12 Realistic Side Hustle Ideas You Can Get Started On Today!
Get things moving, find your match, and earn those extra dollars now.
Are you looking for a realistic side hustle idea that you can get started on sooner rather than later?
Not interested in filling out surveys or comfortable renting out your spare room to someone?
Well, neither am I, so here are some practical ideas you can do from home or in your local community.
Some of these side-hustles require a little extra time to set in place and get momentum, while others, you can get started rather quickly.
Like with everything, certain jobs are not for everyone; that’s why it’s important to find the best fit for you, your interests, and your lifestyle.
1. Cleaning Houses/Small Businesses
One thing that never goes away for long is dirt 😉
So housekeeping services remain a present need, especially in today’s modern age of busy people.
While this is not the most glamorous of jobs, it’s good and honest work that can provide a decent side income.
Another great aspect of housekeeping is that it can be a few or as many clients as you want and fit into your schedule.
If you are only looking to make an extra $100/week, that could be as little as two hours a week (the national average is $50 to $90 per hour).
Years ago when starting work in our family business, I also worked two evenings a week, cleaning that same business instead of hiring it out.
This side hustle allowed me to make almost an extra $600 per month (2008 rates) and put that money towards investment plans I had for myself.
You can advertise your services on sites like Housekeeper.com.
But make sure you also get out there locally and post some flyers on the community mailboxes and your Facebook local community page.
Tip: Make some beautiful flyers using free design services like Canva that will help your flyers stand out.
2. Selling Cheap eBay Finds Locally
So this is personally my favorite kind of side hustle.
I have been using this idea for years, and it’s wonderfully easy and requires very little investment depending on the item you choose to buy/sell.
While many posts suggest selling items on eBay, I recommend buying from eBay, Aliexpress, and DHgate, and selling those items locally for a large upsell.
Roughly six years ago, when taking my certification in wedding and event planning, I came up with the idea of buying and reselling wedding veils and accessories.
I started with a tiny $5 investment and bought five different veils.
Once I sold those rapidly, I realized I was onto something.
I added wedding boleros, hair combs, tiaras, and bridesmaid kits.
The goal is to find an inexpensive item(s) that costs much more locally.
This way, you will be able to sell the items at a good profit while providing a service to your local community looking for a more affordable option.
The sites I’ve had the best luck selling on have been Varagesale, Facebook Marketplace, and Kijiji.
I can’t tell you how many brides have thanked me for providing them with a beautiful veil from $35-$100 that would have otherwise cost them anywhere between $300-$700, which they could not afford.
Keep in mind that overseas packages take time to arrive.
So if you plan to sell a seasonal item, plan ahead, and if your budget permits, buy enough to cover you for at least 2-3 months.
Nothing sucks more than having people contact you, and you are waiting for your next shipment to arrive because you only bought two of something.
So take a few hours and search through these sites looking for products. A good tip is to sort by Price + Shipping: Lowest first.
Once you find an item of interest, try different keywords for better pricing deals that may be advertised differently.
Tips: If the wedding veils idea has sparked some interest, here are some tips I suggest;
1) Buy Ivory veils instead of white. Most clients need a light ivory veil even if they show up to purchase white. The ratio tends to be 3:1 for how many ivory veils get sold versus white veils.
2) Always bring a white veil along with you even when selling ivory. So many brides will think you mistakenly brought them a white veil until they see the visual difference side by side. Avoid potential issues and buy a $1 white veil to have on hand.
3. Always check your veils for defects on arrival, such as a loose or detached comb, loose threads, etc. Have a glue gun at home to reattach any combs as needed.
If you are busy caring for your kids at home but still looking for ways to make a side income, consider adding a couple of kids to the mix.
Many parents often need part-time help during the week and weekends, so why not offer childcare services to your local community?
You can post your services on social media, at your local community center, or church.
Take it one step further and register yourself with an online service such as Sitter.com or Bambinositters.com
4. Housesitting/Pet Sitting
So why am I clumping house and pet sitting together?
According to Wikipedia, pet care accounts for 80 percent of all house-sitting bookings.
