Aug 15, 2023
29 Side Hustles To Consider in 2023
Side hustles have become a popular strategy for those working toward a savings goal, paying down debt, building an emergency fund, or just padding the budget. In fact, half of millennials and more than half of Gen Zers have a side hustle in 2023, according to a recent survey.
Like any sort of job, side hustles come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, potential incomes, costs, and time investments. Some are quick, low-effort, and tend to generate less money. Others can be built into real money-makers, but require some up-front investment or additional time and effort.
In this article we’ll cover:
- What a side hustle is
- Types of side hustles
- Side hustle ideas
- How a side hustle can help you grow your wealth
- Tax implications of side hustles
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is work that provides supplementary income in addition to the money earned through one’s main job. Essentially, a side hustle is a second (or third, or fourth) job. Side hustles can include anything from gig work, like driving for Uber or Amazon Flex, to flipping houses or furniture, to freelancing using your professional skills.
Many people with side hustles use the internet, apps, or their professional networks to find opportunities; some go so far as to build small businesses around their side work. The amount of work and potential income earned through your side hustle will depend on what type of work you pursue and how much time you can devote to it.
What is a “legitimate” side hustle?
A legitimate side hustle is one where you provide the product or service required and can trust that you’ll get paid what you expect. There are many scammers on the internet, though, and it isn’t surprising that they sometimes target those looking for side hustles. Keep an eye out and stay safe while looking for side hustles to protect your time, income, and personal information. If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it likely is. Here are a few tips for checking the legitimacy of a money-making opportunity:
- Screen potential freelance or contract work clients to ensure they’re legitimate businesses. Get a contract in place if possible.
- Look at reviews and web forums for any apps or websites you’re using to find work.
- Never pay a fee to apply to work for an individual or company.
- Beware of opportunities that require you to purchase products upfront to resell to others or require you to invest money in training materials. Multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs) often require this, and many people lose money or go into debt with these types of endeavors.
- Guard your personal information. Review a company’s website, check the Better Business Bureau, and talk to someone directly before providing anyone with your personal information.
Types of side hustles
Side hustles aren’t one-size-fits-all. You can choose from different types that require varying levels of time and effort, upfront costs, and skill requirements.
Here are five broad categories to consider:
- Freelance or contract work: This work requires an existing level of skill, and many people use the professional skills they rely on for their primary job to pick up freelance work in the same industry.
- Gig economy jobs: Gigs are temporary and part-time positions in which independent contractors fulfill some services provided by a company, such as making deliveries for a food-delivery service.
- Online side hustles: Online side hustles are generally not jobs so much as tasks. Online roles are generally quick, easy, and attainable, but relatively low-paying.
- Small businesses: Some hustlers turn their side work into small businesses, whether that’s selling a skill or a product. These roles are often more time- and cost-intensive, but consist of building a brand and potentially turning their small business into their main job.
- Passive income: Passive income can come in several different forms but generally consists of investing in something or renting something out, resulting in repeating income that requires little ongoing effort. There may be a fair amount of work up-front, but the goal is to earn a regular income once set up.
Side hustles ideas for 2023
Based on the types of sides hustles we covered, here 29 hustles to consider broken into the following categories:
- Freelance/contract side hustle ideas
- Gig economy side hustle ideas
- Online side hustle ideas
- Small business side hustle ideas
- Passive income side hustle ideas
Freelance/contract side hustle ideas
Generally, these side hustles are hourly or project-based and require some level of skill or expertise. Freelance and contract work can be found through numerous apps like Fiverr, Upwork, Steady App, and many more. You might also find these opportunities through your network, family, and friends, or by building a public or industry reputation.
Freelance and contract work require an investment in your own expertise, and your income generally depends on the amount of time you put into the work and your experience level. When pursuing these side hustles, make sure the work you do doesn’t breach a non-compete agreement you might have with your main employer. Some examples of freelance work include:
- Graphic design
- Website development
- Social media
- Administrative work
Gig economy side hustle ideas
Gig work is a specific type of contract work based on flexible, temporary, or freelance jobs generally managed online or through an app. In the gig economy, everyone is an independent contractor, so people generally don’t have regular schedules or get benefits from employers. Instead, you get the flexibility to work when you want to.
Pet sitting or dog walking
If you’re an animal lover, you can find opportunities to take care of pets for some extra cash. The amount of time and potential income is dependent on how much work you take on, where you live, and the reputation you build.
If you like to travel, house sitting might be a good fit for you. Using websites dedicated to sourcing house sitters, you can find opportunities to make some money in exchange for staying at someone’s home, watering their plants, grabbing their mail, and other domestic tasks. House sitting comes with the side benefit of helping with your travel budget since your accommodations are free. You might also find opportunities where you live if you’re interested in this kind of work but don’t want to travel.
Rideshare driving is a popular side hustle these days. You’ll need to have a relatively new car in good condition, as well as a good driving record. Some people enjoy the chance to travel around the city and meet new people, as well as the chance to earn more money through tips.
Delivering food through apps
You’ll need reliable transportation to pick up gigs delivering food; most people rely on a car, but some deliver by bike. You’ll usually earn money for each delivery in the form of payment from the company and tips from customers.
Amazon and other businesses hire flex drivers in hour blocks to deliver packages. If you have three to five hours free, you can sign up for a flex block, pick up packages, and deliver them in your area.
