A huge number of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Their money runs out every single month, and they have little cushion in their budget for emergencies, vacations, or the occasional splurge.
Many aren’t even saving or investing any of their income. Want to break that cycle, so you can start moving towards financial independence? Then you need to adjust your spending habits and budget, in order to save more than you spend.
Or you can explore the top side hustles available to earn extra money. While learning how to save is important, there’s only so much you can do to save money. If you truly want to increase your bottom line and financial security, you need to make more money.
Wondering what some of the best side hustle ideas are, that you can start right away? Keep reading below to discover some popular ways to make extra money.
The Gig Economy
Want to start earning extra money this week? There’s no faster way to earn extra money than with the gig economy.
The gig economy is categorized by new companies that empower independent contractors to complete tasks for their customers. As a gig worker, you get to choose when you work, how often you work, and ultimately, how much you want to earn each week.
The flexibility associated with working gigs is a big plus, especially for people with day jobs or family commitments. Here are some of the top gigs today.
Drive for Uber or Lyft
The classic gig example is ridesharing. Both Uber and Lyft are available in large and medium cities across the country.
The taxi industry is gone, and buses and trains are inefficient in American cities. But Uber and Lyft have created the ridesharing industry, which is booming more than ever.
All you have to do is pick up riders and drop them off at their destination. You receive a portion of the fare as well as any tips your riders leave you. Depending on where you work, you might expect an hourly income of between $15 and $25 an hour.
The best times to drive, however, are often early in the morning when travelers need to catch a flight, and late in the evening, after everyone is leaving the bar.
Deliver Groceries and Takeout
Like the thought of driving around in your own car, but don’t want to talk to strangers? Try delivering groceries or takeout orders.
Takeout orders pay much less, but you don’t have to shop around in the store. Grocery orders usually pay more per delivery but require you to fill the customer’s order, check out, and then deliver to their home.
Once you get familiar with the process, you can double down and start handling two or three orders at once to earn more per trip.
Dog walking has become a very popular service as well. 90 million households own at least one pet, the most popular being dogs.
Diehard dog lovers know their furry friends need walks during the day. But with many gone at work all day, they happily hire a dog walker to handle this on their behalf.
If you love animals, this might be the most fulfilling way to make money on the side.
Many major cities are investing in a city-wide scooter sharing program. With electric scooters available for quick and easy rent, residents and tourists alike can get around the city with ease, without adding more cars to the already overwhelming traffic.
But these scooters need to recharge somehow. Scooter providers like Bird and Lime will pay independent contractors to drive around the city, pick up scooters, recharge them, and then drop them back off.
Top Side Hustles in the Sharing Economy
The gig economy is all about providing active services. You do something on someone else’s behalf.
While it overlaps with the sharing economy, both are different. The sharing economy is all about letting someone else use something you own (or rent) in exchange for a fee.
Here are some of the best opportunities.
One of the best opportunities available right now is home-sharing through popular platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. And there are many ways you can make it happen.
If you have a spare room, you can rent that out to budget-friendly travelers. Or, if you have a separate unit, like a mother-in-law suite, that would work well for a rental, where you don’t have to share space with strangers.
The most profitable is renting out an entire house or apartment. Maybe you offer your home for rent for a few nights per month to earn extra income and stay at your parent’s or friends’ house during that time.
Depending on where you live, and the quality of your home, you can charge anywhere from $100 to $300 per night, plus a cleaning fee.
Additionally, you can rent out your backyard for a variety of purposes. A good example is a cell tower lease, which is not widely known. The signing of a contract with a wireless carrier (if they determine that your land is suitable for the installation of a cell tower) would grant you regular monthly income. The good news is that when the contract expires, you can renew the cell tower lease and negotiate better terms.
You don’t always have to drive people around directly in order to earn money from your car. You can also rent it out to travelers. They can either pick the car up from you, or you can offer to drive your car to them, usually at an airport or a hotel.
This works great if you have an extra car that sits in the driveway most of the week.
There’s a market for everything. Imagine you’re going on vacation for two weeks. It requires flying across the country.
You have a newborn and a toddler, and you’re staying in an Airbnb. You’re going to need car seats, strollers, baby beds, and other baby gear in order to actually be comfortable during your trip.
But you don’t want to bring all of that stuff with you. Nor do you want to have to purchase it when you arrive. So instead, you connect with a local that has all of the stuff you need and pay them to rent it during your trip.
They deliver it to your accommodation, and you enjoy your vacation hassle-free.
This is the sharing economy, and there are websites geared towards baby gear, outdoor gear like bikes and kayaks, and much more.
Freelancing Side Hustles
Another great option is freelancing. Most freelancing is done virtually, so all you need is a computer in order to offer services to individuals or existing businesses.
But you’ll also want to have a skill set that you can offer. For example, freelance writing is always in high demand. From social media posts to blog articles to web pages and much more, every business needs content written.
If you already have specific skills, then you can start up pretty quickly. If you don’t you can sign up for an online course in order to develop a skillset.
Freelancing opportunities abound when it comes to writing, graphic design, social media marketing, podcast editing, sound production, web design, and much more.
One of the biggest benefits of freelancing is that you can do it remotely. So you get to stay at home. Often, you can do it at night, after you’ve worked your day job.
Plus, freelancing is one of the best ways to build a career out of a side hustle. Once you gain experience, it becomes much easier to transition into freelancing full-time. And once you are confident in your work, you can start charging higher rates to your clients, making more per hour to the point where you no longer need to “work extra” in order to make ends meet.
Part-Time Remote Jobs
You don’t have to be an independent contractor in order to work remotely. You can get a remote job, working on a part-time basis, as an actual employee.
Many companies are looking for team members that can help with customer support at all hours of the day. So if you’re a morning person, you can clock a few hours before your day job. Or if you’re a night owl, you can work for a few hours after the kids have gone to bed.
Many companies, in all industries, are looking for remote customer support team members.
Side Hustle Tips
There are many side hustles that require very little funds to operate if any at all. This includes things like freelancing. Typically, all you need is a computer, which you likely already have.
Some side jobs do require some funding, either upfront or on an ongoing basis, such as paying gas as an Uber driver.
In either case, make sure you’re using cashback or travel rewards credit cards to make all of those purchases. You can sign up for a personal credit card that offers rewards, or you might be able to sign up for a business credit card since your side hustle can be considered a business.
Check out the top credit cards at Money Under 30. Along with a great list of current rewards credit cards, they’ll provide you with the tips you need to maximize rewards without taking on debt or paying interest.
Start Earning Today
There are countless ways you can make money on the side. These are just a few of the top side hustles that millions of Americans are benefitting from in 2022.
Which one are you going to start with?
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