24 Side Hustles to Make Money in 2020 (and Surveys Aren’t One)

Side Hustle Ideas
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Side hustles, side jobs, side gigs, moonlighting, freelance jobs–whatever you call them, you can make money in 2020 besides a full-time job. Maybe one day, one of these income ideas will replace your current job (like it did for me).

There are three different ways to improve your finances:

We’ll mostly focus on the second bullet point today, but also mention a few ways to earn passive income. Let’s face it–nobody wants to work a side hustle forever. Others of us don’t have time to work a second job.

You may want a side hustle to repay credit card debt, go to college without borrowing money, or even taking a vacation that you pay for entirely with cash (my father-in-law worked a side hustle to take his family to Disneyworld without dipping into savings).

 

Local Side Hustles That Pay Immediately

If you need cash immediately, you might consider these side hustle streams. While many other blogs will recommend survey sites, I’m not. Most survey sites pay less than minimum wage for your effort. But if you only have 15 minutes or less to complete paid tasks, online surveys are better than nothing.

When you’re serious about making extra money, building up an emergency fund, or simply paying off debt these side hustles can be your best option for good, immediate income.

You can make more money flipping burgers at McDonald’s. I did that for 5 years part-time and don’t recommend it (because there’s a minimal upside for the time commitment).

1. Rent your high-end equipment

Do you own a pressure washer that you use once a year? How about a digital camera, golf clubs, generator, etc.. Well you can earn money renting out the equipment just sitting around your house with FriendWithA.

Top renters can make up to $1,000 per month and there is very little time requirement. FriendWithA insurance covers equipment up to $125,000.

Whether its tools, digital equipment, or sports equipment, you can rent it out on FriendWithA.

Use my special link to get a $10 cash bonus on your first FriendWithA rental. (I might get a cash bonus too).

2. Deliver Food

There are several different food delivery companies you can join. You may appreciate not having to haul people around in your own car. Also, the minimum driver age and vehicle requirements are more lax. For example, you can be 18 years old and ride a bike. With Uber or Lyft, you must be at least 21 and have a newer 4-door vehicle.

DoorDash

With DoorDash, you can choose your wheels. Depending on your city, you may be able to deliver food with your car, bike, or scooter. Between deliveries, it’s just you, so you can turn up the music and cruise around town.

You can be 18 years old to join DoorDash. If you want to earn real money with flexible hours, DoorDash is an exciting option.

Postmates

You can also try Postmates. The higher-earning option varies from city to city. As you’re an independent contractor, you join more than one delivery service to choose the better platform.

 

3. Rent Your Car for Money

Here’s a cool idea I recently heard about. It’s called carsharing. Companies like Turo let you rent your car to people who don’t want to use a rental agency like Hertz, Budget, or Enterprise. To learn more about this exciting side hustle, see how Justin earns over $2,000 a month from carsharing.

4. Rent Your Storage Space

People are looking for safe places to store their car and extra belongings. Maybe they are moving across town or no longer have a self storage place. You can save the day by renting your parking spot, unfinished basement or other storage area at Neighbor.

Be a good neighbor and earn up to $1000 per year in passive income by renting your empty storage area.

5. Get Paid to Shop

I use two apps to get cashback (almost) every time I go shopping.

If you can be a personal shopper, you can get paid to buy groceries and run errands.

Use these two different apps to get cashback with each purchase:

Get a $10 bonus after your first purchase with either app!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

My wife and I just started using Ibotta for groceries and it has made couponing fun again. Before every grocery trip, activate the various product offers and the “Any Item” offer that gives you 25-cents to 75-cents back on each trip. After you checkout, snap a picture of your receipt and cash out!

With Ebates, you can save up to 40% at over 2,000 online stores and you can also save money in-store at more than 30 stores. We use Ebates every time we shop and you can get a Big Fat Check on a quarterly basis when you earn more than $5 in cash back.

See my Rakuten Review to learn more about my #1 shopping app

6. Be a Notary

Another way to make a few extra bucks is becoming a notary. People may come to you instead of going to bank because it’s more convenient. Also, most businesses and even “average people” need to use notaries on a regular basis. Notaries can have flexible part-time hours. This is worth checking out if you’re self-employed or need a non-physical job.

7. Flip Used Items

If you have a knack for finding good deals, scour yard sales, thrift stores, and store clearance racks for items you can flip. You might try flipping videogames, printer ink, or collectibles on eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist.

Use these thrift store flipping tips to get more ideas of what you can buy low and sell high.

8. Become a Caregiver, Babysitter, or Housekeeper with Care.com

As a parent of two children under the age of 3, my wife and I enjoy the few times we can get away on a date night. To do that, we need to find a sitter. Since some parents don’t have an older sibling, family friend, or extended family to play babysitter for the evening, they can go to Care.com to find a sitter that has passed a background check.

You can register to become one of the following on Care.com:

  • Babysitter
  • Out-of-home daycare
  • Adult or elderly caregiver
  • Petsitter
  • Dog walking and grooming
  • Housekeepers

If you prefer to clean houses, commercial office space, or industrial properties in your free time for extra cash, you might also try looking for advertisements on Craigslist. In our area, mountain cabin rentals are a big thing and there’s a constant demand for somebody to clean them up in between guests.

