Incase you didn't know by now, I love to side hustle. I even started this blog so I could share all my crazy experiences with side hustles so I could pay off my credit card debt.
There are so many different reasons to side hustle:
- Get out of debt
- Save for vacation
- Pay bills
- Save for college
- Extra spending money
- Pay off student loans
- Pay off your mortgage faster
- And more!
I've compiled an epic list of side hustles ideas for you to try. I have done the majority of side hustles on this list, so I can speak from first hand experience that this side hustle list is legit.
Side Hustle Ideas
This cell phone app helps you make money off your grocery receipts. Yup, for real! You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.
My favorite part about Ibotta is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc. If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate. For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. When you sign up, you will receive a $10 cash bonus when you make your first scan!
I have made thousands of dollars over the past few years from taking surveys online! There are a handful of companies that I love to use and earn cash back into my PayPal account, as well as reward points that I can use at places like Target, Walmart and Macy's. Here is a list of the best survey companies to make money.
Start a blog
I went from making $40/month to over $4,000/month in the span of six months. That’s crazy! Here is a tutorial that walks you through how to start a blog.
Blogging has totally changed my life. I even share my online income reports so other people can see how I got started and how I am growing.
Ebates is my absolute favorite company to use when I’m shopping online. Hello, it’s free money!
Every time I shop online, I always start at Ebates. They have a list of all the places you normally shop at and you just click on the store you want to visit online. After you make a purchase, you earn a percentage of the sale! They literally give you cash back on every purchase you make. The cash back ranges from 1% to 14%. The money is then deposited into your PayPal account.
I’ve made over $700 from shopping online and earning cash back. Join Ebates here!
Become an Uber or Lyft driver
Work your own schedule and make mad cash! I know plenty of drivers that work all kinds of different time shifts, whether it's working during rush hour, happy hour or in the evenings. Uber even offers bonuses and extra incentives all the time.
Since I take Uber all the time, I've met some amazing people. Many drive with Uber full time and many drive part time to work around their regular work schedule. Awesome!!
On a side note, if you want to take an Uber, here's a free $20 coupon credit!
Start saving, even if it’s only a few dollars a week
Whether you want to start an emergency fund or a vacation fund, you have to start setting some money aside. If you’re like most people and struggle with saving, you should consider using Digit or Qapital.
Qapital is a totally free app that let's you decide how much money you want to save every time you make a purchase. You can pick from $1 all the way up to $5. So let's say I spend $24.05 at the grocery store. Qapital will then transfer $1 to my savings account.
You can link as many debit cards or credit cards as you want to Qapital. So even if you use a credit card to make a purchase, you can pick one bank account to transfer the $1 to your Qapital saving account. Click here to learn more about Qapital.
Digit lets you save money each week from your checking account. What I really like about Digit is that it analyzes my bank account and determines how much I can really save per week. Some weeks it might be $5 and other times it might be $20. You don’t have to worry about overdraft and can contribute less or more if you need to.
The only downside to Digit is starting sometime in 2017, they are going to charge $5 per month to use this service.
As of now, I don’t know an easier way to save money! You can learn more about Digit here.
Rent out your space on AirBnB
Over the past couple of years, I have stayed at a handful of AirBnB's and saved a ton of money. I've been able to rent an entire house, condo and apartment instead of a room at a hotel. Have you ever thought about renting out your home for a weekend?
You can learn more about how to use AirBnB here. Using the link, you will also get a coupon for $40 off your first stay anywhere!
Make money at auctions
Become a vendor at the farmer's market or craft fair
Sometimes the best way to sell something is to get out in your community. This works great if you are selling something perishable, a craft you have made, etc. This is a great way to make extra income, test your products and get feedback.
This post will teach you how I got started, what all goes into becoming a vendor and how I became the farmer's market manager (which was a paid part time job!)
Sell on Ebay
If you aren't sure how to even get started on how to sell and ship things on Ebay, this tutorial will walk you through everything you need to know. This is a classic side hustle and still lucrative.
Jayleen from Sunshine and Rainy Days breaks down all the tools and methods she uses to sell on Ebay.
Write a book
This is such a great way to make money and can turn into passive income.
Like children's books? This blogger writes custom children's books, which is an amazing side hustle.
Sell electronics for parts
When my Macbook broke beyond repair, I placed an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone wanted a broken Mac. A bidding war broke out! I kept the hard drive, and then scrapped the parts for around $350. Not bad!
If you have any old laptops, computers, phones, etc. wipe them clean and consider selling them for parts. I had no idea this was such a lucrative business until the guy I sold my laptop told me how much parts go for online.
