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The U.S. is likely to enter a recession this year, and even if you have a stable full-time job, an uncertain future may mean you’re looking to make extra money on the side.
Bringing in money on the side can allow you to build your emergency savings account, keep your skills fresh if you lose your job or make it easier to pay your everyday bills. Side hustles can bring in hundreds of dollars a month — the average U.S. adult with a side hustle makes $810 a month, according to a recent Bankrate survey.
These side hustles can be done at home, like tutoring online or testing apps and websites, or done on the go, like advertising using your car or delivering groceries and meals. No matter your education or skill level, these ways to make extra money can boost your income as you prepare for the future.
Key Bankrate statistics on side hustling in 2023
- More than one in three Americans are working on the side. 39% of U.S. adults make extra money outside of their main source of income.
- Side hustles are more popular among younger Americans. 53% of Gen Zers (ages 18-26) and 50% of millennials (ages 27-42) have a side hustle. In comparison, 40% of Gen Xers (ages 43-58) and 24% of baby boomers (ages 59-77) have a side hustle.
- Those younger Americans are also bringing in more. The average millennial with a side hustle makes $1,022 a month. That’s far more than the monthly side hustle income for Gen Zers ($753), Gen Xers ($670) or baby boomers ($646).
- People are using their side hustles for living expenses. Amid economic uncertainty, 33% of side hustlers say they need the extra money for day-to-day expenses. 27% are using the funds for discretionary spending money, 25% need it for savings and 12% need it to repay debt.
Make money fast: Options based on your skills
|Fluent in another language||
|Interested in teaching or mentoring||
|Able to access the web||
7 ways to make money from home
1. Become a translator or interpreter
Pay expectations: 6 cents to 14 cents per word, depending on the language.
Pay frequency: Biweekly or monthly.
Skill requirements: The higher your fluency in a language, the more you may earn.
Additional requirements: You must be 18 or older.
First steps to take: Check out common translating sites like Gengo or Proz to get connected to your first clients.
If you have native or near-native fluency in another language than English, translating online can be a great way to make money while writing social media copy, articles, product descriptions and more.
2. Get paid to take surveys
Pay expectations: Paid per survey at a rate of about $2 to $5 an hour, depending on the site.
How quickly you’ll get paid: Generally, you can cash out after earning a few dollars.
Skill requirements: Most sites just require that you can connect to Wi-Fi.
Additional requirements: You must be 16 or older.
First steps to take: Check out sites like PrizeRebel or QuickThoughts. Because some sites only allow you to take several surveys a day, enrolling on several sites will allow you to earn more.
Getting paid to take surveys won’t make you rich quickly, but it can be an easy way to make side money. Just make sure you’re honest in your responses, or algorithms may not give you more gigs.
3. Freelance in your desired industry
Being your own boss is the dream for many, but before you start to take on too many freelance clients to grow your own brand, read more about how to begin working as a freelance worker.
These are the kinds of hourly payments you can expect in popular freelance roles:
|Freelance role||Expected payment|
|Designer||$40 to $45 per hour|
|Developer||$50 to $60 per hour|
|Proofreader||$18 to $35 per hour|
|Researcher||$18 to $45 per hour|
|Videographer||$15 to $30 per hour|
|Writer||$30 to $40 per hour|
4. Sell homemade goods
Pay expectations: Profit ranges on Etsy can vary widely depending on the goods you’re selling, but Etsy takes a number of fees on goods listed.
How quickly you’ll get paid: Etsy sends payments to your bank every Monday by default.
Additional requirements: You must be 18 or older to sell on Etsy.
First steps to take: Besides Etsy, consider craft-specific sites like Ravelry for fiber crafts, Redbubble and Society6 to sell art and prints, or your own store using Shopify or Squarespace.
Selling low-effort, high-profit goods can be a great way to make side money, just be aware of licensing required if you’re interested in selling perishable items like baked goods.
Homemade goods you can sell:
- Soap and bath bombs
- T-shirts and other prints
- Curated subscription boxes
5. Sell original photography
Pay expectations: Freelance photographers can make an average of $35 to $45 per hour.
Pay frequency: You can get paid weekly through sites like Upwork, or per job through your own business.
Skill requirements: The greater your skills in photography composition, equipment and editing, the more sophisticated projects, like weddings, you can take on.
Additional requirements: You’ll typically need your own cameras and a subscription to editing software like Adobe Photoshop.
First steps to take: Consider freelancer websites like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, or Flexjobs to build clients.
If you have an eye for shot composition, freelance photography — such as taking headshots, maternity photos and wedding photos — can lead to creatively fulfilling side income.
6. Test apps and websites
Pay expectations: Usually around $10 per test when starting out.
How quickly you’ll get paid: You’ll get paid usually seven days after the test is completed.
Additional requirements: You must be 18 or older to test most sites.
First steps to take: Check out sites like UserTesting and Utest, which may make you wait a week or two before taking a practice test.
Websites will pay for you to test bugs or give feedback on how user-friendly they are. You don’t have to be a user experience expert, but you can get paid more if you have access to a microphone and camera to give live feedback.
7. Tutor online
Pay expectations: Roughly $30 to $50 per hour, depending on the subject.
Pay frequency: Typically weekly.
Skill requirements: Many companies require a bachelor’s degree, a teaching license or other similar licenses.
