Now more than ever, it’s easier to earn money from the comfort of home. The internet has made things accessible. We can sell physical items and ship them around the world. We can create digital products that someone can buy at the click of a button.
Although saving money is a wonderful tool for becoming financially independent, there is only so much that you can save. Frugality and resourcefulness only get you so far. It can feel restrictive and boring and feel like you’re missing out on things. Your earning potential, however, is unlimited.
Many of us spend time each day mindlessly scrolling on our devices. We play games, check social media and look at our emails. There is nothing wrong with this, but if we want to use our time more wisely, this can be an area to focus on. We can become more intentional.
Some of these are online. It was easier to manage during the thick of the global pandemic. Others are becoming more possible again with the world opening up.
This is not an exhaustive list of side hustles, but rather some options that might help you get started.
Here are 30 ways that you can earn money through side hustling:
#1: Selling Household Items
This can be a useful way to both declutter and make some handy cash. We all have things lying around our house, garage and shed that we don’t use or love anymore. I think it’s the easiest side hustle to start as all you need is a phone with a camera and the internet, and you can start posting. I’ve got some tips about how to sell items on Facebook and Marketplace or how to help your children declutter things that they don’t need.
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#2: Reselling Or Flipping
Once you start selling, you realise how fun it can be. You might run out of items of your own to sell or want to make more money. You can find items by the side of the road, clean them up and sell them. You can buy items at op shops (thrift stores) and sell them for profit. Teaching Brave recently found a Louis Vuitton scarf for $3 and sold it for $420 online. Thrifty Pixie and Minimalist Mumthrifts source clothing bargains from op shops and resell them on eBay.
Blogging is a great way to earn a side hustle income. Figure out what you’re interested in, skilled in or simply love doing. What are you an expert in or can’t stop talking about? Start writing and build from there. Once you have built it up with website traffic and people start subscribing, it can become monetised with ads and affiliate links. A wealth of information about blogging can be found over at Arts and Budgets.
Completing surveys is a way of making your phone time count, especially if you’re waiting for an appointment. They can be super short or up to an hour of your time. You can generally save up your points to cash out on a gift card of your choice or get money in your account via PayPal. I haven’t spent enough time completing them and felt frustrated with how long points took to accumulate. Some people like Aussie Debt Free Girl persevere and have done quite well with ones like Octopus).
#5: Market Research
This is one of my personal favourite side hustles. It can be hard to qualify for the research topics that come up, but they pay out well when you do. You get to have your say on interesting topics or speak about your experience in your field of expertise. Thanks to the pandemic, there are more opportunities online now that suit those with mobility restrictions, who have young children or would simply prefer to stay in their trackies on the couch rather than driving somewhere. I once got paid $250 for a three-hour zoom call, and I only had to actively participate for ten minutes of this time. Amazing! I’ve registered for a few but my favourite is the Research Network. Askable is a market research company that I’ve recently discovered. They offer more opportunities though many are just for $5.
Tutoring might be right for you if you have a background in education and enjoy helping people. It can be a flexible job that fits your lifestyle. You can work after hours and on weekends. Covid has also made doing this remotely more possible too. This means you could see more people back to back without allowing for travel time.
Tutoring is a way to help people achieve their goals and improve themselves while making money. Depending on your skills and experience, you could charge a high amount per hour. This can be done freelance style (need to get your name out to people but you keep all the earnings) or through an agency (they do the paperwork, you get more work but they take a cut of your pay).
#7: Content Creating
This is a growing area of opportunity in the tech space, particularly in social media. Businesses are realising the potential benefits of using influencers to create content for their audience. This can be posted on the company site, the influencer’s page or both. The bigger the influencer’s audience, generally the more they will be paid, so this is an incentive to work towards organic growth. Meaningful collaborations can occur when influencers sign up with companies that align with their values.
#8: Write An E-Book
If there is a topic that you are both passionate about and experienced in, an eBook can be a great idea to hustle income. This is less daunting than writing an actual book and trying to get published. It can be a way of testing out the waters to see if you like writing and if you have much success with selling. I love that a digital copy can be purchased multiple times without you having to manage a physical copy. Many people have had great success, with The FI Couple being an example of this.
