Looking to earn some extra money with a side hustle, but not sure where to start?
You’ve come to the right place. Making ends meet, paying off student loans, or even just saving up for your next vacation can be tough. A side hustle can help you earn extra money fast, even if you only have a few extra hours each week.
Before we dive into how to get started, here’s some of the questions this article will cover. Keep scrolling, or jump directly to whichever you’re curious about:
- What is a side hustle?
- Why do people work a side job?
- How do I start a side hustle?
- What is a good side hustle?
Side Hustle Meaning
First things first: what exactly is a side hustle?
A side hustle is a flexible job that you work at “to the side” of your primary job. It's a way to bring in extra cash, flex creative muscles, and more.
If you work a 9-5, a side hustle could be driving for Lyft, running an Etsy shop, or freelancing on Fiverr.
If you’re in high school or college, a side hustle might be your primary source of income while you go to school. Good side jobs for teens and college students could include things like driving for Instacart, building Ikea furniture for others through Taskrabbit, babysitting, and more.
Why do people work a side hustle?
People start a side hustle for a variety of reasons. Common motivations include:
- A way to make extra money on the side
- Pay off student loans faster
- Supplement a full-time income
- Increase financial independence
- Develop a creative outlet
- Optimize spare time and be more productive
As time goes on, serial side-hustlers continue to build new side hustles. These entrepreneurs often find having a side hustle rewarding in and of itself.
How to Start a Side Hustle
Starting a side hustle may seem overwhelming. However, with so many side hustle jobs available, it can be a really easy way to make extra money. If you’re looking to start a side hustle, just follow these 4 easy steps:
1. Decide why you want to start a side hustle.
Knowing your goals for starting a side hustle will help you choose the right side hustle job for you. Do you want to pay off student loans faster? Are you looking to find a creative outlet? Do you want to supplement your current income with some extra money on the side?
It’s also good to ask yourself questions like:
- Do I want a long-term job or something I can do for just a few weeks?
- Am I looking for a lot of money quickly or a more consistent sum for a longer period of time?
- How much time do I have to devote to my side hustle?
- Am I able to travel for my side hustle or do I need to work from home?
If you only need to make some extra money by the end of the month to buff up your vacation fund, it’s probably not the best idea to try and start your own tutoring business. Likewise, if you need consistent income over a longer period, cleaning out your attic and selling everything on Craigslist is a good start, but won’t continue to provide income.
2. Determine what your best skills and resources are.
Next, you need to determine where your skills, interests, experience and resources are, so you can begin to narrow down your opportunities.
Not sure where to start? Jump down to check out some good side hustle ideas, then come back to this step!
Try asking yourself questions like:
- What have I done in the past that I was good at?
- What skills do I have that other people may need?
- Are you able to travel for your side hustle? Do you have a car or bike that you could use for delivering items?
- What am I interested in learning more about?
- What do friends and family often ask for my help with, or advice about?
Once you’ve determined your skills and resources, you’re in a great place to start figuring out your most lucrative side hustle options.
3. Find side hustle jobs near you for your skills.
Once you’ve narrowed down your skills and resources and settled on a few side hustle options, you’re ready to start making your side hustle dreams a reality! But now you might be wondering, “How do I find side hustle jobs near me?” Here’s four great ways to find side jobs near you:
- Use a side hustle app.
Side hustle apps are a great way to find jobs and start earning money quickly. Apps like Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart and so on are all great ways to find clients and start monetizing your skills right away.
- Offer your services online.
Use freelancing websites like Taskrabbit, Fiverr, Upwork and more to offer your services. These websites have the benefit of huge amounts of traffic and clients who are looking for your skills! All you have to do is create a profile and start reaching out to clients whose projects align with your skills.
- Start your own website.
If you have more time, you might prefer to start your own website or business and attract clients directly. Although this method takes more time upfront, it can be a better option long-term, as clients may become loyal to you and create ongoing partnerships.
- Offer your services on local community boards and groups.
Of course, you can always offer your services the old-fashioned way, too! Posting flyers on job boards or community boards in local parks and coffee shops can be a great way to spread the word about your new services.
4. Don’t forget to prepare for taxes from your side hustle.
Finally, the fourth step is one many people forget about (until they’re hit with a big tax bill the following April!). Once you start your side hustle—no matter how small—it’s time to start preparing for tax season as well.
