Best Side Hustles [2020]

Last updated Oct 6, 2020 | By Lindsay Frankel

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If you’re trying to figure out how to make extra money to make ends meet, pay down your student loans, have a dream vacation you want to make a reality, or save up for a big purchase, a side gig can be just what you need. Finding the right side hustle becomes the challenge, especially because you want to be sure the amount you’re earning is worth your time and that you actually like what you do.

We’re here to help with a list of the best side hustle ideas out there. Check out some of the things you could be doing in your spare time to make money to get closer to your financial goals.

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1. Deliver groceries, takeout, and other essentials

Delivering food, groceries, and other essentials can be a lucrative side job. And the best part? Some delivery services let you set your own hours, so you’ll have the flexibility of working when it’s convenient. Plus, you can make over $20/hour if you shop and deliver orders frequently. Here are some of the best delivery services for drivers:

Postmates

If you want to deliver meals, groceries, pet food, beer, and just about anything else you can find at a local retailer, Postmates is the service that covers all of it. As a Postmates driver, you’ll download the Fleet app and accept deliveries on your own schedule. You keep 100% of your tips and earnings for every delivery, with weekly deposits and the option to cash out instantly at any time. You can even deliver outside your home city if you’re traveling.

Read our Postmates review.

Postmates Benefits

  • Get paid to go shopping and make deliveries
  • Be your own boss and set your own hours
  • Get paid weekly


Instacart

If you enjoy browsing the aisles of your local grocery store, give Instacart a shot. While Instacart has hired full-time shoppers in the past, right now, you can get a contract role shopping and delivering orders. As an Instacart shopper, you’ll be able to work whenever is convenient for you; just open the app and select the order you want to start earning. You keep 100% of your tips, and you can instantly cash out at any time.

Read our full Instacart review.

Instacart Benefits

  • Make your own schedule and work when you want
  • Get paid within an hour through instant cash out
  • Choose between just shopping or shopping and delivering


DoorDash

DoorDash is is food delivery service available in more than 4,000 cities, and you can work in any one of them once you’re set up on the smartphone app. As a Dasher, you’ll be responsible for picking up orders from local restaurants and delivering them to customers. You’ll have the flexibility to choose your own hours, and it’s a piece of cake to get started. Once you apply and complete your orientation, DoorDash will send you everything you need to start working. From there, simply open the app to start making deliveries.

Read our DoorDash review.

DoorDash Benefits

  • Be your own boss and set your own hours
  • Keep 100% of the delivery fee plus any tips or boosts
  • Dashers earn an average of $15-25 an hour


Shipt

Shipt is a delivery service that connects members to shoppers in more than 260 U.S. cities. If you choose to shop with Shipt, you’ll have the flexibility of being your own boss and working when it’s convenient for you. Shipt shoppers fulfill and deliver customer orders placed at local stores like Target, Petco, Walmart, and supermarkets. Once you’re approved as a Shipt shopper, you’ll receive a prepaid shopping card and a Shipt t-shirt within 3-5 business days. Then you can start accepting and delivering orders on your own time.

Read our Shipt review.

Shipt Benefits

  • Earn money shopping and delivering groceries
  • Be your own boss and set your own hours
  • Apply in under 10 minutes
  • Get paid weekly

2. Take surveys in your spare time

Taking surveys in your spare time is a great way to earn some extra money. While you won’t get rich with this side hustle, you can earn rewards and redeem them for cash or gift cards to popular stores. Here are a few of the top survey sites out there if you’re interested in sharing your opinion and getting paid:

Survey Junkie

Survey Junkie is an online market research platform that matches you with surveys you can take to earn rewards. Hundreds of brands get their consumer insights from Survey Junkie. You can participate in surveys and focus groups, or you can choose to install the SJ Pulse add-on, which automatically collects information about your browsing behavior. Both options get you rewards, which you can exchange for gift cards or cash out via PayPal or bank transfer.

Read our full Survey Junkie review.

