People pick up side hustles for many reasons. More than a third of those who have a side hustle, 34%, use their earnings for disposable income, 30% use it to pay for regular living expenses, and 27% stash it away in savings, according to a May 2019 Bankrate survey of 2,550 adults.
If you're considering picking one up yourself but are nervous about the time commitment, worry not: There are many side hustles you can do if all you have is an hour or so a week to spare. "This is kind of the way that I started my whole side hustle," says Daniella Flores, who now has nine side hustles. "I didn't really have much time."
Here are six side hustles to consider.
If you happen to be a wiz with organization and know how to create easy-to-use budgets, travel planners, and calendars, consider creating some on Canva, Photoshop, or even Microsoft Excel, and selling them on sites like Etsy. "This is something that you can do when you have limited time," says Flores.
Flores recommends breaking up the process by task. Spend some time researching what's already out there, another hour building your Etsy shop, the next hour creating your products, and so on. Create original products, as there could be legal repercussions for selling designs created by Canva or other sellers, and keep in mind trademarks and copyright laws, Flores adds.
If you're a pet lover, an hour could be the perfect amount of time to check in on a local dog or cat to let them out in the yard, feed them, or just give them some love and attention. "A lot of people like to set up drop-in visits on their pets while they're at their work or if they're on a trip," says Flores.
Sign up to make pet drop-ins on sites like Rover or Wag!. Both sites let you set your rates, but Flores recommends being "mindful of the prices in the area" when you do. Check what others in your town are charging on both sites before setting your rate. Keep in mind that Wag! charges both a $30 application fee and a 40% fee on your earnings, according to SideHusl.com, and Rover charges a 20%-25% fee.
Pet-sitters make an average of $25 per 30-minute visit, according to HomeGuide.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
If you have lots of thoughts about the products that you use and love to share your opinions, consider using a free hour to review products through sites like Product Tube or UserTesting.
Product Tube enables users to review products while shopping or after they've bought the given item. You'll make a 2-5 minute video sharing your opinion and the app will pay $5-$35 per video in Amazon gift cards, according to Sidehusl.com. Side hustle expert Kevin Ha made $115 off Product Tube in May and $15 off the site in June.
UserTesting lets reviewers test out digital products like websites or apps, paying them $10 for every 20-minute test, according to the site. You'll fill out your demographics online and the company will send you relevant tests. This site is less reliable as it's hard to know when a test appropriate for your demographic will be available.
If you happen to have know-how on subject matters ranging from geometry to the history of American pop music, you can "make a decent amount of money per hour" tutoring elementary, high school, or even college students, says Jen Glantz, founder of Bridesmaid for Hire and Odd Jobs Newsletter. Consider offering your tutoring services on the following websites:
- TutorMe offers students an opportunity to get help on a variety of subject matters including engineering, linguistics, and fashion. Tutors sign up online and pick out the schedule most convenient for them for students to reach out, and they make $16 per hour, according to the site. Librarian Sara DeSantis made an extra $25,000 in 2020 through the site.
- Varsity Tutors offers kids in grades K-12, college students, and those studying for certifications like the bar exam one-on-one virtual tutoring in a range of subject matters. Sessions can be 60 minutes long and tutors have the flexibility to build their own schedules. Tutors on the site make $15-$40 per hour, according to Sidehusl.com.
- Lessonface helps users learn to play instruments, sing, learn languages, and more. Offer up your skills for lessons of 30, 45, or 60 minutes in their range of arts and language skills. One Portuguese tutor is offering 30-minute lessons for $35, and an acoustic guitar instructor is offering 30-minute lessons for $60. Lessonface takes a 15% fee for students who find you through the website and a 4% fee for students you recruit.
If you're detail oriented and love grammar and reading, proofreading "can be a good hourly gig," says Glantz. "You can use websites like Upwork or Fiverr to find people who will want you to proofread their resume or a paper that they wrote."
Start by creating a profile offering your services. Proofreaders on Upwork charge as much as $125 per hour and those on Fiverr charge as much as $200 per hour. Upwork's seller fees range from 5% to 20% depending on your earnings and Fiverr takes 20% of all transactions.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
If you happen to be particularly sociable and like meeting new people, "there's lots of rent-a-friend websites where you can become someone's friend hourly," says Glantz. She adds that, "in a pandemic, there's some people who live alone, who couldn't see anybody or talk to anybody, so these virtual rent-a-friend websites where you get on a Zoom call for an hour with a person and just talk to them" can be very meaningful.
"I think if you're thinking of picking up a side hustle," says Glantz, "starting with one that only requires an hour or so a week is a great way of easing into this lifestyle."
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