To reach financial security, it is often necessary to have side hustles. The extra money you earn can help you achieve financial goals. And you may even discover a side hustle is a good long-term business opportunity.
According to the Young Entrepreneur Council, 1 in 3 Millennials, are choosing to supplement their full-time income with a side gig. Recently, a Bankrate.com survey, found over 44 million Americans have some kind of side hustle or job in addition to their primary work. So whether you call it a side hustle, moonlighting, or a side gig, finding a way to increase your income can support your financial wellbeing.
Side hustles can be anything from driving people around, delivering packages, completing tasks, or babysitting. It’s true you’re mostly still trading your time for money. The idea is for you to earn money to help you achieve your goals sooner than later.
Now, let’s get to the 10 best side hustles to reach financial security below:
1. Writing and content creation
If you’re great with words, writing can be a great gig that you can do around your schedule. Whether you decide to blog for money or write for others, use your wordsmith skills to earn extra money. Learn how to start a blog and get your first writing gig on Textbroker.
2. Virtual assistant
Interested in entrepreneurship and small business? Before starting your own venture, you could consider helping business owners complete tasks virtually. Many entrepreneurs need help with research, social media, calendaring, and data input. Find opportunities on Upwork as a freelancer and Boldly as an independent contract for major companies.
3. Graphic design
Use your design skills to help those in need. You can create new logos, flyers, and social media content for others. There’s also an opportunity to sell your designs on print-on-demand platforms. Find graphic design gigs.
Help people master knowledge and skills. You can teach children and adults to learn a subject or a language. Find opportunities to be an online tutor.
5. Selling used clothes and furniture
Start by cleaning out your closet and home and selling these items online. After success, consider actively buying high-demand items and reselling. Read our list of the best places to sell used clothes and online marketplaces to sell furniture.
6. Rent your stuff and space
Make money by renting your space and stuff out to others. You’d be surprised how many people want to rent, not own things. Pretty much anything is rentable from your spare bedroom, garage, parking spot, photography equipment, and cars. Find the best places to rent your stuff and space.
7. Use your photo and video skills
Online marketplaces like Foap and Vimeo allow you to sell your pictures and videos for others to use. We’ve created the best list of places to sell photos.
8. Online surveys and product feedback
Truthfully, you won’t make a ton of money completing online surveys or for paid market research. However, it’s still an option many explore. Some of the legit online survey companies include InboxDollars and PineCone Research. And read our best list of online survey companies.
9. Secret shopping
Another most researched side hustle is secret shopping. Again, you’re not going to make life-changing money, but it’s another option to make some extra cash. Secret shops include sharing your experience at a store or taking photos of products on store shelves.
10. Driving around
The ultimate side hustle involves driving people, packages, and food. You can diversify your income by doing all three gig types. Uber and Lyft remain the most popular for driving people to their destinations. Instacart is great for delivering groceries. And Amazon Flex is also highly recommended.
Find the best side hustle using your car here:
There is something important I want you to understand with side hustles. The goal isn’t to do gigs for the rest of your life. The idea is to use hustles to help you achieve goals sooner. For example, if your goal is to pay off debt, then earning extra cash can help you pay more each month. Want to beef up that emergency fund for financial security? A side hustle can help you.
Why are side hustles important to reach financial security?
Many are still unsure of how to use their time to earn more or use their skills to make money. You might be holding onto some erroneous belief that you simply cannot make substantial amounts of money through side hustles.
And although you probably won’t make a million dollars from side hustles alone it’s can help you simply earn more. The goal really isn’t for you to do a side gig for the rest of your life. A side hustle is something you do on the “side” to earn more money for a specific purpose.
For instance, you want to pay off student loan debt in a few years as opposed to 20 years. Earning an additional $100 a week through a side hustle will give you an additional $400 towards your debt.
I want to debunk some beliefs that may be holding you back from starting a side hustle to reach financial security.
1. You believe it’s going to take too much time
You already work 40 hours a week. And if the thought of working more hours makes you sink further into your couch, then close your eyes and take a deep breath. I want you to think about how you’re spending your time. Are you using hours to binge-watch Netflix or scroll through social feeds? According to Statista, the average person spends 2 hours and 23 minutes a day on social media. If you find yourself staring at your phone for 2 hours, I think you’ve just found a few hours a week to work on a side hustle.
A side hustle doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You can spend time on side gigs or invest time in building a business. In reality, the choice is yours to make and you can start making a few dollars with apps or asking connections about chores or tasks you can perform.
2. You believe you have nothing to offer
Everyone has something to offer that is valuable to someone else. I am confident that you have a skill or talent that can be monetized. For example, you’re great at writing or design, consider offering services to others or start a blog as an online writing portfolio. Many people, like myself, make money blogging. You too can be making money with a blog.
Most people underestimate the value of their talents or skills. Having this belief limits your ability to increase your money-making potential. Taken another way, do you find your friends asking you for help with a particular area? Guess what? You’ve just found demand.
Here’s a pro tip: tell your family and friends you’re starting a side hustle to pay off debt, build an emergency fund, or save for a down payment. It might be weird for you to be vulnerable by publicly stating you’re looking for side gigs to make extra cash. But you’ll be surprised by how people need help and are willing to pay for it.
3. You’re afraid your boss will find out
Most jobs don’t require telling your boss that you’re working another job or have a side business. To ease your concerns, check to see if your employer has any restrictions. And if there are restrictions, find out exactly what you’re restricted from doing. Often it may include a non-compete. For example, you’re a technology salesman restricting you from selling similar items even in your free time.
Keep in mind employers may have a policy preventing you from selling personal services to coworkers. Also, don’t use your primary work hours to work on your side hustle. That’s an easy way to lose your primary source of income.
If you want to feel more at ease, review your employee handbook, contract, or speak with your human resource manager. You can speak to your boss about your side hustle which may prompt a discussion on getting a pay raise. Even with a pay raise, you may still want to continue with a side hustle to reach financial security sooner.
4. You keep thinking you need some sort of certification
Sometimes you may need to register or get a license to offer a service or start a side hustle business. But most side hustles don’t require a certification. A certification can help you enhance your skills by taking the required courses or ease the mind of potential customers. If there is no gap between the skills you have and what is required, don’t delay making extra money.
For example, driving for a ridesharing company to earn a side income requires a driver’s license with a safe driver’s record. You don’t need to have additional certifications. And many side gigs you’ll find on the phroogal financial marketplace don’t require any special certification or schooling.
5. You believe your current job is secure
I’m not encouraging you to consider leaving your primary job. In fact, having a primary job has many employee benefits, not limited to health and retirement, that work well with side hustles. The main point is that having multiple income streams will provide you with the financial security you want.
But the unfortunate reality is that no job is completely secure. Changes in a company’s financial performance, a merger, a new boss, or the economy can impact your job situation. I’m not writing to spread fear but to encourage you to diversify your income sources.
To support your financial security, consider a side hustle to help you build your emergency fund, get out of debt, or start investing for your retirement.