with a few gigs under your belt. The key is to be persistent in your search for work. Without an expansive portfolio and a trove of five-star reviews to show off, you may have to look hard at first for some low paying freelance writing gigs to get your portfolio started. If this is the case, you may want to look for work on Upwork, Cragslist, or Fiverr where it’s a little easier to land your first few clients. With persistence, you can see your ratings rise as well as the amount your able to start charging.

Sell items on Ebay or Craigslist

Do you have a bunch of things lying around the house that get no use? Maybe a garage full old furniture that you’re holding on to? If you need a quick influx of cash, selling these items on Craigslist or Ebay may be an easy side hustle to help you out.

Make a list of everything you don’t use that might be of some value. This can be things like household appliances, old furniture, or even any collectible trinkets you may have lying around. Your next step should be to go on Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or whatever other platforms you’re looking to sell your items on, and do some research to see what the going rate is for the things you want to sell. If you try to gouge people, you likely won’t have many takers, but you also don’t want to undervalue your items.

Once you have an idea of how much you should be charging, make sure you write a detailed description of each item and take good quality pictures. As long as you don’t skimp on any parts of the process and you’re able to validate that your items have some value, this side hustle should be able to help turn those dusty items into cash!

Participate in online focus groups

focus group side hustle

Before a product hits the market, companies will often try to gain insights into the consumer’s feelings of that product by holding a focus group meeting. While in the past you’d have to go to a physical location to participate in one, a lot of marketing companies now conduct these online.

To participate in an online focus group, you’ll often need to do a survey to make sure you’re a good fit for the group. For example, a site like will invite people to participate based on their responses to their surveys. But this isn’t always the case. Some websites won’t make you fill out a survey and will instead allow you to register and participate in the group online or through a video interview.  

To find opportunities to start participating in these paid focus groups, there are a few websites that can direct you to the right place:

  • Engage – They conduct research through either a consumer panel or a healthcare panel, and the pay typically ranges from $50-$250
  • Probe Market Research – They’ll conduct market research through phone, online, or group interviews for their clients, and the pay ranges from $50-$400
  • Mindswarms – They’ll pay you $50 to answer seven questions through a video chat
  • Brand Institute – this company looks for participants specifically for pharmaceutical and consumer market research

A side hustle may be the key to boosting your monthly income

With all of life’s expenses weighing you down, you might be having a hard time covering your base monthly expenses when you’re only making minimum wage or don’t have a steady income. But there are other ways to help fill in the financial gap so you can make sure you don’t fall behind on your bills. If you have the time, a side hustle might be just what you need to relieve some of that financial stress. Consider the side hustle ideas we’ve listed here and look for what best suits your needs, interests, and lifestyle.

Do you have a side hustle that you use to supplement your income? Share below!


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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