Mystery shopping, face painting, and other fun ways to make money


An extra job doesn't necessarily have to mean extra work. Side hustles are a great way to earn money outside of your day job, and they can also be enjoyable — especially if you find ways to make the most out of the things you already love doing.

"There's such a vast quantity of side hustles out there that it's really about what is it that you like to do, because I can almost guarantee you that there is a side hustle that will suit you personally," says Kathy Kristof, cofounder and editor at SideHusl.com, an independent side hustle review site. "The opportunities are really no more limited than your imagination."

These fun side hustles can tap into your creative skills while helping you earn extra cash.

1. Face paint at parties


If you're good with a brush, you might enjoy face painting at children's birthday parties or festivals.

There are a few upfront costs, such as a basic face paint kit, but you won't require any special certification, and getting started can be as easy as watching a few YouTube tutorials online and practicing. You can begin to develop a client base by posting your services on Craigslist, the jobs section of Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Face painters earn an average of $14.68 per hour, according to Payscale.

If you're creative and you enjoy working with children, this side hustle can be extremely rewarding — plus you have the option to set your own hours and rates.

2. Give tours


You could lead walking tours of historical sites, biking tours, hiking tours, food tours, and more as a tour guide. The gig gives you a chance to explore your own area and meet new people from all over the world.

Potential earnings depend on a number of factors like location, as well as on prior experience, but the median hourly earnings are nearly $13, with the top 10% of earners raking in $24 per hour, according to Payscale.

If you're not an extrovert but know the best hidden gems for tourists to visit around where you live, consider becoming a virtual guide and using sites like ToursByLocals to design a tour for others to follow.

"They'll allow you to design your own tour, price it, place it on their website, and they'll charge a commission when someone books your tour," says Kristof. "Anything that suits your interest or skills, that's what you design, and if people buy it, you'll make money doing something you love."

3. Be a mystery shopper


Mystery shopping has become extremely popular among the #debtfree community on Instagram. It's an easy, flexible way to earn extra income.

You can apply to be a mystery shopper on a number of sites including BestMark, Second to None, and Secret Shopper. These sites hire individual shoppers to scope out various stores and report back to the store's headquarters on their experience.

Some retailers hire companies to evaluate their in-store service; they often use mystery shoppers to gather information about how the store is running, the quality of customer service, the store's appearance, and more. Mystery shoppers may be instructed to make a particular purchase in a store or restaurant and then report back.

Mystery shoppers can expect to earn from $10-$75 per assignment, according to Jobmonkey.

4. Scope out the latest styles


If you enjoy shopping for trendy, one-of-a-kind wardrobe pieces and have a knack for putting outfits together, online styling may be a perfect side hustle for you.

Sites like StichFix pay an average of $15 per hour for remote stylists, according to Indeed.

You'll get the chance to style clients from all over, on your own schedule, and come up with original choices using pieces from the company's retailers. The job requires you meet each client's needs and personal tastes while still being on trend.

Not only will this side gig earn you extra income, but you might also save money. Online stylists for StitchFix, for example, can get a 20% discount on items from the company's retailers.

5. Design graphics for prints or merchandise


Do you often find yourself doodling, sketching, or creating intricate graphic designs? Consider finding a buyer for what you create.

Online marketplaces like Redbubble and Society6 let artists upload their original designs to their sites. Redbubble and Society6 then print those designs onto different items like mugs, T-shirts, stickers, and more. For each item sold, the artist earns a percentage of the total price.

Artists are free to set their own markup percentage on the site, though the default rate is 20%. Redbubble gives artists the power to decide how much to sell their art for, on top of the base price that Redbubble sets. Artists earn an average of 17% of the retail price of each item but this can range from 10% to 30%, according to Redbubble.

If a tote sells for $25 and you set your royalties at 30%, that's $7.50 in your pocket.

Though this is by no means a "get rich quick" gig — it's a good way to earn some passive income over time. If you're constantly creating, your designs will remain available in these online marketplaces, which means you can continue to reap the benefits long after you've put in the work.

"Everyone's idea of fun and what they're passionate about is different, but chances are anything you love to do can become a side hustle," says Kristof.

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