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31 Side Hustle Ideas for the Scrappy

Last updated 03/21/2024 by

Brenda Harjala
Who wants to sit in traffic, only to have to deal with office politics and idiot bosses all day?
Luckily, you don’t have to be a high-profile consultant or a leading web designer to ditch the cubicle and work form home. In fact, if the huge number of mommy bloggers is any indication, anyone can work at home and make real money.
Whether you want to quit your day job or just generate some extra income, we’ve got plenty of excellent side hustle ideas for you to choose from. Got a marketable talent or skill? It’s probably on this list!

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Become a freelance writer

Most of the popular bloggers we know weren’t Journalism majors, or marketing gurus. They’re regular people with busy home lives, and a knack for writing and sharing stuff people want to read. J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter in a cafe.

1. Blogging

Sure, blogging can be daunting. What should you write about? How do you make money from it? Build an audience writing about something you love like cooking, clipping coupons, or inspiring people, and learn a little about ads from fellow bloggers. You’ll find that successful bloggers love telling their readers about how they did it!

2. Article Writing

Your best bet at side income as a writer is by writing articles for companies, websites, and other blogs. There’s a huge demand for quality content, with the best writers demanding hundreds per post. Check out top websites like oDesk and PeoplePerHour for examples rates.

3. Copywriting

Think Mad Men, slogans for web ads, content for websites, short-form marketing pieces for newsletters… Most developed companies have marketing and sales teams that need content, and need it fast and inexpensively.

4. Resume Writing

Yes, you read that right. There are people out there who write and design resumes for a living.

5. Content Editing

Every writer needs an editor, someone to proofread articles, assist SEO teams in optimizing the content, and/or get pieces ready for publishing.

Have you got the goods?

When you go to local grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and tourist traps, what do you always find? Stuff made by the locals! Everything from sweets, to soaps and jewelry.

6. Craft Seller

Are you good at knitting or crocheting scarves? How about making earrings, necklaces, and bracelets? Every town has people who only buy local, or from the USA, and love to support the local economy by helping craftspeople and hobbyists.

7. Vegetable Grower

You don’t have to be a farmer to sell vegetables at a farmers market. All you need is a stall and quality veggies and herbs at a fair price. Julie Bawden-Davis shares tips on how you can start your own garden, even in the smallest of spaces, here.

8. Baked Goods

Cookies, muffins, layered bars and other sweets don’t bake themselves. If they’re a hit, consider making gift baskets or doing low-level baking for small events.

9. Specialty Crafts

Everyone loves soaps free from dyes, candles free from chemicals, and lotions free from petroleum and mineral oil. You can sell these items in stores, to your friends, or even online.

For the love of kids

Some people love kids and have the time to care for them. Others don’t. Which side are you on?

10. Babysitter

Children of all ages need looking after when their parents are away. If TV and movies are to be trusted, babysitters and nannies get paid quite a lot–especially in big cities and on military bases.

11. Personal tutor

Some kids need a little extra help, a different approach, or help studying for exams. If you’re good at any batch of subjects, or used to be a teacher, this could be the job for you.

A house with a dog

Just like kids, dogs and houses also need someone to manage them when the homeowners are away. With a good reputation, you could even house sit full time, rarely or never having to pay rent again.

12. House Sitter

One of the safest ways to leave your house when you’re away is with someone in it. There are people who do it for a living, house sitting for months at a time in houses all over the world.

13. Pet Sitter

Hate leaving fluffy at home, and find yourself paying others to feed him while you’re out of town? Be the person people pay to watch their pets! But be careful, not all pets are mild-mannered and low-maintenance. Some need special care (which usually equates to more money!).

14. House Cleaner

Are you a neat freak? Love a clean house? There are tons of people who could care less, and would pay you by the hour to dust, straighten, and scrub their place to sparkling.

15. Dog Walker

Somewhat similar to a pet sitter, dog walkers keep pets busy during the day by going for walks, playing in the park, even going swimming. Who wants to be holed up in a stuffy house all day anyway?

16. Pet Groomer

From bath time to mani-pedis, pet groomers keep pets looking sharp for their masters.

