Earning

Spring Side Gigs to Start Gearing Up for Now

Cathie Ericson

Whether you’re doubling-down on a big money goal or just want some extra cash in your budget for summer fun, now’s the perfect time to figure out how to earn more money over the next few months.

Luckily, spring offers a ton of side job opportunities. Here are some top side gigs to consider—plus how to start ramping up now.

1. Work the party circuit.

From graduation celebrations to wedding showers for summer brides and Memorial Day barbeques, spring is the season for partying. This makes it a great time to kickstart any event planning, catering or baking business you’ve been thinking about—or find a gig helping out established companies.

According to Payscale and Salary.com, catering chefs earn an average of about $15 an hour, and event planners can earn around $30—but you can set your own fees, based on what your market and desired clientele can handle.

Start planning now: If you’re starting a home catering business, you may need a food handlers permit; most states offer online courses. Beyond that, work on advertising your services in late March and April on sites like TaskRabbit and ThumbTack, as well as local Facebook and Nextdoor pages. If you’re prefer to be an extra set of hands for caterers and event planners, start reaching out to local companies or scan listings on Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

2. Pretty up spring-flingers.

Proms are usually scheduled around the same time, so snagging a salon or makeup appointment can be tough for party-goers. Enter: a traveling glam squad, courtesy of you.

Start planning now: Your window here is short—maybe just six Saturdays in April and May, so move quickly. In March, find a few willing friends to serve as models for an online lookbook on your own website or Instagram and Facebook profiles. Not only will this showcase your skills to potential clients, but it’s smart to practice some on-trend looks to make sure you have the technique down and get a rough idea of how long it takes to finish an updo or smokey eye.

If you’re setting your own prices with friends and neighbors, consider pricing per job—say, at least $40 for hair and makeup. If your skills are pro level, apply for work through on-demand beauty apps like beGlammed or GlamSquad.

3. Roll out the welcome mat for tourists.

Do you live in a destination people flock to for spring break? Rather than huff over the crowds congregating near your favorite restaurants, get those tourists to spend some of their vacation budgets with you.

Start planning now: Check out local tour services, like ToursByLocals or Vayable, looking for local experts; sign up to plan a local "experience” through Airbnb; or host visitors in your home. You can charge top dollar during peak vacation season. For even less effort, you can accompany visitors to local museums or restaurants as a RentAFriend. If you can get over the awkwardness, you can expect at least $10 an hour.

Related: Side Gigs That Pay You Just for Being You? I Tried Three

And don’t forget rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft. In a week or less, you can have your approval and be ready to drive. Earnest reports drivers earn more than $350 per month on both apps.

4. Clean up by cleaning out.

You know what “sparks joy”? Making cold, hard cash from castoffs. After spring cleaning your own home and selling any unwanted items, get paid for helping others do the same.

You can start a professional organizing business—average professional rates run from $30 to 80 an hour—or help time-strapped people sell their best items, while taking a cut for yourself. Considering consignment stores take 50 percent, you’d be smart to slash your rate to 30 percent or less to stay competitive.

Start planning now: Offer your services now while Marie Kondo is still trending by advertising on local social media platforms, putting flyers on community bulletin boards and, if you’re going the professional organizer route, creating your own website with some before-and-after photos.

5. Make some green from your green thumb.

Many people want a lovely garden, but not everyone digs putting in the work. If you’ve got a green thumb, help homeowners plan their plots with pretty flowers or veggies and herbs. You can also offer to mow lows, weed, clean up brush, trim trees and other lawn care tasks.

Start planning now: Pick a neighborhood and create a clever marketing gift to drop on doorsteps, maybe just a few seeds taped to a flyer, along with your number. You also could contact local garden clubs to see if they ever get requests for services they can’t fulfill. And reach out to local nurseries—if they don’t have their own “labor,” they might be willing to market your services in exchange for purchasing their plants for all of your clients’ gardens.

For lawn care, you can make up to $35 to $50 per job, according to Angie’s List.

6. Work at sporting events.

Like to call balls and strikes? The demand for umpires is high during the spring for baseball and softball leagues, and you can usually score either mid-week evening games or weekend tournaments. Youth league umpires can make $15 to $30 per game, reports one umpiring site.

You may also be able to work at minor league ballparks, taking tickets, selling concessions or ushering fans to their seat, usually for minimum wage—but sometimes getting tickets to games you aren’t working as an extra perk.

Start planning now: It’s not too soon to contact your local parks and recreation department, as training often starts in the winter months. If you missed any necessary orientation classes, many leagues still have a need for umpires and often will offer specialized individual training.

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