Sometimes your full-time job won’t be enough to make ends meet, especially if you have specific financial goals. Whether you’re planning a wedding, hoping for a music festival pass, or just trying to keep pace with inflation, a side gig can help you get the cash you need on your own time. That’s why gig work is so common — studies have shown that more than one in three Americans have a side hustle. But some side gigs are more lucrative than others. We’ll go over some of the best side hustle ideas for 2022, so you can choose the best opportunity for you.
What Is a Good Side Gig Job?
The best side hustles allow you to earn extra income on your own schedule at your own pace. These range from more traditional in-person side gigs to jobs that allow you to make money online. Some side gigs have fixed rates, while other more lucrative side gigs allow you to set your own rates. The best side gigs also allow you to work as often or as little as you like. And if you choose something that fits with your interest and skills, it might not even feel like work!
How Do Side Gigs Make Money?
With most side gigs, you’ll make money as an independent contractor. That means you’ll be self-employed, which requires you to pay self-employment tax and make estimated tax payments throughout the year. But it also means you’ll be your own boss. And the more time and effort you put into your side hustle, the more extra money you can earn.
Keep in mind that the pay for side hustles varies based on the type of work. Some gig jobs don’t even pay minimum wage, but lucrative side gigs for skilled professionals do exist. There are also fun opportunities to earn extra money without much effort.
The 11 Best Side Hustles for 2022
Survey sites allow you to earn money for your opinions expressed about various products and services. Big brands pay sites like Swagbucks to conduct market research, and Swagbucks passes some of that money on to you. The best part about taking online surveys is that you can do it anywhere — make cash while you hang on the couch, wait in line at the pharmacy, or stir the pasta. What’s more, the best survey sites also provide you with other fun opportunities to earn cash. For example, as a Swagbucks user, you can get paid to search the web and shop online. And it’s easy to cash out with as little as $3 in your account.
Delivering food or groceries with food delivery apps can be a fun way to get weekend work outside of your day job. You could be the person to show up with the much-needed beers from Drizzly or GoPuff, a hot pizza from Doordash, Grubhub, or UberEats, or the ingredients for tonight’s dinner from Amazon Prime, Shipt, or Instacart.
If you have a reliable vehicle, you can make money transporting passengers without much effort. Rideshare apps such as Uber or Lyft often pay better than food delivery platforms. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet travelers, explore your city, and even control the tunes. You’ll need to meet the driver and vehicle requirements, and you’ll also want to add a rideshare endorsement to your car insurance policy.
Be a Dog Walker
Dog walking can barely be considered work, given all the love you’ll receive from your four-legged customers. You can sign up for Wag to connect with dog owners and accept local walks on the fly, or you can set your own rates with a platform like Rover, which also allows you to offer dog-sitting services.
Teach English Online
If you have a bachelor’s degree, an internet connection, and some experience tutoring, you can make up to $22 per hour teaching in a global classroom with VIPKID. The curriculum will be provided for you, so you can focus on engaging with the kiddos, and you can work on a flexible schedule as well. You can find online tutoring jobs in other subjects as well.
Rent Out Your House, Car, or Garage
If you want to earn passive income, consider renting out your spare bedroom (or treehouse) on Airbnb. This can be a high-paying gig, especially if you live in a desirable location. For example, Airbnb currently quotes that hosts in Denver make an average of $1,587 per month renting a spare room.
If you don’t have sleeping space but you have an attic or garage, consider using Neighbor to rent out your storage space. And if you don’t need your car all the time, you can make decent money renting it through Turo as well.
Housesit for Others
House sitting is a low-key and flexible job that requires little experience. Sites like MindMyHouse and Nomador connect you with travelers who need someone to water the plants or bring in the packages while they’re gone. Some house-sitting opportunities involve pet-sitting as well. You can even use this opportunity to get free lodging while you travel. What’s more, while you’re watching over the house, you can play games or take surveys with Swagbucks for extra cash.