Any money you make—whether it’s from a 9-5 or a side hustle—has to be reported on your taxes. With a side hustle, taxes will not be automatically deducted from your income (even if you’re working on a side hustle app like Uber or Lyft). As a result, you should prepare for having to owe taxes at the end of the year.
There’s three main ways you’ll want to prepare for side hustle taxes:
- Familiarize yourself with the tax process for freelancers. To understand what you’ll need to do and pay next tax season, check out our guide to freelancer taxes.
- Start setting aside a bit of money each month or quarter for your taxes. If you expect to pay more than $1,000 in taxes, you may be required to make quarterly tax payments. (You can read more about that in our quarterly taxes guide). Either way, put aside at least 10-15% of your side hustle income each month for taxes.
- Start tracking your expenses and deductions to reduce the amount you’ll eventually owe on taxes. If you drive for work or your side hustle, get a mileage tracking app to automatically record the miles you drive. Every mile can be deducted from your taxes and save you thousands of dollars a year on your taxes!
If you purchase any supplies for work or have other business expenses, these may count as a tax deduction as well. Not sure what counts as a business expense? Use Everlance’s Deduction Finder to automatically and easily find business expenses and deduct them from your taxes.
What is a good side hustle?
What makes for a good side hustle varies based on what goals you have with your side hustle. If you’re looking to find a creative outlet, you might choose a different side hustle than if you’re looking for a good side job to make extra money fast. Not sure which side hustle to choose? Here’s some ideas to start off with:
Good Side Hustles to Make Extra Money from Home
If you’re want to find a side hustle where you can make extra money from home, there’s a lot of options to consider:
- Tutor English (or other languages or subjects) online. There’s a ton of websites where you can offer tutoring services in English or other subjects. You can also start up your own independent tutoring business. Either way, tutors can work completely virtually.
- Offer freelance services on Fiverr. Know how to code? Can you offer business consulting? Are you a social media whiz? Whatever your online skills, there’s likely a need for it on Fiverr, a freelance-services platform. Sign up and start working from home almost immediately!
- Become a virtual assistant. As the name suggests, virtual assistants help others—from small business owners to CEOs—manage a variety of tasks, all completely remotely. You can find VA side hustles on sites like Upwork and Fiverr, as well as on specific virtual assistant job board sites.
Good Side Hustles to Make Extra Money Fast
If you need to make extra money fast, a side job can be a good idea. Whether you’re trying to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible or beef up your bank account before your next vacation, a side hustle can help you make some extra income:
- Sell things you don’t need on sites like Craigslist, Poshmark or eBay. Cleaning out your closet, your attic, or your parent’s basement can add up fast!
- Donate plasma. The process for donating plasma is similar to donating blood and you can help provide life-saving treatments for people battling leukemia or other illnesses.
- Start driving for a delivery, ride sharing or other side hustle app. Depending on how much time you have, this can be a great way to make money quickly, as there’s little onboarding time and you can accept as many jobs as you have time for.
Good Side Hustles to Make Extra Money with a Full-Time Job
If you have a full-time job, but are looking to supplement your income or make extra money on the side, there’s a lot of good side hustles for you. Even if you only have a few hours a week, there are ways to maximize your productivity and earn some extra income:
- Consider driving on evenings or weekends for delivery services or rideshare apps. These are great apps for side hustles because you can always set your own hours and accept as many or as few jobs as you like.
- Work on a freelancing site like TaskRabbit or Fiverr. Finding the right site depends on the skills you want to offer. Sites like TaskRabbit allow you to complete everyday errands and tasks for people in your area. Sites like Fiverr allow you to offer freelance services for everything from writing to legal consulting to app programming.
Remember, if you’re driving for work—whether it’s your full-time job or a side hustle—you should be tracking your mileage so you can deduct it from your taxes. Since most side hustle jobs will not deduct taxes automatically from your paycheck like a full-time job will, it’s important to maximize your tax deductions so you’re not paying more in taxes at the end of the year.
Good Side Hustles for College Students
If you’re in college, older than 18 years old, and you have a car, driving side hustles can be a great option for you. Consider driving for side hustle apps like:
- Uber Eats (19+)
- Amazon Flex (19+)
- Grubhub (19+)
- Uber (if you’re 21+)
- GoPuff (if you’re 21+)
No car? No problem! You can walk dogs or provide other pet caregiving services through side hustle apps like Wag! or Rover.
Ready to get started with your side hustle?
Once you’ve downloaded your side hustle apps or launched your website, download the Everlance app as well to manage business expenses, track your mileage, maximize tax deductions, save money and time on taxes and more!