#9: Uber Eats
This is a useful side hustle for those who have their own transport and live in the metro area. Some people cycle, others use electric bikes, scooters, motorbikes or cars. It can work around other employment and be a flexible job. I wouldn’t rate this as a high paying income, nor a dependable one. Having to maintain your own vehicle is often costly and time-consuming, and riding or driving to different neighbourhoods in traffic, nighttime and bad weather can be dangerous.
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This is a good job for those who like to get out and about, who have high standards for cleanliness, who are self-motivated and work quickly. It is satisfying work and helps people who can’t keep up with cleaning themselves. It keeps you fit and you can listen to music or podcasts while you do it. It’s great for those who enjoy a break from other people. It can be strangely soothing. The only downsides are you have to physically travel to houses which means unpaid time, and won’t earn money when you are sick.
If you don’t mind being in front of the camera and having something to say, YouTube might be the side hustle for you. Those who are successful usually find a niche area, plan their content, take time to edit and add graphics and produce high-quality content. Once you hit 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time, you can apply for YouTube’s Partner Program.
This allows creators to start monetising their channels through ads, subscriptions, and channel memberships. It can take some time to become monetised but for the right person, it can be an amazing money maker. Some of my favourite YouTubers are Family Finance, SugarMamma, The Minimal Mom, Hapa Family and The Hidden Gem.
#12: Mowing Lawns
If you love getting out in the fresh air, doing manual work and feeling productive, mowing lawns might be for you! It’s one of those love it or hate it jobs. You’ll need your own mower and line trimmer, and know-how to maintain and troubleshoot. Have your own transport and a trailer or big boot space. Satisfying work, except in poor weather.
You could start your own basic business with some business cards in letterboxes and on your local noticeboards. You could also apply to work for a franchise like Jim’s Mowing to help get you started.
This is a growing way to make some serious cash if you are tech-savvy and willing to learn some new skills. People buy websites on places like Flippa that have potential, spend some time doing them up and either get income each month or sell them for a profit. Matt and Liz sell courses about how to do this and while I haven’t yet taken any, I am definitely interested in doing this in the future. Captain Fi has done their courses and provides more information and reviews about this on this blog and podcast.
#14: Vending Machines
Some people buy vending machines and make some handy cash by managing these and stocking them with products. This side hustle is appealing because you don’t need tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment on a property, or thousands of dollars to invest. It is a business model that you can physically see where your money is going and is relatively easy to start.
This is a great side hustle if you like working with kids. It is often the first part-time job for young people who are asked to look after nieces and nephews or local neighbourhood families. It can be a good way to get some experience, gain a referee, earn some cash and develop skills in working with children. This often happens in the evenings so parents can enjoy a date night, so once the kids are in bed, the babysitter can help to clean up and then relax on the couch.
#16: Medical Research
If you don’t mind injections and blood tests and are a fan of hospital food, this side hustle might be for you! Medical companies pay people to attend clinics and stay in hospitals to have medical procedures performed and have experimental drugs tested on them. Jobs range from a few hours to several days to several weeks at a time.
Companies like CMAX offer paid medical research opportunities, often with generous payments and perks.
Personally, I am too much of a wuss to even contemplate this but had mates at uni who would do anything for extra cash. They were sometimes paid thousands of dollars to do these trials. It’s worth taking some time to check if this is safe for you and your body, and if so, find the right trial to apply for.
On Upwork, people pay for your expertise and you can hire those in the know. It’s a brilliant concept as it links up those wanting work with those who need work done. You can search for numerous skills and find the right person for the job.
It provides income to those who are struggling to find work locally and literally opens up the world to people to earn money doing what they are good at. I have hired a graphic designer and website technical support and have been pleased with the work that they have done. You can also offer your services via sites like Freelancer, Guru, People Per Hour and Flex Jobs. Note that these companies take a cut for work provided and if you ever want to take the work externally, you can be faced with a lefty fee. It can be a good way to start but you might prefer to find work through word of mouth and reviews to avoid these fees and charges.
