A good “side hustle” makes you money NOW
SO. I need to be honest – about “side hustles” – for a minute before we start.
Most bloggers are looking to make some money (myself included) and blogging is our number one “side hustle”.
( I can not even begin to describe how much I hate the term “side hustle”, and so I’ll have to use it in quotation marks to make it bearable for myself. Anyone else have a word that just gets under your skin and bugs the crap out of you? Another for me is “self-care”. Yuck.)
Blogging is our number one side hustle (or full-time thing) but it’s not one of those things you can start today and make money tomorrow – or even next week. (Read the truth about starting a profitable blog.)
So it bugs the crap out of me when I do a search for “side hustles” and all I find are a bunch of recommendations that say start a blog, and they promise it will be FAST cash. (It’s not.)
If you have time to invest, go ahead and do that – by all means! I make over $5000/month blogging – but it took me 9 months of hard work to get here.
Most people looking for “side hustles” are probably looking to make some money soon (today or at least this month… you know, bills and stuff).
So for that reason, blogging is not on my “make money fast” list. But I have some other “side hustles” that make pretty good money QUICKLY.
(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)
For you today, this is my list of “side hustles” that you can see results from (almost) immediately. (These are all things I DO or have done in the past.)
You’ll also notice something else missing from this list… recommendations to join heaps of pay-per-search or pay-per-click or pay-per-survey websites. There’s a reason most “side hustle” lists preface those recommendations with “you won’t get rich doing this but…” It’s because they are not a way to make substantial income quickly! It’s one thing if you love doing that stuff, or want your voice heard, another if you’re trying to make some REAL money, real fast.
If you just really love to do surveys (or if you have some free time) then I recommend joining Survey Junkie if you want to do a few paid surveys for fun – (Survey Junkie is awesome for that) or you can find a larger list of legit online surveys that pay here. (But remember – mouse clicking is not a “side hustle” that will pay your mortgage when your job goes south.)
My top 5 (low stress) “Side Hustles” to make money ASAP
1 ) House Sit / Pet sit.
People going on vacation who need someone to look after their homes (and pets) will pay to have you do this. Sometimes my husband and I house sit for up to a couple of months at a time. Yes, it can feel inconvenient to be relocated, but there’s also lots of times when it feels inconvenient to go work. You do what you gotta do because you gotta do it.
We especially love house sitting to make money immediately because you can work your full-time job while you do it. (As long as you’re house sitting in a location near enough to your work – which is what I’d recommend.) You can put out an ad that says you’re available to house sit and what you’ll be charging. Or just put it up on your Facebook wall if you only want to work for people you know!
I pay my baby sitter instantly. (Well, actually that’s not always true – she comes regularly, so I pay her every week. But if she ever asked me for the cash that day, I’d give it to her.)
It’s not glamorous, but it’s instant.
When you need money NOW, you do what you have to do to make money NOW.
3 ) Mystery shop.
I must have applied to 10 different mystery shopping companies and was insanely disappointed in almost all of them. There are ALOT of scams out there. I found ONE though, that has made me real money (and is most definitely NOT a scam). BestMark runs mystery shops in the USA and in Canada and they pay cash (not gift cards or points) in exchange for you doing either an in person or over the phone “shop” and then filling out the survey that goes with it.
Last year I got a free oil change AND I got paid for having the oil change done. I mention that one because I actually made more than I would have for the same amount of time at my day job. You can also make 5 minute phone calls and earn $5-15, which can really add up – without ever leaving your home.
Bonus, once you are singed up and have applied for a shop, you have an actual human to contact at BestMark when you have questions. They give you a referral link and if you get your friends to sign up and do shops, you can earn money for referring them. Apply here to become a mystery shopper with BestMark.
4 ) Wait tables.
As a “side hustle”, yes. I have a desk job, but I also have a restaurant I used to work at that calls me when they need help. It’s difficult for small restaurants (and golf courses, cafes etc) to keep a full time staff that would be sufficient for special occasions like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s day.
Most small restaurants are more than happy to have a list of qualified, willing people they can call when they are stuck on weekends and special occasions.
The best part is that on top of the check they’ll write you, you usually take the cash home with you THAT NIGHT. Talk about an immediate moneymaker! And it’s actually fun too when you don’t do it every day.
5) Exploit your hobbies.
Whatever you love to do, there’s probably a way to make a little money at it. I love photography and took a night class on it after high school. I saved up and bought an amazing camera. Now I take wedding photos, grad photos, family portraits, etc… and (again) I make more money doing that than I do at my day job. Maybe you love animals and want to walk dogs in the evening, or maybe you’re awesome at doing make-up and could be an artist for hire on Saturdays for weddings, etc.
Are you at home in the gym? Become a personal trainer.
