You work hard every day, but it's not enough. You've got rent, bills, groceries, debt payments, and getting around town isn't free either. How do you keep up?
If you only had a side hustle that could cover your rent, not only could you keep up, you might get ahead.
Here are 26 side hustles that can pay the rent.
1. Drive For Uber and Lyft
A few years ago, I was unemployed, and driving Uber was my go-to side hustle. I had a great time doing it. If I hadn't traded my 4 door Kia in for a 2 door sports car, I'd probably still do it from time to time.
If you own a relatively new vehicle, you can make $20 – $100 per weekday driving part-time and $200 or more per weekend day depending on where you live.
Leasing a vehicle is also an option, although the per/mile cost might not make financial sense depending on how many hours you work per month. For full-time drivers, leasing is a good option.
You must be at least 21 years old to be a rideshare driver in most regions, but it can vary by state/city. You'll also need a clean driving record and pass a criminal background check.
You can maximize your earnings and minimize your downtime by driving for both Uber and Lyft, as well as Uber Eats and even DoorDash during slower times.
Starting Budget Estimate: $200 – $600 depending on local regulations and costs for rideshare insurance, licensing, background checks, vehicle inspection, and repairs.
Earning Potential: $20 – $100 per week-day (part-time) and $200+ per weekend day.
2. Personal Training
As a personal trainer, you work with individuals and create personalized workouts and nutrition plans. It can be a rewarding gig helping other people improve their lives and reach their goals.
Personal trainers are in high demand, but it's not something you can jump straight into.
Of course, you should have some experience and an interest in exercise and nutrition yourself. You'll also need a high school diploma or GED, and a degree in exercise science or sports management is preferable (but not necessarily required).
Personal trainers should also have CPR and AED certifications.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average full-time salary is currently $40,510/yr ($19.48/hour), so although it's not the highest paying gig, you should earn enough to cover your rent as a part-time personal trainer.
Starting Budget Estimate: $600 – $2000 for certifications and training.
Resources: Certifications are available from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Income Potential: $15 – $20 per hour.
3. Social Media Manager
A social media manager manages and monitors the social media strategy for large companies, small businesses, professionals, and individuals with home businesses such as bloggers and marketers.
They set up profiles and handle graphic design, copywriting, photos, video editing, etc., for social media accounts.
Responsibilities vary by client but can also include:
- Creating content calendars and schedules.
- Replying to comments and private messages.
- Creating marketing campaigns.
- Doing outreach to other influencers in related industries.
Many social media managers start their own digital marketing agencies.
A bachelor's degree in internet marketing, journalism, or related field is often required for full-time corporate social media managers.
However, you do not need specific qualifications or certifications for small businesses, professionals, and home-based businesses.
You might have one client who needs experience on specific platforms (Pinterest, for example) and a proven track record of channel growth in engagement and followers. While another client might only require you to set up their profiles.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $100 depending on how your market your services. That doesn't include the cost of optional courses you can take.
Resources: Become a Freelance Social Media Manager
Income Potential: Varies widely based on project size, complexity, and objective. Standard pay rates range between $14 – $18 per hour. However, monthly rates for clients can be $50/month for basic service to multiple thousands per month for skilled managers capable of growing channels and driving traffic.
4. Give Music or Language Lessons
Private music and language teachers and tutors are always in demand. If you enjoy working with people and have a passion for music or language, teaching is a great way to earn extra income.
You can start by offering lessons at your local community center, church, school, or even online through platforms like Preply.
Another option is to start a private lesson service where parents and students can book lessons directly from home.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy, nor do you have to follow a single plan. For example, you can teach distant students online via Skype and Zoom and local students in-home. Either their home or yours.
Of course, the assumption here is that you have the necessary qualifications and instruments.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $500 depending on whether training materials are required, your workspace needs small renovations, furnishing, etc.
Income Potential: Private music and language teachers generally charge between $20 – $50 per hour.
5. Deliver Pizza
Delivering pizza is one of the most overlooked and underrated side hustles, in my opinion. I did it many years ago when my wife and I had a minor financial emergency, even though we both had good-paying jobs at the time.