If you are creative or crafty, Etsy might be the platform for you to sell your items on. Things from knitwear and crochet, wall decor, jewellery and accessories, art and collectables, craft, clothing and shoes, wedding and party, and toys and entertainment.
Some people in the debt-free community sell printable and editable charts, planners and calculators to help you set goals and track your results. Like all Platforms, Etsy takes a cut so it might be a way to get started and build up your reputation before trying to go out on your own. Family Finance sells digital trackers.
#19: Affiliate Links
If you have a website or social media site which gets some traffic, having affiliate links can be a nice income generator. You can post links to sites that align with your values and would be of interest to your audience or customers.
For me, I have a few affiliate links which pay when anyone signs up, and also gives the person a small cash bonus. For example with Cash Rewards I get between $10-$20 and the person gets $10, ShopBack I get between $10-$20 and the person receives $10 and WeMoney we both get $5 (plus they plant a tree). It’s not a huge amount but I’m so grateful to any kind person who signs up via my link, and love that they can then start referring their family and friends to earn extra money too.
Some companies will approach you about collaborating with a nominated fee paid per sign up, or you can ask companies to consider you. Amazon have an affiliate marketing program that helps content creators, publishers and bloggers monetise their traffic and might be a good starting point for you.
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#20: Start A Business
There are endless opportunities for business ideas these days, many of which start from the humble side hustle. It is worth testing out the water a bit and starting small to see if it is a viable option and makes economical sense. For example, some ideas are better kept to a hobby – you enjoy them but you don’t make enough money.
Others may be suited to a small side hustle but not your main income. Many entrepreneurs have started with big dreams, tried their luck and have become very successful. Find a mentor, read up on books from those who have made it, and see if there are any local courses available to you (for example run by your council or state government) or even online courses if not. There are many resources out there to help you become skilled and build relationships with those in the know. Some starting points for useful sites are Business.gov.au, ASIC,ATO, Nationwide Super and AusTrade.
#21: Sell Stock Photos
If you are good at photography and have a decent camera, selling photos online might be worth your while. You can set up an account, upload high-quality images (eg. landscapes) and be paid a royalty every time someone downloads your photo. You retain the copyright to your images and it can be reasonably profitable. Note that not everyone can qualify and it may take some time to earn good money.
#22: Cans & Bottles
If you care about the environment and live in a metro town, this might be a handy side hustle. Many local councils pay for every can and bottle brought to the recycling centre (where I live this is 10c each). By simply collecting your own recycling, you can earn decent cash. If you want to make more money, you can walk around your local streets and parks with a bag, and even collect them after footy matches or outdoor concerts. While it won’t make you rich, it can help you save up for something that you want or go towards a fun day out or holiday!
#23: Air BnB
If you own your place, consider whether you could make money from it with AirBnB. You might have a large house with a spare room, a multi-storey property like Frank on Fire, a granny flat or a converted garage that you could hire out. Alternatively, if you enjoy going on regular holidays or have somewhere else you can stay sometimes, you could list your residence for the days that the house is being vacated.
Airbnb can be a lucrative side hustle for the right people and can help pay off the mortgage a whole lot faster as well as enabling you to see more of the world. It also helps travellers have more of an authentic experience than simply checking in to a city hotel.
#24: Dog Walker
For those who love exercising outdoors and like furry friends, dog walking could be a fun side hustle. There is a growing demand for dog walkers (alongside doggy daycare!) as pet owners are increasingly busy and don’t have enough hours in the day.
Wanting to do the right thing and make sure their dogs get enough fresh air and exercise, owners are on the lookout for responsible, trustworthy people. This would suit those in metro and suburban areas who are looking for more work, who are fit and strong enough to wrangle the most enthusiastic or defiant of dogs. You can sign up on sites like Madpaws, Pawshake, OneFlare or simply make some business cards and hand them out in your neighbourhood.
#25: Declutter Homes
If you consider yourself a neat freak or minimalist and enjoy decluttering, you might just love this job. Whilst there are businesses and agencies that employ professional organisers, the average Joe (or Mary) might just want someone to help them out and get on top of their stuff.
