We’ve all been there, a little strapped for cash while the bills stack up in that loose battery drawer you keep in the kitchen. Even if you’ve got a pretty steady main gig, there’s no accounting for all of life’s random expenses, after all, who knew there would be 3 different movies in the theater at the same time that you just have to see (Get Out, Moonlight, and Logan are definitely on my to-watch list right now). Those tickets don’t come cheap and that box of chocolate covered malt balls ain’t gonna buy themselves. So to help out with lining your pockets with those greenbacks, we’ve put together this handy list of side hustles to keep you sliding through those Boardwalk spaces with a wink and a grin.
Random Yard Work
Remember when you were a kid and Mrs. Barton next door would throw you a few clams for weeding her garden and dropping a bit of mulch around? Apparently, there’s still a demand for that. There’s a ton of labor work that people need crossed off and the best part is they’re usually ready to shell out the cash right then and there. Just check the labor page on Craigslist or, if you’re feeling really entrepreneurial, put up some flyers with your contact info around neighborhoods you think will be down for some help. Not only is the pay usually decent but work shouldn’t take more than a few hours. You don’t need a green thumb or anything, most of this stuff is usually raking and cleaning up.
Sign Up for a Focus Group
This work is super easy, all you really have to do is try out a product and give your honest opinion about it. There’s usually some sort of screening process beforehand to weed out the folk that don’t fit in their target demographic, so you may have to apply to a fair amount of these before you land anything.
Still, companies are always looking for focus groups to test their product. The best part? Because Ohio is such a huge food testing ground you’ll often times be able to walk out with a free meal and extra money.
Technical and Content Writing
Probably some of the most random work you can perform on the side is technical and content writing. What’s so random about it you might ask? Well, for one, you can be asked to write about just about anything. Things like, oh I don’t know, restaurants, museums, adult toys… yeah. No, I’m totally serious. The pay varies from source to source so you should definitely stay brushed up on the going market rates for the particular type of writing you’re getting paid for. The cool part of this gig is that you can do it at home, in your snuggie, while drinking wine and hanging out with your cat, the hardest part of which will be getting the furry little guy to not walk all over your keyboard, but good luck with that.
This is great side work with a low amount of time commitment, just be ready to create custom playlists for each gig. It helps to have your own gear but if you work through an event company they often times supply everything you’ll need. But I’d be careful if you’re a hard core musicophile, you’re definitely going to be expected to play requests and half of them are going to be line dance songs and Cotton Eyed Joe.
If this one seems a little weird and shady it’s only because it totally is. Many times colleges and medical centers will need able bodied (or sometimes not so able bodied) individuals to test the effects of medication, sleep deprivation, vape smoke, all kinds of stuff. If you pick up this gig hoping to somehow gain superpowers due to a lab mishap going all Bruce Banner/Peter Parker levels of wrong, I’d advise against it. No one I know has gotten any yet and oh so many of them have tried.
Not gonna lie, this is NOT an easy gig. I’m not going to sit here and describe to you the difficulties of caring for children, mostly because I don’t wanna seem condescending but also because I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to handling anyone’s offspring. What I will say is that it can be pretty easy to fit into your schedule and that there’s always (ALWAYS) a demand for the gig. The best and safest way to get into it would be to start with people you know personally and work with recommendations from there.
Kinda like babysitting except not at all, this can be a pretty cool gig if you like the little furry guys. There are tons of people out there with busy lives and jobs but who also don’t want to neglect their pet’s exercise and, um, potty needs. That’s where you come in, all Cesar Millan style, with your natural charisma with animals and your expert-like understanding of squeaky toys. You can do this sort of work freelance and on the side or as a full-time gig through any number of companies that offer the service. Either way, expect to be putting in some time on the Fitbit.
Normally, I have a hard enough time finding the motivation to clean my own apartment, let alone someone else’s, but if you have that clean freak streak in you, this might not be a bad option. Not only does this entail cleaning, however, it can also include moving furniture or even packing away some boxes here and there. Whether it’s someone too busy to do it themselves or someone disabled or elderly, the demand is there for these services, just check the labor page on craigslist.
Lots of people of different walks and stages of life use this side hustle and most are happy with it. You set your own hours and work on your own free time. Perfect if you have a free weekend and you don’t mind spending it to make a bit of cash. As long as you have a car with reasonable gas mileage, I don’t see how this couldn’t be profitable. One little catch though; I only suggest you pick up this gig if you can display a patience and tolerance for the undeniably and tragically drunk. Trust me, you’re going to deal with it often.