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Looking for some extra cash to get ahead? Join the club. A new survey by Bankrate reveals that 44 million Americans are holding a side job – or, as it’s commonly being called, a side hustle. These folks are shrugging off the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule and pursuing a life of entrepreneurship. What’s more, a surprising amount of them are succeeding. So what’s with this sudden change to the side hustle life? And how can you get started? Let’s walk through the facts, the opportunities and the challenges of starting your own side hustle.

Who’s Hustling Hardest?

The Bankrate survey found that the younger Millennials (between the ages of 18 and 26) are the most likely to have a side hustle to help supplement their income. Millennials are often looking for ways to supplement their entry-to-mid-level jobs, pay off student loan debt or save money for a larger purchase.

But the side hustle isn’t just for the younger crowd. In fact, while there are fewer Americans from older generations in the side hustle game, they tend to make more money than their Millennial counterparts. Younger Baby Boomers, for instance, are more likely to make an extra $1,000 a month.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Side Hustle?

Before we dive too much into this one, we should say that average monthly income will vary between industries and depending on the amount of time spent on your side hustle. But it can be substantial. “It isn’t spare change from a lemonade stand,” said Sarah Berger of Bankrate’s Cashlorette blog in an interview with CNN Money. Thirty-six percent of the 86% saying they earn extra money from a side hustle make $500 or more each month.

The “gig economy,” which includes side hustles like Airbnb, Lyft, Uber and TaskRabbit, can provide a range of financial opportunities as well as flexibility. However, 85% of these gig workers make less than $500 a month, on average, through those services.

Image: WashingtonPost.com

Image: WashingtonPost.com

Side Hustle Ideas

Besides the gig economy options listed above, there are several side hustle ideas that you can pursue. Check out a few of these side jobs you can do for extra cash.

Online Tutoring/Teaching Jobs

Have a knack for teaching? There are several companies out there that can connect you with students in need of some help. This can be a great way to make money from the comfort of your couch.

Event Planner

If you have a good aesthetic and some savvy organizational skills, you may be well-suited for an event planning position. Whether you’re in the business of planning weddings, kids’ birthdays or local celebrations, you can sell your services. Check out this handy guide from The Work at Home Woman for becoming the ultimate event planner, including everything from getting started and building your website to marketing and investing in your business.

Rental Property

While it’s not for everyone, purchasing an investment property can be a great way to create some additional income. Depending on your area, the rent can often pay your monthly mortgage and then some. In some cases, investment property owners are getting 15% return on investment or more, which is better than most people do in the stock market. That said, there are a lot of headaches that can come with renting. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of landlording before you start.


If you’re interested in selling products, you don’t necessarily need to have a brick-and-mortar shop to get into the game. Instead, you can sell other people’s goods through e-commerce. This is where you promote and sell products online, often using a process called drop shipping. When a purchase is made, you’re able to take a cut.

You’ll often need to build a site for the e-commerce side hustle, allowing you to find users and promote goods that may be of value. When first getting started with e-commerce, it’s often best to find a niche that isn’t already saturated. From here, you can begin setting yourself up as an expert on a specific product and selling it to your users.


There’s always a great need for babysitters, and as our population ages, there’s becoming more and more of a need for senior care as well. When it comes to caregiving, you can often set your schedule, allowing you to keep your regular job and work on either nights or weekends. To get started in caregiving, you can either secure your own job or apply with a company in your area. If you’re ready to get started, check out these companies today:

How Much Money Do You Need Get Started?

Before you jump into the side hustle game, you need to think about the costs involved. For instance, if you decided to purchase a rental property, you’d need a way to secure funding. You would also have to think about things like regular repairs, taxes, insurance, etc. You need to keep track of the money going in and the money going out.

Even side hustles like Uber involve expenditures, including paying for gas as well as wear and tear on your car. Plus, there’s an increased risk of accidents from being on the road a lot. When planning out your side hustle, make sure you consider all the costs involved, including time. Your time is incredibly precious, and if you’re making a little more money but spending an extra 40 hours a week making it, it may not be the best use of your resources.

Startup Funds for Your Side Hustle

As far as funding your side hustles is concerned, there are a few ways to get started. It probably won’t make sense for you to get a business loan at this point, as most companies want to see that your business has legs before lending you their money. Instead, you should consider a personal loan, which is often easier to obtain than a business loan and has a lower interest rate than a credit card.

Hustle On

With so many Americans holding down a side hustle, it’s clear that it can be a great way to make money and get ahead. With the proper planning, you, too, can start making extra funds on the side!

Have you started a side hustle? Let us know in the comments below!

This Post Has 4 Comments

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