SurveyJunkie Benefits

  • Make money in your spare time
  • Get paid instantly via PayPal for filling out surveys and surfing the web
  • Join over 6 million members

InboxDollars

Brands pay InboxDollars for consumer insights from members like you, and the company passes on cash earnings to you. You can earn for a variety of activities, including taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, reading emails, and redeeming coupons. You can even earn cash back when you shop online through InboxDollars. The company has paid out $59 million in cash rewards in the past 20 years. You can even get a $5 bonus for signing up.

Read our full InboxDollars review.

Inbox Dollars Benefits

  • Get a $5 bonus when you register with your email
  • Get paid to watch TV and play games online!
  • You could also earn money by making online searches
  • Over $50 million paid to members so far - how much can you earn?

3. Rent out your car

Is your car just sitting in a parking spot collecting dust while you work from home? If so, put it to work for you! Renting out your car when you aren’t using it can be a lucrative side hustle — and it doesn’t require much time or effort on your part. Here are two top options if you’re interested in renting your car to boost your bank account:

Getaround

Getaround is a car-sharing service that allows you to earn money from renters when you’re not using your car. And because Getaround installs a digital key that allows renters to unlock your car from their phone, you won’t need to provide any customer service, making this a truly passive opportunity. Every trip comes with $1 million in insurance coverage and roadside assistance. You keep 60% of the rate set for your car, and your earnings are paid monthly. Your only responsibilities are to maintain your vehicle and set your car’s availability.

Read our Getaround review.

Getaround Benefits

  • Average Getaround car owner makes $1,000s per year
  • Rent your car to potential drivers
  • $1,000,000 insurance on every rental
  • Turn your car into a paycheck

Turo

Turo is a carsharing service that allows you to list your car for rent and earn an average of $706 per month. With Turo, you can set the price for your car, along with rules for its use. You’ll need to meet renters to hand over the keys, but beyond that, your earnings will be passive. Depending on the protection plan you select, you’ll keep 65% to 85% of the trip price.


Every trip is covered with up to $750,000 in liability insurance from Liberty Mutual. Plus, payments are speedy: Turo will initiate a direct deposit 72 hours after your first trip and three hours after subsequent trips. Owners will also be paid weekly for any trips lasting more than a week.

Turo Benefits

  • Earn An Average of $700 A Month
  • World's Largest Car Sharing Marketplace
  • List Your Car For Free
  • You Set Your Price and Rules

4. Complete home projects

If you enjoy house projects, whether they be cleaning, painting, mowing lawns, or minor home repairs, you can put your skills to work and earn extra money on a platform like HomeAdvisor. Founded in 1998, HomeAdvisor is a home service site that connects consumers in need with professionals in the area. If you’ve done some work at your home or a friends’ home and have the pictures to show your success, you may be able to launch a side hustle using HomeAdvisor. It could also be helpful to do some projects for your friends and neighbors to collect reviews.

When you sign up for HomeAdvisor, you’ll specify the type of work you do and your location. HomeAdvisor will send customers your way, charging you a nominal fee for each lead. The company makes every effort to match you with ready-to-buy customers.

Read our full HomeAdvisor review.

Home Advisor Benefits

  • New projects posted every two seconds
  • Decide when, where and how you want to work
  • Free to join
  • Over 100 million projects started


5. Walk dogs or pet-sit

Are you a dog lover looking for the perfect side hustle? If so, Rover has got you covered. You can earn up to $1,000 per month playing with dogs when you create a profile on Rover. The site is designed to help pet owners find pet boarders, dog walkers, and housesitters. Anyone with relevant experience working with pets can create a profile on Rover. Not only will Rover send customers your way, but it’ll also handle your customer support and payments, provide you with ongoing education, and offer you a background check to make customers feel safe.

You make your own schedule, set your own rates, and have access to your earnings two days after completing a service.

Read our Rover review.

6. Put your creative skills to good use

Ever dreamed of tapping into your creative side to earn cash? Thumbtack may be the side hustle you’ve been looking for. Thumbtack is an online platform that matches customers with local professionals running just about any type of business. That means that whether you paint murals, DJ parties, photograph weddings, clean homes, or groom dogs, you can grow your business with Thumbtack.

It’s free to create a profile, though you’ll pay a relatively small fee when a warm lead contacts you directly. You can set your own schedule, geographic location, and pricing. Plus, Thumbtack lets you know how you compare to the competition so you can set fair prices for your services.

