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 you’re passionate about while making a profit.
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, it can also help you test business ideas 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 brilliant response! So, without further ado, here are 10 of the most popular side hustles you can start today without quitting your full or part-time job…
1. Set up an 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.
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 and there.
People have also been known to rent out their whole home whilst on holiday, to help towards the trip’s costs!
While renting a room 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 for 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.
If you’re interested in renting out your home…
Fun fact: The name ‘Airbnb’ is a reference to when founders Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky first started renting out their San Francisco apartment. Visitors would literally sleep on air mattresses on the floor.
2. Publish your own books
Writing and publishing short stories in your spare time could help you to earn some extra cash while fulfilling your passion for writing.
Your books could reach millions of readers worldwide and allow you to build credibility as an author through reviews and sales. It’ll be up to you to write your sales copy and choose your prices.
Ready to publish your book?
Or perhaps you're interested in writing one?
3. Become a seller on digital marketplaces
These days, you can sell pretty much anything online – it’s just a question of choosing your product and where you’d like to sell it.
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 online marketplaces and what sort of things are best to sell on them…
- 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 – useful for selling books and DVDs
- Vinted – great for selling new or secondhand items like clothes, accessories, and homeware
Alternatively, if you’re interested in setting up your own website where you can sell items, then why not take a look at our article on the subject?
Find out more about selling online...
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4. Rent out your car
If you don’t need to drive your car often, you could earn some extra money by renting it out to others. Websites like Getaround (formerly Drivy) and Hiyacar allow you to let your vehicle work for you.
All drivers who use your car will be vetted, verified, and reviewed before they can 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 complete control of your vehicle.
Pricing is usually up to you, but the rental services provider 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 entirely comfortable with how it works before signing up for anything.
Interested in renting our your car?
5. Become a mystery shopper
Mystery shopping is the perfect opportunity to get paid to shop, and you’ll also be able to scoop up lots of freebies in the process.
As a mystery shopper, you’ll receive assignments requiring you to pose as a normal customer and complete tasks like 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 to better measure customer satisfaction and find out where to make improvements.
Note: Though mystery shopping can be a lucrative way of earning some extra cash, unfortunately, there has also been a rise in mystery shopper scams. To find out more about how to spot these, it’s worth reading this information from MCE Secret Shopping.
Sign up to become a mystery shopper...
6. Teach a unique skill
Do you have a skill that you’d love to teach others? Whether you’re a pro on the piano, skilled at shorthand, or fluent in French, there’s likely to be plenty of people out there who would be willing to pay you to teach them.
The best way to advertise lessons in your unique talent 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.
Advertise your services...
7. 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 £59 billion to the UK economy each year and provides work for over 1.47 million 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 hustle are relatively low, as you’ll usually only need insurance, cleaning supplies, and a vehicle to get started.
As with starting any business, the trickiest part is usually finding your first few clients. To get you going, why not create a Facebook page to advertise your services and/or print business cards or flyers to post through people’s doors and advertise on public notice boards?
Over time, you’ll likely build up a regular base of clients who’ll refer you to people they know.
Let people know you're open for business...
8. Offer your skills as a handyperson
A handyperson is someone skilled in a wide range of repairs and ‘odd jobs’ – usually around the home. These tasks could include anything like 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, the first and most important thing is to make sure that you have insurance, which will protect 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 a vehicle to get 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 hand out flyers/business cards and place 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.
Start offering your skills...
9. Take on casual work
If you’re looking to top up your income, it can help to have a few casual opportunities 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 events – while others may be available year-round, such as retail, bar/restaurant, or healthcare opportunities.
The type of casual work you choose to do is really up to you and will depend on where your interests lie and what sort of skills/experience you have. For this type of work, contacting the company or organisation you want to work for directly can often be helpful to see whether they ever take on casual staff.
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10. Offer your photography skills
Are you an active photographer in your spare time? If so, why not turn it into a profitable side hustle?
The best way to start getting paid for your hobby is to find a niche 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 try to make sure you have an online and print portfolio of your work to show 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 asking them to recommend you to other people they know. As we’ve said with other entries, handing out flyers/business cards and placing them on local notice boards is also a good way to spread awareness.
Start honing your photography skills...
Whether you want to top up your income or explore something you’re passionate about, getting started with a side hustle can 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, 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, are worth a read.
Have you got a side hustle that you could recommend to others? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.