I’m going to just start off with a disclaimer: These are NOT “get rich quick” solutions. Making money takes work. Why in tarnation we’ve come away from this idea is beyond me. Are there plenty of people out there who earn thousands in passive income? Sure, but I would bet that the passive income came after months, if not years, of nose-to-the-grindstone work. Even people who are in those “networking marketing” groups have to spend hours selling their product and recruiting people to join their (Ponzi scheme ;)) team before they can just sit back and let the money come in. Most bloggers will also tell you that it takes a ton of time and work before they can see money coming in. Even those online survey companies pay pennies for newbies..
Now that I’ve made myself clear, I’ve interviewed several people who do the side hustle thing and make it work. I would also like to note that these are college-educated professionals who are willing to work in addition to the 9-5. Is your leisure time important? Of course, but if you’re strapped for cash, or can’t afford to travel and would like to, maybe it’s time to start looking in to supplementing your income with a side hustle. I told a friend recently that she should drive for Uber for three hours per week to cover her eating out. Something as simple as this can drastically change your budgeting habits, and I highly recommend it. If your 9-5 salary does not allow you to stick to a budget, OR if you aren’t willing to change your lifestyle, you need to supplement your income. Here are some practical ways that are flexible enough to finance anything from a night out with the girls per week to that European backpacking excursion you’ve been dreaming about. Good things, big and small, don’t come for free, so fortunately there are plenty of options out there that will help you EARN what you want.
I’m a 9-5 business professional with a long commute. Someone told me that with Uber, you can set that route that you’re doing anyway, and pick someone up on your way. I typically drive on my way home from work, and it only adds about 10-15 minute to my commute, but an average of $100 per week. I check where the surcharges are, and drive for a few hours here and there on the weekends too. There was a 10-mile race recently, for example, so I drove several runners home and was happy that there was a huge surcharge, which made my profit per hour even higher. I would say on average I earn about $20/hour, but if it’s built in to my schedule already, it doesn’t really feel like work. Uber is perfectly safe and easy to sign up. All you need is a relatively-new sedan.
Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! My typical work schedule is from 7 AM-3 PM, so my afternoons are a perfect time to babysit before the rest of the professional world is off work. I work with a great family, and earn an extra $200 a week, babysitting from 3:30-5:30 Monday through Friday. I found the family I babysit for from a neighborhood email list, but I’ve known of several people who found great gigs on Care.com or SitterCity.com.
I am a high school math teacher and I tutor for three hours per week after work, earning an extra $180 per week. Even though it’s easy for me, as a teacher, to find clients (I ask teachers at other schools to send students in need my way), I’ve also found that professionals in other fields often make great tutors as well. To find clients, you can use the ThumbTack app, or just contact teachers that you know. Once you have a few clients who can vouch for your skill, plenty more will be knocking at your door.
When the HGTV craze took off, I noticed that several of my friends wanted to start gardens, but had no idea where to begin. I know a thing or two about gardening from watching my grandma, and thought I’d turn it in to a side business. This is not a consistent source of income. Some weeks I have five clients, and other weeks I don’t have any, but I charge $100 for two one-hour meetings, where I help my clients first build a gardening plan, and then buy their plants or seeds, and arrange their garden to maximize growth. For an additional fee, I’ll do all the plant shopping and plant everything myself. I find most of my clients on the ThumbTack app. I would tell anyone with a special skill to try their hand at coaching. Once you have a few clients who are happy with what you provide, referrals start pouring in.
So, there you have it, folks. I’m sure I’ll do plenty more posts on this topic again. Side hustles are some of my favorite topics, and I love learning what people to do to earn extra cash. Do you have a great side hustle you’d like to share? Comment below or email me! I’d love to hear about it!