It turned out to be a good gig. I enjoyed it and kept doing it long after our need for money had passed.
The key is driving for the right restaurant. Rather than a discount pizzeria that's open all night, I set my sights on the most expensive pizzeria that was also a sit-in restaurant. Even better, they shut down at 11 pm and did not do deals or specials.
That's an entirely different experience than delivering a trunkload of Chappie's Cheap 3-for-1 to a houseful of drunk kids at two in the morning.
I was in different neighborhoods earning $20 – $40 per hour just in tips and in bed by 11:30. In fact, if you could take the pizza out of the delivery… I was really just driving around picking up cash. Not a bad gig at all.
I originally planned to do it for just a few weeks, but I became friends with everyone there. So after a day of sales (my real job at the time), I looked forward to going in for a few hours, hanging out, and driving around.
The other benefit of this side hustle is that you don't need any skills or qualifications. All I did was stop in after work one day and ask if they needed a driver. Two days later, I was putting cash in my pocket.
So I'm all about the pizza delivery side hustle.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 if you have a car.
Resources: Resume and cover letter service (although you may not need one for locally-owned restaurants if you just stop in and talk to them).
Income Potential: $80 – $150+ per night depending on who you drive for and the clientele.
6. Personal Assistant
Personal assistants help their clients with day-to-day tasks, such as grocery shopping, making appointments, and taking care of errands. They are often employed by people unable to perform these tasks themselves, like the elderly, for example. Some work for high-net-worth individuals.
The skills required to be a personal assistant vary by client, but in general, soft skills such as communication, accountability, patience, and discretion are vitally important.
It's also good to understand things like smart homes and apps, calendar management for personal and professional activities, etc.
In some cases, you may need a bachelor's degree.
An excellent way to get started as a household personal assistant is through local staffing agencies and websites. Word of mouth and networking can also be effective strategies. Start out with simple tasks, such as shopping or laundry, and gradually offer additional services where you see a need arise.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $500 (you may need an initial budget for running errands prior to your client reimbursing you).
Income Potential: $10 – $40 per hour.
7. Walk Dogs
If you find dogs easier to get along with than coworkers and bosses, walking dogs might be the great escape from the average 9 – 5 you've been looking for.
Getting paid for it is the cherry on top.
There are many different ways to start a dog walking business. Starting small with your neighbor's dog or a few neighbor's dogs is recommended. Then, gradually grow your client list until you've built a side hustle that covers your rent.
Pet sitter and dog walker website Rover is another way to get started.
Or, you can invest heavily in a dog walking business that includes grooming and doggie daycare services.
Keep in mind that walking your neighbor's dog in the evenings is different from running a full-service dog walking business. As a business, you'll need dog walker insurance (yes, that's a thing). You might also need a van when walking multiple dogs so you can transport your furry friends from home to the dog park and back.
There are other benefits to walking dogs. It's great for social interactions with other people and their pets, exploring new parks and neighborhoods, getting exercise, and spending time with animals which is good for stress.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0
Income Potential: According to Salary.com, the average hourly wage for a dog walker is $15/hour. Those with proper insurance and the ability to walk as many as four dogs at a time can earn significantly more.
8. Babysitting and Daycare
More movies have been made about this side hustle than any other. Unfortunately, most have been horror movies, but we have the 80's epic Adventures in Babysitting and who can forget Daddy Daycare?
And, odds are you've either babysat someone before or has someone babysit you.
So, babysitting is an underrated side hustle. It teaches you valuable skills, such as patience and taking care of children. Spending time as a babysitter never goes to waste. You learn transferable skills and know-how that will follow you throughout life.
Getting started as a babysitter is easy enough if you know someone with kids aged 2 – 12(ish) who won't mind having you watch over them.
Instill confidence by taking a babysitter course, as my daughter did. Parents need to know their children are safe and that you can also bring some fun and excitement into their home.
If you're only babysitting part-time, it'll be hard to make $3000+ per month, but the next step from babysitting is home daycare.