Housesitting clearly won’t work for everyone’s lifestyle.
But if you love animals and have the flexibility and ability to leave your home to house sit another, then this is the side hustle for you.
If you want to promote your services online, look at HouseSitter.com or Housecarers.com, where you can create your profile for potential clients.
5. Become A Dog Walker
If you like the idea of pet care but don’t want to house sit, then dog walking is another good option.
It’s a great way to make money in your neighborhood and can be scaled into a small local business.
One thing dog owners like me are always looking for is a trustworthy person to care for their pets.
If you build a good reputation in your area, word of mouth can quickly help expand your client base.
6. Get An Acting Gig
Become the next Hollywood star!
No, I’m just kidding, but you can become a movie extra without too much effort.
If you are willing to sit around and occupy yourself for long hours, then being a movie extra is a side hustle gig you can occasionally enjoy.
The pay is decent for the effort involved, and it’s nice to be on set and see the ins and outs involved in movie making.
Tip: Wear neutral-colored clothing (unless you receive specific instructions on what to bring along). Bring an extra change of clothes.
7. Deliver Food
With the challenges 2020 has brought into our lives, more and more people have been turning to food delivery services.
If you don’t mind getting out there, then DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates are some of the most popular options to look into.
The beauty of food delivery is the flexibility you can have in your schedule, especially if you only want a part-time gig.
8. Social Media Consultant/Marketing Specialist
Does social media play a significant role in your daily life?
Do you have a large Instagram following or impressive Pinterest statistics?
If you enjoy building an audience and are good at driving traffic to your content, then why not capitalize on that skill set?
Small businesses and successful bloggers constantly look for online marketing consultants or specialists for guidance or help in managing their online presence.
Most don’t have the time to handle all the required tasks, so they are looking for people like you to hire for the job.
READ: 12 FINANCE TRICKS TO BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL WEALTH
9. Become A Virtual Assistant
Depending on your skills and where you apply, a virtual assistant could find themselves performing tasks similar to a Social Media Consultant/Marketing Specialist.
This will likely be the case if you offer services in the social media and blogging business world.
But virtual assistants are needed in many fields, from those listed above to e-commerce, finance, and general admin.
If you are interested in learning more about setting up your virtual assistant business, check out this in-depth post from Gathering Dreams.
10. Create An Online Course
Do you have a specific skill set? Do you love your day job but wish you could branch out and expand your income sources?
Why not capitalize on what you already know and start sharing your expertise by building an online course through Udemy or Teachable?
From photography to graphic design, marketing to wedding/event planning, there is a market for almost everything.
11. Selling Printables on Etsy
You don’t have to be a graphic designer to sell on Etsy.
All you need is time and imagination to create beautiful printables you would like to use yourself.
And no, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars buying software to create your designs.
Use free services like Canva or Google Slides to make the PDF design that you can then sell on the Etsy platform.
12. Start A Blog
So why is blogging last on the list? Starting a blog can be a side hustle, but the keyword here is hustle.
Whoever said blogging was a fast and easy road to financial success was lying 😉 .
Blogging is hard work, and there is a steep learning curve when building and managing a good website.
Signing up for hosting and downloading a theme is simple enough, but getting your plugins, details, and final product right can be a little off-putting if you are not tech-savvy.
Once you are set up, you must learn to drive traffic to your site and monetize your blog.
But if you are passionate about starting a blog, enjoy writing, and are willing to put in the hours and hard work, then success could be yours down the road.
Just remember, nothing worth having comes easy!
Whichever side hustle idea you choose to pursue, make sure you give it your best effort.
Working a second job/side job is never easy, especially with everyone’s busy schedules.
Keep the bigger picture in mind and stay focused on your goal. The sky’s the limit when you want something badly enough.
About the author
Clara is the founder of Blue World Dreams, an entrepreneur & budget-savvy personal finance expert. She’s invested in helping others attain financial freedom using her knowledge from running a successful seven-figure corporation and building an extensive and diverse investment portfolio. Find out more.