A ‘side hustle’ is a flexible job or activity that you can do in your spare time to earn some extra cash. It can be a great way to explore something that you’re passionate about whilst making a profit on the side.

No matter what your situation – whether you’re looking for a job, working full or part-time, or planning to retire – a side hustle can take the strain off your bank balance and help you to achieve your financial goals faster.

If you dream about becoming your own boss, then it can also be a great way to test your own business idea without having to leave the financial security of your day job.

We asked our thriving Facebook community of job seekers and career changers for their favourite side hustles and got a great response! So, without further ado, here are 10 of the most popular side hustles that you can start today without quitting your full or part-time job…

1. Publish your own books

publish your own books

Writing and publishing short stories in your spare time can be a great way to earn some extra cash while fulfilling your passion for writing. Using Kindle Direct Publishing, you can publish eBook and paperback versions of your stories on Amazon in a matter of minutes – for free!

Your books could reach millions of readers worldwide and give you the chance to build credibility as an author through reviews and sales. It’ll be up to you to write your own sales copy and choose your own prices.

2. Set up an online shop

These days, you can pretty much sell anything online – it’s just a question of choosing your product.

Whether you’ve got a load of unwanted stuff that you can sell on eBay or you want to sell your handmade crafts on Etsy, chances are there’s at least one way you can make some extra cash by becoming an online seller.

Here are a few popular options…

  • eBay – great for selling a range of second-hand items, particularly electronics
  • Etsy – best for selling unique handcrafted items or upcycled furniture
  • Facebook Marketplace – great for selling beauty products
  • Amazon Marketplace – best for selling books and DVDs

3. Rent out your car

rent out your car

If you don’t need to drive your car often, then you could earn some extra money by renting it out to others. Websites like Getaround (formerly drivy) and Hiyacar allow you to let your car work for you.

All drivers who use your car will be vetted, verified, and reviewed before they’re allowed to get behind the wheel. Your car will also be fitted with an installation device which contains GPS and remote locking – so you’ll always be in full control of your vehicle.

Pricing is usually up to you but the rental services provider that you choose will take a cut of your earnings, so it’s important to make sure you know exactly how much they’ll take before you sign up.

It’s also worth noting that the ability to rent your car privately is a relatively new idea, so make sure you’re fully comfortable with how it works before signing up for anything.

4. Become a mystery shopper

Mystery shopping is the perfect opportunity to get paid to shop, and you’ll also get to scoop up lots of freebies in the process.

As a Mystery Shopper, you’ll get given assignments that’ll require you to pose as a normal customer and complete tasks such as making retail transactions, eating at restaurants, making inquiries, and/or returning items. Later, you’ll be asked to provide a detailed record of your experience and will be reimbursed for your transactions, plus a bit extra.

The idea behind mystery shopping is that companies will get an independent look into their customer experience so that they can get a better measure of customer satisfaction and find out where to make improvements.

If you want to give mystery shopping a try, then three well-known agencies you could sign up to include Marketforce, Tern, or Amber Arch.

5. Teach a unique skill

Do you have a skill that you’d love to teach others? Whether you’re an experienced piano player, skilled at shorthand, or fluent in French, it’s likely that there are plenty of people out there who would be willing to pay you to teach them your skill.

The best way to advertise lessons in your unique skill is to set yourself up with a Facebook page. Here, you can provide details about your services. It can also be helpful to advertise your services on local notice boards (for example, in coffee shops, supermarkets, and leisure centres).

Above all, prospective students will want to know what qualifies you to teach them (for example, what experience and/or qualifications you have), so you’ll need to provide details about these if you want to enhance your credibility and build a solid client base.

6. Get paid to clean

get paid to clean

For some people, cleaning is a satisfying and therapeutic activity – and the good news is that it also has the potential to earn you some extra cash. Research from the British Cleaning Council estimates that the cleaning industry contributes nearly £24 billion to the UK economy and provides work for over 700,000 people.

The best way to use cleaning as your side hustle is to set yourself up as self-employed so you can have greater control over your prices and working hours. The start-up costs for this are relatively low – as you’ll usually only need insurance, cleaning supplies, and your own vehicle to get started.