Babysitting and daycare are both in big demand, and as a parent, it's not easy to find someone you can trust. Prove yourself once, and you'll likely get a callback. In fact, my daughter's biggest challenge once she started babysitting was keeping up with all the jobs she was being offered.
You should also take CPR and First Aid training in addition to a babysitting course (they may also be included with the course).
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $100 (depending on whether you take babysitting and/or life-saving courses).
Income Potential: $15 – $20 per hour.
9. Clean Houses
Another excellent side hustle is cleaning houses and apartments. Start by advertising on Craigslist for homes in your area to clean.
A friend of mine started out this way, and his side hustle is now a full-time business with several staff members and commercial contracts.
This is a “quick win” side hustle as well. You can start advertising today and knocking on doors, and it won't take long to line up your first few jobs and get paid. You could have money in your pocket by the end of the week… especially if you're looking for work near the end of the month.
The last time we moved, which wasn't long ago, we realized we needed help with the cleaning in the final week, but there wasn't a cleaner in the city available. So we had no choice but to clean ourselves.
I would have gladly overpaid if I could have found someone.
You'll need supplies to start, but you can keep your costs down by using what the client has available if your funds are low. Especially if they're moving to a new city, moving companies won't allow them to take chemical cleaners in the truck anyway.
You can also start by offering your cleaning services to friends and family. However, it could be awkward if you have particularly dirty friends and family. Tidying up a mess is one thing. Dealing with your friend's grime and filth is another.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $100
Resources: The Janitorial Entrepreneur
Income Potential: $40 – $65 per hour.
10. Car Washing and Detailing
Believe it or not, car wash and detailing is a 13 billion dollar industry in the US, and you can cash in on a small piece of it with a bucket and a sponge. A tiny piece, but a piece nonetheless.
Car detailing can be done at your client's home or workplace with some basic tools and supplies. And, like most side hustles, word of mouth goes a long way.
It's not for everyone, of course. I love my cars, and I don't mind giving them a basic wash, but I hate detailing them. And that's why car washing and detailing is such a massive industry.
People love their cars, but like me, they hate twisting themselves into pretzels to get at the nooks at crannies with a Q-tip. They'd rather be driving them instead.
Opportunites are born out of tasks people don't like doing.
Start small at first by posting your services online. You can also negotiate with self-serve car washes around town to see if they'll recommend your services. Uber and Lyft drivers are also a great source of business and referrals.
The equipment and supplies you'll need to start are buckets, towels, sponges, brushes, rubber gloves, vacuum cleaner, paper floor mats, spray bottles, cleaning, etc.
Starting Budget Estimate: $100 – $300
Resources: How To Start a Car Detailing Business
Income Potential: $75 – $150 per vehicle.
11. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is one of the most popular ways people are making money online today. You don't need any special training or qualifications to start earning from home. All you need is an internet connection and some basic computer skills.
You can write about anything for anyone. However, if you're an expert in a specific area like finance, for example, you can earn more writing about that topic.
Freelance writers write about common topics: pets, hobbies, sports, cars, technology, travel, health, fitness, food, fashion, beauty, DIY projects, etc.
As a content publisher, I can tell you it's hard to find good writers. So, if you're a half-decent writer, your clients will fight to hang onto you, or they'll recommend you to others.
While most freelancers write for the web, there are also sales and collection copywriters, technical writers, book ghostwriters, business writers, and so on…
There are a variety of ways to get started. You can advertise your services on sites like Upwork and ProBlogger, or you can apply at agencies such as Writer Access. Writers can often work in blogger Facegroup groups as well.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0
Resources: Freelance Writing Jobs For Beginners
Income Potential: $20 – $200 per 1000 words (depending on skill and experience).
12. Become a Virtual Assistant
If writing is not your thing, you can still offer freelance services as a virtual assistant.
A virtual assistant helps with online research, data entry, calendar management, image and article formatting, bookkeeping, administrative tasks, etc. If you are good at those skills, being a VA would be a great gig for you.
