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If 2020 and 2021 have shown us anything, it is how precarious the economy and our jobs can be. Millions of people went from being employed to being unemployed in a matter of weeks. Many people didn’t have emergency funds to fall back on.
That is why having a side hustle to give you an extra source of income is so important. It takes some of the stress and uncertainty out of life. Plus, it is a good way to beef up your savings. Please keep reading for my best side hustle ideas for 2021.
Why You Should Consider a Side Hustle in 2021
Not only can having a side hustle give you more stability, but it can also help you reach your financial goals faster. Maybe you want to get out of debt quickly. A side hustle can help you get there. Or perhaps you’ve got your sights set on buying a home in the next few years. The extra income from these side hustle ideas can speed up your progress.
Having a side hustle can also be a lot of fun. Side hustling lets you take something you enjoy and turn it into a money-making opportunity. What could be better than that?! Side hustles are also usually much more flexible than your day job. That means you can pick up extra work on your schedule. If you don’t feel like working so much for one week, no problem. You’re in charge!
Here are some of my favorite side hustle ideas that are perfect for 2021.
In This Guide:
Delivery Side Hustles
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of money on your car. Why not make your car work for you! Several side hustle ideas use your vehicle. These have become increasingly popular in the last year.
It seems like everyone is always busy. Sometimes, people are so strapped for time that even shopping for or picking up food can be challenging. That’s where you come in. There are several excellent grocery and meal delivery side hustles that I’ll cover next. These side hustle ideas are fabulous if you want flexibility and freedom.
Grocery Delivery App Jobs (Postmates vs Instacart)
One excellent side hustle idea that uses your car is to drive for a grocery delivery service. When working for a grocery delivery service, you’ll be responsible for doing the actual grocery shopping. Then you’ll deliver the groceries to the customer.
If you don’t love shopping or it takes you forever, this may not be the best side hustle. But if the idea of earning some extra cash while getting your steps in sounds great, keep reading.
The top companies to deliver groceries for are Postmates and Instacart. They are similar in their services to customers, but the back end (where you’ll be working) looks a little different.
Postmates vs Instacart
Postmates offers more flexibility. That is because you can decide to work whenever you want to. Simply turn on the app, and you’ll get notifications of potential deliveries. With Instacart, you need to schedule your shifts in advance. Then you’ll see what work is available during those shifts.
You always have the option to accept or decline any order. Both Instacart and Postmates pay based on the number of deliveries you make and how quickly you make them. You will also get to keep 100% of any tips you make. Tips are where the real money comes. So be sure to provide A+ service to earn more in tips.
When we look at what drivers earn in an average hour, Postmates comes out ahead. Drivers for Postmates can earn anywhere from $18-25 per hour. Instacart averages are closer to $13-18 per hour.
Takeout Delivery App Jobs
Another one of my favorite side hustle ideas is delivering takeout. Several popular takeout delivery services are excellent side hustle opportunities. Among the most well-known are Door Dash, Uber Eats, and Grub Hub.
Calculating pay for these meal delivery services is a little tricky. That is because they pay based on the number of deliveries. However, there is also variability based on the order type and size and how busy things are at the time of delivery. Working during peak hours like lunch and dinner will usually net you a better payout. Most meal delivery services will earn you between $8-15 an hour, including your tips.
Pet Sitting and Caregiving Side Hustles
Even though many jobs have become remote in recent years, there is still an enormous need for in-person side hustlers. If you could use some friendly interaction, here are a few fantastic side hustle ideas for you!
Dog Walking/Pet Sitting Jobs (Rover)
A great way to earn extra money is by working as a dog walker or pet sitter for Rover.com. If you are a pet lover, this job is a dream come true! You get to play and get plenty of puppy love, and you get paid for it?! Sign me up for that!
Pets are like family for most people. Even though many Americans have been working at home recently, that doesn’t mean they have more time for their pets. They still want their pet to be loved and cared for and taken on that oh so wonderful walk.
For others, their in-person jobs have become even more demanding. Think about healthcare workers or teachers, for example. They, like many others, have been forced to work long hours a day in and day out.
One of the best parts of having Rover as a side hustle idea is the control it gives you. Rover gives you flexibility in your schedule and your rates. You are in charge of both! Many dog walkers and pet sitters start by offering a lower rate to attract new customers and build up their workload quickly. Then, as you get busier, you can raise your rates to earn even more.
If overnight pet sitting sounds like too much, you can offer drop-in visits during the day. When pet owners have to work all day, it will thrill them to have someone swing by to see their pet. You can take them outside and then come back in for some good playing!
According to Rover, most part-time dog walkers and pet sitters bring in an extra $1,000 a month! That’s a lot of money that can really make a difference in your financial goals.
Caretaking with Care.com
If human interaction is more your style, there are plenty of ways to earn extra income with these side hustle ideas. The best way to find caretaking jobs is through Care.com.
In 2021, many parents are still working full-time while trying to take care of their kids full-time. If you have experience providing childcare or tutoring for school-age kids, you will be a desirable commodity.
