Much has been said about the difficulties Millennials face when it comes to financial freedom. If you’re a Millennial yourself, you probably know this struggle well. Looking to break into the prohibitively expensive housing market? Still trying to pay off those student loans? Struggling to afford a new car as average prices continue to rise? If these questions hit home, it is likely because they ring true. Thankfully, you can do something about it. Yes, it might require hard work, but consider the alternative: Do you really want to live in a 400 sq. ft. apartment forever? Here are some side hustles that you can start this weekend. And in the process, make some extra cash.
One of the easiest ways to make a bit of extra money is to sell your professional services to others. If you are a graphic designer, engineer, copywriter, web developer, or search engine optimization strategist – to name but a few examples of relevant disciplines – you can leverage your skill sets on the free market. Think about it: Why limit your earning potential to Monday through Friday, 9-5? Sites like Fiverr.com and Freelancer.com make it easy to find paying gigs. Sign up, look for jobs that interest you, and start earning money.
Are you crafty or artistic? If so, Etsy is what you’ve been looking for your entire life – a means to actually promote and sell your wares. Whether you crochet clothing and household items or paint, Etsy provides you with everything that you need to sell your product: An online store front, a proven audience, and ample resources to help you succeed. For the craftsperson or artist out there who doesn’t have the time or the means to open up a brick-and-mortar shop (or perhaps is smart enough to realize the inherent risk in that venture), Etsy is for you.
But what if you aren’t crafty or artistic, yet still want to pursue entrepreneurship and direct sales? What do you do then? You may want to consider a company like Amway. Despite what you may have heard, Amway is a legitimate business opportunity, not a scam. You can sign up today and gain access to a diverse and proven catalog of products. For individuals who don’t have products of their own to sell, Amway provides a lifeline of sorts. Best of all, you maintain complete control over your involvement – you can dedicate as much or as little time as you want. If you’ve got a salesperson inside of you desperate to get out, Amway may be the answer.
Uber & Lyft
If you’re a Millennial, then you already know about Uber and Lyft. Suffice to say, they need no introduction. Rather than using these services to purchase rides to and from, why not sign up as a driver instead? Like Amway, you can work as often or as little as you like, giving you the freedom to work when you feel like it, and take days off when you don’t. Dedicate a weekend or two per month to driving customers around, and you could easily earn a couple of hundred dollars or more – enough for a modest car payment or extra income you can put away in savings.
EBay & Craigslist
Perhaps your specialty is old car parts. Maybe you’re a vinyl buff. Or perhaps you have an affinity for mid-century furnishings and kitchenware. Regardless of what niche you may be interested in, Ebay and Craigslist provide a platform to resell these items at a profit. The process is simple: You hunt down old parts at junkyards, yard sales, and flea markets, and resell them online. If you really know your stuff, you could make hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month. Put that specific expertise or interest of yours to work!
Individuals with a strong foundational knowledge of key subject areas, like math or English, may find that they can make additional money tutoring. If you are unsure how to get started, you may not be surprised to learn that there are websites dedicated to online tutoring. For example, Tutor.com and Chegg provide a simple and straight-forward enrollment process for would-be teachers. With rates starting at $20 per hour, many tutors make upwards of $1,000 per month or more, which can greatly aid you in paying off student loans or saving up for a house.
Admittedly, this option isn’t for everyone. It requires you to have a place away from your apartment that you can crash in, as well as a landlord who is willing to look the other way, as sub-letting is often frowned upon. That being said, if you do have a place that you can call home temporarily (such as your parents’ house), or you happen to own your place, you could earn extra money by renting it on Airbnb. Sign up, take advantage of Airbnb’s professional photo services, and start listing your place for rent. If you live in an appealing neighborhood, you may be surprised at how many renters you get – and how much money you earn.
Dog Walking & Pet Sitting
For the dog lovers out there, what’s better than earning extra money walking dogs? Sites like Rover, Care, and Sitter City make it easy to sign up as a care provider. You can enroll to walk dogs, act as a pet sitter, or both. As with many of these services, the amount you earn is ultimately up to you, as you set your own schedule and availability. If you love animals, the benefits of this option are probably self-evident. Enroll today and start pet sitting!
Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and loves writing anything in the lifestyle, tech and career realm both online and print. When she’s not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two.