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Which Side Hustles Earn the Most?

Some people have a side hustles to fund their passion, pay off debt, pick up some new skills, or to order extra avocado toast. Whatever the motivation, it’s become more and more popular in the last few years, especially with the rise of the “gig economy” and maker movement. At least 4 in 10 Americans have a side hustle, with the majority being millennials (Bankrate study).

The gig economy is typically used to describe short term jobs, where companies hire workers as independent contractors, such as Doordash delivery workers, Lyft/Uber drivers, taskers for Taskrabbit. This also tends to include those that make money on the side as hosts or servicers for Airbnb and creators that sell on Etsy.

Here are some details on popular side hustles, and how much you can make with each (in order from lowest to highest) – these are averages – of course you can make a lot more and a lot less with each:

1. Dog Walking $60/week
People who dog walk for some extra cash is more common than expected, especially in large urban cities where backyards aren’t common. With websites like Rover, some walkers charge up to $20 for a twenty minute walk, and more if the owner has multiple pets. A person can make up to $60 a week just for walking a dog for twenty minutes three times a week. You get cash, and nice workout.

2. Freelance Writing $50-$75/article
Taking freelance writing as a side job not only brings in extra cash, but adds more skills and experience to a resume and/or portfolio. Some websites such as Income Diary and Great Escape Publishing will pay people to write and submit blogs based on their own opinion or experience. If writing about personal experience isn’t ideal then turn to Craigslist. Some businesses will pay for someone to write job descriptions in their Help Wanted ads, transcribe videos, or even just edit papers. The writing pieces will land between $50-$75 each, but can go up to the thousands once you become an expert in a few subjects.

3. User Research $50-100/hr
Participating in a company’s user research, or focus group, is one of the easiest ways a person can earn quick cash. Essentially users will sign up on websites such as Focus Group and Fieldwork to answer a series of questions about a company’s services, their products, or even just the appearance of their stores. User research ranges from answering questions online, in person, and over the phone, but all take about 1-2 hours to complete. Pay type varies based on companies, but participants have been paid in gift cards and cash, all within $50-$150.

4. Tutoring $300/hr
Tutoring is one of the most skill building side jobs an individual can sign up for. Forbes says if money isn’t the motivation fueling the second job, then experience should be. Tutoring encourages people to take on leadership, organizational, and academic roles. Not to mention that some SAT tutors charge up to $50 an hour and GMAT tutors have charged up to $300 an hour!

5. Drive for Uber or Lyft $377/mo
Findings by Benenson Strategy Group show that Uber had over 160,000 active drivers by the end of 2014 in the US, receiving total payments of $656.8m during Q4 2014 from the company. By 2017 the total number of Uber drivers worldwide passed 1.5 million!

TIME magazine recorded that Lyft drivers can make up to $377 a month, and Uber drivers at $364.

6. Fiverr or TaskRabbit $127 -$380/mo
On both Fiverr and TaskRabbit, you set your own hourly rates based on your experience and what you are able to charge after you have several reviews.

Both are online marketplaces for freelance services where individuals can offer their services and connect with people around the world. Jobs vary from setting up ikea furniture to graphic design, music producing, business planning, and everything in between.

On TaskRabbit, taskers earn $380 a month on average, three times as much as on Fiverr.

7. Freelance Bartending $200-$400/night
Bartending is a side hustle that requires experience and investment. Most freelance bartenders work private events, like weddings, birthdays, and small business parties. However some employers will only hire bartenders who are certified mixologists, this requires going to bartending school. Along with knowing the basics, bartenders often need to have a bartending kit in order to mix drinks properly. The kit is around $25-$40, but freelance bartenders set their own hourly rate. Most charge between $35-$50 an hour. Most events need the bar open at least for 4-8 hours, so you could potentially make between $200-$400 a night.

Whether you’re hustling to pay off debt, add to your savings, or just have some extra cash to spend, second jobs can be beneficial and change of pace from your usual routine. So why not give it shot?

8. Rent Your Apt on Airbnb $924/mo
One of the most profitable and fastest ways to earn cash is renting out your space on Airbnb.

Airbnb earnings can range drastically, with some hosts making more than $10,000 per month, while others make less than $200. Still, even with the wild discrepancies, nearly 50 percent of all Airbnb hosts make more than $500 per month.

On average Airbnb hosts make $924 a month.

References and further reading:

BankRate study
Business of Apps
Travel and Leisure

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