9. Mow Lawns or Shovel Driveways

Put your muscles to work by mowing lawns in the summer (for a Gameboy Color) and shoveling driveways in the winter.

As a teenager, a friend and I went around knocking on doors of our neighborhood asking if we could mow and weed-eat their yard. Of course, if you have a truck and trailer you can quickly cover your entire town and make this an almost full-time profession in the summer.

In the winter, we would also occasionally go around and shovel the sidewalks and driveways of our neighbors for cash. Shoveling is a great way to stay physically fit while you make money. And, it keeps you warm on a cold winter’s day.

Besides asking your neighbor, you might decide to print brochures that can be handed out or stapled to telephone poles, or you can also put up yard signs and advertise on Craigslist.

10. Walk Dogs

I thought this side hustle was a scam at first until I saw some legitimate national news reports. Professional dog walkers make $100,000+ walking dogs in major metro areas–it takes my wife three years to make that much from our day jobs.

In addition to dog walking, you can also consider the following:

  • Pet sitting
  • Grooming
  • Boarding
  • Training

Beyond your local contacts, you can also register as a pet caregiver on Care.com and Rover.

11. Be a Handyman

If you’re skilled with your hands, many people will pay you instead of hiring an expensive handyman service in town that might advertise on tv and in the phonebook.

Some of the possible gigs you can do are:

  • Assembly furniture
  • Helping someone move
  • Painting
  • Simple home repairs

There are several different apps to advertise your services and it depends on where you live. An up and coming app is Takl or TaskRabbit.

12. Have a Paper Route

In high school (before fast food), my brother and I had a paper route. To be honest, this is a 7-day week job (if you deliver for a daily newspaper) and it can be difficult to find a fill-in if you want to leave for vacation. But, you can make some cash if you stick around town and don’t mind getting up early.

Being a paperboy was a good learning experience and something you shouldn’t dismiss if you need to make some extra cash with a regular paycheck, but don’t want to commit to working in the day or night at a restaurant for similar pay.

13. Drive for Uber or Lyft

The “sharing economy” has opened many money-making doors that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. One possibility is driving for Uber or Lyft

Whether you want to drive people to work during the rush hour, midday, or Friday nights, being an Uber driver is a fun way to meet new people.

To become an Uber driver, you will need a clean driving record and a reliable, 4-door vehicle.

Tip: Try riding Uber first and see what the experience is like as a passenger. See if your driver can give you suggestions for to avoid rookie driver mistakes.

Side Hustles That Earn Passive Income

If you don’t have the time to work in the evenings or weekends, or maybe you are looking to switch side hustles, these ideas can help you make money even when you sleep. You might even consider these ideas to invest your side hustle earnings to make them even larger.

Learn more: What is passive income?

1. Invest in Stocks and ETFs

Investing in stocks has been one of the best ways for non-rich people to earn passive income for the last century. Hopefully, the next 100 years will be rewarding as well.

While you can invest at a regular brokerage like Schwab, Fidelity, or Vanguard, I also recommend these two “micro-investing” apps because you can invest small amounts of money in individual stocks and ETFs:

With these platforms, you can buy fractional shares with zero trade commissions. So if you only have $100 to invest, you get instant diversification. If you were to use a traditional brokerage, $100 might only buy a single share and not give you the diversification you want to have a balanced, risk-averse portfolio.

Tip: I highly recommend getting expert advice if investing in individual stocks. One of my favorite resources is the Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

2. Invest in Real Estate

You can invest in real estate online without being a landlord. While my wife and I have ambitions of eventually owning rental property or some other form of tangible real estate, we don’t have the time or money right now.

In January 2018, we signed up for Fundrise–a crowdsourcing real estate platform that offers a historic annual yield of 7.33% by investing in different real estate projects all over the country.

I’m happy to get that return on my average stock investment and I theoretically have less volatility because you avoid the market ups and downs.  What I like about it, is that it only takes $500 to invest and you do not have to be a high net worth accredited investor.

You can also get a higher rate of return than a traditional REIT because you invest directly in the project. That means you can’t sell tomorrow if you want to invest your hard-earned money in something else, but that’s how you get a higher potential return without worrying about the share price.

Tip: I like investing in real estate to avoid stock market volatility.

3. Own Rental Property

Being a landlord isn’t exactly passive income. However, rental property is a good hedge against stock market drops. This is one reason why my wife and I own rental property. Yes, it takes work but people need a place to live. While stocks may earn a negative return, you can still earn consistent rental income. Even if you have to lower rent amounts during a downturn, people still need a place to live.

One of the easiest places to buy rental property online is Roofstock. Their inventory is growing and roughly 75% of its users are first-time landlords (maybe just like you!).

4. Earn 5% from Business Bonds

A “new” investing concept is investing in small business loans. I have small amounts of money with StreetShares. You can invest in $25 increments and earn a 5% annual yield. You can make penalty-free withdrawals after your money invests for one year.