Shopaholics and Fashionistas

There’s little better example of how versatile working at home can be with these side hustles. If it can be bought, styled, or worked out, there’s a job waiting to be filled by you.

17. Personal Shopper

Love to shop? Have malls and grocery store layouts memorized? Everyone from high rollers to the elderly need someone to do their shopping for them, be it for clothes, birthday gifts, floral arrangements, or groceries. Only want to do it occasionally? Become a mystery shopper instead.

18. Personal Trainer

Being a personal trainer isn’t for everyone, but if you know what you’re doing (and have the certification to prove it) there are many people who’d love to have you coach them on a regular basis in their home, or at the gym.

19. Meal Planner

So many people want to eat healthier, but don’t know where to start. Others have new new dietary restrictions, but no idea of what they can and can’t eat. That’s where you come in.

20. Personal Stylist

Tie in your talents as a personal shopper and your good fashion sense, and lend a helping hand to the bad fashion victims of the world.

21. Personal Hairstylist

Were you the person who people came to to get their hair done for school dances and proms? Some professional stylists charge up to $100 for a style for a special occasion, just because it’s a special occasion. If you can do it for a little less during prom season, let your friends know and your phone will be ringing off the hook.

If it can be coached or planned…

Then there’s someone coaching and planning it in your town!

22. Career or Life Coach

You’ve cut the chains to your desk, put the stresses of a day job behind you and are moving forward. Why not help encourage others dealing with the daily grind? Make them feel good about themselves, help them reach their personal goals, and give sound advice when they need it.

23. Event Planning

Weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, family reunions… If planning these events usually falls to you, and you’re especially organized, why not make a go of it professionally?

24. Massage Therapist

While not exactly coaching or planning, many people swear by their regular massages and how it helps them through the week. A half hour massage can make a busy home life or a high-stress job just a little more manageable. If you’ve gone to massage therapy school (a super-affordable specialty), why not use what you’ve learned?

SOLD! To the highest bidder

We’re not just talking about selling goods like crafts and used items, we’re talking services too.

25. Craigslist, Ebay or Etsy Seller

There’s rarely anything that can’t be sold on Craigslist or Ebay these days, and people can make a living selling their crafts on Etsy. Just be sure to mind your taxes if you make sales more than just a hobby.

26. Be a seamstress

Most moms and grandmothers I know can patch, hem, and take in anything. Wedding gowns, prom dresses, even thrift shopping finds that don’t quite fit right. Dress shops charge a pretty penny for alterations, so if you’ve got the skill, sell it!

27. Floral Designer

You don’t have to have a huge florist shop to arrange flowers and small bouquets for events. All you need is an eye for design, shears, florist tape, ribbon, and a place to buy cheap flowers (like Walmart or Safeway). Florists put a huge markup on the same flowers that go down to your local market. If you can make arrangements and flower pins for weddings and holidays at a cheaper cost, you’ll soon be in business yourself.

28. Direct Sales

If you can imagine it, it’s probably sold in a direct sales company. Knives, dog treats, even wine is sold in multi-level-marketing companies these days. If you find yourself buying a ton of jewelry or candles from a specific MLM company, and understand business and how to market your product, why not give it a go?

29. Catering

People love coming over to your house for dinner, so why not bring the meal to others? Don’t have a degree and don’t want to have to manage a full staff in a real catering business? Then cater small events for churches and local get-togethers with your friends.

30. Cake Baking

Every wedding needs a beautiful cake or arrangement of cupcakes for the reception. Provide a cake or cupcakes for a few friends at a low cost, and when wedding season comes around, get ready to bake up a storm!

31. Photography

Don’t let that DSLR camera collect dust. With good lighting, a steady hand, and a photographer’s eye, you could be snapping wedding photos and senior pics part-time.
The list could go on and on because almost every skill can be marketed and done outside of an office. And let’s face it–any job that gets you outside, doing something you enjoy, and working with others is a dream job.

SuperMoney may receive compensation from some or all of the companies featured, and the order of results are influenced by advertising bids, with exception for mortgage and home lending related products. Learn more

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Brenda Harjala

Brenda Harjala is a personal finance writer at SuperMoney. She specializes in personal finance topics such as budgeting and money management. Brenda has a B.A. in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technical University.

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