Consider a side hustle to earn extra cash
Can you make a decent living in the gig economy? The odds are against you if you rely on the best-known job platforms, such as Uber and DoorDash, which offer miserable net pay to drivers.
A dozen other well-known sites — including HomeAdvisor, Mechanical Turk and TaskRabbit — treat workers equally poorly. Their specific sins vary from site to site, ranging from charging workers for worthless “leads,” paying pennies per hour and penalizing workers for turning down bad jobs.
But dozens of sites you may have never heard of offer great moneymaking opportunities. Some promise fun experiences, too. The website SideHusl.com has more information on each one, including the expected pay, a rating and a detailed review.
Rent your house. Consider Giggster, a site that allows you to rent your house by the hour for movie and photography shoots. I personally tested the platform to see if it worked as well as it appeared.
Result: I earned $1,455 in one day renting out my house to an advertising firm that was charged with trying to discourage kids from smoking. The 12-hour shoot was fascinating to watch, and I got to eat catered food with the “talent.”
Giggster has a limited geographic reach, operating primarily in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, but there are a half dozen other sites that do the same thing. PeerSpace, for instance, operates in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Be a tour guide. You can make $50 to $100 per hour conducting tours in your own city. You determine the itinerary, schedule, maximum (and minimum) tour capacity and price.
ToursbyLocals, Viator and Vayable will advertise your offerings on their sites, charging a commission on each booking.
Best of all, you can design your tours around your own passions — movie locations, historic sites or restaurants. And you’ll spend the day with people who are interested enough in those passions to pay you to lead them around.
Host a dinner party or cooking class. A website called Eatwith allows home cooks to host dinner parties with paying guests. Eatwith operates worldwide, so you might host local couples looking for an unusual night out or adventuresome tourists looking to sample authentic local cuisine.
You choose when you cook, what you offer and how much you charge. The site takes a commission for arranging bookings and collecting payment.
However, you need to have a food handler’s license to sign up. And you must be willing to undergo regular inspections of your kitchen.
Cozymeal offers a similar service but also allows home chefs to offer cooking classes. You’ll pay a 20% to 30% commission on each booking.
Be a teacher. Thinkific and Teachable allow you to put a class online and charge whatever you see fit. You could teach people how to build things, speed-read or manage a website.
Both sites have easy-to-use platforms that coach you through setting up your class. They also give users the choice of paying a monthly fee or a commission on sales, which allows you to start for free.
Fix hair and makeup. People with a background in cosmetology can sign up for a fun side hustle that involves going to clients’ homes to fix hair, nails and makeup for special events, such as weddings and television appearances.
A site called beGlammed will set up appointments and collect payment for you (for a hefty 40% commission). Hourly rates range from $30 to $90 per hour.
Walk and watch dogs. Animal lovers can make decent money by signing up to take care of dogs. Typically, dog walkers at Wag! get $12 per half-hour walk and a bit more if there are two animals.
If you sign up with Rover, you can watch dogs overnight and set your own rates, paying the site a 20% commission for booking and collecting payment for you.
Consult. A site called WAHVE (for Work-At-Home Vintage Experts) looks for people in their 50s and 60s in the accounting, insurance and human resources fields.
If you’re at a point in life when you’d rather work flexible hours and telecommute, the site will find jobs with smaller companies that are willing to work around your schedule.
Other sites offer similar opportunities in a wide array of fields — from law to marketing. FreeeUp, for instance, is an online marketplace for web developers, designers and content creators. Pay ranges from $10 to $75 per hour, depending on your skill level.
Fairygodboss specializes in finding professional jobs for women, rating employers on flexibility and maternity-leave policies.
If the site you’re considering isn’t rated on SideHusl.com, scroll to the bottom of the site’s landing page and look for its terms and conditions. This is a legal document that spells out your contract with the site.
Site terms may be long and full of legalese, but they should be required reading.
© 2019 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.