15 Side Hustles You Can Start for Around $15
When you need to earn money fast, there’s no time to build start-up capital. Here are gigs you can start working for less than it costs for a tank of gas.
These days, everyone is hustling. Nearly half of working Americans hold down a side gig along with their primary jobs, cites a recent survey from Bankrate.com. As the pandemic’s economic fallout continues, 10.7 million remain unemployed. Sisters may find themselves turning to side hustles to make ends meet or to explore a passion.
To improve your cash flow, consider one of these flexible side hustles. Best of all, they cost $15 or less to start.
1. Walk a furry friend. Become a dog walker in your area by passing out business cards at the local dog park. When you are ready to scale your business, get matched with clients at Rover or Wag!. Earn $15-$18 an hour, wear some comfy kicks and carry your H2O. Cost: Online business cards cost as little as $8. Both Rover and Wag! are free to join, but there’s a $29.95 application fee for Wag! and a minimum $25 fee for Rover.
2. Deliver food. Be your own boss through DoorDash, Postmates or Instacart. Sign up to deliver local fare like pizza and burgers or groceries. The best part? You choose when and where you work. Requirements vary, but all drivers need access to a car and a clean driving record. There is a background check, too. Earn about $15 an hour. Cost: Free
3. Freelance. Companies are always looking for talented creatives. “Post your services on Upwork,” says Jessica Williams, founder of Tech Biz Gurl in Chicago, which teaches side hustlers how to launch. “Based on the project and your skills, start at $40-$50 per hour.” Check out Freelancer, too.
Cost: Upwork is free to join, but you have to pay $0.15 each for “connects” to submit a proposal.
4. Shuttle folks around town. Kimberly Martin a 53-year-old mom in New Jersey, needed extra cash three years ago, so she started driving for Lyft. “I signed up and gave my driver’s license, insurance and registration,” says Martin “In three days, I was approved.” She advises driving near train stations and joining incentive programs to boost income. A similar service is Uber. She netted $200-$400 a week for a five-hour shift depending on the bonus!
Cost: Free to join.
5. Join a mock jury. Listen to lawyers present both sides of a legal case during a simulated trial. Your opinion helps them determine how a juror could react in a real trial. OnlineVerdict.com pays, on average, $30-$60 per 30 to 60 minute project. Earn up to $250 for a full-day mock trial. Also try eJury.
6. Do a DIY job. Like to fix things? Post some flyers at your supermarket or a rec center to drum up business. Or, get paid to repair a broken toilet or assemble a desk via TaskRabbit or Thumbtack. Services also include contactless deliveries. On TaskRabbit, earn $22 an hour running errands and $55 an hour assembling furniture. Jobs have a minimum of one hour per task.
Cost: Print flyers advertising your services for the cost of paper and ink. TaskRabbit is free to join, but in some cities there is a $25 registration fee.
7. Start a podcast. “Anchor.fm and many other platforms allow you to upload your podcasts for free, with minimal technical skills,” says Arlan Hamilton, founder and managing partner, Backstage Capital, a Los Angeles venture capital company. “Indie podcasters generally are able to charge $10-$50 per 1,000 listens, per ad.” Time is the main cost since it can take a few hours to create and publish your podcast. Another platform to try is SoundCloud.
8. Assist an exec. If you have phenomenal written and communication skills and are uber-organized, become a virtual assistant. “Start with one client for 10 hours per week, then take free courses online to learn the latest in spreadsheet creation, standard grammar rules or social media management,” says Hamilton. Indeed and ZipRecruiter have jobs that pay about $15 an hour.
Cost: The time it takes to sharpen skills and attract clients. Neither site charges a fee.
9. Host a virtual class. A few days a week, I bop around the living room with my Zumba instructor for 60 minutes of booty-shakin’ cardio. It’s $5 a class via CashApp. Join a Facebook group or post an ad on Craigslist to market the class, then go for it!
Cost: Free for a 40-minute meeting with up to 100 participants.
10. Teach English online. If you’re fluent in English and hold a bachelor’s degree (required in some cases), teach students your native tongue. There are two billion people using English or learning to use it, so decorate your virtual classroom and apply at VIPKid and DaDa. You can make $12-$25 or more an hour according to data from Bridge Education Group.
Cost: Free for qualified candidates.
11. Peddle a product. To supplement her income, Kellie Brown of Los Angeles started selling organic handmade soaps. “I purchase soap for about $15 per loaf and sell the bars individually for $7 each,” says Brown. “Each loaf has 10, one-inch-cut bars, earning her $70.” After subtracting the initial $15 investment, she profits $55.
Cost: Up to $15 depending on the product and the amount purchased.
12. Monetize your talent. “Everything has to have a place,” says Deborah Sykes, a super-organized 64-year-old who has earned money cleaning houses with her friend Sandra Supczak, 71, in Florida. “Go to the dollar store and buy products, rags and a bucket,” says Sykes. The BFF’s grew their client list by cleaning apartments in assisted-living facilities for $75 per cleaning. Hold this hustle in the pocket until people are vaccinated. Meanwhile, start a fan page to build client interest.
Cost: $10-$15 to start.
13. Transcribe interviews and presentations. If you are detail-oriented and have good English skills, a computer and a reliable internet connection, consider work as a transcriptionist. At Rev.com, for example, average monthly earnings are $245, and the top monthly earning is $1,495. Filter your project choices based on deadline, content of the audio recording and pay offered. A similar site is GoTranscript.com.
Cost: Free to sign up. You’ll need to take a quiz and complete a sample assignment to qualify.
14. Consider car sharing. You may have a car that’s sitting in the driveway while you work from home or because you’ve retired. Peer-to-peer sites such as AvailCarSharing.com work something like an Airbnb for autos. You can earn up to $25 per day for a large SUV, and up to $20 for a midsize car via this site. Your car should be less than 10 years old, in good condition and have fewer than 125,000 miles. A similar business is Truro.com.
Cost: Free to sign up. Plan to visit a carwash and get a basic cleaning.
15. Stop porch piracy. About 30 percent of Americans have been victims of package theft according to data from Comcast. With a service called Vyllage, “you can use your home as the drop off and pick up point for deliveries in your neighborhood to reduce package theft, damage and missed deliveries,” says founder Laura Borland. For one to two hours a day, earn $50-$75 a week. (A similar way to earn cash using your living space: Rent out a closet, attic or driveway as storage space using a site called Neighbor.)
Cost: $14.95 for a background check.