Americans have been amassing more and more debt over the years. Between January 2021 and August 2021 alone, consumer debt rose from $4.17 trillion to $4.3 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. In August, consumer debt grew at an annual rate of 4%.
If you're paying off credit card debt, car loans, a mortgage, or student loans, those sums might seem impossible to tackle. But picking up a side hustle on the weekends to earn a bit of extra income could help. In fact, 11% of side hustlers pick up their gig to pay off debt, according to a May 2020 DollarSprout survey of 698 U.S. adults.
Here are five side hustles to consider doing over the weekend.
In terms of delivering takeout, "weekends are always busier," says side hustle expert Kevin Ha, adding that "it seems like people order food a lot throughout the day on Sundays. Probably because they were partying too hard on Saturday."
Consider signing up to deliver food on apps including Grubhub or DoorDash. Grubhub delivery drivers make an average of $26 per hour, according to Glassdoor, and DoorDash delivery drivers make an average of $20 per hour, according to ZipRecruiter.
Keep in mind the price of gas, which the apps will not reimburse you for.
Grocery delivery sees a surge on weekends, too, Ha has noticed. "The demand is always higher for these gig apps on the weekends," he says. "Especially on Sundays, a lot of people are ordering their groceries for the week."
If you're curious to dive into grocery delivery, sign up on apps like Shipt, where shoppers make an average of $12 per hour, according to Indeed, or Dumpling, where shoppers make an average of $35 per order, according to the site. Dumpling has a one-time $20 fee and a 3.9% and 30 cent credit card processing fee on each order. Neither site reimburses for gas.
Ha recalls one Sunday when he made "$71 and I worked for 1.8 hours" delivering groceries.
Another avenue to consider picking up a side gig in is local events. "Now that conventions have started happening again," says side hustle expert Michelle Jackson, "they need a lot of staff and support."
Peruse part-time event listings on sites like Indeed or Craigslist or contact a local temp agency to see if they have anything on the books. Events may hire people to do registration, set up rooms where talks take place, assist attendees around the venue, or clean up after it's done.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
"They could pay anywhere from $15 to $35 for an event per hour," says Jackson, adding that "they're superfun. I love them because [I have] an online business so it gives me an opportunity to meet people."
Some conventions may require workers to be fully vaccinated. Make sure to see how the event is accommodating for Covid to make sure you're comfortable with its measures.
If you're a dog lover, another good weekend hustle is dog sitting. "A lot of people are going out of town" over the weekend, says Ha, "and they need for you to watch a dog for two or three days."
If you have a home that can accommodate a pup, consider listing your services on sites like Rover, Care.com, or Wag! Pet-sitters make an average of $75 to $85 per overnight, according to Thumbtack.
If you love storytelling, another moneymaking activity to consider is writing e-books. There are no rules when it comes to this kind of publishing: Books can be 10 pages or they can be 1,000 pages. They can cover sports statistics or astrology.
Likewise, e-books come in a variety of prices. Jackson, who's written 12 herself, charges as little as $3 for some of them. Over the years, she's made almost $13,000 in passive income from her book sales.
Look up e-books in subject matters you might want to cover yourself to see what's out there, then consider publishing and selling your work on sites like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Gumroad. Barnes & Noble pays e-book writers a 70% royalty, meaning that the author gets 70% of the retail price of each sale. Amazon pays e-book authors a 35% or 70% royalty, depending on the option they choose.
Gumroad uses a different model and charges authors a fee for every sale. These range from 2.9% to 9% depending on how much you've sold on the site overall, plus 30 cents on each transaction. The author keeps the profits of each sale minus the fees.
"If you have a creative story inside, you could be a romance writer," says Jackson, "and just do it on the weekend."
This story has been updated to reflect the amount various sites pay their e-book authors.
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