18 Side Hustle Ideas for 2020: Find Your Perfect Side Hustle

side hustle ideas

It’s 2020 and it seemed like the perfect time to create a fresh list of side hustle ideas to inspire you to get started. Myself and our writing staff have tried several of these side hustle ideas and we’re here to share what we know.

There is a lot to consider when starting a side hustle, but the biggest question is: “What are you going to do?” You need ideas! Something that isn’t too demanding, something that fits your schedule, and something that earns enough money to make it worth the time and effort.

Side hustles come in many shapes and sizes. They can be active, such as teaching English or doing bookkeeping, or passive, such as selling items on Etsy or creating a course. Some are short-term and some can scale. But no matter which side hustle you choose, you’ll want to make sure it fits your life and goals.

Jump to Our Ideas:

What is a Side Hustle?

As you probably know, a side hustle is a part-time work opportunity that supplements the income from your regular job.

Lots of people start side hustles because they just need a little bit more cash to get through the month. Others work to earn extra money for a specific goal, such as saving for a major purchase or getting out of debt.

A side hustle allows you to bring in more money than you would solely through your day job. Many Americans rely on their side hustle income to meet their financial needs, but others are doing it to gain more disposable income.

According to Bankrate.com, 45% of U.S. workers say they earn extra income on the side. In that survey, it was found that the average side hustler brought in $1,122 per month by working 12 additional hours per week.

Related: 52+ Ways to Make Extra Money Fast

Why Should I Pursue a Side Hustle?

Want to save more easily for a newer vehicle? Put aside money for an awesome vacation? Get yourself out of debt more quickly? A side hustle can make all of these things happen!

If your day job gives you plenty of opportunities for advancements, like promotions and year-end bonuses, then it might be best to simply work harder at that job. But many jobs don’t provide many chances to increase your income, so without a side hustle, you’re stuck at your current salary or pay rate.

Side hustles are fantastic because they can open up a ton of possibilities. They’re flexible, so you can work when it fits your schedule. They give you a chance to explore a variety of interests. Plus, they’re often easy to begin and require little initial investment.

One reason it’s so simple to find an extra source of income is that the Internet has opened up the world and its economy. You no longer need a storefront to sell a product, for example. Now, you can create a digital product and sell it instantly online. There are also dozens of other ways to earn money outside of a full-time job.

Related:19 Legit Work-From-Home Jobs with No Startup Fee

Financial Reasons for a Side Hustle

  • Get current on your bills
  • Save for a down payment on a home
  • Save for a car
  • Pay off student loans faster
  • Destroy credit card debt
  • Enable one parent to stay home with young kids
  • Earn extra money for the holidays
  • Save more in your retirement accounts
  • Earn extra money for an extended trip
  • Give generously to a charitable organization
  • Help pay off medical bills
  • Save for your children’s college
  • Offer financial assistance to a loved one in need
  • Save a more comfortable amount in your emergency fund
  • Diversify your income streams

As you can see, the potential benefits of a side hustle are practically limitless! Many of us are doing “okay” financially but would be able to relax a bit with even a little more cash on hand.

Non-Financial Reasons For a Side Hustle

Several reasons to pursue a side hustle aren’t about money at all. While your primary motivation can be money, side hustles can also provide non-monetary benefits, such as:

  • The chance to learn something new
  • An opportunity to do something different from your full-time job
  • Added confidence you’ll gain from challenging yourself
  • A chance to build something great!

Whether your goals are geared towards day-to-day survival or something more fun and inspiring, side hustles can help you reach those goals.

Let’s dive into a bunch of potential side hustles right now. See what catches your eye!

Educational Side Hustles

This first couple of side hustle ideas are all related to education in some way.

1. Creating Online Courses

You likely have a skill or knowledge base that not many people have, and you can monetize that skill. Creating online courses is a potentially lucrative side hustle idea because you set your own prices and there’s little to no overhead to set them up. If you’re smart about choosing a subject to teach, you could make a lot of money.

