If you regularly find yourself out of money before your boss hands over your next paycheck, take heart—you’re not the only one. A comprehensive study from CareerBuilder showed that a whopping 78 percent of us live paycheck to paycheck.
But don’t throw your hands up in defeat just yet. You don’t have to commit to two or more jobs every week just so you can live. That sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? How can you enjoy your life if you’re slaving away on someone else’s schedule, trying to afford it?
What you need is income you can earn when the urge hits you, or when a really-wanna-spend expense is hovering out there on the horizon.
What you need is a side hustle.
Indulge your inner shopaholic.
Do you love everything from boutiques to food markets? Well, you can make up to $25 an hour traipsing through those grocery store aisles and gathering up must-haves for someone else, then delivering the goods to their homes.
If you’re interested in this easy money, Instacart is where to look. To be a “full-service shopper,” you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have a reasonably up-to-date smartphone. Buuuut there are also a few stickier requirements: You’ll need a registered, insured vehicle, and you’ve got to be able to lift 30 pounds…at minimum.
If you don’t want to sign up with a shopper service, search the web for companies who are looking for mystery shoppers (the whole cloak-and-dagger thing is pretty cool, you’ve gotta admit). Some of these companies even let you shop online, under the radar, gauging the service you experience with various retailers.
Rent out your extra space.
Maybe you have an extra bedroom that’s starting to generate a populous dust community, or some other empty area at your disposal that’s just sitting there doing nothing. Why not rent it out?
Becoming an Airbnb host is as easy as snapping some pics of your space and listing it on the site. You can set your own rates, rules, and availability. Plus, Airbnb guarantees you payment within 24 hours of a guest crossing your threshold.
Drive people around…
Okay, so sharing your home is a little too intimate. What about sharing your car instead? Driving for a ridesharing service is one of the best side hustles available these days.
Here’s how it works: Hop in your car, fire up your app, and start picking up riders. Drop those peeps off, then pick up some more. Rinse, repeat until you’re ready to call it quits, then come home and nestle back in front of your TV.
Uber requires that you have a squeaky-clean driving record…but you don’t actually have to own a car. You can rent one through them. You have to pass a background check, too.
…or drive stuff around.
For the introverts out there who would rather not do anything that involves other people in your space (same), you can deliver for Amazon Flex and earn up to $25 an hour. You’ll have to pass that background check—that’s standard for all these gigs—and you’ll need a vehicle (of course!) and a smartphone, but then you’re all set up to deliver packages on your own time.
You can deliver anything from liquor to groceries to takeout meals for Postmates, while DoorDash focuses just on restaurant food.
Do what you do best.
There’s no saying you can’t tap into your own resources if you don’t want to sign up with a company. Walk dogs. Manage social media for professionals or become a virtual assistant. But of course, as with any DIY, you’ll have to do a little work to get your gig off the ground (like online advertising).
You also might have to commit to certain hours…and that might be just what you’re trying to avoid.
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