You’ve probably heard a lot about side hustles or side gigs lately, as more and more people seem to have things they do in their spare hours to earn extra money. The rise of the gig economy means there are more options than ever before to find a side hustle job to supplement your income.
Side hustles that pay well can be a great way to put more money into savings, and can also be useful for helping to pay off things like student loans, making extra money to pay for a vacation or holiday gifts, or making payments on a new car.
Some side hustles pay daily, and some side hustles pay weekly, but a lot of them have a minimum amount you have to reach before you can actually cash out, so it’s important to pay attention to those restrictions. The best side hustles have a lot of flexibility, so that you can work more hours when you have more free time, and fewer hours when you’re busier with your primary job or other parts of your life. Most of the opportunities on this list are side hustles with no experience required, so you can choose whichever types interest you most.
There are a lot of different options when it comes to side hustle ideas; here are some of the best unique side hustles in several different categories, how much you can expect to make, and what you’ll need to get started.
How to search for side hustle opportunities
A great way to search for side hustle opportunities all in one place is the Earn & Save section in the Brigit app. (Most of the gigs in this article are available in the Brigit app, often with special incentives for Brigit users, so it’s best to sign up for them through the Brigit app!).
You can search Earn & Save for part-time or full-time gigs, by category. You can find work that’s based in the area where you live, or jobs that you can do from home. New listings are added all the time, so you can keep checking for new opportunities that match up with your preferences and schedule.
Driving Side Hustles
If you have a car and you don’t mind doing some driving in your spare time, there are a number of options for flexible work to consider.
Food delivery side gigs
Whether it’s groceries or restaurant meals, food delivery has become a popular choice for people who want to keep their side gig schedule flexible. When you sign up to be a delivery driver for meals or groceries with an app, you’ll be able to get incoming delivery requests near you whenever you’re available.
The amount of money you can make with food delivery varies based on which service(s) you work with. Each one tends to have a slightly different structure for paying their drivers.
The area where you deliver also affects rate of pay, as well as how many deliveries you’ll be able to make. The national average for a food delivery driver is $17.31 per hour.
Average potential earnings: $346.20 for 20 hours
- UberEats – With UberEats, you can set yourself as available any time you want to work, and you’ll receive orders to pick up from restaurants and deliver—assuming the app has enough orders coming in for your area. You’re paid for each delivery you make, and can often earn more via promotions and by meeting certain delivery goals. You keep 100% of your tips.
- DoorDash – Doordash works the same way as UberEats, and has the same general pay-per-delivery structure. The one major difference is that with DoorDash you can schedule your hours up to 7 days in advance. This is a nice advantage, because otherwise there’s no guarantee you’ll get work at your desired times (if there are enough drivers working to meet demand, you won’t have an option to set yourself as available in real time).
- Grubhub – As with UberEats and DoorDash, Grubhub pays you for each delivery, and you keep 100% of any tips you earn. And just like DoorDash, you can schedule your working hours in advance, booking blocks of time you’re available. Your access to scheduling blocks in advance, and how far ahead you can do it, depends on your Recognition program level; levels are based on things like ratings and the percentage of orders you accept or decline.
- Instacart – Unlike UberEats and DoorDash, Instacart is focused on grocery shopping and delivery. If you’re interested in going to the grocery store and picking up all the items on someone’s shopping list, then delivering the groceries to their doorstep, Instacart is the ideal option for you. You’re paid per delivery, and keep 100% of the tips you earn.
Rideshare driving side hustles
If you like driving and want to have some social interaction during your side hustle, you might enjoy working with a rideshare app like Uber or Lyft. When you’re transporting actual humans, instead of food, there are a few qualifications you and your car need to meet. You can find out more in our article.
The compensation structures of rideshare companies can be complex, as they often include special incentives for reaching certain goals (and these incentives change frequently). The area you live in and how busy it is, as well as the fluctuations of dynamic pricing, will impact how much you make, but the average U.S. rideshare driver makes about $15.50 per hour.
Average potential earnings: $310.00 for 20 hours
Package delivery side hustles
If you’re not interested in transporting people or food, delivering packages might be the perfect option for you. (They’re not chatty and they won’t make your car smell like a pizza parlor!)
Most package delivery services offer a lot of flexibility, because unlike meals (where most people are ordering around lunch or dinner time), packages can be delivered pretty much any time throughout the day.
Average potential earnings: $370.40 for 20 hours
Pet-related side hustles
If you’re an animal lover, a side hustle walking dogs or pet sitting could be the ideal gig for you!
With most dog walking apps, you can set up a calendar with dates and hours you’re available to walk dogs or stop in at clients’ homes to visit with or feed pets. If you’re available to stay at someone’s home or bring their pet to yours, there are also opportunities to pet sit for extended periods of time.
If you can be available for a set schedule, you might even be able to build a steady client base, walking or caring for the same pets daily or several times a week. The hourly rate you set is up to you with most apps, but a lower rate will likely mean more client opportunities. The national average rate for a dog walker is $16.50 per hour.
Average potential earnings: $330.00 for 20 hours
Dog walking side hustles
Dog walking can be a great opportunity to take relaxing walks and enjoy canine companionship in your spare time. Some of the top apps for dog walking (and beyond) gigs are:
- Wag!: Wag! is one of the most established dog walking apps, so it likely has a lot of dog walking opportunities in your area. (You can also provide boarding or training, if you have the right setup or experience to offer either of those services.)
- Rover: Rover, like Wag!, is a very established dog walking app. And similarly, you can offer dog walking, pet sitting, or boarding. It’s different from Wag! in that it doesn’t offer dog training, but it does allow you to offer doggie daycare services, if you’re interested in opening your home up to multiple dogs during the day.
