16 Low-Effort Side Hustles To Boost Your Income

Stop dreaming and start earning with these low-effort side gigs.
Updated April 15, 2024
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Side hustles can be an excellent way to earn extra income, but it could be challenging if you don’t have the time or energy to invest in a big side hustle. And yet, there quite a few great side hustles if you only have 10 extra hours per week.

Consider some low-maintenance side hustles that will require some work but can also give you passive income or allow you to do a little while watching television at night or doing your everyday chores.

Check out some of these low-maintenance side hustles you can add to your life without much effort.

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Become a pet sitter

adogslifephoto/Adobe watching tv with dogs on sofa

A pet sitter can be an easy way to make extra cash, especially if you have a few clients who want you to care for their pets at your home.

You may already own dogs you take for daily walks or have cats that get along with other cats, making it easy to have another dog to walk or a cat to feed for extra cash.

Self-publish books

fizkes/Adobe pensive millennial Indian female student

You may have an idea for a novel you always wanted to write, or perhaps you want to write a self-help book or memoir.

Write that book and publish it as a low-maintenance side hustle. One of the great things about self-publishing is the book can generate income with whatever effort you want to put into it.

You can spend time advertising it or simply posting about it to get family and friends to buy it and pass it along through word of mouth.

Complete online surveys

chinnarach/Adobe gold five star rating feedback icon

Plenty of sites allow you to complete online surveys in exchange for rewards like gift cards or cash.

You can use sites like Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, or YouGov to collect points by taking surveys in your free time. Then, cash out those points for rewards as an easy side hustle.

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Deliver food

VicenSanh/Adobe delivery man driving scooter in the city

Food delivery services could be a good option if you like driving while setting your hours.

Services like DoorDash or Grubhub need drivers, but you can make this type of side hustle low maintenance by deciding when you want to work, how far you want to drive, or how much you want to make in tips.

Use extra space for a storage rental

Viacheslav Yakobchuk/Adobe cardboard box in self-storage unit

You might have an unfinished basement with extra storage space or a garage with room for other things.

Consider renting out your space as extra storage space. You can help neighbors in your area who don’t want to store things far away or adjust fees for people who need a few things stored temporarily.

Buy a laundromat

Samuel B./Adobe woman washing her clothes

One of the great things about a laundromat is that most people using it do the work themselves.

You’ll need the capital to set up a laundromat, and your best plan may be to buy an existing service rather than building from scratch. But it can generate revenue with little input from you.

Stock vending machines

Syda Productions/Adobe hand pushing button on vending machine

You can find vending machines in strategic places like schools and offices, and it may not take much to restock them yourself if you use them as income generators.

Some businesses, such as Costco Business Centers, cater to vendors who need to buy chips, drinks, and other items in bulk to stock machines.

Start a video channel

irissca/Adobe woman using pen to show papers in front of smartphone while vlogging at work

You may have an interest or hobby you already spend time on, so consider monetizing it by creating videos about your interests.

You can make videos about your interests that can repeatedly generate ad revenue as you build a viewer base.

Start a blog

Art_Photo/Adobe reading blog online on computer

Another option to spread your knowledge about an interest or topic is to start a blog.

You can write occasional posts in a way that can generate extra cash anytime someone reads it. Explore different options for the best ways to monetize posts about things you’re interested in.

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Become a transcriptionist

Mdv Edwards/Adobe stylish online transcriber sitting on a sofa

Transcription work can be an easy way to make extra cash, especially if you’re a fast typer.

You can work on different projects at your own pace or your own time to earn extra money helping others translate their recordings into print.

You also can specialize in a particular field, like medical transcription or legal transcription, to make even more money by focusing on a specific topic.

Sell your stuff

wichayada/Adobe fashion vlogger

Are you getting overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? Consider creating a side hustle by selling your stuff.

You can take photos and write descriptions of different items you plan to sell and get them out of your house. 

Set up porch pick-up so you don’t have to drive somewhere to meet a buyer, and list your items through sites like Facebook Marketplace that can do the monetary transaction for you.

Sell digital files

DragonImages/Adobe female web designer

Perhaps you’re good at creating Excel templates for people to download, or you have a party planning PDF you’ve perfected over the years.

Find ways to sell these digital downloads that allow you to make money without doing much work once the download is available on websites for your customers to pay for.

Rent out party supplies

malkovkosta/Adobe beautiful table setting with crockery and flowers for a wedding reception

It can be expensive to get table centerpieces and decorations for a wedding reception or party. Help partiers cut back on the costs by renting out pieces.

You can supply vases, candles, and other high-end pieces for a rental fee that would require you to simply store them between parties and have someone else pick them up and return them before and after their events.

Care for kids

Юлия Завалишина/Adobe mother playing with baby boy

Babysitting can be a high-maintenance side hustle, especially if you’re caring for younger children.

But there are also low-maintenance options like picking kids up from school and driving them home for parents unable to do so. You could also offer overnight care options for parents who need someone at night to keep an eye on sleeping children.

Start a podcast

David Fuentes/Adobe male dubbing actor using microphone to record sounds in studio

Podcasts can work similarly to video channels by allowing you to make one recording and leave it up to earn additional ad revenue anytime someone listens.

You may want to do a weekly podcast where you interview someone in your field or find a topic that interests you to give you an outlet during non-work hours to pursue your interests.

Sell ad space

bluebeat76/Adobe happy cat having fun

There are plenty of options for selling ad space for local businesses or other companies with little work from you.

Think about offering your car as a billboard with a local company’s advertisement on the side of it. You can also sell space in your yard or on a fence on your property if you’re near a busy street as another way to generate income and build wealth.

Bottom line

StratfordProductions/Adobe woman working at home using laptop

Side hustles can add extra cash to an emergency fund or help you boost your bank account. It’s important to find side hustles that interest you or fit into your talents to maximize potential income.

You also might want to look into the top high-yield savings accounts to use for your side hustle that may increase the amount of money you make.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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