15 Lucrative Side Hustles if You Only Have 5 Extra Hours Per Week

If you want to start a side hustle but aren’t sure you have the time, these 15 gigs are a great place to start.
Updated April 2, 2023
A woman working with leather

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Starting a side hustle can be a great way to pick up a little extra cash and create some disposable income. 

However, if you already work full-time or simply don’t have a lot of extra time, you may be struggling to find a side gig that’s worth the effort. Many “easy” side hustles touted online are quite time-consuming and require a serious commitment before making any money.

To help you choose a side gig that works with your availability, here are 15 excellent options if you have just five hours a week to spare.

Teach a language online

insta_photos/Adobe male student wearing headphones taking online course training

Even if you aren’t bilingual, you may be able to make some extra cash teaching a few hours of English classes online. Of course, you may be able to make more if you are bilingual.

There are several programs available online, including VIPKid, that connect tutors with students in other countries who are learning English.

The flexible scheduling means you can choose your hours and work as much or as little as you want.

Become a freelance writer

Kay Abrahams/peopleimages.com/Adobe  digital freelancer

If you enjoy researching and writing, you could make decent cash by taking on a few freelance writing gigs. But keep in mind that writing for content farms may amount to very little pay.

Aspiring writers can use a freelancing service like Upwork to bid on all sorts of jobs, from ghostwriting short stories to helping couples write their wedding vows.

Job boards like Indeed can also hook you up with freelance work, though you may need a few samples to land the better-paying gigs.

Walk dogs or pet sit

drazen/Adobe pet sitters and mixed breed dogs

If you’re an animal lover, you could make decent money from pet sitting or walking dogs in your free time.

Many people look for reliable dog walkers when they’re at work, making this a perfect option if you happen to be available midday during the week.

Services like Rover or Wag can link you up with prospective clients, but both apps will take a cut of your earnings. You can avoid sharing your earnings with these sites by advertising your services locally instead.

Become a notary

mrmohock/Adobe lawyers discussing contract papers

Public notaries serve as witnesses when certain documents are signed — like employment contracts, legal documents, and real estate transactions.

To get certified, you’ll have to apply through your state and may have to pay a fee before you can begin charging for notarizing services.

Flip furniture (or other items)

Antonio Diaz/Adobe woman making furniture flipping

If you have a knack for building and fixing (and the space to store some excess furniture and tools), you could make extra cash with just a few hours of weekly work flipping furniture.

Many flippers find pieces by checking groups where people give away free items, cruising garage sales, or scavenging curbs on garbage day. Then they revamp and sell their goods online.

Tutor or teach lessons

franz12/Adobe learning to play the guitar

Do you have a special skill or knowledge set? If so, you may be able to rake in extra cash tutoring or teaching classes.

If you happen to play an instrument or a sport well, you may be able to charge a solid hourly rate to teach lessons.

For example, piano teachers charge an average of $40 to $100 an hour for private lessons.

Rent your room or car

Postmodern Studio/Adobe Turo app logo on phone screen

You’d be surprised how much you can rent out these days. If you have an extra room in your home, you can make some extra passive income by renting it out with a service like Airbnb.

Similarly, if you don’t use your car much, you can rent it out with services like Turo or HyreCar. These apps will take a cut of your earnings and have some basic vehicle requirements.

Become a proofreader

Andrey Popov/Adobe person marking error with red marker

If you have an eye for detail (and a good handle on grammar) you could make decent cash working as a proofreader.

Well beyond your standard publishing and academic worlds, proofreaders are needed for all sorts of businesses.

Many companies hire temporary or freelance proofreaders, but you can also apply for one-off gigs on freelance sites like Upwork or Fiverr.


pololia/Adobe happy kid sitting on sofa with babysitter

If you enjoy spending time with children and have a few extra hours per week, you could make a decent hourly wage as a babysitter.

Many parents just need a sitter for a few hours a week, during classes, book clubs, or date nights, and will pay a responsible sitter handsomely.

Most sitters get jobs through word of mouth, but you can also use a site like Care.com (where you can also advertise tutoring, pet sitting, and other services) to meet clients.

Sell your photography skills

wpadington/Adobe man taking photo on vintage film camera

If you have an eye for photography, you could make surprisingly good money just by taking a few gigs per month, but you may also need to have some photo editing skills to really profit.

ZipRecruiter reports that the average hourly wage for a photographer in the U.S. is $62.08. Talented photogs can charge much more than this for working special events like weddings.

Join focus groups

ChayTee/Adobe diverse creative team at modern office

Taking surveys online can take a lot of time and offer little reward. However, participating in focus groups of all sorts — from market research to medical trials — tends to pay much better.

Focus groups can be either in-person or online. While some studies have specific criteria you must meet, if you live near a major city, you’ll likely have many groups to choose from.

Drive for ride-shares

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe taxi driver with woman passenger pointing on road

You do have to spend a significant amount of time driving for ride-share companies like Uber or Lyft to make any serious cash.

However, if your goal is to bring in $100 or so in extra cash every week, and you enjoy driving, this may be the ideal side gig.

Uber’s online estimator says those who spend 10 hours a week driving make around $221 on average.

Teach fitness classes

rawpixel.com/Adobe Zumba class at the gym

If you’re already a fitness buff, why not turn that passion into a side hustle? These days, there are classes for fitness enthusiasts of all sorts — from yoga and spin to boxing and boot camps.

You may need to shell out some cash to get certified as an instructor, but teaching workout classes can be a great gig that lets you work as much or as little as you want.

Offer remote customer service

Rido/Adobe customer service representative using laptop

You may feel like you’re talking to a bot every time you call customer service, but this is still a job that’s very much in demand. It can also often be done from the comfort of your own home.

Many companies hire part-time customer service reps to work remotely, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average hourly wage at around $17.

Do odd jobs

Postmodern Studio/Adobe fiverr website page on screen

If you’re not committed to sticking to any one side hustle but have a handful of miscellaneous skills, consider using an app like TaskRabbit or Fiverr to pick up odd jobs.

You can get paid to do chores for people — like yard work or furniture assembly — on TaskRabbit.

Fiverr is a great place for freelancers of all sorts, from writers to graphic designers to app developers.

Bottom line

Viglietti/peopleimages.com/Adobe businessman standing in the office with his arms folder

Starting a side hustle can be a great way to boost your bank account and get yourself to a place of financial stability.

Each gig listed here can be lucrative with just a few hours put in each week so you won’t have to sacrifice your other responsibilities.

Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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