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.
Related: How I Quit My Job to Blog Full Time (in Less Than a Year)
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.
7) Becoming a Virtual Assistant
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.
8) Becoming a Freelance Writer
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.
124 thoughts on “Side Hustles That Will Make You Money Immediately”
Enjoyed reading your articles. I’ve been wanting to start a side hustle for years now, but don’t know where to begin. I thought about blogging but I’m not sure what to talk about. I like photography, but I probably need to take a class or two before really trying it to make money. I have tons of experience in investigation and thought for awhile about becoming a certified paralegal and maybe working from home. I’ve been told I’m pretty good when it comes to financial planning stuff, but that too takes a certain amount of training. Oh, yeah I’ve even thought about grant writing too, and yes that takes some training also, so you see my dilemma?
Any suggestions or ideas to point me in the right direction would be appreciated. Thank you from the Midwest!
HI Will! I’m afraid I can’t help you with what to write about… but make sure you consider that it’s something that people will SEARCH for. That is the BIG KEY DEAL!
Great post! I too get sick of reading about doing surveys and such to earn extra money. Ibotta is the only thing I’ve found in the last month or so of reading all these blog posts about how to make money that has actually been fruitful for me ($44 this month. Not earth shattering, but not bad either compared to what I expected). I appreciate your transparency very much. I’ll read more of your blog because of that, rather than reading one post and never coming back like I’ve done with many other blogs I’ve come across in the past month or so. I’ve been looking for ideas of how to earn some extra money that would work with my varying schedule: my job has random hours and I’m usually busy on weekends because my boyfriend lives almost 5 hours away so that’s the only time I can see him (unless and until we can live closer to each other; I’m hoping to move to his city within a matter of months). So getting a part time job would be very tricky to do without affecting my time with him (which I’m not willing to do, I value my precious time with him way too much), and wouldn’t be possible to do with the way my current job schedules weekdays. So I need to find ways to earn extra money that I can do on my own time and at my convenience. This post was helpful, so thanks!
As for dog sitting/walking, I have a cousin who quit her nursing job and now works full time as the owner of a doggie day care business that started out as dog walking and whatnot. She’s becoming very successful with it, and has added in a lot of services and perks, including bathing the dogs for extra fees, etc. Plus she has a little retail store in the front of her daycare that sells dog related things made by other people that she keeps a percentage of the profits from (a lot like how antique stores do). She even has a few employees now! It’s amazing what a side hustle can become if it’s something you’re passionate about!
I’ve always wanted to try pet sitting! I love dogs but can’t have one myself, so it’d be awesome to basically get paid to go over and visit with someone’s dog, haha. It’s just tough to find gigs like that.
Can you put out an ad?
Thanks Carly for being so honest. So refreshing?. I’ve been so confused ’till now. Going to read your series on blogging but believe that’s the route for me. Have time to make $, have recreate items to sell, love writing, hate talking & can’t sell my way out of a paper bag. You are my 1st person to follow & I have been a Pinterest addict be a not own. Thanks again for your straight forward comments. Ellen
Thxs alot Carly Some GREAT Life Changing STUFF here l
I think if you wanna make some side mone or full time income then go with shopify store. It’s an amazing platform for beginners.
I’m always looking for ways to make some quick cash. Currently I work as a merchandiser and when it’s a busy spot, I make a decent amount, but when it’s slow, my paychecks are horrible. A few places I like to make some extra money is the apps field agent and merchandiser by survey.com. They are easy to use and you can do alot of the jobs as you shop. One other place I like is user testing. I made $30 just by reviewing 2 websites and they have multiple platforms you can use to rate different sites. I will definitely be subscribing to you though. This was some really great ideas.
I love this post! I just recently started my blog and it’s entire focus is side hustles and building businesses ? I actually just wrote one on what a side hustle should be. I absolutely love how you made the point that blogging takes a long time!! I also really love your honesty. I can’t stand when people make posts like make big money with no time or effort or blogging/freelance writing is easy, etc etc! I personally love freelance writing and am trying to turn that into my full-time job while working my day job ?