But families with kids aren’t the only ones who could use a helping hand. Eldercare needs are also on the rise. This is especially true since many people are doing everything they can to keep their aging family out of a nursing home. Additionally, the aging population continues to grow, with demand often outstripping supply. Eldercare could involve cooking, cleaning, bathing, or running errands.
Working as a caretaker for your side hustle can also be very meaningful and rewarding. You’ll be able to earn extra money while also making a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Most child care and elder care positions will pay between $12-18.50 an hour depending on where you live.
Another way you can earn money through Care.com is by offering housekeeping services. You can make anywhere from $15-19.50 an hour or sometimes more with this side hustle. The scheduling is usually flexible. If you want more work, take on more clients!
Care.com makes finding work easy. All you need to do is search for positions in your area. When you see something that interests you and fits your price range, you can contact the job poster. As a worker, you never have to pay to use Care.com. You’ll have no startup costs and no ongoing expenses, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket.
Online Side Hustle Ideas
Even before everything became remote in 2020, remote side hustles were starting to make their mark. There are several simple ways to earn money online in 2021. Keep reading to learn which ones are the best for you.
Get Paid to Take Surveys Online
One of the most tried-and-true side hustle ideas is taking surveys. Will you get rich from completing surveys? I wish! But sadly, that is not the case. However, taking surveys is incredibly easy to do in your free time.
The great thing about taking surveys is that it is flexible. You can even take surveys while sitting around watching TV in the evenings.
VIPKid (Earn Money Teaching English Online)
Another fabulous remote side hustle idea is working as an online English teacher. Even pre-pandemic native speakers were in high demand to teach classes online. If you don’t have a degree in teaching, don’t worry. You can still qualify to be an online English teacher.
VIPKid is a popular company to work for as a teacher. In fact, some people have been able to turn this side hustle into their full-time job! All you need is a bachelor’s degree (in any field) and a lot of enthusiasm.
Payment will depend on your experience. If you nail your initial interview and test class, you’ll also start at a higher pay rate. With VIPKid, you can earn between $14-22 per hour.
This side hustle isn’t quite as flexible as other remote work. That’s because you have to commit to at least 7.5 hours of work during peak time. Since your client base will be in China, these peak hours are often in the wee hours of the morning.
If you are an early bird or a night owl, though, this could be the perfect side hustle for you. You’ll be able to get your work done while the kids are in bed. And if you are one of the thousands of people who find themselves unemployed, you can adjust your schedule to work with the position.
Become an Influencer (Monetize Your Social Media)
If you need something more flexible, another great online side hustle is to monetize your social media. If you have a ton of followers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or Youtube, it is time to monetize.
Monetizing your social media accounts might seem challenging. After all, don’t you need a blog for monetization? It’s easier than you might think, though!
There are a few ways to monetize your social media and become an influencer. Many companies will pay you to advertise their products. After all, people are more likely to buy something that comes recommended by someone they trust. By sharing products produces you love with your followers, you’ll earn either a flat rate for the post or a commission on the sales.
You can also make money through affiliate marketing. Companies like Honey, Rakuten, and more will pay you to get your friends to use their free platforms. The best part is, you’ll help your friends save money too!
Finally, you can monetize your social media account as a side hustle by selling your products or ideas. There are plenty of people who sell printables, artwork, and even stickers online. You can sell anything online if you know how to market it. Having a large social media following is one fabulous way to do that.
Freelance on Upwork or Fiverr
The last online side hustle idea I have for you is freelancing. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are a great way to find work as a beginning freelancer. While companies will post jobs on these sites, you can also market yourself to clients directly.
Upwork and Fiverr are easy to use. They also don’t have any startup costs. That’s because you don’t have to pay to use either website. With Fiverr, once you get a gig, they keep 20% of the profit. Upwork is similar. They charge 20% of the profit on the first $500 per client. After that they charge 10% for all billings from $500.01 to $10,000 and 5% after $10,000.
What kind of work will you sell? The sky's the limit! Fiverr offers over 200 different categories of freelance services you can offer. For Upwork, you can provide any service that you can do with a computer. If it is legal, you can submit your services as a freelancer on these sites.
I recommend thinking about something you enjoy doing and do well. It could be freelance writing, resume writing, proofreading, website design, graphic design, transcribing, or working as an artist.
The most remarkable thing about this side hustle idea is that you are in total control of what you want to do. Freelancing is one of the best ways to make extra money. Creating a side hustle out of something you already enjoy doing is the best way to go about it. That’s because it won’t even feel like work!
The amount of money you can make as a freelancer depends on several things. The rate you charge, the type of service, and how many clients you have will all play a role. As a freelancer, you will always be in control of all these factors.
What Could These Side Hustle Ideas Mean for You
Now that you have more side hustle ideas, what will they mean for you? I know people who have been able to take their side hustles from $0 a month to over $5,000 a month. Think of all the things you could do with that kind of money.
Sometimes, your side hustle could even replace your full-time job. Even if that isn’t your goal, it never hurts to have additional sources of income. If one source dries up or you get let go from your job, you won’t be in dire straits.
If 2020 taught us anything, it is that nothing is a certainty. So, go out there and take control of your future. Adding a side hustle in 2021 is one great way to do it!