You can do it from home, and you don't need a big budget to start. A computer, internet connection, and a distraction-free workspace.
A good way to start as a Virtual Assistant is to advertise your services on Upwork and Fiverr. There are also inexpensive courses on Udemy that will help ease you into this side hustle if you don't have experience.
You can take a course like 10K VA, which walks you through the entire process.
There are no standard pay rates, but a good VA can earn $20 – $30/hour depending on your experience level and the tasks you're performing.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $500 (depending on experience and education requirements).
Income Potential: $20 – $30 per hour.
13. Write Resumes and Cover Letters
If you've ever applied for a job before, you know what a pain writing resumes and cover letters can be. You're not the only one, which is why it's a good side hustle.
Because resume and cover letter writing services are in demand.
Before you start, though, it's a good idea to learn how to write them yourself (if you don't know how already). A good place to learn is Udemy. They offer several courses in everything from basic resume formatting to advanced topics like interviewing skills and creating LinkedIn profiles.
When you're confident you can offer your skills to others, start small by advertising your resume writing service online. From there, you can expand into coaching people through the application process as well as helping them create great resumes and cover letters.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $100 (depending on experience and education requirements).
Income Potential: Professional resume writers can charge between $100 – $400, but the average rate on freelance platforms starts at $50.
14. Wedding and Family Photography
If you have a passion for photography and enjoy being around people, then this is the side hustle for you.
A good wedding photographer can charge between $1500 – $3500 per wedding, so one or two weddings a month would cover most people's rent.
Of course, you won't be able to charge that much at first. You'll need some decent equipment to start out, but nothing crazy. A used DLSR Camera, some lenses, and a bag will get you going. You'll also need an eye for composition.
Free photoshoots are the best way to get experience, generate some word-of-mouth buzz, and build your portfolio. Then, as your business grows, you can adjust your pricing accordingly and invest in better equipment, an assistant, etc.
When there are no weddings or events like birthdays, you can book jobs like family portraits and newborn shoots.
Photography is a diverse business. People hire photographers for their pets, real estate, graduations, family reunions, corporate parties, and events, etc. So, when choosing a name for your business, don't pick one that locks you into any one category.
Starting Budget Estimate: $500 – $1000
Resources: Photography Masterclass
Income Potential: It varies. Professional wedding photographers can charge between $1500 to $3500 per wedding and $145 – $650 for a family and/or baby shoot. Maternity photography ranges from $350 – $1500.
15. Buy and Sell Locally and Online
One of the quickest ways to make money is to buy and sell stuff locally and online. The best place to start is your home. Sell things you no longer need and use the proceeds to buy more stuff that you can flip for a profit. Rinse and repeat.
Find deals at your local flea market, garage sales, thrift stores, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, department store clearance sales, etc.
If you have a particular interest in one area, specialize in it. You may be into comic books or antique furniture, for example. And if you're crafty or skilled in something like woodworking, you can make stuff to sell.
Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are our go-to platforms for selling.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 (if you can sell something you already own).
Income Potential: $1 – $10,000+ (depending on what you sell).
16. Freelance Proofreading
Proofreading is a great side gig for those with an eye for detail. Proofreaders read over documents, articles, blog posts, corporate letters, emails, etc., and mainly correct spelling and grammar.
In some cases, they'll also be asked to check for punctuation errors, missing pages, incorrect citations, basic formatting issues, and plagiarism.
Proofreading gigs can be found on freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr. Create your profile and browse through listings to look for available projects.
There are also courses like Proofread Anywhere that teach you how to start your own proofreading business from home and find clients.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $600 (if you take courses to get started).
Resources: Proofread Anywhere Course
Income Potential: $20 – $100+ per project.
17. Freelance Editing
Although “proofreading” and “editing” are often used interchangeably, they are not the same.
An editor's job requires a deeper understanding of content production and written communication. In most cases, they earn more than proofreaders because there's more complexity to what they do, and their skills are in higher demand.