It’s also fairly passive. While you have to do the work to write the material and market the course, your work is largely done at that point. Then you can continue to earn income from every course you sell, with just a click of a button. Try out Udemy or Teachable for creating your online course.

Think you don’t have anything to teach? You might be surprised by the obscure topics people have monetized through online courses!

2. Tutor Online

VIPKid is one of the top online tutoring companies you can work for if you have a solid grasp of the English language.

To tutor with VIPKid, you’ll need a reliable Internet connection and some basic video equipment. You create your profile, complete an interview and trial lesson, and then get started helping kids in China learn English.

VIPKid is flexible in that you can work from wherever you are and set your own availability. However, the time difference does mean you’ll work either early mornings or late nights! If you enjoy working with kids but don’t want a typical teaching job in a regular school, VIPKid may be just the side hustle for you.

Related:10 Best Jobs for Stay-At-Home Moms and Dads

Another way to find tutoring jobs is to sign up with Wyzant or Chegg. Steady is another resource for freelance work, including tutoring. See our full review of Steady.

Service Side Hustles

The following side hustle ideas relate to the service industry. This means you do have to be available at certain times and in certain places, but they’re still fairly flexible. Some of these hustles can even be done virtually from anywhere!

3. Driving Services

Of course, most of us know someone who has earned extra money driving for a service company like Lyft or Uber. As long as you’ve got a reliable car, a driver’s license, and some free time, you can make more cash by giving people rides. Check Uber’s specific requirements and read our complete review of Uber here.

4. Delivery Services

In the same vein as driving for a rideshare company, a ton of food and product delivery opportunities are opening up all around the U.S. If you like the idea of using your car to earn extra money, but are leery of letting strangers into your vehicle, this would be a good compromise.

Postmates, Grubhub, and Instacart are three of the popular delivery companies you might work for. They provide instant delivery of food, drink, even full grocery orders to customers. Pay rates vary, but you often can keep 100% of the tips you earn. With Instacart, you can either be a full-service shopper and deliver the groceries as well, or just do the shopping part of the job.

Related: Read our full review of Postmates here.

5. Child Care Services

Parents need someone they can trust to watch their kids from time to time. Childcare can be something you offer in your own home, whenever it’s most convenient for you.

There are tons of times when you can provide childcare for just a couple of hours. For instance, if you live near an elementary school, you could offer before and after school care for kids whose parents have to work. So many working parents struggle to find reasonable care for those situations! Plus, you only have to entertain the kids for a short time and then make sure they get to or from school on time.

Consider other prime times when parents need help: on school holidays, snow days, even special occasions like Valentine’s Day. You can tailor your childcare services to fit your needs and provide a valuable service to families with this side hustle idea.

Related: 12 Part-Time Jobs for Teachers (After School and in the Summer)

6. Pet Care Services

Who doesn’t adore furry little friends? You can give lots of loving attention to pets while earning extra money!

As a pet owner myself, I know how hard it is to find quality care for them when going out of town.

Rover is an online platform for dog and cat owners to find temporary care for these animals while their owners are away. As a Rover care provider, you have the option to decide what levels of care you’re able to offer.

You can offer dog-walking, drop-in care, and daycare for the feline and canine pals in your area. In the right kind of home, you can even provide overnight boarding for pets. It can be a potentially lucrative (and fun) side hustle idea, and you can even get your kids involved in helping!

Related:How to Make Extra Money as a Dog Walker and Sitter

7. Personal Training

For someone with athletic ability and the appropriate certifications, personal training may be a great side hustle. It enables you to explore your passion for exercise and health, help others, and earn more money.

To start off, you might work for an established gym or fitness studio. You can also branch out on your own as a personal trainer. By using Thumbtack, customers in your area looking for a personal trainer can find you.

A friend of mine took the plunge by founding a personal-training side hustle eight years ago, and it’s now her full-time source of income. She earns money through various routes, including studio training sessions, virtual training and coaching, and sales of her fitness-related e-books.

