Cutting back on your budget can go a long way towards paying down your debt but sometimes you have to take the additional step of bumping up your income and earn extra money. While there is an endless number of earn extra money online, there are also some things you can do out in the real world to rake in some extra dough. Here’s a look at some of the most popular offline side hustle ideas.
1. Lend Someone a Helping Hand
If you’re handy with a screwdriver or moving furniture is your idea of a fun afternoon, TaskRabbit is right up your alley. This site pairs people who want to outsource chores they don’t have time for otherwise don’t want to do with Taskers that can handle the job. You set your own rates for the work you do and you can earn as little or as much as you want, based on what kind of time you have.
You have to apply to be a Tasker using your Facebook or LinkedIn profile and go through a verification process before you can start accepting gigs. The company is responsible for matching you up with clients and processing payments so once you’re placed for something, all you have to do is show up and do the work. TaskRabbit currently operates in 19 cities but you’ll also find listings for virtual tasks.
2. Keep an Eye on the Kids (or the Dog)
Being a caregiver in your spare time is another way to earn extra money that won’t put too much of a strain on your time. While you could put up flyers in your local area advertising your services, sites like Care.com make it easy to connect with people who need a babysitter, pet-sitter or companion for an aging senior.
To get started with Care.com, you just create a free profile and start searching for jobs posted by members. If you want to include a background check as part of your profile, there’s an additional fee for this service. You decide what to charge and Care.com accepts payments from your clients and forwards them to you via direct deposit. The site has more than 15 million members so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find work.
3. Drive Your Way to More Money
If you’ve got a car, a driver’s license and a clean driving record all three of those combined could equal some decent side money. Uber and Lyft are two rapidly growing companies that allow you to rent yourself out as a taxi driver in your spare time. You basically set your own schedule so again, you have control over what you’re making.
As far as how much you can make goes, Lyft claims on its website that drivers can earn as much as $35 per hour. Getting a solid number from Uber is a bit trickier but the company has said that its drivers earn $6 more per hour than traditional cab drivers. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to factor in the cost of gas, oil and wear and tear on your vehicle which can all detract from your earnings.
4. Get Paid to Shop
If you regularly hit the stores there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get paid to do it. Mystery shopping is an excellent way to pad your wallet without having to pick up any specialized skills or change your regular work routine. Depending on the company you work for, you could earn between $10 and $25 per gig just for doing things like shopping at your favorite stores, enjoying dinner out or taking a car for a test drive.
When you’re looking for mystery shopping opportunities, you need to keep a close eye out for potential scams. Companies that ask you to pay money to become a mystery shopper or require you to offer up your bank account information so you can receive an “advance payment” are the ones you want to steer well clear of.
5. Share Your Knowledge
Tutoring students in your local area is yet another option for earning extra money and you don’t necessarily have to have a teaching degree to do it. WyzAnt, for example, allows you to create a free account as a certified teacher, professional, graduate student or undergraduate student. Once you’ve signed up, you can search the site’s listings for in-person or online tutoring opportunities.
The great thing about tutoring is that you get to set your hourly rate and according to WyzAnt, top earners bring in over $50,000 a year. That’s far from chump change so if you’ve got a wide body of expertise in a particular subject, it’s definitely worth your time to consider becoming a tutor.
Keep Tabs on Your Side Hustle Earnings
Earning extra money to pay off debt is a smart move but it can come back to bite you if you’re not paying Uncle Sam his due. Any money you make from a side business has to be reported on your taxes and you’ll be subject to both income and self-employment tax. If you skip out on reporting it, you could land in hot water with the IRS.