Maybe you love to make things… SELL those things! Farmer’s markets are full of people selling their own stuff. (And, now that we live in a big online world, Etsy is basically a world wide farmers market…)
Whatever your hobby is, tackling it as a “side hustle” could actually turn it into a full-time thing, and then you’ll always be doing what you love!
Now, If you have a few months to work towards making money – or if you want to make MORE money than the above side hustles will allow, then I’d suggest looking into:
1 ) Starting a blog
I make over $5000 / month from home, blogging. BUT it is not for the faint of heart (or poor of grammar. It’s just not.)
2 ) Sell a product that you actually love.
The big problem with multi-level marketing? The reason so many people fail at it? Because they get into it to make money and try to sell absolute crap.
Multi-level marketing works for me because I am with 2 companies that I LOVE and got into because I use the stuff, not because I was looking to make quick cash. When you actually love and use the thing you’re selling, it’s not really like selling. It’s like helping other people and telling them about a thing you love.
I am a distributor for Young Living Oils, and this is my favorite company to work with because they don’t require you to sell a minimum amount of product to be a “distributor”. Once you are a distributor you can purchase your products at the wholesale rate (ummm – the reason I became a distributor in the first place!) and you can receive all sorts of freebies (different ones every month) just for ordering. My friends know that I am a distributor and they actually ask ME when I will be placing an order, so they can get their order in.
Another company that I find has products that practically sell themselves is Norwex.
I have a close friend who has had amazing success (I’m talking free cruises and a car kind of success) selling Tupperware. Why? Because she loves Tupperware.
Sell something you love, and it will be easy. Try to sell a bunch of diet pills you’ve never used? Failure waiting to happen.
3) Buy Discounted Products And Resell Them On Amazon.com
If you love to find bargains and can’t get enough of the clearance aisles, then selling on Amazon may be for you!
Jessica from TheSellingFamily.com was able to take her love of finding deals and turn it into a 6-figure side hustle in just 1 year (soooo a couple hundred or more in less than a month is NOT an unreasonable expectation!) You can grab a free 7 day email course right here and she will explain everything you need to know about how it all works and help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
This is a 100% work from home job, and the average median annual income for a general transcriptionist is currently $45,000 USD.
This is more than double what I made before in my crappy shift work jobs. Legal transcriptionists can earn around $60,000 USD — and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg for people willing to work hard. The instructor of the course Transcribe Anywhere , Janet Shaughnessy, has personally witnessed transcriptionists growing their businesses to six figures. I didn’t know THAT was possible when I was younger, or I’d be a transcriptionist now! Learn more about the Transcribe Anywhere course here.
5) Proofreading transcripts for court reporters
There is an amazing course available to learn t proofreading. Hosted on Proofread Anywhere, Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ it’s the only course available for this particular niche of proofreading. The Proofread Anywhere team does something really honest and unusual for students: they don’t allow anyone to pay for the entire course at once. Everyone moves through in stages to keep costs — and the risk of overwhelm/failure — way down.
Similar to the Transcribe Anywhere course, Proofread Anywhere also offers a free intro course that will help you decide if you’re cut out for proofreading. After that, you can purchase the course in “chunks” starting at just $77, so you get to decide if it’s for you or not before you’re “all in.”
6) Become an English Teacher
If you have a neutral English accent, a bachelor’s degree in anything, and have an interest in being a teacher – this could be a good fit for you. This job entails teaching English to young children in China, and usually pays pretty well.
There are plenty of companies you can apply to. Apply to more than one to increase your chances of getting hired. Some of the most popular organizations include VIPKID, gogokid, HAWO, and EF Education First.
The more people working online, the more people hiring other people to do work online for them. I’ve used a VA myself from time to time.
I write almost all my blog posts at nap time. And I LOVE to write, so it doesn’t even feel like work. An easier way to guarantee that you get paid for writing, though, is to write for other people as a freelance writer.
Before you tackle any side hustle…
Ask yourself this question: Is this really worth my time? Clicking away at online surveys to gain 300 “points” towards my 10,000 “points” that will add up to 10 dollars some day might be fun, but if I need to pay a bill by Monday, it is not a good use of my time.
Neither is slaving away at some hideous task that I can hardly wait to finish. I have a family to spend time with, dishes to wash, laundry to put away. If I didn’t have those things, I would still have a body that needs exercise, a long bath to relax in, and a glass of wine that needs drinking while I watch the sunset.
If you are desperate for cash, you probably need a whole overhaul on your spending (or thinking) and a solid budget plus a new plan for money… not a way to make 50 extra bucks in the evening. (Check out Jessi Fearon’s Real Life Money Plan if this sounds like you. She can help.)
When you do side hustle, make it something that isn’t stressing you out, is worth real money and is not soul-sucking.
Just saying. Make sure you’re not prioritizing having a little extra money over living your life.