- Side hustles are becoming increasingly common these days.
- There’s a wide range of them, after all, from driving for Uber to making passive income from selling e-books.
- Here, 13 people share how much money they have made from their side hustles.
Side hustles are becoming increasingly common these days, especially with the popularity of apps and platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit. While some people are driving for Uber in their spare time, others are making passive income from e-books or products they sell online through sites like Amazon or Etsy.
The online investment company Betterment found that 67% of people with a side job are doing them primarily for financial reasons, such as paying off debt and saving for retirement. This figure was based on a survey of 1,000 Americans 25 years or older – 500 of whom have a side hustle in addition to their full-time job and 500 of whom rely on their side hustle as their main source of income.
According to the Intuit 2020 Report, nearly a third of US workers today are freelancers. “And this figure is expected to grow to 40% by 2020,” Andrew Westlin, a certified financial planner (CFP) and a financial planning professional at Betterment, told Business Insider in an email. “More and more, workers are supplementing the traditional ‘nine-to-five’ career with independent or temporary work.”
Westlin said a major benefit of starting a side hustle is the opportunity it provides to diversify your income. “A diversified income can be a key component in planning for your future,” Westlin said. “Even if the side hustle does not appear to be quite lucrative in the beginning, every dollar adds up along the way.”
Here, 13 people share how much money they have made from their side hustles. (Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.)
1. Scott Van Daalen, 23, wedding company: $US12,000 – $US14,000 a year
My full-time focus is on graduate school as I work on my master’s degree. I was inspired to start a side hustle for the flexibility that it provided; I could work and make money on my own timetable. As my side hustle, I run a business called The Wedding Collective, which helps brides book a bunch of vendors in one place.
I do it because I really love the wedding industry and providing couples with a way to plan their weddings with less stress. I have been doing this for about five months, and I am projecting that I will make about $US6,000-$US7,000 this year. Next year, I am hoping to hit $US14,000.
2. Crystal Bowe, MD, MPH, 38, children’s book author: $US1,000 – $US1,500 a year
In addition to being a family medicine physician, I have a “side hustle“: I have written three children’s books and one colouring book. I started almost two years ago, and did so with the goal of creating diverse literature for children like my daughter.
To me, the best part about it is having a creative outlet that is different from medicine, being able to try something new, meet new people in the process, and even make a little money from the venture! I have made $US2000-3,000 dollars so far, which has been an added perk!
3. Jason Butler, 35, eBay: $US5,400 – $US7,200 a year
I’m a senior financial aid counselor at a local college. As my side hustle, I sell items on eBay; my eBay store is Atlanta Mart. I’ve always liked selling things, so I decided to give eBay a try, and I’ve been selling on and off for nine years. I got consistent with it in 2017 and sell on eBay to help pay down my debt.
The best part of having a side hustle is being in charge of what you make – the more items you list, the more money that you’ll make. Right now, I make between $US450-$US600 per month from it. I also blog about side hustling and paying off debt at TheButlerJournal.com.
4. Maria Wiles, 26, dog walker: $US2,000 a year
I am a side-hustle queen – from waitressing, nannying, selling clothing, to walking dogs, and more. I work from home as a publicist, which gives me a flexible schedule for side-hustle activities. I am a huge animal fan, and have always wanted a dog. Living in Los Angeles, it just wasn’t possible in our 700-square-foot apartment with no room to run around or a backyard.
Therefore, I decided to join Wag! as a dog walker. I have been doing it for about three months, and it allows me to get face time with adorable dogs, lose weight walking them, and make money doing it. I have made about $US500 so far.
5. Mindy McCarthy, 29, Etsy: $US15,000 – $US25,000 a year
I’m a full-time mama to two (a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old), I study for school (to be a real estate agent) about 15 hours a week and, lastly, I do my Etsy shop, MinMac, on the side. My shop started in September 2013 after my husband and I had our first daughter. As a new mum, I needed to have a way to reach the world without leaving my daughter’s nursery. Mums can feel so lost in the repetitive art of motherhood, and I had been losing the sense of who I was as a person – aside from just being “Mum.” This shop allowed me an outlet to create.
I started with fabric earrings that got shipped to a few states, and now my side hustle of a shop has turned into wall art, necklaces, and women’s tees that have reached thousands across the world. I send encouragement cards with each order in the hopes of reminding people that they are seen and they matter. That’s the best part: speaking positive, life-giving words to people. I typically make between $US15K and $US25K a year, depending on how much time (read: how well my kiddos nap) I’m able to put into my shop.
6. Jonathan Holloway, 32, writing product reviews for guitar players: $US9,000 a year
I am a partner and director of digital strategy at NoExam.com, but in my spare time, I write product reviews for guitar players. My website is called GuitarLessons.org and I started it in March 2018 – I was looking for something to do around a topic I am passionate about.
The best part about having a side hustle is the extra cash; it’s a fun hobby that also makes money. Also, I enjoy writing and tinkering with the website, and I get to buy cool products and test them out. The website generates roughly $US750 per month.
7. Alex Tran, 33, teaching and flipping products: $US30,000 a year
My daytime gig is marketing specialist for Hollingsworth LLC, and my side gigs are selling online (flipping products) and teaching yoga. I’ve made a living off my side gigs and I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing them; they help me save for retirement and pay for vacations.
