Raise your hand if you could use an extra $100-$1,000 per month!
Earning more money can help you reach your financial goals, including achieving freedom from debt, saving up for a dream vacation or even coming up with a downpayment for your first home.
By now you may be wondering how you can jump on the side hustle bandwagon. To help you get going and choose the right side gig, we spoke to five savvy women, ages 25-35, who are crushing their side hustles and changing their financial futures. Based on our discussions, here are five new side hustles to consider this year.
1. Delivering Groceries
Constance Tuner, a young mother living in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, was frustrated with “being in the red each month” because her expenses exceeded her take-home pay. Apart from finding ways to reduce her spending, she realized that it was also necessary to supplement her income if she wanted to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Delivering groceries with Instacart has been one of Turner’s most successful side hustles. She says Instacart makes it easy to start earning more money as quickly as possible.
“You can sign up through the website or use a referral code from someone (who’s already registered with Instacart),” says Turner.
Once you pass a background check, the company will send you a card to use for purchases.
“Then, you’ll take a few tutorials, select your hours and get started the following week. Hours are selected a week in advance,” Turner says.
With a better handle on her finances now, Turner says she’s very close to using her income from Instacart to begin tackling debt.
Turner’s average earnings: In January, Turner made $976.25 based on 57 hours of shopping. She does this side hustle for two hours after work during the week and about eight hours over the weekend.
2. Field Agent
Laura Smith, a barista in Minneapolis, Minnesota, uses side hustles to accelerate her debt freedom goals.
“It’s easy to lose perspective and get discouraged when you’re trying to pay off thousands, but every single dime adds up and goes towards changing our family’s legacy,” says Smith.
She recently got started with Field Agent, a free app which pays you for completing “missions” such as checking to see if a store has a particular product in stock. According to Smith, “it’s great because I can (earn extra cash) when I’m out running errands or during my spare time.”
Smith’s average earnings: Smith made about $45 during her first month using the app. She says that the payout amount varies depending on how in-depth each mission is. In her experience, the majority of missions pay between three and six dollars, but she’s seen some that offer up to $22.
3. Exam Proctor
Alli Rosenblum, a recent MBA graduate and founder of financiALLIfocused.com is on a mission to pay off six figures of debt (primarily student loans) in a few years. She’s explored a number of side hustles, including tutoring through Care.com.
Recently, the exam proctor company UExamS reached out to Rosenblum through Care.com. She was asked to proctor exams for a student who needs extra time.
After researching the company and reading online reviews, she accepted the offer. Yet, while it was very easy to get started as an exam proctor, Rosenblum says this is a need-based side hustle and therefore the income is “pretty inconsistent.”
“Side hustles are more important than ever (for my fiancé and myself) so that we can pay off $140,000 of debt faster. We also use side hustle earnings to fund date nights and other treats here and there to keep us motivated on our long debt-freedom journey,” says Rosenblum.
Rosenblum’s average earnings: Her first stint earned her $63 for less than an hour. Better yet, the exam administrator never showed up but she still got paid for her time!
4. Easy Shift
Tancy Shanelle, a stay-at-home mom with a young family, says that side hustles “make all the difference when you’re trying to set yourself up to be financially stable.”
She is $7,500 away from paying off $100,000 in debt and says that “every amount counts.”
Shanelle earns cash side hustling with Easy Shift, which is similar to Field Agent. The types of gigs include taking pictures of displays or specific products, as well as filling out surveys.
Shanelle’s average earnings: Anywhere from four dollars to $25 per shift, with most gigs paying about six dollars. The shifts are anywhere from eight to 30 minutes. How much you earn depends on what’s available in your area and whether you get selected to pick up shifts. “Depending on where you live, securing a shift can be competitive,” says Shanelle. However, in her experience, if you are dedicated, you can make upwards of $200 per month.
5. Focus Groups
Chonce Maddox, a freelance writer and founder of MyDebtEphiphany.com, uses side hustles as a way to supplement her income and fund “extras” – those bigger ticket items that fall outside of her regular monthly budget.
Using earnings from participating in focus groups, Maddox and her husband, “were able to pay a neighbor to take down some trees in our yard in the fall.” They also both did focus groups – which she found via the site Respondent – in December and January to help pay for their son’s birthday party.
“There is one drawback,” says Maddox. “This side hustle is really sporadic, so I treat it as extra (bonus) income.”
Maddox’ average earnings: Maddox earns anywhere from $100 to $250 per focus group, yet bigger opportunities will pop up from time to time. For example, “I was really lucky to be selected for the first focus group that I applied to, which paid $500 for four and a half hours.”
Next Steps: Find a Purpose for Your Side Hustle Money
From personal experience, it can be really easy to blow through extra income coming in from side hustle opportunities. That’s why you need a plan for where that money goes. My favorite tip is to keep my extra income in a separate bank account so that it isn’t commingled with my regular earnings from my day job. This makes it less tempting to spend!
Another tip is to automate your savings. Every time you use your Chime Chime Visa® Debit Card, for example, Chime will automatically round up each transaction and transfer the money from your Spending Account into your Savings Account. It’s as easy as that!
With these extra earning tips in mind, what’s holding you back from creating a more abundant lifestyle?