Online side hustle ideas
Unlike most gig work, online side hustles can usually be done from home. These jobs often require a lower time investment, with a wide range of potential incomes.
Participating in online surveys
Market research companies often pay participants to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. With these websites, you’ll take surveys in exchange for a small amount of money. The more surveys you take, the higher your income. Watch out for potential scams, such as websites that require payment to join their panel of participants; check reviews before signing up to be sure the website is reputable.
Participating in user testing
You can also test apps, websites, or platforms. Testers are often asked to click through a mockup of a website or sort cards so web developers can learn more about user behavior. These can earn more income than surveys on a per-task basis, but generally require a higher time investment.
Transcribing videos, calls, or recordings
Some sites hire transcribers to turn audio recordings into text. Those who can transcribe quickly can earn a fair amount of money this way, as you’re often paid per audio minute or per file.
Many businesses need some help but don’t need a full-time executive assistant. That’s where a virtual assistant comes in. Often managed completely online, a virtual assistant can perform executive assistant-type tasks contractually.
Starting a podcast, social media, or YouTube channel
Are you an expert on something, or do you have something you’re passionate about? Viral social media content comes in many forms, and if you can build an audience and you’re good at it, you may be able to generate income from a podcast or social media. It can take time to build a large enough audience to monetize your endeavor, but the effort can also be fun and rewarding in its own right.
Selling used clothes or items
Those who are good at thrifting or garage sales can often find items at a relatively low price and resell them for a higher price via online marketplaces. The amount of income you can earn varies widely, but you could do well if you’re knowledgeable about niche items that have a high value on the secondary market. It’s possible to get started without investing too much money upfront if you can find good deals on used items; you could even start by selling items you own but no longer want.
Small business side hustle ideas
A small business is your opportunity to create a brand and sell something you’re good at, whether that’s a product or a service. These are often high-effort, higher-potential income opportunities.
Selling crafts or art
Do you draw, paint, work with wood, or otherwise create a physical product? These products can be sold at fairs, markets, shows, and through online marketplaces to make some money. Work like this requires some up-front budgeting for materials, websites, booths, or other business investments, as well as the time required to create things to sell. But building a brand can turn your side hustle into your full-time hustle.
Another small business opportunity is refurbishing and reselling furniture. With the right supplies, you can update or fix up old or damaged furniture found online, through garage sales, or even on the street for some extra income. This takes an investment in skills and supplies, as well as the time to dig up good finds you can restore.
Creating and selling art
Art doesn’t have to be physical to sell. If you have skills with platforms like Photoshop, you can create original digital art you can sell online. Because it doesn’t require physical supplies, this can be less expensive than physical art. Many people take commissions to increase opportunities to make money.
Coaching or teaching classes
If you have expertise in something, you can share your expertise by offering online classes, either through your own website or an online platform. This avenue can also provide repeatable income if you sell the same recorded course many times.
Passive income side hustle ideas
Passive income is different than active income. Broadly, this is income that you can generate without requiring daily participation. While passive income usually requires an initial investment, you may be able to earn dividends for years from that investment. Check out our full breakdown of passive income opportunities.
Whether you’re renting a spare room in your home or you’ve invested in a rental property, you can generate regular and predictable extra income monthly. Investing in rental properties will often require a hefty investment, so spend time researching options and budgeting before making such a significant decision.
Renting out your car
All this requires is having a car and not needing it while it’s being rented out. There are platforms dedicated to these types of rentals and a significant time investment isn’t usually involved.
Affiliate marketing requires an audience, but once you have one, you can promote content through blogs, videos, or social media and collect ongoing income from your audience’s purchases.
Investing in bonds
While this isn’t exactly a side hustle, it’s an opportunity for passive income that some people overlook. Investing in bonds is a relatively low-risk way to use the savings you have to get a guaranteed return, and there are long and short-term bonds available to fit your timeline.
Opening a high-yield savings account or CD
While they also aren’t side hustles, both high-yield savings accounts and CDs are ways you can use your existing savings to make more money. Both of these accounts offer short-term opportunities to earn interest for storing your cash.
How side hustles can help your financial health
What you do with the money you make from your side hustle is dependent on your unique financial journey. It can help you balance your budget, put money aside toward retirement, or save up to buy something you really want. Relying on side hustles to pay your monthly bills can be risky because they often don’t guarantee consistent income, but a side hustle can help you:
- Build an emergency fund
- Save more toward your goals
- Pay down debt
- Invest in the stock market
- Build your retirement account
- Treat yourself
Tax implications of side hustles
Remember, any income you make has implications for your taxes. Many first-time contractors and side hustlers find themselves shocked when they realize at the end of the year that they have to pay taxes on that income. Unlike money from your regular paycheck, taxes aren’t withheld from the money you make through a side hustle. You’ll have to pay state and federal income tax, and may also be responsible for self-employment taxes. It’s important to research what your taxes are expected to look like and be prepared. You may be able to defer taxes on self-employment income with an IRA.
How to choose the best side hustle for you
Here are some questions to consider when selecting the best side hustle for your unique situation.
- What existing skills and experience do you have?
- How much time can you put into this work?
- How much income do you need to make from a side hustle?
- What resources do you already have available?
- What opportunities would bring you the most joy?
Remember that side hustles don’t have to be huge commitments. You can try something to see if you like it before investing a lot of money or time.
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