These 5 Side Hustles Can Put Extra Cash In Your Pocket Right Away
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The gig economy is thriving, providing excellent ways for people to supplement their incomes. From delivering food to earning cash on a spare room, there's plenty of opportunity to put extra money in your pocket. Here are five ways to do so.
1. Become an Uber driver.
There's a good chance you've sat in the backseat of an Uber car by now, but have you ever thought about getting behind the wheel? Driving for the company comes with tons of flexibility and the potential to make extra cash. Think of it this way – you already have a car. You're already driving around town. Why not pick up a few paying passengers along the way and watch your bank account get fatter?
You get to choose which fares you pick up, so you essentially get to be your own boss. It's all done through an app, so you'll never have to be tied down to one place while you're waiting for a ride request to come through. The requirements to get started are easy, as long as you're 21 years old and have a valid driver's license.
Each fare is calculated based on time and distance. You'll also get paid more during busy hours, when “surge pricing” takes effect. You can get paid weekly by direct deposit or opt to have your money transferred to a debit card account instantly.
Earning potential: You'll make more money the more you drive, but the average Uber driver made an estimated gross hourly earning of $21.07 between January 2015 and March 2017, according to a recent study. Drivers working in Uber's top 20 markets can expect to make more than the average hourly wage.
2. …Or a Lyft driver.
Much like the Uber model, Lyft is an app-based service that allows drivers to be their own bosses. You make your own schedule and decide which fares to accept or decline. Each fare is calculated based on time and distance.
Drivers get paid automatically on a weekly basis, or you can get your cash instantly with the company's Express Pay service.
There are several easy requirements you'll need to meet if you're interested in becoming a driver, such as being at least 21 years old and undergoing a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) check and background check.
Earning potential: Once again, you'll make more money the more you drive. However, Lyft drivers make an average of $18.83 nationwide and $21.08 per hour in Lyft's top 25 markets. For a more detailed calculation based on your area, check out Lyft's online earnings calculator.
3. Deliver food with Uber Eats.
Remember when you had to order directly from your local Chinese restaurant if you wanted dim sum delivered to your house? And how it was impossible to get fast food taken straight to your door? That has changed, largely thanks to Uber Eats. Now hungry patrons can get just about any food delivered to their home, even if the restaurant making the food doesn't offer its own delivery service.
Uber Eats delivery drivers accept orders via the Uber Eats app. After that, they travel to the chosen restaurant to pick up the food that has been ordered. From there, they deliver the food to the customer's home or work address.
Drivers can make their own schedules and work as much or as little as they want. They get paid per delivery, and can travel by car, bike, scooter, or foot.
Earning potential: Your earnings are linked to how many deliveries you make. You'll also make more during lunch and dinner rushes. Although there are no solid figures on how much Uber Eats delivery drivers make, many have reported that they earn a base rate of between $2 to $4 per delivery, plus around $1.10 to $3 per mile, according to Money Pantry.
4. … Or DoorDash.
DoorDash is a similar app-based food delivery service which allows drivers to be their own bosses by being “dashers” for the company. It follows the same model as Uber Eats, allowing you to make your own schedule and pick the type of transportation you want to use.
You can choose to be a dasher for just a few hours a week, or make it a full-time job. In addition to cash earned from deliveries, you can also become eligible for incentives and make more by delivering during peak hours.
Earning potential: It varies depending on hours worked, but Glassdoor reviews show that the average hourly wage is $12. If you live in New York City, however, you're guaranteed at least $15 a delivery and an additional $25 if you deliver to another borough. In Chicago, you're promised at least $8 a delivery.
5. List your space on Airbnb.
What began as a small startup known as Airbnb has now transformed the hospitality industry, allowing vacationers to opt for a cozy home experience instead of a boring – and often overpriced – hotel room. The best part is that you can easily join the trend by listing your space on the website.
You can choose what you'd like to offer, whether that's a bedroom with a shared bathroom, an ensuite, or an entire home. You make your own set of house rules, and you get to decide which bookings to accept. Airbnb can provide you with a ballpark estimate of what your space is worth, but you ultimately get to set your own rates. Airbnb takes a small 3% cut of what you make, and you keep the rest.
The benefits of Airbnb extend beyond merely earning extra cash. Many people have had great experiences hosting, as it allows them to meet people from around the world and share their local knowledge with them.
Earning potential: This varies based on where you live and the size of your space, as well as how much competition is in your area. However, a recent analysis by Smart Asset found that $20,619 is the average expected annual profit of Airbnb hosts who list a full two-bedroom apartment or house in 15 major cities.