Read our full Thumbtack review.

7. Become an online reseller

Top online resellers can earn thousands of dollars each month, and Amazon is a great place to start a reselling side hustle. While it’s a competitive marketplace, it’s also a great platform to learn about e-commerce and grow as an online reseller. If you’re worried about getting started with Amazon, you don’t need to go it alone. Jungle Scout can help you succeed at selling on Amazon.

Jungle Scout is a research tool and all-in-one platform for entrepreneurs who want to sell items on Amazon. The platform helps you in every stage of your business, from learning how to resell, to finding the right product that’s in high demand, to finding qualified suppliers, to tracking your sales and expenses. It currently supports more than 400,000 business owners with generating more than $3 billion in sales annually. As a Jungle Scout customer, you also have access to customer support and free educational resources to help you grow your business.

Read our full Jungle Scout review.

Jungle Scout Benefits

  • Learn from industry-leading professionals
  • Find products and suppliers
  • Manage inventory and analyze sales
  • 14-day money back guarantee

8. Start your own blog

Whether you’re passionate about interior design, DIY projects, cooking, making art, or something else, , becoming a blogger is a great way to share that passion with the world. And if you want to start hosting your own website or blog, HostGator is one of the cheapest ways to do it. Starting as low as $2.75 per month, you can get a free registered domain for a year, access to the website builder, and free website and domain transfers. You’ll even get $200 in credits to spend on advertising and a free email account.

HostGator also offers unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate to show your visitors you care about security. Once your blog has a successful following, you can earn money through advertising, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, or selling your own products/services.

HostGator Benefits

  • Plans as low as $2.75/month
  • Web Hosting For Any Size Website
  • 99% uptime guarantee
  • Easy Wordpress installs

Methodology

The companies we chose for our best side hustle list are current or past FinanceBuzz partners. We did not review all companies in the market. When evaluating these companies, we considered factors such as earning potential, time commitment, and who might benefit most from a particular side hustle.

How to pick the best side hustle for you

A good side hustle fits easily into your life and provides the money you’re looking to make. Exactly what that looks like will be different from person to person. Some people need to figure out how to make $1,000 a day; others are aiming to make that amount in a week or a month.

Here are some things to consider when you start looking into the best side hustles for you:

  • How much time will I have to commit to earn enough money? A low time-to-money ratio is always a good thing. Earning more in less time makes sense for just about everybody. That said, some side hustles that take more time could make more sense if you’re considering the long-term picture.
  • Do you need money to do the job? For example, you can’t earn money with a rideshare company if you don’t have a car that meets its standards. If you have to invest a lot of money into your side hustle to get started, that may be a barrier that won’t make that particular gig worth the effort. Take stock of what you have to offer and start with the path of least resistance.
  • When can you work? Full-time jobs, family, and other commitments may keep you on a strict schedule. A good fit for a side hustle will allow you to keep your priorities and earn some extra cash during your naturally available time.

Still trying to figure out which side hustle is right for you? There are a few more things to think about that may help you narrow down the field.

What is your existing skillset?

By tapping into the things you like and the things you’re good at, you can land a side hustle that delivers both money and fulfillment. Are you a good writer? Then blogging or freelance writing might be a good fit. Are you super organized? Becoming a virtual assistant may be a great option.

Maybe you’re a bookkeeper by day and love working with numbers. You could offer part-time services online or to local companies. Love animals? Pet sitting and dog walking through Rover could be a great match.

Combining a few of your existing skills could be just the answer you need for how to make $10,000 a month.

What resources do you have on hand?

There are lots of ways to earn extra income using the resources you already have. If you have a car you don’t drive often, you could rent it out through a peer-to-peer service such as Getaround or Turo. Do you have a collection of designer shoes and bags in good condition? Turn your old stuff into extra cash through resale sites such as Poshmark or eBay. Do you have a spare room? Consider renting that space on Airbnb.

What sounds fun?

Making money is much more enjoyable if it doesn’t feel like work. So if you're going to be side hustling, make sure you like what you’ll be doing.