First steps to take: Check out sites like Skooli, Yup or TutorMe. Math and language tutoring are especially popular.
Tutoring online can give you the satisfaction of helping kids who are struggling in school. If you’re an early riser and want the odd hours, check out companies that let you tutor students overseas.
7 in-person ways to make extra money
1. Advertise using your car
Pay expectations: Around $50 to $300 per month depending on the size of the sticker or wrap, your city and how much you drive.
Pay frequency: Many campaigns pay per campaign – several weeks of driving with one ad.
Requirements: Some companies prefer that you are driving frequently through a rideshare like Uber, or at least that you drive frequently in a large city.
First steps to take: Check out companies like Carvertise, Free Car Media, Wrapify and more.
Companies can pay you to place a sticker or wrap that advertises a product on your car, but be wary of common car advertising scams that promise incredibly high pay.
2. Care for people’s pets
Pay expectations: Between $16 and $23 an hour for dog walking. Both Wag and Rover take a 40 percent and 20 percent service fee, respectively.
How quickly you’ll get paid: You’ll get paid two days after completing a service.
Requirements: You must be 18 or over.
First steps to take: Consider apps like Wag or Rover, which require you to take a quiz on pet safety, pass a background check and include testimonials from family and friends.
Whether it’s walking dogs or petsitting, you can make side money by caring for others’ pets. Check out Rover if you’re also interested in running a doggy dare care or Wag if you want to train dogs.
3. Delivery groceries
Pay expectations: A full-service batch delivery on Instacart is usually $15 to $20, and shoppers can usually complete one batch per hour. Shipt says its experienced shoppers can receive $16 to $22 per hour. Shoppers keep tips.
Pay frequency: You’ll get paid roughly once per week, or instantly with a 50 cents service fee.
Requirements: You must be 18 or older and have a reliable car.
First steps to take: Sign up for the app with Instacart or Shipt and complete a background check.
Grocery apps became incredibly popular during the pandemic, and many restaurant delivery apps now allow you to deliver groceries and alcohol, too. Check out these services:
4. Deliver with DoorDash, UberEats, or another service
Pay expectations: Uber Eats and Grubhub reportedly pay about $15 an hour, but pay depends on how busy your delivery area is.
Pay frequency: Some apps like Uber Eats allow you to cash out up to five times a day with Instant Pay, usually with a 50 cent fee.
Requirements: Depending on how you are as a deliverer, you will need a license and be at least age 18 for bicycles, or age 19 for cars and scooters.
First steps to take: Submit your Social Security number, identification, license if applicable and more for a background screening.
Like grocery delivery, restaurant delivery has grown dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. Since you may be using your car frequently for commercial use, read more about car insurance for delivery drivers.
5. Drive for Lyft, Uber, or another service
Pay frequency: Uber pays every week, or five times a day with Instant Pay, with a fee.
Requirements: You have to be the minimum age to drive in your city, with a year of licensed driving experience, or three if you’re under 25.
First steps to take: Uber and Lyft are the two most common ridesharing apps, and many drivers will do both, depending on the demand.
Ridesharing apps have existed for over a decade and are still a popular way to make money on the side. Because they’ve existed for so long, there are plenty of tips on rideshare safety and how to figure out rideshare insurance as a driver.
Here’s what you might expect to be paid for 40 hours of work in a major city from rideshares:
|Driving service||Expected payment|
6. Get paid to shop
Pay expectations: Popular apps pay in discounts, cashback and rebates when you shop online.
Pay frequency: Rebates are frequently given when you make purchases.
First steps to take: Consider apps like Ibotta, which lets you earn cash back on products, or Shopkick, which lets you earn in-app points for purchasing sponsored offers or secret shopping.
By purchasing sponsored products, signing up for rebates or secret shopping, you can build up rewards on shopping for everyday grocery and essentials. It won’t lead to big bucks, but savings usually add up after several trips. Keep in mind that some apps have a low barrier for entry but only partner with certain retailers or brands.
7. Take on home and repair tasks
How quickly you’ll get paid: You’ll get paid usually within 24 hours of finishing a task, and you’ll see money in your bank account after several days.
Skill requirements: Sites like Handy and TaskRabbit can allow you to sign up for tasks based on your skills, such as cleaning, building furniture, shopping or other manual tasks.|
Additional requirements: You have to be 18 or older for apps like TaskRabbit, and pay a $25 registration fee.
First steps to take: Consider apps like Handy or TaskRabbit to get started with contracting work.
There’s a huge variety of tasks you can do on apps like Handy and TaskRabbit, including standing in line or helping someone move. Note that Handy charges a fee if you are late or have to cancel or reschedule.
Here’s what you can expect to be paid for doing standard contractor services:
|Handy||$15 an hour, on average|
|TaskRabbit||$20 an hour, on average|
- 10 best side hustles to make extra money
- 20 passive income ideas to help you make money in 2023
- 16 legitimate ways to find fast cash
- Can you collect unemployment benefits if you have a side business?
Bankrate commissioned YouGov Plc to conduct the survey on side hustling. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,505 U.S. adults, including 986 with a side hustle. Fieldwork was undertaken April 26-28, 2023. The survey was carried out online and meets rigorous quality standards. It employed a non-probability-based sample using both quotas upfront during collection and then a weighting scheme on the back end designed and proven to provide nationally representative results.