Even though the U.S. unemployment rate was only at 3.6% in April—a historic low—many people are still grinding away at a job that pays less than it should. Here’s how to make money in your free time by taking on a side gig. Bonus: some of these opportunities may even serve as a ladder to better career options in the future.
1. Start a Business
Starting a business is not as scary as it sounds. Entrepreneurs can sell products and make money with Amway. Or if you enjoy housekeeping, babysitting, or some other hobby, start your own LLC (limited liability company) for tax purposes and liability protection. To get started, create attractive business cards using Canva and promote your company on a website platform like Squarespace.
2. Test Apps
Living in such a digital world means everyone needs a website and probably an app, too. That means there’s plenty of work out there for people looking for a side hustle testing websites and apps. At UserTesting.com, you can earn $10 for every 20-minute video of feedback you complete.
Hey, instead of spending money while shopping, why not earn money? Companies are always looking for mystery shoppers who can provide valuable feedback and improve customer service. Here are some of the best companies to shop for, recommended by The Penny Hoarder: Best Mark, Sinclair Customer Metrics, Market Force, and Intelli-shop.
4. Sell Art
If you’re an artist or photographer, try uploading your work and selling it online at Displate or Society6. If you’re more of a digital creative type, you can design and sell infographics online at Infographicsshowcase.com or infographicbee.com.
5. Sell Teaching Resources
Current, former, or aspiring teachers can sell their lesson plans, quizzes, printables, and more at Teachers Pay Teachers. The pay may not look like much in the beginning, but passive income on work you’ve already created for your day job can earn you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month.
6. Survey Sites
While you’re not going to get rich quick, survey sites are a great way to make money in your free time. There are many great sites to choose from such as Swagbucks, Opinion Outpost, and Nelson Research. Each survey is between five and twenty minutes long, with payouts between $0.50 – $20 per post.
7. Drive or Deliver
From groceries to take-out to diapers, people LOVE stuff delivered to their door. Help out your neighbors while earning up to $25 per hour on your own time by delivering for Instacart, UberEats, Amazon Flex, or DoorDash. Or if you enjoy meeting new people, consider becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft.
8. Write or Edit
If you have a knack for words, you can sell your writing or editing services on UpWork by pitching to clients and setting your own rates. Alternatively, if you already have a blog with lots of followers, consider monetizing it with ads or affiliate links.
9. Rent Your Space
Going on vacation anytime soon? Pay for your leisure time and travel expenses by renting out your real home on Airbnb. Or if you have a coveted reserved parking spot or driveway in a crowded area, rent it out when you aren’t using it or during special events when parking is in high demand.
You can Make Money in Your Free Time!
If you’re between jobs, underemployed, or just need a break from your current job, consider earning extra income by starting your own business, selling your work or writing services, driving or delivering goods, reviewing companies or apps, or even renting out your spaces. No matter what your skills or availability looks like, you can invest your free time in a side hustle and see a nifty return on investment.