Be a Reseller
Your own closet can be a goldmine. Consider selling your gently used clothing on Poshmark or ThredUp, your used books and electronics on Amazon or eBay, or your furniture and home items on Meta Marketplace or Craigslist. You can even purchase vintage or used items to resell at a higher price on any of these platforms.
Be a Tour Guide
Know the best places to eat, shop, and explore in your city? You might enjoy being a tour guide for Showaround. You’ll be able to set your own price, choose your own hours, and meet interesting people visiting your home city.
Be a Virtual Assistant
Many businesses rely on virtual assistants to help with administrative tasks, like scheduling appointments, taking phone calls, and arranging travel plans. Virtual assistants can work from the comfort of their homes. You can get started by looking for gigs on Upwork or FlexJobs, applying to work for Zirtual or researching open positions at virtual assistant agencies.
Advertise Your Freelance Skills
Most gig jobs require little to no experience, but they also don’t pay high hourly wages. If you have valuable skills or training you can leverage, you may be able to earn more money working freelance gigs on a platform like Fiverr. The following are some of the most lucrative side hustles you can pursue on Fiverr:
- Software developers and web designers
- Freelance writers, editors, and resume writers
- Social media managers or digital marketers
- Business consultants
- Graphic designers
After you’ve taken a few gigs, you may want to set up your own website to get more clients.
What Side Gigs Pay the Most?
With most side hustles, the amount you earn will depend on the time and effort you put in. But some side gigs pay higher hourly rates than others. A study from CreditLoan found that the following are the most lucrative side gigs based on a median hourly rate:
- Property rental — $81
- Computer repair — $20
- Fitness coaching — $20
- Freelance or consulting work — $20
- Photography or videography — $20
- Online reselling — $20
- House cleaning or handyman work — $17
- eCommerce — $15
- Tutoring or teaching — $15
- Ridesharing — $15
You’ll also want to think about what interests you and what you’ll have time for. If you only have a little bit of free time each day, you can still earn a median of about $5 per hour taking surveys. And Swagbucks offers other fun ways to earn extra cash as well.
What Are the Alternatives to Working a Side Gig?
Maybe you need to make money outside of your primary job, but these side jobs won’t work for you. If your full-time income isn’t enough for you to tackle your financial goals, such as paying off your student loan debt, there are a few alternatives to getting a side hustle.
Get a Second Job
A part-time job as an employee for another company is one alternative to picking up a side hustle. You won’t have to worry about self-employment tax and may even get higher pay. The downside is that you’ll have less flexibility than you would be running your own business.
Invest in Your Education
Paying for education and training so that you can land a high-paying job may be just what you need to leave your financial worries behind. And you don’t necessarily need to earn a four-year degree to boost your income. There are many apprenticeship opportunities available in a variety of fields, including digital marketing, and attending a rigorous bootcamp could get you a job in software development.
Trim Your Budget
Making more money is just one way to relieve a tight budget — you can also reduce your expenses. Look for opportunities to cut costs, like making your coffee at home and cutting back on alcohol or entertainment. Once you’ve figured out how much more you’ll be able to save, set up automatic deposits with your financial institution to stay disciplined.
Ask for a Raise
Success doesn’t happen overnight. If you’d like to climb the ladder at your current place of business, you need to know how to demonstrate your value to your employer. If you’re not ready to ask for a raise right now, start making contributions that go above and beyond expectations. Take new initiatives that show your passion, and collaborate with other employees to show you’re a team player. Then, prepare a presentation that shows your employer what you’re worth.
The Bottom Line
The gig economy may not be the most efficient path to making money, but it’s easy to pick up a side hustle quickly without any experience or training. You can work when it’s convenient for you, and some side jobs allow you to set your own rates. Even if the most lucrative side gigs seem out of reach, there are easy and fun tasks on Swagbucks that will take just a few minutes of your time. A few dollars here and there can add up to greater financial stability over time.
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