Related: How to Find the Most Profitable Service-Based Small Business for YOU (+8 Ideas to Get Started)

8. Bookkeeping

Perhaps you’re a person who just “gets” numbers. If so, bookkeeping may be right up your alley.

Bookkeeping is such an important service for any business, small or large, to invest in. A trustworthy bookkeeper needs to be organized and pay attention to the little details when going over someone’s financial records. Be sure to keep up with tax codes and important filing deadlines as well.

You can work remotely as a bookkeeper, so the job is the ultimate in flexibility. Plus, you can take on as few or as many clients as you want, and be in charge of your schedule and rates. The comprehensive course, Bookkeeper Business Launch, can teach you the actual skills you need to be a bookkeeper, as well as the business side of starting it as a side hustle.

9. Virtual Assistant Work

For someone who is skilled in administrative tasks, you might want to look into being a virtual assistant, or VA. The VA field is booming, with many entrepreneurs outsourcing some of their tasks to free up time for the big-picture work. Your duties may include managing email, digital marketing, social media, calendar appointments, personal tasks, and event planning.

Related: How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs You Can Do from Home

VA work is conducted remotely, so there’s no need for an annoying commute or dress clothes. You can customize your VA services to whatever types of administrative tasks you prefer doing. For solid advice on how to start a VA business, Kayla Sloan’s 10KVA course is a good starting point.

Creative Side Hustles

10. Blogging

Earning money by blogging isn’t easy by any means, but there are plenty of resources that can show you the ropes. Blogging is a great side hustle idea that allows you to share your knowledge and interests with the world.

You’ll need to learn how to write for an audience if you want to monetize your blog, so be sure to do your research. Figure out who your audience may be and what they want to learn. You’ll need to choose a specific niche to write about and create knockout content on a regular basis.

A blog can make you money in multiple ways. Advertising revenue and selling their own e-books and online courses are a couple of the primary ways people are earning money blogging these days.

Related: How to Make Money Blogging [8 Important Questions Answered]

11. Proofreading

Do you annoy your friends and family with your constant grammar corrections? Why not give your loved ones a break and start getting paid to catch written errors? Solid knowledge of English grammar and language can help you land side gigs as a freelance proofreader.

There are various levels of proofreading and editing that businesses and individuals need. Since so much of work is conducted virtually these days, you can start a proofreading side hustle from anywhere.

12. Freelance Writing

Language lovers can also make great money on the side through freelance writing. It’s a flexible side hustle with enormous earning potential.

The key to a freelance writing side hustle is to look where the money is. Your young-adult sci-fi novel may be awesome, but getting published is extremely difficult and is not a guarantee of income.

If you want to earn money writing, you’ll need to find publications that have a budget to pay you well. The great thing about writing is that as long as you have the basic skills of crafting sentences, you can write about literally any subject. Choose whatever niche interests you. To get some terrific guidance on starting a freelance writing side hustle, see this course on getting paid to write for blogs.

13. Voiceover Acting

“In a world…” Those iconic words, spoken so many times to create drama around TV shows and films, were spoken by a voiceover actor.

While you may never do a recording that’s quite so well-known, earning a second income through voiceover work is definitely a possibility. If you’ve got a great speaking voice and an interest in learning the craft of voiceover acting, why not try it out as your side hustle?

Carrie Olsen can teach you how to offer your voice talents to big-time companies. You might work on audiobooks, commercials, podcast intros, and many more types of media.

14. Selling Your Art

Art can become a profitable side hustle idea if you have the skills and the ability to market your work. Opening a brick-and-mortar store for your artwork may be cost-prohibitive, but that is one option. Otherwise, you can market your original artwork through Etsy or your own website.

A high-school friend of mine has been gradually building up her pottery side hustle for years. She’s taken the love of pottery she had as a teenager and now continues to make beautiful hand-thrown vases, mugs, bakeware, and more.