I despise the words Side Hustle as well (and moist) – it turns something that is tons of hard work seem cheap and tawdry… totally agree with that. Great article, thanks for the ideas!
You are right, people who say you can make money from blogging right away, are just not being honest. It takes time to build an online business just like it would a brick and mortar store. Your post has some great ideas to makes some side cash.
I love this article! It’s filled with truth but doesn’t discourage you! I had no idea some of the options were even a thing! Going to check it out myself. Thanks Carly!
I love finding about online side hustles for multiple sources of income, your post is quite helpful. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂
I am glad you found my post helpful. I wish you the best!
I had to chuckle when I saw this: There is an amazing course available to learn t proofreading. It’s ironic that there is a random t in this line, when you ate referring to proofreading.
LOL I haven’t taken the proofreading course. too funny. I’ll have to fix that.
Yoy and I have so much in common.
I just thought it was funny that you made the exact same mistake.
This is such a practical list. I too hate it when I see blogs and surveys as recommendations to make money quickly. Your recommendations are much more realistic!
It’s very true. Blogging is a slooooow burn and there is NOTHING quick about making money with one! I wish you the best.
Thanks for the honest post! I have hated the term ‘side hustle’ from the first time I saw it in a post that was informing me how I could make extra money completing surveys and that I would be the most productive applying for as many as I could, etc. I happen to enjoy a well designed survey but there is no way to make a lot of extra money doing them. Lol (well, I suppose if you were to be constantly doing survey after survey from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until you sleep and dislodge the mouse from your hand that night, you could). I am often surprised at the way some people offer “helpful” posts (or are they articles) about the different online work opportunities. So it was nice and refreshing to have information that was presented in a nice ‘here’s the way it is’ way. (Pardon my grammar, need more coffee still, lol. I actually look forward to reading more of your, let me call them jewels of information!
Thank you for the kind words! I agree that surveys are NOT a great way to make some real cash – and it’s a lot of work! And no worries – we ALL need more coffee!!!
I love this list! I have another one for you to add; There is a website called openlittermap.com that gives you ‘littercoin’ for taking pictures(and thus collecting data) of any litter you see around your area. Littercoin basically works like swagbucks or any other money making app where you can exchange the coins for PayPal! Help the world know about litter AND get paid!
I love your ideas! How do I actually get started doing them? I would like to try house sitting or sewing but am not sure how to find clients.
Marcia, thanks for the kind words! As far as clients – I think Facebook groups can be a great place to start advertising your services. Find a group of moms in your area and start engaging with them. Once you build a relationship you can find ways to advertise your services. Good luck!
This article is so useful! Thanks so much for all of the links to the people and sites you mention. I also appreciate that you wrote about (I prefer the word) gigs that you’ve actually profited from. It’s too easy to say something can make you money if you’ve never tried. So again, I thank you.
After I’ve “singed” up with BestMark I think I’ll explore proofreading as a side hustle. I think I’d be very good at that job and I love proofing copy. Thank you for a very fun and informatice article.
Glad you enjoyed it Jeanne!
I will say selling Amazon FBA is the likest way to make money within 3 weeks. I said 3 weeks because by the time you buy the product, ship it to Amazon and Amazon pays you, it will be 3 weeks. But the fastest way to make money online is to be a freelancer either in writing, graphic designer or web developer.
I really liked this post!!! I especially liked what you had to say about blogging. I have had a successful blog before, but it took 3 years before it made any money. I have done more than one “side hustle”. When I started my consulting business I wasn’t in a position to make money down the road, I needed immediate money. So I used some of the tips you mentioned. I did quite a bit of freelance writing to help make ends meet. I also priced my services ridiculously cheap because some money is better than no money. I donated plasma to get by. I really appreciate your honesty in this post. I also love love love your blog!