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When money is tight, a little bit of extra cash can go a long way. But if you’re already working full-time or more, how are you supposed to earn extra money? That’s where a side hustle comes in. In today’s gig economy, there are a lot of opportunities to start a side project that actually makes money, without having to put up thousands to get started. Even a small side hustle from home can make a big difference in how much you can put in savings, towards paying off your debts, or to your daily wants and necessities. Wondering how to start a side hustle? These ideas will give you some inspiration.

1. Ridesharing

Driving for Lyft or Uber in your spare time is a great way to earn some extra cash on the side, especially if you have a flexible schedule. 

2. Caretaking

Use your free time to do some sitting—that is, babysitting, dog sitting, house sitting, or grandparent sitting. People will pay for a break from their caretaking responsibilities, especially while they’re at work or on vacation. Find work on or let your neighbors know you are looking to sit.

3. Freelancing

Did you know you can freelance basically any skill? The internet has several marketplaces where you can find clients who need your skills, whether it be writing, editing, graphic design, photography, transcription, photo editing, and more. List your services and find work on Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. If you aren’t sure what skills you can offer, look around these sites to get ideas. Invite a few people in your network to use your services to build up your reviews and portfolio.

4. Delivering Food

Another gig economy favorite is delivering food and groceries. There are a number of services where you can sign up to pick up and deliver someone’s takeout or grocery order. Try DoorDash, Uber Eats, Instacart, and Shipt

5. Teaching 

If you’re wondering how to start a side hustle, consider your talents and passion. If you’ve mastered a skill, share it with others, and earn some cash along the way. You could teach lessons on cooking, playing the drums, building a website, sewing, and more. Teach in person or, even better, create an online course that can reach a wider audience.

6. Teaching English

Like the idea of teaching but aren’t sure what to teach? If you’re a native English speaker, try teaching English to students abroad over the internet. You can sign up with VIPKID, DaDa, or QKids. Because of time zone differences, your teaching work can be done outside of regular working hours, making it a great complement to your day job.

7. Selling Photography 

Do you love photography and take great pictures? Try selling stock photography. All it takes is a good camera, basic skills, and access to Photoshop. Businesses, websites, and publications are always in need of high-quality and unique photos.

8. Writing a Blog

Write about your passions or use your blog to teach people a skill, such as container gardening or dog training. A good blog draws in readers and, once it has built a good audience base, can be monetized with affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and advertising. 

9. Testing Websites and Apps

Did you know you can get paid to give feedback to website and app developers? These developers need actual users to test their products, and they are willing to pay for it. There are no required upfront costs—you just need a phone or a computer. Sign up with UserTesting to get started.

10. Secret Shopping

Some businesses pay shoppers to drop in on their franchises to check on employee service. You can sign up to be one of these shoppers and get paid to go shopping! You may even be reimbursed for purchasing a product. Sign up to be a secret shopper with Bestmark, Sinclair, or Market Force.

Starting a side hustle doesn’t need to take cash you don’t have. If you pick the right gig, you can make some extra money alongside your day job with little to no investment. These ideas will go a long way if you’ve been looking to learn more about how to start a side hustle that will actually make you money.

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