There are plenty of different ways to make money outside of a job, but many of the options won’t allow you to start making money very quickly. For example, you could start a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel, but all of those things are going to require you to put in a lot of work before you start making money.
If you’re in a situation where you need to start making money quickly and you don’t have the option of waiting for your payoff, you’ll need to choose a different side hustle. Fortunately, there are some very good options that make it possible for you to start earning real money quickly.
1. Flipping Items
If you need to make money quickly, the first thing you should consider is selling some things you no longer use or need. You probably have accumulated a lot of stuff that you could easily sell for extra money. Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace make it easy to sell all kinds of stuff to other people in your local area.
Take a little bit of time to go through your house, garage, or shed and find some things that you can sell. If you have enough things to sell, you could host a yard sale and get rid of a lot in just a weekend.
While that’s a great option for making money quickly, you’ll eventually run out of things that you can sell. If you want to turn this into an ongoing side hustle, you can purchase things at yard sales, flea markets, auctions, or thrift stores to resell for a profit. Many people make a steady income this way through eBay flipping.
This can be a surprisingly-lucrative side hustle as you can get some great bargains on things that have far more value if they’re sold in other ways. To maximize profits you can use platforms like eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari, which allow you to sell to people anywhere in the country (or the world) rather than just being limited to your local area.
Each platform has its own pros and cons and is ideal in different situations, but you can learn more of the specifics in this Poshmark vs. eBay vs. Mercari comparison.
2. Dog Walking
You might be surprised by the amount of money that you can make as a dog walker (some people even earn a full-time income). There are a lot of pet owners that either don’t have the time to walk their dog or are physically unable to do it, and they’re willing to hire others to do it for them.
One of the perks of this side hustle is the possibility of ongoing work with regular clients. A one-time gig may turn into daily or weekly work. Another benefit is the exercise that you’ll get while you’re working.
Of course, you can find clients on your own if you prefer. But apps like Rover and Wag make it easy to create a profile so pet owners in your area can find and hire you. Rover says it reviews applications within 5 business days, so you could get started making money pretty quickly. Wag says applications take anywhere from 1 day to 3 weeks to process.
3. Rideshare Driving
Driving for Uber or Lyft could be an excellent option for you if you have a suitable vehicle. You can apply as a driver today, and the application process typically takes 3-7 days, which includes time for a background check. Once you’re approved, you can start driving and making money right away.
One of the nice things about this side hustle is the fact that you don’t need to find things to sell and you don’t need to land any clients to start making money. When you’re ready to drive, simply open the app and find people in your area who are looking for rides.
The biggest downside to this side hustle involves the mileage that you’re putting on your car. You’ll need to consider costs like gas as well as maintenance and wear and tear in order to determine how much money you’re really making.
4. Delivery Driving
If you like the idea of making money by driving, but you don’t want to have strangers in your car, another option is to work as a delivery driver. Apps like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats make it easy to work by delivering orders from restaurants. And Instacart is a great way to make money by delivering groceries.
In general, the vehicle requirements are lower for delivery driving as compared to rideshare driving, so if your vehicle doesn’t meet the requirements to drive for Uber or Lyft, you may be able to work as a delivery driver instead.
Amazon Flex is another option for working as a delivery driver. In this case, you’d be making deliveries for Amazon instead of making restaurant deliveries.
This side hustle also involves about a 3-7 day wait for your application and background check to be approved and then you can start working and making money right away.
Working as a delivery driver presents the same situation as rideshare driving, so you’ll need to calculate your costs for mileage and maintenance to know how much you’re really earning.
There are countless different services that you could offer as a freelancer, and you can start making money as soon as you land your first client. You may be able to find some clients by talking to your friends, family, and neighbors. And, of course, you can also reach out to people in your professional network. Posting your services to Craigslist can also be an easy way to start finding clients.
Although the possible services that you could offer are endless, if you’re looking to start making money quickly, you should focus on skills that you already have, rather than trying to learn new skills. Think about the things you do at your job, skills you learned through previous jobs, or hobbies that could be turned into a service and you should be able to find something that you can offer as a freelancer.
