As the economy tightens and prices continue to rise, there is a corresponding increase in both the popularity of and the need for side gigs. Whether you’re looking for ways to bring in extra money each month, whether in-person or at home and on-line, a side job could be just what you need.
Not only can a side job bring in extra money, it can also give you the opportunity to try out a position which you have often thought you may enjoy. Additionally, if your interest, hours, and income grew from that job, you could gain the option of quitting your full-time job to focus on your new-found passion.
If you’re a frugal fan looking to boost your income and earn more money in your free time, taking these following steps will guide you toward finding a side hustle that fits your skills and passions.
Watch the video which accompanies this post. In it, we show examples and give more information on side gigs.
Discover Your Skills and Interests
If money is tight and you’re looking for a good side gig, begin your journey by identifying your skills, interests, and passions. The best side hustles often revolve around what you’re good at or what you genuinely enjoy. Aligning your gig with your strengths is the first step to success.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, ask friends and family members what you’re really good at doing. Not only do they know you well, they may also know someone who has need of your services or talents.
Often, an outside perspective will shed just the light you need to find the perfect opportunity to bring in extra cash.
Consider Your Time and Needs
How you budget and allocate your funds each month should be directly related to your goals. So, when it comes to choosing a way to bring in additional money, begin by evaluating why you are seeking a second job. Will this income allow you to:
- Pay off debt faster
- Refresh your emergency fund
- Or add additional income to your budget
Considering your goals first, will allow you to clearly and confidently consider each opportunity and whether it’s the right one for you.
Another factor to consider is your time. How many hours a week can you comfortably give to this new venture? Will you be burning the proverbial candle at both ends? How will this effect other family members? How long can you keep up this pace? Is the job active or more sedentary? Can you perform the task from home or do you need to travel? How much time on the road is required each week?
Finally, how much money do you need your side job to bring in each month? If that is a set amount, then you may need to keep looking for a more lucrative offer or string together two or more smaller side gigs to reach that final amount each month.
Find Demand and Opportunities
Explore the demand for various side gig opportunities both in your local area and online. To determine what’s trending, consider your target audience, competition, and potential earnings.
Popular gig platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and TaskRabbit can offer valuable insights.
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Examples of Side Gigs
There are hundreds ways to make extra money, but they are not all equal. The trick is to find the one that works for you. It should match your lifestyle, goals, and core values. It should allow you to provide a valuable service, while taking home enough money to make it worth your while.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to be able to subtract your expenses (including taxes) and still net a profit that helps you pay your bills and reach your financial goals.
Showcase Your Expertise
For flexible earnings, consider freelancing. Whether you’re a writer, designer, programmer, or marketer, there’s a market for your skills.
Create an enticing online profile showcasing your talents and previous work to attract clients. A website costs very little to get started and, for the most part, they are pretty intuitive to set up. For free options, check out a no-cost version of a WordPress site or a free website from Google Blogger.
Monetize What You Have
Put your spare room, car, or other underutilized assets to work by joining sharing economy platforms like Airbnb, Uber, or Turo. These opportunities can help you earn money from the things you already own.
Always check the laws in your area and consider your personal liability before embarking on this side gig. You may need to consult an attorney before getting started. However, that initial cost may be recouped fairly quickly, depending on how popular your space or possessions are to others who would be willing to pay for the privilege of using them.
Online Surveys and Market Research
Participate in paid online surveys and market research studies to make some extra cash. I’ve used Swagbucks in the past and been pretty happy with the number of points I’ve received. My only caution is to not get sucked into spending too much time with it every day. The points don’t add up quickly enough to make it a several hour long commitment. Block out 30 minutes and set a timer.
I’ve also recently signed up with User Interviews. You are matched with surveys (some of which are unmoderated and some of which are conducted via a phone or Zoom interview). Each opportunity takes a different amount of time and pays a specific amount of money (generally paid for with a gift card for that amount from your choice of retailers).
Sell Your Crafts and Creations
If you’re crafty or artistic, platforms like Etsy, eBay, or local craft fairs can be profitable for selling handmade goods, vintage items, or collectibles.
My future daughter-in-law has an Etsy shop and reports that it’s easy to add items, descriptions, and prices. She also believes that the cut of the proceeds taken by Etsy is very fair and equitable.
If you’ve never bought from Etsy, it’s worth your time to spend an hour scrolling through the offerings. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Etsy is far more than handmade pots or dishtowels. You can find pretty much anything you want or need. In fact two of my sons both purchased engagement rings from Etsy sellers.
Teaching and Tutoring
Share Your Knowledge
Share your expertise by teaching or tutoring subjects you’re knowledgeable about. Websites like VIPKid, Chegg Tutors, and Teachable offer opportunities to teach online.
If you’d rather not go the on-line route, you can teach small groups of children or adults homemaking skills (like canning or cooking). Local churches usually have kitchens which have been approved by local authorities for the purpose of public use.
If you speak a second language many parents would gladly pay for after-school tutoring. Homeschool parents will pay for weekly or bi-weekly foreign language classes which can be counted for high school credit.
Drive, Deliver, and Earn
If you have a valid drivers license and reliable transportation, explore gig apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and Instacart. If you have a car and some free time, these platforms allow you to earn money by delivering food and groceries.
Wordsmith Your Way to Income
If you have a way with words, consider freelance writing. Content creation is in high demand, and businesses are willing to pay for quality articles, blog posts, and copy.
Making the Most of Your Side Gig
No matter how much you enjoy it, let’s face it, the goal of an additional job is to make money. Don’t treat your sideline as a hobby. Instead, follow these guidelines to get the most out of your side gig.
Set Realistic Goals
Plan for Success
Define your financial goals and the time you can realistically dedicate to your side gig. Striking a balance is essential to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life-side-hustle equilibrium.
Manage Your Finances
Track and Save
Keep meticulous records of your side gig income and expenses. Set aside a portion for taxes and consider opening a separate bank account for easy financial management. Remember, in the US, you’ll have the additional burden of paying self-employment taxes.
Always check with a CPA or other financial expert for guidance on setting aside enough money for taxes or any other questions you have about the tax liability of things like accepting free product samples in return for reviews or advice on what is deductible as a business expense on your taxes.
Promote Your Side Gig
Build Your Brand
Leverage social media, word of mouth, and networking to promote your side gig. Positive reviews and recommendations can attract more clients or customers, boosting your income.
With these tips, you’re on your way to finding a profitable side gig that suits your skills and interests. Whether you’re freelancing, sharing your expertise, or monetizing your assets, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you.
In addition to creating more income, you may need to look at cutting expenses in order to maximize your savings. You may be surprised that by making a few small changes to the way you spend money you will quickly save a large amount of money.
Stay frugal, stay motivated, and start exploring those side gig possibilities!