Many people turn to side hustles as a way to make extra money outside of a traditional job. Whether you’re looking to make a little extra spending money, cover a shortage in your budget, or earn enough money that you can stay home with your kids, a good side hustle can be the solution.
But sometimes the biggest challenge with a side hustle is making everything fit into your schedule. While there are all different types of opportunities available, it can be a challenge to find a side hustle that will be worth the effort if you only have a limited amount of available time in your schedule.
The good news is, there are some extremely flexible side hustles that allow you to make money with just a few hours of work per week. You just need to know which opportunities are the best fit for you, and this article can help with that.
Here you’ll find 11 side hustles that don’t require a lot of time. While you may not replace a full-time income with a side hustle that gets just a small amount of time or effort, you can definitely make some extra money that may be able to help you in any number of different ways.
Be sure to take our free interactive side hustle quiz if you’re struggling to find the right opportunity.
1. Dog Walking
Working as a dog walker is a very flexible way to make extra money. You can take clients and fill the available time around your existing schedule, regardless of whether you are able to work days, evenings, weekdays, or weekends. You could work just for one or two clients if that’s all that you have time for, or find more clients and do more work if you’re able.
You may be surprised at the amount of money you can make as a dog walker. According to Angie’s List, the typical dog walker charges $15-$20 for a 20-minute walk and $20-$30 for a 30-minute walk. At those rates, you can make a decent amount of extra money simply by working as little as a few hours per week.
Earlier this year, I interviewed Lily about her pet sitting and dog walking business (see the article here: How to Become a Pet Sitter). She makes $40,000 per year with a simple pet sitting business, and she also offers dog walking for an additional fee. Lily finds all of her clients through Rover, which is an excellent platform for anyone who has an interest in making money as a dog walker or pet sitter.
Not only is it a flexible money-making opportunity, but you can also get exercise while you’re working.
Get started as a dog walker by creating your free profile on Rover so pet owners can find and hire you.
One of the most flexible ways to make real money is to buy and resell items, also known as flipping.
In general, you can find under-priced items at yard sales, thrift stores, auctions, flea markets, and estate sales, and then resell the items at a profit. There are a lot of different ways to sell the items, and a growing number of selling apps that can help you, but many flippers have good success by selling on eBay of the Facebook Marketplace.
Part of what makes flipping a great side hustle is that you can do it whenever you’re able. If you have some spare time on a Saturday morning you can go out to some local yard sales and you’ll probably find some items that are ideal for flipping. Selling the items through eBay or Facebook also gives you a lot of flexibility.
Another nice perk of this side hustle is that it can be easily scaled up if you wind up with more time available, and if you want to increase the amount of money that you’re making. Some people are even able to make a full-time income from flipping.
While it may not be the most lucrative side hustle, taking paid online surveys is definitely one of the most flexible, which is the main reason it’s so popular. You can sign up for a few different survey websites/apps and start taking surveys almost immediately. Almost anyone can do it, no experience required.
With a survey side hustle, you can make a little extra money whenever you have the time available, regardless of whether it is just a few minutes or a few hours. You can even take surveys while you’re watching TV.
There are a lot of survey sites out there, but some of the top choices include:
You can see a bigger list of the best survey websites here.
4. Donating Plasma
Donating plasma is another easy side hustle that just about anyone can do. It doesn’t require a lot of time (about 60-90 minutes per donation, with the first one taking longer) and you can actually make decent money by doing it. You’ll be able to donate up to twice per week, and if you do that, you could make an easy $300 – $400 per month.
There are plasma centers located in just about every city and even in many smaller towns, so chances are, there is one near you. Getting started is easy – just schedule an appointment or visit a center near you. The amount that you get paid will depend on a few factors, like your weight (which impacts how much plasma you can donate), how frequently you donate, and any promos that may be running.
To learn all of the details about this opportunity, please see my article Get Paid to Donate Plasma.
5. Charging Scooters
If you live in an urban area, you may be able to make some extra money pretty easily by charging electric scooters. Bird and Lime are two companies that have expanded into many cities and they pay people like you and me to charge scooters so they can be rented out.
A few months ago, I interviewed Kevin (How to Make Money Charging Electric Scooters), who is making hundreds of dollars per month with only a small time commitment.
If it fits into your daily life, this can be a great way to make extra money. But there are a few caveats. First, it’s only an option if you live in a city where Bird, Lime, or other similar companies operate (fortunately, that includes most cities at this point). As Kevin mentioned in the interview, it’s an ideal way to make money if the scooters are close to you, but it’s not ideal if you have to go far out of your way. Second, with the increase in popularity of this side hustle, you may need to go on a waiting list before you’re able to start working – it just depends on the current need in your city.
To learn more, read the interview here.
Working as a transcriptionist is a very flexible way to make money. Most companies that offer transcription work allow you to work whenever you choose, as much or as little as will fit into your schedule. There are some people who do transcription work for a full-time income, but even if you only have a few hours per week you may be able to do pretty well with this side hustle.
Of course, you’ll need some typing skills and you’ll need some basic transcription equipment like a foot pedal and headset. But if you have the typing skills, transcription can be a very flexible way to make money.
When it comes to transcription work, not all opportunities are equal. Some websites that offer work will pay very low rates, but others give you much better pay and opportunities to make real money.
When you’re ready to get started, see our list of the best transcription jobs to know where to start your search. My article How to Become a Transcriptionist also shares the story of Janet, a perfect example of what’s possible in this industry.
