Want to make a little extra money? It seems like virtually everyone has a side hustle these days, but how do you choose which one is best for you? Here are the most popular side hustles out there, along with a breakdown of how they work and how much you can expect to make.
Who couldn’t use a little more money?
Whether you’re struggling with a job that doesn’t quite pay all the bills, or just want to have a bit more disposable income to save, invest, or splurge, a side hustle is a great way to bridge the gap.
If you haven’t heard the term “side hustle” before, it generally refers to an extra job, project, or task that earns “extra” money outside of your primary job. There are plenty of different side hustles you can get involved with, ranging from selling your services online as a freelancer to driving and delivering food.
When trying to decide which side hustle is right for you, it helps to categorize them into two types:
- Passive side hustles earn you money while you sleep. They don’t require active work on your part. A good example would be renting out your home or tools (with us!), which are resources you already have to hand.
- Active side hustles only earn you money for the time period you’re working. Any job that has you clock in and out, for example, is “active.” Every minute you’re not actively working, you’re not making that cold hard cash. These types of side hustles include driving, food delivery, and freelance projects. They require more effort in the long run.
Passive side hustles are obviously the most desirable because…hey, who doesn’t want to make money with minimal effort?! However, generally they require the possession of an asset.
If you don’t have the space in your home to be able to rent it out, or don’t own any tools in the first place, then what? An active side hustle you can knock out in your free time might be better.
There’s a side hustle out there related to whatever you’re interested in, but a select few have risen to the top as the most popular. Which are the most lucrative and popular side hustles out there? How do they work in terms of money and effort? That’s what we’ll be looking at today.
As with all side hustles, remember to consider your operating expenses. Will you make enough money with Uber, for example, to cover the gas of driving around?
Becoming a Driver
One of the most popular side hustles is to become a driver. For most people, especially those starting out, a car is the biggest asset they have to work with. Companies like Uber and Lyft have made it incredibly easy to get started.
Depending on where you live, driving wages may or not be comparable with other jobs in your area. For example, Lyft drivers reportedly earn an average of $17.50 per hour, and Uber drivers seem to earn a little less—around $14.73 per hour.
In most cases, the tradeoff is the flexibility: you work when you want, for as long as you want, and you have the power to offer customer service that can result in good tips!
This isn’t a side hustle that’s going to solve money issues overnight, but it can be a great, consistent source of extra cash throughout the month.
Becoming a food delivery driver is another popular side hustle, as it’s convenient and easy to fit around a day job or student schedule. (Also a good alternative if you’re less of a “people person” but still want to make use of your vehicle as your primary asset!)
There are two main types: restaurant food delivery and grocery delivery.
The restaurant delivery space has blown up in the last ten years, with nearly half a dozen companies entering the fray: Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash. All offer roles as delivery drivers, and it’s simple to get started. It’s worth noting that you might be able to find local food companies looking for part-time delivery drivers as well.
Grocery delivery gigs vary by location, but Shipt and Instacart are the two most prominent players in the game.
The pay for delivery work is, on average, just above minimum wage. Earnings will depend on where you are, the times of day you work, and how often you work. As with being a driver, there is the potential to earn tips to boost your earnings.
Nowadays, you can become a freelancer for pretty much anything. Whether you’re a writer, developer, artist, or designer, there’s a freelance gig out there that’s just waiting for you.
If this is the path for you, you’ll have to decide how you want to find clients: either go it alone yourself (more work and effort) and keep all your earnings, or join a third-party platform like Fiverr or UpWork. These companies take a cut of your billings in exchange for providing the platform to connect you with clients and process payments.
On either platform, freelancers can set up their own gigs in a wealth of different categories and sectors. Gigs on Fiverr cover almost any topic—entrepreneurs sell everything from social media marketing and proofreading to poem writing and tarot card readings!
Freelancing pay varies wildly depending on the market, project, client, and even platform—but the good news is it’s entirely in your hands. You set all your own prices.
Like any good side hustle, freelancing offers flexibility. It’s easy to structure around your everyday working life. With that in mind, make sure that you put a cap on the number of orders you’re willing to accept in a given week or month so that you don’t burn out.
Renting Out a Room in Your House (Or The Whole Dang House!)
Now we’re moving into the land of passive side hustles!
If you’ve got a spare room or you spend a lot of time away from home, renting could be a great side hustle for you. (In most cases you’ll have to own your own home to participate, as the majority of rental agreements forbid any kind of subletting.)
Airbnb is one of the most popular choices for people wanting to rent out their homes, followed by the newly-revamped VRBO.
Hosts can set their own prices, though Airbnb takes their 3% cut, of course. The average nightly rate is $80, but this varies tremendously based on your location and if there’s a major event or tourist attraction drawing visitors to your area. Your earning power can be directly influenced by the accommodations you’re offering—the nicer the space (or the more amenities you provide), the more you can charge.
With home rental, there’s always the risk of guests damaging your home during their stay. It’s rare, but is worth bearing in mind.
Renting Out Your (Other) Stuff
If you don’t own your home but still only have time for a passive side hustle, what do you do? Figure out what other assets you have that you can rent out.
Want to rent out your car? Turo is one of the more popular apps connecting visitors and tourists with local residents looking to make a buck. Getaround is another one, though at the moment it’s only present in major metropolitan areas.
Spinlister lets you rent out your sports and leisure equipment. (Anyone else bought a kayak on massive sale at Dick’s and then used it once in three years? No? Just me?)
A few other, more niche, rental services include Buro (everything), BabyQuip (baby equipment), Style Lend (designer clothing), Boatsetter (boats…), and RVShare (you got this!).
Another great way to earn extra cash on the side? Rent out your tools with Sparetoolz! Have you got some tools in the shed that you don’t use anymore? How about those gardening tools sitting in the corner of your house? That’s money just waiting to be made.
Sparetoolz is the best way to get started with tool rental, and it’s free and easy to set up. Download it here to give it a whirl.
Time to Do The Hustle
There’s been a lot of chatter relating to ‘financial freedom’ in the media lately, but it doesn’t need to be as mysterious or complicated as it’s sometimes made out to be. Having a side hustle to support your main source of income doesn’t have to be a struggle.
If you’ve got a car, house, set of tools, or skill, you’re sure to find a side hustle that fits around your everyday working life. There’s something for everyone.
Sparetoolz is proud to support side hustles for all. Our app allows for peer-to-peer tool sharing within local communities, and is a great way to both earn and save money. Download the app for free here to get started, or get in touch with a member of our team. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.