This may involve helping them make decisions about what to keep, donate, sell or throw, then packing up items to move out the house, listing things to sell and organising what is left. It is a satisfying and rewarding job for the hardworking, motivated, organised and for someone who likes to help others declutter.
#26: Upcycling Furniture
Do you ever drive past old furniture on the side of the road and spot gorgeous pieces that just need some TLC? Do you enjoy watching renovation and home improvement shows and feel inspired by what they can do with items that have seen better days? Perhaps upcycling furniture is the side hustle for you.
You’ll need some transport that can tow a trailer so you can pick up items from hard waste (destined for the dump), op shops or garage sales, and also a place to store and work on them (think large shed or garage). You might find some in your local Buy Nothing group. You’ll need some know-how, woodworking tools, paints and varnishes and a good camera to take photos to list online to sell. Not only is this good for the environment as it keeps items out of landfill, but it allows you to use your creative flair while earning a decent profit.
#27: Mystery Shopping
If you are observant, enjoy providing feedback and like getting out and about, Mystery Shopping could be a fun side hustle. It involves going to different shops and businesses and posing as a customer.
You need to remember specific details about the person who serves you (their name, appearance, how tidy their uniform is etc) and note what level of customer service they provided (were they friendly, did they have good product knowledge, could they answer questions, did they try to upsell you, were they efficient, did they stop to answer the phone or chat to an employee, were they professional etc). You often have a specific item to buy or product to enquire after, and then fill in a long survey once you have left the store.
I have been on both ends of this role. I was once mystery shopped while working at a bakery, thankfully receiving a score of 100% and was given movie tickets as a reward. I have also worked as a mystery shopper and inspected fast food places, hardware stores, department stores and speciality shops. One time I even when to a retirement village and had to pretend that my parents needed to go into care.
The problem was, the lady recognised my parent’s names and was shocked that they had deteriorated this much since they last saw them. I had to come clean and tell them that I was a mystery shopper, and then let my employer know that my cover had been blown. It isn’t always high paying but sure is interesting work and can make some good stories!
For those who are good with words, copywriting is a handy way to earn cash. It is perfect for those who are happy to write for someone else rather than create their own content, or as a way to curate their skills. Copywriters create work for brochures, catalogues, billboards, advertisements, scripts, social media posts and blog articles. The more experienced you are, generally the more money you can earn. The downside is that you don’t own your own content, so although you will earn money upfront, you won’t make ongoing money from website traffic or selling eBooks.
#29: Social Media
Enjoy social media and find it easy to create and grow pages? Stop scrolling and start earning! Consider doing this as a side hustle. Many businesses have no idea about where to start with social media and it’s just another thing that they have to manage. They’d prefer to be focusing on what they’re good at – growing their business. You could approach a business directly and ask if they need a hand with their site, or post a job on a site like a Freelancer to find work. You’ll be taking a load off the shoulders of a hardworking small business owner whilst honing your skills and earning some nice cash for the privilege.
#30: Sell Online Resources
If you are knowledgeable on a particular topic, consider creating online resources to sell. I personally sell on a site called Teachers Pay Teachers and have made $3000 on one resource alone. This is a pretty good return for perhaps eight or nine hours of work. When I have more capacity I would love to create more resources like this one. For now though, at least this one is ticking away nicely and pays my phone bill (and sometimes a subscription) every month.
I love that side hustles are such wonderful way to earn cash and get ahead financially. It may be something temporarily that you do to pay off a credit card debt or save an emergency fund, or it may be something that you love and turns into an actual business. Whatever your reasons, give one or two a go and see what happens! You don’t have much to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
As I reflect on what have been the easiest and most profitable side hustles for me, I would say selling excess from my home on Marketplace, flipping items that I source from hard waste or op shops and market research focus groups. These don’t require much effort but have helped pull in cash, fast.
I write more about side hustles and savvy tips for saving money over on Instagram if you want to connect there.
What are your favourite side hustles? I’d love to hear from you!