7. Renting Your Friendship
One of the most interesting ways to make extra money is to get paid to be someone’s friend. RentAFriend.com is a website where you can create a profile for free, and other people in your local area, or people who are traveling through the area, can hire you to spend time with them. This might involve things like going to a movie, concert, sports event, party, or something else.
This is a very flexible side hustle because you can schedule activities around your life, and if an opportunity doesn’t fit with your schedule, you don’t have to take it.
It sounds a little strange at first, but there is nothing sexual about it and it’s totally legal. Plenty of people are actually making money this way, and you can read about Jackie’s experience in my article How to Make Money by Being a Friend.
8. Car Advertisements
Everyone is looking for passive income ideas, but to be honest, there aren’t that many ways to make passive income without having money to invest and without putting in a lot of time and effort upfront. One of the few legit ways to make passive income without investing and money and without much effort at all is to sell advertising space on your car.
There are a lot of factors that can influence how much money you’ll make and what opportunities will be available, including where you live, where you work/park, and how much you drive.
If you decide to pursue this opportunity, be sure to work with a legit company like the three mentioned above. There are some scams going around that involve getting people to pay money upfront to have the advertisement placed on your car, with the promise of reimbursement. You should never have to pay out of pocket to get the ads placed on your car.
9. Renting Out Your Stuff
Chances are, you have some things that could be generating money for you by simply renting them out. Here are just a few examples of things that you can rent:
- A room in your house
- Your parking space or driveway
- Storage space
- Space for pets
- Your car
- Your bike
- Baby stuff
For a more detailed list, see my article 20 Things You Can Rent Out for Extra Money. There are a few things to love about this side hustle. First, it turns things you are not using into income-generating assets. Second, since you’re making money based on the assets, you may not need to invest much of your own time to make the money.
To be honest, renting a room in your home can require a good bit of work if you’re taking short-term rentals from travelers. You’ll need to clean the room between each guest, so it’s not always a great fit if you’re looking for something that won’t require a lot of time. But an alternative would be to rent to a long-term tenant, like a one-year lease for example.
There are many different websites that can help you to find people who want to rent your stuff. At FatLama you can rent just about anything, and of course, Airbnb is the most popular choice for renting a room in your home.
See this article to learn about many more websites that can help you with renting out your stuff.
Renting tradelines can be one of the best ways to make real money without much time involvement, but there are some requirements. You’ll need to have good credit and you’ll need to have at least one (preferably a few) credit cards with at least one year of consistent payment history.
Some people who need to quickly improve their credit score are willing to pay to be added as an authorized user on your credit card account, which can help to boost their score. They don’t actually get a credit card and they never have access to your account, but you’ll get paid for helping them to boost their credit score.
It sounds shady at first, but it’s not illegal. However, there is still some ethical gray area because it is likely to violate the terms of your credit card, and it’s possible that the credit card issuer may cancel your account if they know that you are doing this. Some people prefer to stay away from this opportunity for those reasons, but others see it as a great way to earn some extra money.
The amount of money you can make will depend on several factors, like the age of your credit card account and your credit limit, but many people are making hundreds of dollars per month or more (with a few different credit cards).
This is a side hustle that you should not get into without considering the risks of having your credit card account closed, but it can be a great way to make some money without putting in much time or effort.
You can learn a lot more in this forum thread at Mr. Money Mustache.
11. Low-Effort Passive Income Apps
If you’re only looking to make a small amount of extra money, one of the easiest things to do is to take advantage of a few different apps that allow you to make passive income. None of these apps are going to generate a significant income for you, but if you’re using several different apps, it can add up. And the great thing is, using these apps takes almost no effort and anyone can do it.
While there are a lot of different apps that promise passive income or low-effort income, here is a quick look at a few of my favorites.
UpVoice has got to be one of the best and easiest ways to make a little something extra. You can earn $75 per year or more just for visiting sites that you already visit, like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Amazon, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You’ll earn rewards like Amazon gift cards.
MobileXpression is a research company that tracks mobile internet browsing activity (they don’t share your personal data). You can earn $50 per year in gift cards simply by having the app installed and active on your phone. The only thing you need to do is occasionally open the app to claim your rewards.
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is one of the leading cash back websites/apps. They have thousands of partner stores and websites and you can earn cash back from many of the purchases you need to make. On top of that, Ebates will also automatically find coupon codes for you that can save you a lot of money with no extra effort on your part.
Swagbucks is a survey website that was mentioned earlier in this article, but they also offer several other ways to make money aside from just surveys. Swagbucks has a cash back program that is very similar to Rakuten, and they also have thousands of partner websites in their program. Sometimes you can get more cash back with Rakuten and sometimes you can get more from Swagbucks, so if you want to maximize your rewards you should have a free account at both.
Drop is a cashback app that links to your credit or debit cards. When you make a purchase at participating stores and restaurants like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Dunkin Donuts, and many others, you’ll automatically earn cash back. Drop also has some other ways to make money, like completing special offers. It takes just a few minutes to set up, and then Drop works without requiring any effort from you.
Dosh is another cashback app that links to your credit or debit cards. The stores, restaurants, and websites in Dosh’s program are mostly different from the ones in Drop. Dosh also allows you to earn cash back for booking hotel rooms through the app, and in some cases, that cash back can be pretty significant. Like Drop, Dosh only takes a couple of minutes to set up.
Even if you only have a limited amount of time available, there are some side hustle options that will allow you to make some extra money without interfering too much with your life. Take a look at the options covered in this article, see which one seems like a good fit for you, and take action to get started. All of these options also make it possible to start making money quickly, so you should see some results without needing to wait a long time.
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