In addition to checking facts, an editor might restructure or delete entire paragraphs, modify the context of an article, and make sure it stays on topic. They are often referred to as the gatekeepers between the author and the reader.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $1000+ (depending on experience and education requirements).
Resources: Coursera offers several writing and edition courses.
Income Potential: $40 – $60/hr or $0.015 to $0.03 per word average according to Reedsy, depending on experience and category.
18. Transcribe Audio and Video
A transcriptionist listens to audio and video files, converting the content into text. Some companies and organizations keep it in-house, but most outsource it to freelancers (or companies who hire freelancers such as GoTranscript and TranscribeMe).
Transcriptionists are often hired as part of a team, working on different sections within projects. Editors then take the transcribed audio files and assemble them into a single document.
Working for an online transcription company is the quickest way to get started, but their pay rates are often low. However, courses like Transcribe Anywhere teach transcription and how to build your own transcription company and get your own clients (which pays considerably more).
Typing speed and accuracy are important factors for this type of work. The more experience you have with editing and proofreading your own writing, the better you will be at transcribing. A background in specialized fields like medical or legal will also be an advantage when applying for medical or legal transcription work.
Some gigs are beginner-friendly, but higher-paying companies generally look for transcribers with experience.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $700 (depending on experience and education requirements).
Resources: Transcribe Anywhere
Income Potential: $15 – $30/hr depending on experience, category, and whether you work for a transcription company or your own clients.
19. Freelance Consulting
Two of your most valuable assets are your knowledge and experience. You can get paid to share both as a consultant.
A consultant's role is to help people solve problems by providing guidance in areas lacking expertise. The best way to start is to find clients such as small businesses and professionals who have needs similar to what you can offer.
For example, a small business that cannot afford its own HR department might benefit from hiring a human resource consultant. Rather than paying for a full-time employee, they can hire someone for a few hours per month just to provide the guidance they need.
Or they may hire a cyber security consultant to protect and monitor their network.
As an informal consultant (meaning you are not certified in any particular area), you can't give legal or financial advice. However, you can save your clients time and money by assembling the resources and professionals in those areas who can help.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $150+ (depending on experience and education requirements).
Resources: How To Start a Consulting Business
Income Potential: $45 – $150/hour (depending on the service you provide).
20. Freelance Bookkeeping
One of our friends successfully started a bookkeeping side hustle which has now grown into a proper business. She currently works from home full-time.
So, bookkeeping is a great gig that has the potential to one day replace your job income.
It's a skilled side hustle and will require some experience and/or education. Some of the daily tasks bookkeepers are responsible for include, keeping accurate records, processing invoices, preparing reports, paying bills, creating budgets, etc.
A bookkeeper can charge anywhere from $20 – $50 an hour, depending on experience and location.
The best way to find freelance work is through word of mouth. Ask around at local businesses to see if they need someone to do their books. Home-based businesses are another great place to look.
I can tell you from experience, this is one area most home business owners could use help.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $500 (depending on experience and education requirements).
Resources: Bookkeeping Basics
Income Potential: $20 – $50 per hour.
21. Junk Removal
A junk removal business is another great side hustle. Like other gigs, you can start by offering your services on Craigslist and putting out the word among family and friends.
If you don't own a truck or a van, you can start by renting one.
Junk removal is a people business, and like any other service industry, it has its upsides and downsides. The biggest downside is that it's a physical job that often requires heavy lifting and getting dirty.
A big positive though, is that you're not only getting paid for the removal. There will also be times you're hauling away items that still have value and can be sold.
Starting Budget Estimate: $50 – $250 (fuel, truck rental if required, etc.)
Resources: How To Start a Junk Removal Business
Income Potential: $125 – $500 gross revenue per truck load.
22. Build Websites for Small Businesses and Professionals
With the online tools and resources available today, building websites is more accessible than you might expect. And, there are small businesses and professionals in every industry who would rather pay someone else to do it.
Web designers can charge anywhere from $500 – $2500 per build, depending on the size and complexity of the site. Two or three builds per month may be enough to pay your rent, not to mention monthly fees for updating and maintaining your client's websites.
