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Have you ever dreamed of ditching the 9-5 grind and finding a more flexible way to earn a living? You’re not alone.
A growing number of people are supplementing or replacing their traditional income with entrepreneurial side hustles.
While the rewards of independence are certainly appealing, pursuing an alternate career path can seem daunting without a concrete plan.
Today, I will share 21 unique side business ideas that could become your ticket to financial freedom.
From selling crafts online to offering private tutoring lessons, these profitable ventures all require minimal startup costs and can be launched around your existing schedule.
So if you’re ready to trade in the daily commute for a more self-determined lifestyle, keep reading to discover several opportunities that may be a fit for your skills and interests.
Table of Contents
#1. Narrate Audio Books
If you have a distinct voice, you could make serious cash as a voice over artist.
The simplest path is with audiobooks.
Virtually all books that come out now have an audio version because people love to listen on the go.
But it doesn’t end there.
You could voice commercials, animated movies and shows, and more.
#2. Adjunct Professor
Teaching a class at college or a community college as an adjunct professor is a great idea.
You only work a couple nights a week for a semester a year.
While the pay might not be the best, it’s a perfect gig for those looking to wind down their career or retirees looking for some extra income.
#3. Doing Tax Prep
Tax season comes every season, and those who understand taxes and have a financial background can easily make money off it.
One person who’s a CPA recommends doing tax prep as they make around $30/hour doing it and only work about 6-10 hours a week around tax time.
This helps them put a couple of grand in their pocket and helps them avoid getting paid less to do the same thing at local tax companies.
#4. Writing Fiction Novels
Creative side hustles are among the best for those looking for something stimulating outside their 9-to-5.
One woman discusses how she’s managed to publish a couple of books on the Amazon Kindle store, with one that’s the least successful, only selling 17 copies over two years, and one that’s the most successful, managing to bring in around $1,000 a month.
Even better, an audiobook publisher published one of her books directly.
If you have plenty of stories you’re itching to tell, you can turn those stories into a passive income opportunity.
#5. Interior Painting
Many jobs related to renovating or improving the home pay well.
One side hustle that some have suggested is interior painting.
Interior painting jobs generally net you around $2,000 per gig, but it depends entirely on the scope of the job as well as what kind of services you provide.
If you’re savvy, do a stellar job every time (outperforming your competition), and can manage to pitch yourself to surrounding homeowners who need their walls done or repainted, you might be able to earn a good amount of money on the side!
#6. Playing Video Games
It was a dream of many young boys.
They would think, “if only there was a way to get paid to play video games.”
Well that dream has come true.
Many people record themselves playing video games and have people pay to watch.
In some cases, you can create special equipment for your characters and sell them to other gamers.
#7. Teaching English Online
Where there’s education, there’s an opportunity to tutor.
One person describes how they use platforms like VIPKid to teach kids in China how to speak English for $20 an hour.
However, there are some things that people need to be wary of.
First, you will need a Bachelor’s degree to use the platform. This is relatively standard for most tutoring platforms, although you’ll be able to find some platforms that don’t require you to have a degree at all.
There’s also the fact that most tutors will keep odd hours if they’re tutoring outside of the country.
But if you’re OK with all this, many are happy with this great side hustle idea.
You may consider expanding and looking for other ways to tutor if you have experience in different subjects!
Blogging is arguably one of the first side hustles that came after the advent of the internet.
If there’s something people want to learn more about, they’re going to jump online to find it.
As a blogger, you can then write pieces that attract readers and make money through affiliate marketing (posting a link on your website and earning a portion of the sale), PPC ads (through programs like Google AdSense), or even by selling your own products like e-books.
Just keep in mind that blogging is a little bit harder than other side hustles.
It takes time to get your blog set up and ranking, so there will be some upfront investment on your end.
#9. Renting Out Your Home During Special Events
If you live near or in the city, chances are that there are always big events near you.
Those that draw in huge crowds often bring in people from outside the state alongside people who already live nearby.
These people sometimes have trouble booking accommodations for these events, which is where an opportunity for you arises.
If you have an available property that you can rent out, timing it around these events can be a great way to bring in some extra cash.
When hotels and other places inevitably run out of space, your property will show up on the radar of those who want to be nearby, and you can get to earn the profits instead of those places they would usually go to that are now fully booked.
For example, a few years ago, the Pope visited our city. We had friends rent out their townhouse for a few thousand dollars.
Our friends spent the weekend at our house, happy not only to make easy money but also to avoid the traffic and busyness of the city.
#10. Picking Up Orders With Amazon Flex
Do you have a car? Do you have a phone? If so, you have everything you need to join Amazon Flex.
Amazon Flex is a platform where independent contractors can sign up to deliver Amazon packages without being official employees.
This means they have greater flexibility over when and how they deliver packages.
One person who lives in the Denver area discusses how, after depreciation, gas, and maintenance costs, they managed to bring in $30 an hour.
Remember that they live closer to the city, which naturally tends to bring in more money with these kinds of opportunities than if you live in rural areas.
#11. Posting on YouTube/Streaming
Monetizing media is an excellent opportunity for creative types to bring in some additional income, and one side hustle that leverages this is posting videos on YouTube or streaming.
For those who don’t know, YouTube is a video platform that houses a wide range of content creators focused on education, entertainment, and beyond.
You can monetize these videos by getting sponsors and inserting ads to make money off of ad revenue.