I’ve been selling on eBay since 2003 to pay for my college expenses – I found out I could get cash for things I no longer wanted rather than throw them away. I then found vendors to buy things from to resell on eBay. Nowadays, I sell on my website, Schimiggy, or on apps like Mercari and Poshmark, and make about $US20K a year flipping products.
In 2015, I took a yoga teacher training program and it launched me into a yoga instructor teaching career. I began to teach everywhere – for corporations, studios, private clients, gyms, etc. I was open to teaching anyone, anytime, and I’ve made about $US10K a year with yoga gigs.
8. Tshireletso “TY” Hlangwane, 26, artist management for musicians: $US25,000 a year
I am a marketing director at an app company in South Africa, and my side hustle is artist management and public relations for musical artists all over the world, but mainly Africa. I used to be a musician myself, but only executive produce albums now. I have been doing it for well over a year now, and the best part has to be seeing artists flourish, travelling to different countries, and learning about the different traditions each country has.
Having more than one form of income is a blessing – it helps a lot and my savings account looks amazing. In terms of money, I made around $US25,000 USD this past year, and I’m hoping to double it in 2019.
9. Vanessa Valiente, 36, fashion and travel blogger: $US18,000 a year
I am a personal stylist and creator of V-Style, a fashion and travel blog in San Diego. V-Style is my side hustle. I have been doing it for 11 years, and it currently pays my mortgage (about $US18,000 a year). It was originally inspired by my friend Andrea Kane, who was a trailblazing organic beauty blogger in 2007. I do it because I love it.
I prefer it to my full-time job as a personal stylist; personal styling is a high-stress job, whereas V-Style is a place I can work in peace. I direct everything, answer to no one, and create beautiful, useful content that women love. It also enables my travels, and I get endless perks that range from free clothing and products to event invitations.
10. Tom Nathaniel, 35, delivering for Grubhub: $US14,000- $US15,000 a year
I’ve been an SEO consultant since 2006 but also work on side projects and have sold some in the past. Right now, my side project is lushdollar.com, and I work with several clients, as well. But my side hustle is delivering for Grubhub; since I work from home, I wanted to get out of the house to just unwind, talk with people, and be on my own for a few hours a week. I’ve been doing it since August 2017 and do it because I love interacting with the restaurant staff, going around town learning about new places, and learning about great restaurants.
I make about $US20-$US30+ an hour working dinner shifts (I only work 5-8:30 p.m. if I do it). To date, I haven’t kept track 100%, but I would say I make about $US1,000 a month (so maybe $US14-$US15K gross per year). Grubhub has really helped whenever I have sold off projects in the past, since I have to essentially start from scratch and don’t really want to touch the money I made.
11. Michele Brignoni, 44, dog sitter: $US3,000 a year
I’m a special education teacher in Chicago who uses a side gig to supplement my income – I am a dog sitter through Rover.com. As a teacher, I have summers free. Summer is also the time that most people travel (besides the holidays), so I’m available when the demand is higher. During the school year, I still take dogs, but only repeats.
I started doing this two summers ago; one of my dogs passed away and the other one looked like he could use some canine companionship. I didn’t necessarily want to get another dog, so doing Rover was a great option. It’s nice to have a little side hustle for the fun extras that I wouldn’t normally be able to afford. Over two years, I’ve saved $US6,000.
12. Misha Kaura, 26, fashion business: $US2 million a year
I’ve made nearly $US2 million in profits since starting my side hustle fashion business last year. I’m the owner, CEO, and creative director of a fashion holding company called Darlinghurst Enterprises. In addition to owning my own fashion factory, Darlinghurst Garment Factory, I also design my eponymous fashion labels Misha Kaura and Mishactiv.
I always wanted to be a designer, so I’ve kept my day job as an equity trader while continuing to do fashion on the evenings and weekends. The best part about having a side hustle is that I’m able to earn a living in finance while supplementing my income in fashion, my chosen industry. I’m nearing a point where I can quit my finance job and focus on fashion full-time.
13. Heather Yun, 40, UI and UX testing: $US9,600 – $US12,000 a year
I was looking on The Penny Hoarder to find ways to make some extra money for the holidays back in 2016 and was hoping to earn a few hundred dollars for presents, etc. I was mostly interested in UI (user interface) and UX (user experience), since I did web development for work. For my full-time job, I am a small business consultant for Level Up Colab and help clients find inefficiencies; doing UX and UI testing is all about that. I like looking for errors (like when I do functionalities tests) or giving my input on how to make websites better, what colours look better, and more.
I signed up at a few places (from Usertesting.com to Utest.com) and was quickly getting paid tests. So now I have been doing UI and UX testing, as well as functional testing, for websites and apps for the past two years. In between my full-time job, I have been averaging $US800-1000 a month, and it’s been great to have money to save or have extra spending money. (The most I have earned in one week was $US1200.)
What I like about having a side hustle is that I don’t count the money I make doing this as part of my salary, the part I budget into my life. The money from my side hustle goes into savings, investments, trips, buying thingsI feel like splurging on, and extras, like Netflix subscriptions – all the little things.