With the Right Side Hustle, You Could Earn an Extra $8,000 This Year—Here's How to Pick One

A side hustle can be just another job—or a way to find out if a passion can make you money.


Welcome to Day 20 of our 30-Day Easy Money Makeover! Every day in April, we’re bringing you strategies to help you improve, and feel more confident about, your money situation. Follow along and see the rest of the calendar here.

Picking the right side hustle can be a great way to earn extra cash doing something you enjoy.

Nearly 4 in 10 Americans have a side gig, according to a 2018 Bankrate survey. That hustle earns them an average $686 more per month—or around $8,000 a year.

How can you land on the right project? Think about what you want to get out of it, says Nicaila Matthews Okome, host of the podcast “Side Hustle Pro.” A side hustle represents different things to different people: It’s extra income, but it can also be a way to tap into a skill you don’t get to use in your 9-to-5 role, or explore a business idea.

“Side hustling doesn’t mean that people hate their jobs and want to be full-time entrepreneurs—they just want to try something,” she says.

Once you come up with an idea for a side gig, Okome suggests setting aside an hour a day to develop it. At least, that’s what worked for her when she was starting to pursue her side hustle of podcasting. By focusing on one task within her hour, she sent enough emails to land her first $1,000 sponsorship contract. That jumped to $50,000 in her first two years.

Alissa Quart: Avoid making 4 side hustle mistakes

Check out our resources to find the right side hustle that fits your time and talents:

5 Ways to Make More Money During Your Lunch Hour

Even if your schedule is packed, you can still earn at least $5 an hour during lunch with these low-effort opportunities.

17 Side Hustles That’ll Help You Turn Creative Talents Into Cash

Whether your creative talents lean toward art, music, or writing, there are side hustles that can help you profit.

16 Simple Side Gigs That Don’t Require a Creative Streak

You don’t have to be a creative to earn extra cash. Dog walkers, virtual assistants, and other gigs on this list can make bank, too.

Spring Side Gigs to Start Gearing Up for Now

If you’re looking for a side gig that could let you pick up work quickly, these six seasonal opportunities have potential.