EARNING EXTRA INCOME through a side hustle, gig app or freelance job is a legitimate way to stretch your budget, jump-start financial goals or pay off debt.
These days, there are myriad opportunities for making extra money online via apps and through part-time in-person work. But not all side hustles are created equal or will fit your goals appropriately. So before you get started, do some soul-searching. “You need to keep three things in mind: your priorities, strengths and deal breakers,” says Julia Pollak, labor economist for online employment marketplace ZipRecruiter.
Beyond those considerations, evaluate whether you need to make this extra $1,000 every month, or just during a one-time dry spell. Consider whether you are willing to spend any money on start-up costs. Think about how you will balance it with your full-time job. And don’t forget to evaluate the various policies, fees and requirements levied by the apps, companies or employers with which you hope to work.
Once you’ve mulled over those considerations, learn how to earn more money with these seven ways to make an extra $1,000 this month:
- Teach or tutor.
- Sell your stuff.
- Freelance your skills.
- Rent out a room.
- Drive for a ride-hailing app.
- Take up dog walking or dog-sitting.
- Negotiate with your current employer.
Teach or Tutor
“Everybody has skills they can share with the rest of the world,” says Chris Haroun, Udemy instructor and CEO of Haroun Education Ventures, based in San Francisco. These days, experts don’t even need to head to the classroom to share their knowledge. Instructors can monetize their courses through sites such as Udemy or Teachable, Haroun says.
If old-school, in-person teaching is more your style, reach out to neighborhood schools, mentoring organizations or community colleges, which may be able to utilize your expertise as a classroom instructor. Lecturers can also log on to websites such as YouTube to post instructional videos, but keep in mind that making money on YouTube may be a slow process as you gradually build a subscriber base.
Sell Your Stuff
Those who’ve been practicing minimalism or are inspired by Marie Kondo’s tips for tidying may have garages full of unused or unneeded clothes, electronics, furniture and kitchen items. Consider posting your wares to Craigslist, eBay, Poshmark or thredUP. You can even host an old-fashioned garage sale.[
Freelance Your Skills
“Look internally: How can you monetize the skills you have currently?” asks Alison Sullivan, a Glassdoor career trends expert based in San Francisco. For example, copy-editing skills, web design know-how or coding knowledge may be valuable to a business or individual. Or you could shop out your managerial skills as a virtual assistant. Consider searching for freelance jobs through sites such as Upwork, Glassdoor or Remote.co. Fiverr is another popular option for freelancers, although experts caution that international workers can create stiff pricing competition.
If you’re looking for more traditional part-time jobs, Pollak notes that flexible job postings are on the rise for positions such as home health aides, nurses, customer service representatives and administrative workers. Seasonal work, such as part-time work tied to the local tourism industry, construction season or holiday shopping season, may provide opportunities for part-time work to earn extra cash.
Rent Out a Room
If you have an empty room, unused apartment or vacant in-law suite, consider renting it out on Airbnb or another vacation rental site. Tourists will book your accommodations through the site, and you’ll pocket a portion of the rental fee. Before you rent, however, make sure you understand any rules or regulations in your municipality, restrictions from your landlord and gaps in your insurance.
Drive for a Ride-Hailing App
Driving for Uber and Lyft are popular ways to make extra money in a month when you need it. You’ll use your personal automobile to chauffeur riders around your city in return for a percentage of the fare. Remember that driving for a ride-hailing app can have tax consequences, so you should track expenses and earnings and report them appropriately at tax time.
Take up Dog Walking or Dog-Sitting
Animal lovers can start dog walking or dog-sitting with apps such as Rover, Wag or DogVacay, or by sharing services on community boards or by word of mouth. Compensation will vary by location, app, frequency and the rates you charge. Users of these apps typically set their rates and work through the app to schedule boarding and walking requests from dog owners.[
Negotiate With Your Current Employer
Nobody enjoys negotiating salary, but if you’re in good standing with your employer, it’s worth asking for a raise. The job market is currently strong, and many employers want to keep top-notch talent. If a half-hour conversation results in a promotion, raise or bonus, it could be the most time-efficient way to make extra money you’ve ever tried.
The takeaway: As you seek out creative ways to earn more money this month, remember that not all apps and methods are the best match for you. Keep in mind that side hustle apps, such as Uber, Rover and Airbnb will take a percentage of your booking fees and that you will be treated as an independent contractor, not an employee, which may have its challenges. Recently, Instacart, a delivery app, received backlash when workers determined that their tips weren’t being appropriately added to their earnings after a tweak to the reimbursement system.
No matter how you earn your income, you may need to report it to the IRS at tax time, so keep good records and track expenses. And remember that you shouldn’t let your part-time or gig work detract from any full-time or salaried position you already hold. Says Sullivan: “Make sure to be diligent with your time, so you are still able to do your full-time job while making deadlines for side hustles and freelance work.”