- Fetch!: Fetch! is one more dog walking app that also allows you to provide various other services. Like Wag! and Rover, it allows you to offer dog walking, pet sitting, or drop-in visits. It also gives you the opportunity to drop in and administer pet medications for pets who might need that while their owners are away.
Pet or house-sitting side hustles
If you’re available to look in on and feed people’s pets while they’re gone, or even stay at their home for days at a time, there are a lot of opportunities to earn money pet sitting (and house sitting). The above dog walking apps offer pet sitting too, but here are three whose primary focus is on pet sitting rather than walking:
- Meowtel: If you’re allergic to dogs, or simply more of a cat person, Meowtel is your app! You can choose to do drop-in visits or actually stay in the cat owner’s home to take care of their feline friend while they’re away.
- PetBacker: If you’re interested in offering services beyond just dog walking or pet sitting, PetBacker also has opportunities to serve as a ‘pet taxi’ transporting pets, and also provide pet grooming.
- Care.com: As the name suggests, Care.com is focused on providing care for various living things: pets, children, and seniors (as well as tutoring and housekeeping, if those options interest you!).
Online side hustles
Professional or handyman services:
With online marketplaces, you can essentially create your own gigs, based on skills you have and things you enjoy doing. You can list your services on your profile, and can also search for gigs and apply to them.
The average hourly rate for a freelancer in the US ranges from $20-28 (the higher end of the range is typically projects in specialized areas like accounting, web/mobile development, or legal work.
Average potential earnings: $400-560 for 20 hrs
- Fiverr: Fiverr is a great place to find opportunities for small projects in a number of categories: graphic design, writing, video editing, and data entry are just a few of the services you can offer.
- Upwork: Upwork is similar to Fiverr, but it focuses more on larger, more complex projects that are often ongoing. Some of the services you can offer on Upwork are virtual assistant, customer service, design, and social media account management.
- TaskRabbit: TaskRabbit is not strictly online; it’s web and app-based, so you can list your services and find business online, but most of the tasks are in person. They’re generally handyman-type jobs—some of the tasks you can offer are things like helping clients organize, move house, repair things, or a number of other projects like assembling furniture or planting a garden.
Online surveys are another way to make money wherever you are, and at basically any time that works for you.
There are several sites where you get paid to provide your thoughts and opinions, with surveys that might be very short and take just a few minutes, or longer—taking 20 to 30 minutes or more. The longer ones, of course, tend to pay more.
The average range of earnings per survey is .50 to $5.00. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of surveys available to each user, and there will likely not be enough surveys to fill all of the time you have available for side hustle work. Because of this limited availability, a realistic estimate of what you can earn is about $2.50 per hour.
Average potential earnings: $50 per 20 hours
- Survey Junkie: Once you sign up with Survey Junkie (and provide some basic information about the type of work you do, your interests, and age, etc) you’ll be eligible to complete surveys for points, which can then be redeemed for cash or other rewards.
- Branded Surveys: Branded Surveys works very similarly to Survey Junkie. As with Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys has a limited amount of surveys available, so the same limited earning potential applies, but it does generally have more surveys available than Survey Junkie. Responding quickly when new surveys are made available is the key to maximizing the number of surveys you can take, and earning as much as possible.
- Swagbucks: Swagbucks is very similar to Survey Junkie and Branded Surveys. The main difference is that its minimum payout amount is lower—you can cash out once you earn $1, as opposed to a $5 minimum for the other two—so you can access your earnings faster.
Swagbucks also provides a $10 bonus just for signing up and completing your profile, which is a compelling reason to at least check it out!
- Inbox dollars: Also similar to the above is Inbox Dollars, though in addition to taking surveys you can also get paid for playing online games and trying new apps, as well as earn cash back on purchases through discounts and promotions.
App or site testing
Another way to earn money online is becoming an app or site tester. Some of the tests can pay well, but the limited availability of tests means you often won’t be able to fill all of your spare time with work. The best strategy here is to join multiple sites and check them frequently, so you can participate in as many opportunities as possible. Considering the average of $10 per 20-minute test, the theoretical earnings per hour could be $30… but the availability of tests means that you’ll likely only get access to one to three per week. Being an active user of several testing services can help you take more tests, but it’s still hard to calculate with any consistency what you might be able to earn, hourly or per 20 hours.
Average potential earnings: $75-125 per week.
- UserTesting: When you join UserTesting, you can earn money for testing apps and games. On the surface it pays very well—averaging about $10 for a 20-minute test. But the availability of tests is generally pretty limited, so you can’t expect to have tests available to you every hour or even every day.
- Scrambly: With Scrambly, you can earn money by taking surveys, playing games, or trying (and reviewing) new products and services. If you’re into gaming, this might be a particularly good fit for you, as you usually need to reach a certain level in a game in order to earn money, which can be time-consuming.
- testerup: There seem to be mixed reviews of testerup,mostly due to some lofty claims it makes regarding what you can earn for testing games, apps, and products. Their site says ‘up to $120 per test offer’ which may be possible in some isolated cases, but is far from the norm. At $70, testerup also has a much higher minimum payout than UserTesting or Scrambly, so you’ll need to accumulate a lot of earnings before you can actually cash out.
What’s the best side hustle for you?
There are clearly a lot of options when it comes to side hustles for making money in your spare time. The best approach is definitely to sign up for multiple apps and services, so you can maximize your opportunities and take advantage of multiple paying gigs. Check out Brigit’s Earn & Save to start earning today!