Depending on the specific services that you’re offering, there may be some niche-specific job boards that can also be extremely helpful for finding work. For example, the ProBlogger job board is a great resource for finding freelance writing gigs. Other sites like Remote and FlexJobs are great for all types of freelance and remote work.
Another benefit of freelancing that can make it a very appealing side hustle is the potential to generate a full-time income. Many of the services that you could offer will allow you to earn a great hourly rate, and you could scale up to add more clients and replace your full-time job, if that’s something that interests you.
Freelancing is one of the best ways to make money online without paying anything. It’s a legit business that you can start with no investment.
If you have some bookkeeping experience or if you work with Quickbooks at your full-time job, starting a bookkeeping side hustle could be a great option. Like other service-related side hustles, you can start making money as soon as you land your first client.
There are several factors that make bookkeeping a great side hustle, including:
- Most of your clients will be ongoing, so you won’t need to constantly look for work.
- You can earn a very nice hourly rate.
- It requires minimal experience.
- Ideal for part-time or full-time work.
One of the common misconceptions about working as a bookkeeper involves the requirements for the job. Many people assume that they need accounting experience or significant booking experience, but that’s really not the case. In fact, it’s possible to get started with no experience (read this article for more on how to become a bookkeeper).
If you’re good at fixing things or working with your hands, side hustling as a handyman could be a great fit. Handymen do a lot of odd jobs like simple repairs for homeowners, light plumbing, light electrical work, painting, and maybe some outdoor projects as well.
There is always a need for handymen and you can probably find your first few clients just by talking to family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. You can also post your services to Craigslist to make it easy for people to find you. It’s very possible that you could start making money within a week or two.
According to PayScale, the average handyman makes more than $22 per hour, but some charge $40 or more per hour.
8. Mowing Lawns and Landscaping
Do you enjoy working outdoors? If so, mowing lawns or doing landscaping work like trimming plants and spreading mulch could be an ideal side hustle. Many homeowners and business owners need to hire someone to take care of their yard.
Again, you can probably find your first client just by talking to people you already know, and you can also post your services to Craigslist or local bulletin boards in your area.
While this does involve some seasonal work, you could also offer leaf cleanup and snow removal at other times of the year.
9. Charging Scooters
If you live in an urban area, one way to start making extra money quickly is to work as a scooter charger for companies like Lime or Bird. These companies rent out electric scooters and they need people who are willing to take the scooters home and charge them.
Charging scooters can be a great way to make some extra money because you don’t need any particular skills and it’s something that you can do around your existing schedule. You’ll sign up to become a charger and then use an app to locate scooters that need to be charged. Pick them up on your way home from work or another time when it’s convenient for you and you can easily make some extra money.
Some of the other side hustles that have been mentioned in this article (like freelancing and a lot of the service-related side hustles) could be turned into a full-time business. This one doesn’t give you the same high earning potential, but it can be perfect for people who need a little bit of extra money but don’t want to add much disruption to their lives.
To find out how you can get started, please see this article about making money with scooter charging.
10. Online Surveys
One of the most common side hustle recommendations is to take online surveys for cash or other rewards. This could be a good option because anyone can do it (no skills or experience required) and it’s extremely flexible.
The downside to taking online surveys is the fact that the amount of money you earn per hour will probably be lower than any other side hustle covered in this article. It’s highly flexible and convenient, but not highly lucrative. You’ll need to decide if the flexibility and convenience are the most important factor for you.
Another positive is the fact that you can get started right away. Create a free account at Survey Junkie or Swagbucks and you can start taking surveys today.
While many side hustles will require you to put in some time and effort before you start to make money, there are also some good options if you need to start making money right away.
Many of the side hustles covered in this article are service-related, and you can start earning money as soon as you have your first client, which usually isn’t that difficult. Now that you’ve read through the details of each possibility, decide which one will be the best fit for your own situation and get started.
Marc is a personal finance blogger at VitalDollar.com, where he writes about topics related to saving money, managing money, and making money. He’s also created a course called Blog Launch Breakthrough that covers all of the steps needed to start a grow a money-making blog.