The investing process is similar to putting your cash into a bank savings account. You deposit the cash and StreetShares invests it for you. Instead of earning up to 2% annually at the bank, you make 5% instead. Keep in mind that you will pay taxes on the 5% income just like your bank account interest earnings.

As this isn’t a recession-tested investing idea, I’m only investing small amounts of money at this time. When the next recession arrives, I don’t know how small business loans will fare. Even if they are backed with collateral.

5. Stash Your Cash in a Bank Account

The first place you should put your side hustle earnings (if you’re not using them to pay off debt) is a bank account.

Here are two different places to park your cash and avoid monthly account fees:

Online Based Side Hustles

My favorite type of side hustle takes place online. I can do them from home or when we travel. And, they don’t require physical activity–only mental aptitude and a little creativity.

Related: Check out these 20 tips to find your first freelance client.

1. Tutor

Wyzant lets you tutor local students in almost any subject. It can be math, science, foreign language, and even college entrance exams.

A second option is tutoring English as a second language to people on the other side of the world with VIP Kid. To be an ESL teacher you usually must have an educational background or professional teaching experience.

2. Freelance Writing

If you’re gifted with words, I highly recommend being a freelance writer. Once you get your skill level up, you can easily make at least $20-$25 per hour (no joke!).  It has definitely opened doors for our family that I never anticipated. And, you don’t have to be an English major to get started!

While I specialize in personal finance, I also write about a few other topics that aren’t necessarily finance-related. It really depends on the client.

In short, you can write about what you know and get paid for it.

You may write for clients about some of the following topics:

  • Gardening
  • Technology
  • Award Travel
  • Dieting
  • Exercise
  • Investing

The sky is truly the limit.

While I got my start on Upwork (be sure to only pursue “Payment Verified” jobs), my best success has been with clients I either pitched to myself or were referred to from online friends for better pay and more reliable work.

3. Start a Blog

Before I started freelance writing as a side hustle, I developed my writing legs and online portfolio (writing samples) with a blog. You’re on this same blog right now reading this article.

Besides being my portfolio to attract potential writing clients, I also make money through product referral links (like using Personal Capital to track your side hustle earnings) when you signup for a product or service I recommend.

I didn’t know the first thing about blogging when I started but trust me, your grandma could probably do it. If you’ve ever typed a paper for school, you can blog. And since you’re writing about something you’re passionate about, it’s a lot more fun than doing a 10-page research paper with MLA formatting for school.

There are many different places to start a blog, but I recommend Wealthy Affiliate as they host up to 20 paid-domain websites and they have a how-to affiliate marketing course.

4. Be a Graphic Designer

If you’d rather produce videos or design graphics, I recommend Fiverr to get started.

When my wife self-published her ebook, it’s where we went to hire the freelancer to design our book cover. As its name indicates, gigs start at $5 but you can charge more for larger tasks.

5. Self-Publish an Ebook

If writing on a blog isn’t enough, you can also publish an ebook on Amazon Kindle.

You never know, it might become a #1 seller on Amazon.

Some of the best self-publishing tips I know of is this one right here.

6. Make an Online Course

If you like to teach, consider making an online video-based course. Whether you teach math, painting, or computer coding (to name a few ideas) there’s a wide market for online learning. Most people don’t have the time or money to attend a local community college course.

One way to record and edit your videos is with Screencast-O-Matic.

After recording your videos, upload your course to an online learning site like Udemy. These sites have an established audience of potential students and dedicated tech support to help you with the upload process. Once a few students leave feedback on your course, you might get ideas for follow-up classes you can record.

Summary

There you have it! 21different side hustle ideas to make money in almost any shape or fashion this year. My wife and I have tried a few of these (and still do a few of them) in our lifetimes to bring in some much-needed cash. I hope you try a few of them too!

What side hustle are you trying today? 


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Side hustle ideas

10 Comments on "24 Side Hustles to Make Money in 2020 (and Surveys Aren’t One)"

  1. Great list here, I am sure anyone can find something to earn a bit of scratch. Now all they have to do is follow through, which most won’t.

    I have had the idea to write a book for a while now. Thanks for the link, it is full of useful info!

    • I’m looking forward to hearing about your future book!

      Follow-through is definitely the hard part–for side hustles and anything else in life worth having. I’ve always needed the extra money so that added a little extra incentive to follow-through. That being said, I went 7 years without working a side hustle because I was happy with my financial situation.

  2. I need to do something about my income because the social security is not enough. I was think about doing a program for two year olds. Getting them ready for preschool.Could send some information about this type of program.

  3. Josh, something’s wrong here. Our betters in the mainstream media keep telling us that there’s no opportunity in this wretched country. How did you discover these 15 very viable ways to boost your income and get ahead? You don’t have a journalism degree from an Ivy League school. You don’t have resources of a mega corporation to support your sleuthing skills. How did you unearth these side-hustles all by yourself? Great freakin’ post, my friend. Cheers.

  4. As a parent, I have had to pay a babysitter and I agree they earn a good amount. Also, I am a blogger who started my blog as a side hustle. I agree that all the aforementioned jobs can help one earn a decent pay.

  5. Thanks for sharing this amazing post! Yes, these business ideas are really in trend and have lots of opportunities to make money easily in the current market.

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