All About Side Gigs

December 24, 2020
All About Side Gigs

A side gig or hustle is a way in which you can make´some extra cash outside of your primary job through a hobby or other means.

There are many reasons you may want to pick up a side job: this is an excellent way to earn extra income for saving, paying off debt, improve your credit, or save up for a special occasion.

As an added bonus, you may gain experience in a field you wish to transition to, meet new people, pursue a hobby, and have flexible work hours.

Finding The Right Side Job

How do you decide which side hustle to pursue? There are many factors that can help you decide on what is best:

  • First, you probably want to pick up something that you enjoy doing and works with your current skill set, such as painting, selling crafts, or playing live music.
  • Does it work with your schedule? You most likely want a side gig that allows you to have flexible hours.
  • You also want to know if you are eligible in your state. With some jobs, you may have to check if you are qualified or need training. Example: if you are taking a job as a ride-sharing driver, you will most likely be vetted as a driver and checked to see if you have a qualifying vehicle.
  • If you're not freelancing and signing on with a company, be sure to read real employee reviews (past and current) on sites like Glassdoor to learn about the pros and cons of your new side gig.
  • How much you will earn is essential, along with whether you are paid hourly or after each job. You want to invest your time and energy into a job that will pay.
  • Check if there are any additional costs, such as onboarding, subscription, or maintenance fees.
  • Finally, see if your side gig or hobby could potentially grow into a full-time job in a field you would like to pursue.

Before embarking on your new side gig, it helps to plan out your new schedule to help you stay on top of your gigs and stay motivated. It's going to take time to adjust to your new workload, so keep your expectations realistic and be flexible.

The Best Side Hustles For Making Extra Cash

Rideshare Driving

Use your vehicle to make cash as a ridesharing driver for companies such as Uber and Lyft. Rideshare drivers typically must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have one to three years of driving experience
  • A valid US driver's license
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • A four-door vehicle that can seat five people
  • Pass a criminal and driving background check

Rideshare drivers have the luxury of controlling their own schedule and working during peak hours to earn more, since how much you earn as a driver really depends on when you drive.

 Meal Delivery

Meal delivery services (including Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub) allow individuals to order takeout and have it delivered to their door.

Delivery drivers for these services can work flexible hours and have more lenient requirements in their transportation; many drivers deliver on scooters and bikes (in addition to cars).

 Delivering Groceries

  Just like delivering meals, you can pick up and deliver groceries to customers' homes through services such as Instacart and Shipt. These services typically pay you per order.

 Freelance Work

If you have a strong skill set, you can make money through freelancing. You can get into freelance work, regardless of whether you are a coder, designer, musician, voice actor -- the options are limitless. Services like Fiverr help you find clients online and allow you to decide what you want to charge for your services.

Airbnb

If you have a spare room (or home) and you are a good and willing host, you can rent it out through Airbnb.

Whether or not you can host through Airbnb varies by city, but if regulations allow it and you and have a safe, clean space, then you can make hundreds by being a good host.

Tutoring

If you have considerable knowledge of a subject and a love for teaching, then tutoring may be right up your alley. You can tutor through companies such as Tutor.com or TutorMe and teach a variety of subjects (English, math, science, reading, social studies, and even college entrance exam prep and higher learning courses) and work with grade school students and adults.

Create Online Courses

If you have vast knowledge of a subject, consider creating an online course. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), such as those offered by companies such as Teachable and Udemy, allow you to reach students outside of tutoring locally.

You can create a course that includes audio, video, assignments, and exams (longer courses get higher pay), which is then put online where students are charged a fee to enroll.

How much you earn typically depends on how the student finds your course: if they find it through the site (specifically Udemy), the platform will keep 50% of the cost, but if they sign up through an instructor coupon, the course creator will keep 97% of the cost.

Carpool to Work

Depending on your city of residence, you can be paid to carpool to work:

  • Washington, D.C. metropolitan area: $2/day over a 90-day period and up to $130
  • Birmingham, Alabama: Up to $70 over 90 days for carpooling or taking alternative transportation
  • San Mateo County, California: $50 gift card for a retail or online store
  • Boulder and Denver, Colorado: Up to $75 in Amazon gift cards

Put Ads on Your Car

Use your car to advertise for a reputable company (such as Auto Wrapped or Carvertise) and make some extra cash by driving in high-traffic areas.

Rent Out Your Car

If you have a vehicle (car, truck, RV, etc) that you don't use often and you're willing to rent it out for extra cash, you can rent it out through a peer-to-peer service such as Turo, Hyrecar, or Getaround.

Sell Online

Become an online seller.  Whether you create crafts or have some new/gently used clothes or games to sell, there is a site for you.

If you have some good craft skills, then you can put it to use and sell your art, crafts, t-shirts, and other goods on online platforms. Etsy is specifically well-known for being user friendly for those who are selling homemade goods, although there are other platforms such as Shopify and Amazon Handmade -- all of which tend to be more competitive when it comes to selling handmade goods.

Creating t-shirts? You can use a print-on-demand service such as Printful, Redbubble, and Merch by Amazon to upload designs and sell your products without dealing with shipping.

If you're selling an item in which you plan to meet someone face to face, be sure to meet in a public place and not give out any personal information for your safety.

Listing an item online? There are some steps you can take to help it pop. Take a few well-lit photos to showcase your item for buyers to see what condition your item is in and allow you to show that you are a reputable and trustworthy seller. Be sure to include a detailed description of your product and look at other listings to see what makes them pop.

Here are some of the top sites when it comes to selling your goods:

  • Amazon
  • Etsy
  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • OfferUp
  • Decluttr
  • Letgo
  • Gameflip
  • Gazelle
  • Poshmark
  • ThredUP
  • Swap.com
  • Tradesy

What are some ways to make money on the side?

  • Ride-sharing
  • Grocery and meal delivery
  • Airbnb
  • Freelance work
  • Online surveys
  • Tutoring
  • Sell arts and crafts

About The Author

Ashley Davison avatar

Ashley Davison

Director of Operations, Credit Saint LLC

Ashley is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Credit Saint, previously working as a Logistics Coordinator at Ernst & Young. She is currently working toward an Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University.

With a degree in education, she is eager to teach the world everything she knows and learn everything that she doesn’t already know! Ashley is a FICO® certified professional, a Board Certified Credit Consultant, Certified Credit Score Consultant with the Credit Consultants Association of America and holds a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Compliance Certificate.