Want to make money from home? Look for online or remote opportunities such as answering surveys or freelancing through a site like Upwork, Fiverr, or Craigslist. Not a big fan of people? Don’t worry — there are plenty of money-making side hustle for introverts. Love to drive? Consider signing up with a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft. If you choose a side hustle that you actually like, sticking with it until you meet your financial goals becomes much easier.

How much money do you need and how much time do you have?

A great side hustle allows you to make the most money for the least amount of time. If you also have a full-time job, the time you have for extra work may be limited. Consider how much time you can commit to a side hustle and how much you can make with a particular job within that time frame.

For example, you could make $2,000 a month as a part-time reseller. If it’s not enough to reach your financial goals, look for something else.

Do you want to turn this into a full-time job someday?

Lots of side hustlers find that their part-time gigs can be more satisfying or lucrative than their day job. Others use side hustles to get their feet wet in a new industry. If these are part of your moonlighting goals, then look for opportunities that get you closer to achieving them.

Pick a side hustle that allows you to learn and practice new things so you can earn some extra cash while mastering your new skill.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time

Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right side hustle. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who likes juggling several jobs. Trying one or more opportunities can be a good strategy for finding a good fit or keeping a stream of income flowing at any given time. This can also keep you from getting bored with doing the same thing day after day.

Thankfully, the gig economy is thriving and the list of side hustles ideas is a long one.

Frequently asked questions about side hustles

Should you have a side hustle?

Only you can answer that question. A side hustle may fit well into one person’s lifestyle, but not so much in another’s. It depends on your goals and priorities, as well as what you are willing to do to reach them.

Many side hustles are easy, enjoyable, and fit well into a full-time schedule. Others require more of a commitment of time and resources. The key is to find what works best for you.

How do I make an extra $1,000 a month?

You can do this with one or more side hustles, depending on what you want to do. There are active options that require you to spend your time working. These include working as a freelancer in your spare time, partnering with ridesharing companies, babysitting through a site like Care.com, setting up a Shopify store, teaching English online through VIPKid, delivering food with services such as Postmates, or helping out on home projects through Thumbtack or TaskRabbit.

You could also explore ways to earn passive income, such as renting a room in your home, sharing your car through a peer-to-peer service, and selling clothes or items you own that you don’t need anymore. Whatever you choose, your goal should be to earn at least $250 a week if you want to make $1,000 extra each month.

How can I make extra money while working full time?

First, make sure your full-time employer is OK with you moonlighting. Some companies have policies about employees working after hours. Second, look for a side gig that fits with your regular work schedule. Something that can be done on evenings and weekends might be a great option if you work a nine-to-five day.

Blogging and freelancing are great options that can monetize your passions and talents. More passive side gigs that don’t require much time or effort are also good choices. Look into how to sell items on Amazon or how to start an Etsy shop.

How can I make some extra money fast?

If you want to make extra money fast, look for side gigs that pay immediately or at least weekly, and that don’t take long to get into the swing of things.

If you have clothes, furniture, or other items you don’t use anymore, list them for sale online. Sign up to be a rideshare driver or work with a shopping/delivery service. Many of these services pay weekly. Working with kids and animals as a sitter or walker can also pay quickly.

You could even add some money-saving apps to your phone, such as Fetch Rewards or Shopkick, that give you gift cards or cash rewards for shopping.

How do you start a side hustle?

Looking is the first step. Do your research and learn about what money-making opportunities are available in your area. Then, evaluate which are worth your time and fit your lifestyle. Once you settle on one or more options, create a plan for how you will work with those companies to earn what you need. Finally, contact the company or companies you want to work with and throw your hat into the ring!

What are the most profitable side hustles?

The most profitable side hustles tend to be platforms that allow you to run your own business and set your own rates. These include sites that connect customers with professionals, sites that help you grow a business on Amazon, and any other tools that help you launch and run your own business. Some passive income opportunities can also be quite lucrative. Although paid survey sites and on-demand delivery apps are still great ways to make money, there's a limit to how much you can earn.

Postmates Benefits

  • Get paid to go shopping and make deliveries
  • Be your own boss and set your own hours
  • Get paid weekly