It’s been a long labor of love, but she’s now earning money in several ways. She shares a studio and shop with several other artists where she sells her work. In addition, she hosts workshops for small groups in her studio, teaching people how to create pottery like hers.

Pottery is just one example. Your artistic forte might be glass-blown Christmas ornaments, or hand-drawn greeting cards, or landscape watercolors. You can use an online Etsy shop to promote and sell your work to others who will appreciate it. An art blog can also be a platform for marketing your work.

15. Photography

Photography is a niche in the art field where you could also earn some extra money. Consider Thumbtack as a place to post your photography services. Some people provide family photography sessions on nights and weekends as a side hustle. Everyone loves to get quality photos for newborns, engagements, anniversaries, and other milestone occasions.

Related: Making Money to Fund an Adoption with Freelance Photographer Justin of One Smile Closer

Weddings are a higher-pressure arena for photographers, so you’ll want to proceed cautiously before venturing into wedding photography. But the more experience you gain, the more money you can earn by shooting wedding photos.

You can also earn money by selling your photos online at platforms like Dreamstime and Shutterstock.

16. Baking or Catering

Do you put the “Sugar Rush” and “Cupcake Wars” contestants to shame with your glorious baked masterpieces?

If you have a knack for baking or creating other mouthwatering desserts, that might be just the side hustle idea for you. Specialty cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are in demand. People love to purchase custom-decorated delicacies for their children’s birthday parties, bridal showers, and other fun events.

A baking side hustle can allow you to earn money doing what you love to do! Be sure to check on any food-preparation laws you need to follow. Promote your creations on social media and you could earn a lot. A teacher friend of mine learned how to decorate cookies by watching YouTube tutorials. She began making extra holiday money by selling her baked goods at those peak times of year. (They’re delicious, by the way!)

Related: Making Extra Money by Starting a Small Food Business

Easy Side Hustle Ideas

I’m terming these “easy side hustles” because they really require no special skills on your part. You won’t make as much money with these choices, but they do give you a payout for completing simple tasks.

17. Taking Online Surveys

Online surveys aren’t for everyone, but they’re extremely easy to do! So if you want to make the most of your downtime (such as waiting in line at the DMV or in the doctor’s waiting room,) it’s an easy side hustle idea.

There are dozens of websites that pay people to take surveys. Other activities you can earn money for may include watching videos, playing online games, and participating in focus groups. Signing up is free.

Here are a few to check out:

You won’t get rich doing surveys but it truly can be a way to get some extra money or free gift cards in your spare time.

Related:8 Legit Paid Survey Sites to Make Some Extra Money

18. Shopping Apps

Many of us are taking advantage of shopping apps that give customers cash back on purchases. This is an almost completely passive source of income because once you’re signed up, you automatically receive a payout on qualified purchases.

Rakuten and iBotta are just a few top companies that offer cash-back rewards. These are great as long as you don’t get suckered into buying more than you would have otherwise. If you use these apps regularly, they can put money back in your pocket. Another helpful tool is the Wikibuy extension. It will give you cost comparisons and coupon codes to get a better price. It also lets you earn money for gift cards. Wikibuy compensates us when you sign up for Wikibuy using the links provided.

Related: The Best Cash Back Sites

 

More Side Hustle Ideas to Explore

This article by no means includes every single possibility for a side hustle. For some more inspiration, you may want to check out the following collections of side hustle ideas:

Get creative and add your own side hustle ideas!

Further Side Hustle Inspiration

This TedXLivermore talk by Nick Loper is sure to give you a shot of inspiration. His insights on millennials and entrepreneurship are worth a listen for anyone looking to start up their own side hustle. You can also listen to our interview with Nick.

The Bottom Line

With the possibility of growing a side hustle from anywhere, you’re almost certain to find a winning side hustle idea here somewhere. If you have the desire to grow your income, stretch your capabilities, and take charge of your financial future, you can start one of these side hustles today!

Do you have a side hustle? We’d love to hear about your side hustle experiences!

18 Side Hustle Ideas: Find Your Perfect Side Hustle
About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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