5 side hustles you can do from your couch that can pay as much as $40 per hour, or even more

From tutoring to taking surveys, some jobs pay hundreds of dollars and can be done on your couch at any time of day. Here are some of the best side hustles you can do from home.


As more and more cities temporarily shutter businesses and social distancing recommendations put limits on close interactions with others due to the spread of the coronavirus, you may find that one or more of your streams of income is disrupted. A side hustle can help you earn more money.

Nearly half, or 48%, of millennials and 39% of Generation Xers say they have a side gig outside of their primary job, according to a 2019 Bankrate survey of 2,550 adults. And as many as 30% of respondents say they use the money they make to pay for regular living expenses like housing and food.

Here are five side hustles you can do from home and even right from your couch, as long as you have a computer and a good internet connection.

1. Become a virtual assistant

Businesses small and large need someone to take care of basic logistics. That may include everything from calendar management to note-taking to data entry. For help, many managers turn to virtual assistants.

The business owners and leaders that have "the best success" with virtual assistants "see this person as an extension of who they are versus just some secretary," says Bryan Miles, co-founder of virtual assistant staffing company BELAY. If you're organized, detail-oriented, good at communication, and interested in helping a business grow, virtual assisting might be a great way for you to earn extra cash.

Some jobs require as little as five hours a week or as many as 25. The average rate of a virtual assistant is $19 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter. You can find job postings for virtual assistants on sites like Upwork or ZipRecruiter, or on the virtual assistant jobs group on Facebook.

2. Tutor online

If you have a particular expertise to share, from guitar skills to LSAT prep training, you could be qualified to become an online tutor to help kids learn new material and sharpen their skills.

Sites like Lessonface help you find clients by matching kids with music teachers who can teach banjo, bass guitar, flute, and more. Parents can purchase one lesson at a time, or opt for a series of lessons. Prices vary anywhere from $60 for a group of four one-hour lessons to $50 for a 30-minute lesson that's one-on-one.

Lessonface takes 15% of what teachers earn if students found them via the website and 4% if teachers recruited them on their own. 

Sites like Varsity Tutors offer students hour-long lessons online in anything from geometry to ACT prep to French. Tutors have the flexibility to choose their hours, and the average hourly salary on the site ranges from $15 to $40 per hour, according to SideHusl.

3. Take surveys online or by phone   

Market research companies work on behalf of their clients, which produce everything from snacks to workout equipment, to test products with potential customers. They pay people to take surveys online or answer questions by phone about their clients' products. Market research company Shifrin Hayworth says its studies take 30 minutes to three hours and pay $50 to $250 for each.

Sign up to get paid to take surveys on sites like Shifrin HayworthFocus Group, or Find Focus Groups.

Alissa Quart: Avoid making 4 side hustle mistakes

Video by Stephen Parkhurst

4. Be an online mock juror 

Online mock juries are like focus groups for forthcoming trials, giving lawyers a sense of how jurors might vote on their cases. Depending on the website, an attorney might submit a written case with a series of facts and some questions, or they might record a summary of the case for "jurors" to weigh in on by phone.

Sites like eJury estimate each case takes about 35 minutes and pay between $5 and $10, while Online Verdict estimates each case takes 20 to 60 minutes and pays $20 to $60. 

Sign up to be a virtual juror on Online VerdictVirtual Jury, or eJury. Note that jurors often have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen.

5. Sell items online

Got an extra pair of old Levi's lying around? Online marketplaces like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Mercari let users sell vintage T-shirts, home appliances, toys, and more. 

Dig around your house for items that are in good enough shape to be listed, then check on eBay to see how much comparable items are being sold for. Certain nostalgic item including VHS tapes, video games, and Barbie dolls can be very valuable, so check to see if you have a hidden gem lying around in your basement or attic. 

If you stand to make a profit, start by creating a profile and listing your items on any of the aforementioned sites.

Daniella Flores, who's made $750 to $3,000 per month selling used guitars on eBay, recommends taking account of the average selling price of an item, then listing it for $10 more.

"People always try to [negotiate prices] down," she says of the haggling culture on online marketplaces. "If you start higher, you'll get more towards the money that you want." Note that how much you make depends on the item, and that you'll need a camera to take pictures of the items you'd like to sell.

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