One man describes how he brings in about 1,000 views per video, earns a nice little income, and has gotten some opportunities from those reaching out because of his work.
Of course, if you’re strictly into something like gaming, another standard recommendation is streaming.
With streaming, you live stream an activity (generally gaming), and people pay you through subscriptions.
Get popular enough, and you can gain a large following willing to watch you do whatever!
#12. Casual Nursing
What’s causal nursing?
A lot of people talk about their main job being nursing, which requires you to work long hours.
But there are actually some people in the medical field who will essentially be a nurse on the side.
By doing this, they can avoid making it a full-time job and instead pick up shifts whenever they feel like it.
Besides the extra money, this helps some avoid dealing with extra stress.
All that being said, most people who do take on this side hustle are nurses in their day job, then take on other nursing shifts for the extra cash.
#13. UberEats/Instacart/(Insert Gig Economy Delivery App Here)
Gig economy apps are still going strong. Whether people can’t get their own groceries or food or want the convenience of getting it delivered to their homes, they’re willing to pay.
Whether it’s UberEats, Instacart, DoorDash, or something else, people can make a decent amount hourly or per order to generate extra income when they have free time.
Remember that earnings will vary greatly depending on where you live and what orders are available near you.
#14. Housesitting/Pet Sitting
Summer months are vacation time for some but side hustle time for others.
Even though it might not pay as much in some scenarios, one person describes how they bring in an extra $100 per week housesitting and pet sitting for friends and family who go on vacation during the summer months.
Because they live alone, all they have to do is pack a bag, head over to the house, and stay there until it is time to collect.
It’s a very easy side hustle and great if you can continuously find opportunities!
#15. Refereeing Soccer Games
If you have a love for soccer and extra time on your hands during the weekends, one side hustle that might be perfect for you is refereeing soccer games.
Those who earn extra money describe that the process is simple.
After taking a few online lessons and attending a six-hour class, you can begin refereeing recreational games, which can net you around $25 to $35 an hour.
You can do professional games, but these generally pay the same amount and require much more preparation on your part.
#16. Fixing and Selling Used Lawn Equipment
Are you handy? Do you have technical know-how surrounding specific products like lawn equipment?
If so, this side hustle idea might be for you.
One person describes how most fuel destroys lawnmowers when they sit there for long periods.
They then scoop them out of the trash when people inevitably throw them away, fix them up, and flip them for a profit.
They also fix up a wide range of lawn equipment and offer blade sharpening services to make extra cash.
If you know how to fix things and spot stuff that people will use, innovative flipping like this will surely be a good side hustle for you.
A flexible side job that allows you to make money on your own terms is still a side hustle.
One popular idea is becoming a waiter/waitress on the weekends.
If you work in a popular place at the right time, you can make around $100-$200 in tips per day on top of the hourly wage for your hard work.
Granted, sometimes it will be slower and prevent you from hitting your income goals.
However, if you’re bringing in $200-$400 every weekend just by waiting tables, that’s not a bad way to make money under the table.
#18. Freelance Video Game Programming
Being good with tech comes with its perks, especially if you know how to program.
One person took their knowledge of Unity C# to start working on testing and improving video games on the side.
While they describe it as more of monetizing a hobby rather than a side hustle, they are still able to bring in a few thousand a year doing this kind of work.
If you ramped it up and connected with the right indie developers needing some outside help, you might be able to make even more doing the exact same thing.
If you have a lot of experience in a certain field, you could turn that into a money making machine.
Offer to consult with other businesses to help them grow or figure out a tough situation they are in.
Consulting pays good money and you the only work you are doing is offering ideas and strategies.
#20. Refurbish Electronics
If you know your way around some basic electronics, this is a great side hustle to get into.
All you need to do is find an old piece of broken technology (computers, phones, and TVs are especially popular) for cheap and then fix it up before reselling it online.
This can be done through sites like eBay or Etsy if you want to get creative and craft unique items or simply through your own online store.
#21. Become an Airbnb Host
If you have some extra space in your home, you can rent it out on Airbnb for a profit.
All you need is a place to stay (be it an extra bedroom, living room, or whole house) and then offer it up to people looking for a place to stay in your area.
You can also use Airbnb as an extra source of income by renting out other items like bikes, kayaks, and even lawn furniture.
Make Money While You Sleep
Yes, you can make money while you sleep. There are a handful of jobs out there that will earn you an income even after you stop working for the day.
The trick is finding the right one for you.
Make Money With Your Body
Did you know you can make money with your body? While there are ways to earn an income doing things that you might consider objectionable, there are many other options out there that are quite normal.
Take for example selling blood plasma or taking part in research studies.
If you want to know how to make money using your body (and put forth very little effort in the process) you need to check out this article.
Sell Feet Pictures For Serious Cash
Selling pictures of your feet can be a significant income stream. Some people report earning six figures a year doing this easy job.
All you need is a camera and two feet and you are in business. Here is all you need to know to make life changing wealth selling images of your feet.
Legit Ways To Make $1,000 Fast
Are you in need of cash fast? There are many things you can do, but a lot of the ideas out there only allow for a limited income.
Here are over 25 great ways to make up to $1,000 in a short amount of time.
I Need Money Now
Do you every say to yourself, ‘I need money now?’
Whether it is for bills or unexpected expenses, here is how to get cash fast.
In many cases, you can have cash in your hands the same day.
This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.