Learning how to build a website is a great place to start.
Next, offer to build a free website for local clients in exchange for a “flexible” deadline. Let them know you're just starting out and need the practice. This gives you time to build your portfolio and if you do a good job, earn some word of mouth exposure.
As you gain experience and get better at your craft, you can start charging industry-standard rates.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $100 (depending on experience and education requirements).
Resources: How To Build a Website
Income Potential: $500 – $2500 per project (plus a small monthly maintenance fee).
23. House Painting
If computers are not your thing and you'd rather get your hands dirty, a painting business is a great way to make money. Unlike other trades, there are no certifications required, so the barriers to entry are low. And, if you live where other people live (which I assume you do), there is usually plenty of work.
Many different types of painters specialize in residential interior/exterior house painting, commercial building maintenance, new construction, etc.
YouTube is an excellent resource for tips and advice, and you can start with your own house for practice. If after that you're still not confident enough to advertise your service, offer to paint a friend's house for just the cost of materials.
This is a great weekend gig with an hourly pay rate between $20 – $50. In some instances, you may earn more if light repairs are needed.
Starting Budget Estimate: $100 – $300 for equipment and supplies.
Resources: Paint Life TV
Income Potential: $20 – $50 per hour.
You may prefer the sun and outdoors over the flat nothingness of interior walls. In that case, a landscaping business might be your hustle. Start out small, mowing lawns and pulling weeds.
As your business grows and your skills develop, you can do complete landscape design and maintenance, offering services like irrigation systems, hardscape installation, and even tree removal.
You can start out locally by asking friends, family and neighbors if they need work done, or sign up to a platform like Lawnstarter, which is similar to Uber (for lawn care).
Of course, if you scale that big, you'll probably be doing it full time, which isn't bad if you enjoy working outside.
Your start-up costs will be higher than some other gigs, like building websites or painting. You'll need a truck and a lawnmower, plus rakes, shovels, wheelbarrow, etc., to get started. For more expensive equipment, it's a good idea to rent before you buy unless you know for sure what you'll need.
While pay rates for landscaping employees are relatively low, owners can earn between $40 and $50 an hour minus expenses.
Starting Budget Estimate: $500 – $1000+
Resources: Yard Coach DIY Landscaping Tutorials
Income Potential: $40 – $50 per hour gross revenue.
25. Online Coaching
Here's another side hustle that allows you to share your knowledge and expertise. Online coaches help others solve problems through objectivity as well as their own experiences. They can help anyone, from entrepreneurs who want to start a new venture to singles who need to improve their dating skills.
Whether you're an expert in exercise and nutrition, marketing, small business management, productivity, etc., there are people who could use your help.
You can work one-on-one with people or provide group coaching with supplementary videos and courses.
There are different ways to get started. You can offer online coaching services on freelance marketplaces and platforms like Koachee. Koachee is a relatively new site that connects coaches with clients. They also provide all the communication tools you need to run your coaching business.
Creating your own online course and offering coaching services as an upgraded membership service is a little more challenging but more lucrative.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0 – $1000+ (if creating your own course).
Resources: How to Create an Awesome Online Course
Income Potential: Depending on your niche, coaches can charge anywhere from $50 – $500+ per hour. As an online course creator, you can charge anywhere from $10/month in membership fees to several thousand dollars for a flagship course in a specialized niche.
26. Sell Services on Freelance Platforms
Wonolo is similar to a temp hiring agency and focuses on local gigs like warehouse operations, food delivery, event staffing positions, cleaning, etc. If you live in a major US city, simply download the app, create your profile and search for jobs.
Employers can search on Wonolo for workers as well.
Guru.com is another freelance platform where you can sell just about any service you can think of. You can offer voiceover services, video editing, graphic design, image formatting, accounting, translating, personal assistance, and the list goes on…
Whatever your skill, you can probably sell it online.
Starting Budget Estimate: $0
Resources: Online Freelance Jobs for Beginners
Income Potential: Varies depending on your expertise and freelance specialty.