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20 side hustle ideas to boost your income

A side gig, moonlighting, or, as the kids call it these days, a side hustle, is an excellent way to diversify your income, make a hobby profitable, and even build your confidence.  While making boatloads of money isn’t necessary for becoming financially stable, prioritizing your income is still important. If your 9-5 doesn’t quite cut it, consider our side hustle ideas to help you meet your financial goals faster. 

What are the benefits of a side hustle?

While the word itself might sound new-fangled, the term “side hustle” has been around at least since the 1950’s. The concept it describes has been around even longer: work you do outside of your main job to supplement your earnings.

There are lots of profitable side hustle ideas that can help you achieve this goal. 

For many millennials, it isn’t realistic to expect that their entry-level job will necessarily enable them to meet all of their financial goals and maintain the lifestyle they want. A side hustle is a personal finance tool that can allow you to create an additional stream of income and diversify the source of your earnings. 

Diversifying your income through a side hustle has loads of benefits, from protecting against job insecurity, safeguarding your savings, reducing financial risk, and even providing you an opportunity to develop a hobby into a money-maker.

Plus, if you earmark your freelance income for a particular purpose – paying off debt or building an emergency fund – you can begin to meet your financial goals faster or make extra cash to indulge yourself while staying on track with your budget. Some folks are even able to eventually transform their side hustle ideas that they’re passionate about into full time work (aka, living the dream). 

What should you consider before starting a side hustle?

Your Goals

First things first, be clear about the goals of your side hustle so you can outline some success metrics.

Is your side hustle designed to meet a particular financial goal? To gain experience? To build your resume? To get paid (whatever) for doing something you’re passionate about? To have fun? To meet people? Whatever your reason for embarking on your side hustle journey is fine, so long as you are clear about it.

Understanding what you want to get out of your side hustle before diving in can help you be more strategic about how to meet your goals. Once you’ve defined your goals, consider some of our side hustle ideas. 

Time and Profit

Once you’ve nailed down the goals of your side hustle, you can consider another important point: investment and output.

How much time and what resources do you realistically have to invest in your side hustle ideas? Does the profit justify the input? For many of us, the goal of a side hustle is to supplement the less-than-ideal income we earn from our primary job.

If your side hustle also pays a less-than-ideal wage, it might be worth it to consider investing your precious spare time into something than will provide you better pay, or considering different side hustle ideas.

Picking the right side hustle for you

If you’ve decided that a side hustle is right for you, consider how to pick the right gig. Ponder these questions to help get you pick the right side hustle ideas for you.

Is the answer under your nose?

Many folks feel that they need to get involved in a new industry or position in order to start making extra cash. However, you might already have the perfect side hustle ideas under your nose.

Are you famed for your delicious desserts? Sell your baked goods. Are you a great writer? Freelance write. Are you a chem wiz? Tutor or start an online course.

Starting a new side hustle doesn’t necessarily mean you need to learn a new skill.

Can you double-duty?

For many of us, side hustling comes down to making as much money as efficiently as possible. If you can recycle your efforts from your day job, school, or a hobby in which you are already involved to turn a profit, it might be worth the extra planning.

Can you pay off your car loan by driving for Uber? Can you recycle your health economics 101 class project into a blog post? Can you reinvest the money you earn from freelancing to earn even more?

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to earn some extra cash; side hustle opportunities are plentiful.

Can you fill a unique niche?

If you can fill a unique niche in your side hustle ideas, you may be able to make a pretty penny and get consistent work.

Are you a marketing genius (and also bilingual)? Are you a gifted writer (and also a Mario Kart god)? Do you have serious DIY skills (and a youtube channel)?

Think about how you can combine things about which you already have expertise in order to find and keep a niche market.

Here are some side hustle ideas

After you’ve considered these questions, look into this list of side hustle ideas to get inspired:

  1. Become a virtual assistant or social media manager
  2. Start a dropshipping business
  3. Deliver for PostMates, UberEats, etc.
  4. Walk or groom dogs
  5. Baby or house sit 
  6. Teach, tutor, or train others online
  7. Create a podcast, e-book, or smartphone app
  8. Buy and resell stuff on Ebay
  9. Sell graphic designs
  10. Create YouTube tutorials
  11. Become a brand ambassador or social media influencer
  12. Participate in surveys, marketing research, and studies
  13. Referee or coach
  14. Sign up for sites like Fiverr or TaskRabbit
  15. Sell custom crafts or alterations of clothes
  16. Flip cars, houses, or properties
  17. Car wash
  18. Cater 
  19. Consult or coach online
  20. Surf Craigslist gigs or Amazon Mechanical Turk

Done right, a side hustle can be an exciting and fulfilling way to meet your financial goals. Strategize from the get-go so that you can make your side hustle ideas as profitable, fun, and fulfilling as possible!

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