I signed up to be a professional petsitter on Rover. This was a great side hustle job at the time as I was working from home and could really commit to this. First of all, this job is not for everyone. I feel strongly that you must love pets or it is not fair for everyone involved.
Create a course
Gina Horkey career has blown up since she quit her job to freelance full time. She has done so well she even created a course on how to become a virtual assistant in under 30 days so others could learn from her.
I created the Pinterest Presence course for fellow bloggers and businesses. My monthly page views skyrocketed from 1,000 to 160,000 in under a year, which was crazy. So many people asked me how I did it, so I created Pinterest Presence to help other people.
Potato Chip Taster
I have completed a few of these taste tests and wish I could complete more! I have paid to sit for an hour and taste various food products and provide my opinion.
Coffee study panel
I completed a 2 hour panel study on coffee and was paid $150. This study panel was completed with about a dozen other people. We sat around a large table and answered questions from a moderator on all things related to coffee. This was a lot of fun!
Create a service or virtual assistance business
Think about turning your hobby or something you excel at into a service that helps others. This could be creating stock photos, writing newsletters, researching articles – there is a ton of things out there that people need help with.
If you cook, make meals for someone who is short on time. Provide cleaning services, run errands for someone or help someone get organized. People are super busy and often times will pay for help if it makes their lives easier.
If you are interested in learning how to become a Pinterest VA, this course can help you get started with your own freelance business quickly.
Yes, I have been paid to sniff things and give my opinion. I have sniffed dryer sheets, soap and dish detergent. Each of these sniff tests took about 30-45 minutes and I was compensated between $20 – $45 for my time.
If you like talking to people and are outgoing, this would be the perfect side hustle. You get to set up at different venues and pass out free samples. My Debt Epiphany shares how she side hustled by passing out free booze.
I have tested shampoo, body wash, mascara and foundation from high end, well known brands – I have done several online surveys where I have been asked to replace my regular skincare products with a tester and record my opinion over the course of a couple weeks.
Each study paid between $10-$25 and is an easy way to make money from home and test out products!
I was provided a large bottle of a well known brand and asked to consume this product over the course of a month. I was not required to drink the entire bottle (ha!) but mainly document how I incorporate the liquor if I was having a cocktail. I was compensated $50 and got to keep the remaining liquor.
I gave my opinion on how I felt about different drapery rods. These curtain rods came in a bevy of styles and finishes. This took 20 minutes of my time and I was compensated $25.
Eat beef jerky
This was the most challenging side hustle I have ever done.I was also young and desperate for some extra money, so I went for it. I cannot stand beef jerky, but somehow managed to qualify and partake in a 1 hour study where I was allowed to eat as much beef jerky as I wanted and review various flavors. Never again – but I was compensated $40.
This is not for the faint of heart. I tried this a couple times and it was too much for me. After the initial 4 hour exam of blood work, a physical and filling out paperwork, I was able to donate plasma twice a week, with each visit taking roughly an hour.
Unfortunately, I fainted after donating and that was the end of that side hustle! However, most people are fine and donate on a regular basis.
Compensation was $20 or $25 each visit and was loaded onto a pre-paid Visa card I could use anywhere.
Yup, did this. I worked at a private pharmacy, helped package it and then delivered it. It was pretty crazy and you can learn more about it here.
This is a really great side hustle that can be pretty consistent. I used to dog walk for 30 minutes and charged $20 per walk. Most of my clients needed me 3-4 times a week and this was regular income.
I started with Rover, but also put up a sign at my building and got really busy. This is a booming side hustle and perfect if you love dogs! You could put up signs at the dog park, your apartment complex, coffee shop – pretty much any public space.
Play a video game
This study was done through a local college. I found the ad posted online through the school’s local newspaper/website.
I was with a team of 3 other people around a computer and the study was how well we worked as a team solving a problem in a video game.
Students receive grants to test theories/studies and use the grant money to pay for their research, which includes paying others for their time. I was paid $50 for 90 minutes of my time.
One year I wasn’t able to go home over the holidays so I sought out a part time holiday job. Because I worked a full time, Monday to Friday job, I opted for 1-2 evening shifts and 1 weekend day.
This amounted to 12-16 hours a week and between $140-$190 a week before taxes. Another bonus was the company discount, which was a 35% discount for seasonal employees. I even stayed on with the company after the holidays for a few months as I enjoyed working with my fellow employees and genuinely liked the company I worked for.
