An easy way to improve your financial situation is to boost your income. You can pay down debt faster, rest easier with a well-funded emergency fund, boost your retirement account — the options are endless.
While you can ask for a raise or switch jobs to make more money, those options aren’t always available. That’s where a good side hustle can fill the gap. But not all side hustles are created equal.
Any extra income is great to have, but sacrificing your precious free time should come with a proper boost to your bank account. The following seven jobs all have the potential to bring in $1,000 a month or more in side-hustle earnings. And chances are you have already cultivated the skills or hobbies needed.
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1. Tutor or consultant
If you have a useful skill, you can probably monetize it. Whether you’re an ace at algebra, play a mean tambourine, or can boost a company’s bottom line, someone out there can likely benefit from your experience.
How much you can make tutoring or consulting will depend on any number of factors, including the rarity of your skill or experience. If you’re tutoring young students, you can expect rates around $15 to $25 an hour. At more advanced levels, tutors can easily charge $30 to $50 an hour. And a top-level consultant can bring in $100 an hour or more, depending on the industry.
2. Virtual assistant
Most of us lead busy lives, but some folks are better at it than others. If organization is your skill, consider becoming a virtual assistant for someone who needs a hand staying on track. Virtual assistants do anything from keep schedules and send errand reminders, to scheduling business meetings and overseas travel. The amount you make will generally vary based on the hours you work and the complexity of the tasks you perform, but $15 to $25 an hour is common.
3. Freelance writer
Anyone who has a way with words can work as a freelance writer. It helps if you have both a good grasp of grammar and a strong knowledge about a specific topic. Experts in niche markets will make the biggest bucks.
Even if you aren’t the best writer, you could put research skills to work compiling listicles for popular websites. And folks with a knack for pithy social media posts can offer their skills to companies looking to boost their reach.
Writers get paid in a few ways, including by the word, by the project, or by the hour. Rates at the bottom of the ladder aren’t great, but those with a bit of experience can easily make $15 to $25 an hour for basic posts, and $75 an hour or more for expert-level work.
4. Delivery driver
Options for delivery driving were growing even before the pandemic drove us all indoors, but they’re massive now. You can get a delivery gig transporting anything from pizza to prescriptions, by bike, scooter, or car — and often while setting your own hours. What you earn will depend on when and where you work, who you work for, and what you deliver. (Luck may also play a role, as far as tips are concerned.)
5. Online shopkeeper
People will buy almost anything. And that goes twice for online shopping. If you have it, chances are good you can sell it online. This can be anything from your gently used clothes — to your hand-crafted polyhedral dice. You can build your own website and store or work through a third-party marketplace like Etsy or eBay. What you earn will depend on both what you have to sell and how well you market it.
6. Affiliate marketer
One of the most popular ways to make money online is affiliate marketing, as it can be done by anyone who can build a decent audience. Through affiliate marketing, you talk — or post, blog, podcast, or vlog — about a specific product, then direct your audience to make a purchase through a certain web link (or, sometimes, with a special code). Each purchase made through your affiliate link will earn you a small commission.
How much you earn from each lead will depend a lot on the type of product. In general, digital products, like ebooks, will have a higher affiliate rate than physical products. And the larger your audience, the more power you have to negotiate higher rates.
7. Participate in market research
If you’ve ever dreamed of getting paid to critique things, market research could be up your alley. Many companies will pay a pretty penny to get real-life, honest feedback from potential customers. This may mean you spend half an hour on a product review, or you could spend a couple hours filling out surveys. Rates vary with project size and industry, but it’s possible to make $25 an hour or more doling out your opinion.
Regardless of your skills or experience, you probably have something you can market — even if it’s just your two cents’ worth. With a solid side hustle, you can bring in $1,000 a month or more to give your personal finances some peace of mind.