As is the case with starting any business – the hardest part is usually finding your first few clients. To get you going, why not try creating a Facebook page to advertise your services and/or getting business cards or flyers printed to post through people’s doors and advertise on public notice boards locally? Over time, it’s likely that you’ll build up a regular base of clients who’ll refer you to people they know.

7. Offer your skills as a handyperson

A handyperson is someone who is skilled in a wide range of repairs and “odd jobs” – usually around the home. These tasks could include anything from painting and decorating, tiling, flooring, putting up fences, and so on.

Sometimes, they may already be working in a particular trade and will take on work as a handyperson in their spare time. Other times, they may be self-taught – having picked up skills from working on their own homes and the homes of friends and family.

If you’re interested in getting paid to become a handyperson, then the first and most important thing is to make sure that you have insurance – so that you’ll be protected against any accidents that could cause damage to you, someone else or their property.

You’ll also need to make sure that you have a wide range of tools to suit a wide range of services, as well as your own vehicle to get yourself to and from jobs.

As with some of the other self-employed entries in this list, a good way to start building clients is to advertise your services on social media and by handing out flyers/business cards and placing them on local notice boards. Often, you just need a handful of satisfied customers to help you build up a regular client base and start benefiting from word of mouth recommendations in your local area.

8. Take on casual work

If you’re looking to top up your income, then it can help to have a few casual opportunities that you can get involved with as and when you need to (which may involve signing one or more zero-hours contracts).

The idea is that you’re under no obligation to attend work unless you sign up for a specific shift. Some casual opportunities are seasonal – for example, invigilating exams at universities (often during the summer months) or working at specific events – while others may be available year-round, such as retail, bar/restaurant, or healthcare opportunities.

The type of casual work that you choose to do is really up to you – it’ll depend on where your interests lie and what sort of skills/experience you have. For this type of work, it can often be helpful to contact the company or organisation that you want to work for directly to see whether they ever take on casual staff.

9. Offer your photography skills

become a photographer

Are you an active photographer in your spare time? If so, then why not turn it into a side hustle that could make you some extra money?

The best way to start getting paid for your hobby is to find a specific niche that you’d be willing to work with. For example, could you offer to photograph people’s pets or snap family portraits? Or perhaps you could offer your skills on the weekend as a wedding photographer?

If this sounds like a route you’d like to go down, then make sure that you have an online and print portfolio of your work that you can show to potential clients. You should also have at least one social media account where you can advertise your services and show off your work, as social media is a great place to find clients.

You could start by taking pictures for friends and family, and by asking them to recommend you to other people that they know, as well as by handing out flyers/business cards and placing them on local notice boards.

It’s also worth signing up to some freelance sites like Upwork or PeoplePerHour, as they regularly have one-off photography jobs up for grabs.

If you want to hone your photography skills before you start your side hustle, then check out our articles; A beginner’s guide to photography and 8 fun photography projects that you can start today.

10. Set up an AirBnB

rent a room on airbnb

Have you ever thought about becoming an Airbnb host? Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows people to rent out anything from their whole property to a spare room for short periods of time.

Listing your property is free and you’ll be in complete control of your availability, prices, house rules, and how you choose to interact with those who come to stay. So the flexibility is great for those who don’t want a full-time lodger but would be happy to open up their spare room for a few days here or there.

People have also been known to rent out their whole home whilst they themselves are on holiday, to help towards the costs of the trip!

While renting a room in this way is becoming increasingly popular and can offer some great earning potential, it’s not without risks – so make sure you know what you’re signing up to before using the service.

The Airbnb website will tell you what you need to get started and will also be able to tell you how much you could earn each month – depending on which area you live in.

Want to find out more?

Final thoughts...

Whether you want to top up your income or explore something that’ll you’re passionate about, then getting started with a side hustle can prove to be a fun and rewarding adventure. If this sounds like something you’d like to do but you’re stuck for ideas, we hope this article has given you some inspiration.

For more ideas and inspiration, why not check out our articles; A complete guide to self-employment, 12 popular activities that you can turn into a career, and 20 popular self-employment ideas for over 50s?

Have you got a side-hustle that you could recommend to others? We’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation over on the Rest Less community forum or leave a comment below.

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