This is another cell phone app where you can pick up quick, 5 to 10 minute mystery shops on your cell phone. Most of the shifts take place at the grocery store or drugstore. The shop involves using your cell phone to snap pictures of grocery aisles or a certain food product.
The shifts don’t pay a lot – especially if you live in a big city – but you can make anywhere from $4 to $12 each shift you accept. Once you finish the shop, you get the money in your PayPal account within a couple days. Because the pay is low, I try to time my regular trip to the grocery store with a shift to save on time and gas!
Do you really need to keep all your textbooks from college? Get rid of them via Craigslist or Half.com, which is owned by eBay. Selling your college textbooks back to your school is one of the worst ways to make money and very rarely pay well.
When I completed my 2nd college degree, I had a textbook that I purchased new for a little over $300. This was a new textbook and could not be purchased used anywhere- trust me, I looked! When I went to see how much the school was offering to buy it back, I was offered ZERO dollars because the school wasn’t sure it would be using the textbook again.
So I posted the book online at Half.com and it sold for roughly $250 within a month of posting.
Sell old stuff on Craigslist
When I moved, I got rid of a ton of stuff on Craigslist. Since my goal was to become more of a minimalist, and I just had stuff laying around, I decided to try my luck. I have sold everything from patio furniture to books to leftover pavers from a home improvement project.
My biggest tips would be to provide a full description with lots of pictures.
Sell on Etsy
I personally love Etsy. I used to have my own shop and made a nice part time income over the course of two years. You can sell pretty much anything on Etsy, whether it's crafting, edibles or even things like tutorials!
I've purchased Christmas card templates, cat toys, beer kits, cheese kits and a ton of other stuff on Etsy. If you can imagine it, you can sell it on Etsy.
Create products with Zazzle
Zazzle lets you create and design all your own products, and then sell them on your website or Zazzle's website! You earn a commission of each sale and set your own rates.
Sell Halloween costumes on eBay
This is most profitable in August, September and beginning of October. If you wear a costume once, keep the packaging. You can resell a gently used costume, often at a great price.
I have also sold dog costumes my dogs have worn. My dogs wore their costumes for a couple hours on Halloween, but that’s it! I have the photos and memories and don’t need to keep every costume or outfit they wear. People will often pay almost full retail for dog costumes, and I have easily made back the money I initially spent!
Participate in a medical study
This is a great way to accomplish a couple things- improve your health and get compensated for it! I participated in a particular study that compensated me $100 for each return visit and this study lasted several months. It eventually rolled over into a similar study and I was compensated a similar amount. You can read about my adventure here.
There are a ton of medical studies out there, such as quitting smoking, asthma, ADHD, depression, etc.
Freelance in similar field of work
Every couple years, I help similar companies in my field of work (outside of blogging) with updating their records, renewing certifications with the state and filing paperwork. Each job ranged between 10-15 hours and paid around $300.
Sell your services on Fiverr
If you are just getting started freelancing, this can be a quick way to get started making money. Most jobs pay $5 (hence the name), but you can add in extra options to drive up the cost. There are a lot of freelancers who make a living full time selling on Fiverr.
Accept a short term contract position
I accepted a 3 month contract position on top of my regular, full time job. The contract position was similar to my full time job title but gave me the opportunity to branch out to a slightly different line of work that I hadn’t done before.
This position turned into 6 months and there were numerous benefits to accepting the contract. While the pay rate was just good, not great, I was able to work from home, learn a new niche in my field of work, make new contacts and update my resume!
If you have time, why not see what else is available in your career niche?
This is becoming more and more popular as there are a ton of websites you can sign up with. I list all the best ones I have worked with here.
I have completed shops that include trips to the aquarium, sporting events, Walt Disney World, theme parks, fancy restaurants, casual restaurants and department stores. It's super easy and fun!
You can learn more about mystery shopping from these posts:
- How I Made Over $2,000 from Side Hustles
- How I Made Over $4,500 from Side Hustles
- How to Make More Money this Year
Clean someone’s closet
This was a referral through a customer and I got paid hourly to organize and clean a master closet. This took an afternoon and I made about $100.
Help small businesses
This side hustles relates to my day job. A couple of businesses reached out to me to see if I could help with some organizational paperwork. I helped these small businesses with renewing business licenses, reviewing CEU classes, resale certificates, etc. This was an easy job for me, I enjoyed it and completely worthwhile.
Here's a few related posts:
So there you have it – my epic list of side hustle ideas. It's crazy to think I have tried about 95% of these. Hopefully you can find a side hustle that works for you.
What's the craziest side hustle you have ever done?