For many Americans struggling due to slow wage growth, having a side hustle can help — and some gigs pay extremely well.
The US economy added 228,000 jobs last month, while unemployment remained at a near 17-year low of 4.1%. Those numbers paint a picture of an incredibly strong labor market, but workers haven’t necessarily seen those improvements reflected in their paychecks. Workers’ wages increased by 5 cents, or 0.2%, to an average of $26.55 per hour. On an annual basis, the growth in hourly compensation increased only from 2.3% to 2.5%.
And while the number has fallen over the past year, there are still more than 7.5 million workers who hold multiple jobs. But some people who do the side work earn a lot more than others.
Canadian entrepreneur Jeff Schwartz made a successful career out of a scramble he started following the death of a family member that involved buying and selling everything from sex toys to pianos. Noam Shapiro, a recent college graduate, made an achievement — getting into six Ivy League schools — to start a college admissions coaching and tutoring business. Some require even less effort: Some families can earn $3,000 a day renting out their homes for movie shoots.
As they’ve shown, doing something you’re truly passionate about is usually better than just moonlighting or freelancing using the same skills from your day job, said Chris Guillebeau, founder of Side Hustle School, a company that offers quick start workshops. a side gig. “An accountant can earn extra money by paying his friends’ taxes at night,” he said. “It’s not bad, but you’ll probably wear yourself out doing this.”
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More than 44 million Americans have secondary agitation, according to an estimate by personal finance firm Bankrate based on an inaugural survey of more than 1,000 adults. Some 28% of millennials aged 18-26 are most likely to have monthly jitters, compared to 21% of older millennials, 20% of Gen Xers – born roughly between 1965 and 1980 – and 15% of baby boomers.
While some people have turned their hobbies into six-figure careers, many people use them to supplement their income. Millennials are less likely to reap big benefits. Less than 20% of them earn more than $500 a month from these concerts, compared to 50% of older people. Regardless of age, there is a chance that a side gig could turn into a serious source of money. Here are six side hustles that have made people thousands of dollars.
Buying and selling domain names
Domain names are the Internet equivalent of real estate, and just like homes, savvy consumers can make a lot of money flipping them. Grant Sabatier, the founder of the Millennial Money website, who said he became a millionaire largely through various side businesses he developed over the years, has earned over $140,000 from reselling domains.
Sites like GoDaddy and Sedo have auction-based marketplaces for existing domains. Unlike real estate flipping, buying and selling domains doesn’t require a lot of money up front. In one instance, he said he bought a web address for $40 at an auction and ended up selling it to a restaurant of the same name for $5,000. “The vast majority of domains are sold on the secondary market,” he said.
The technology boom in countries like China is helping to keep the market for such names afloat, along with the introduction of new domain extensions such as “.luxury” or “.xyz,” according to CNBC. Sites like Estibot.com and GoDaddy can rate a domain name to help determine how profitable it can be.
Create custom candy hearts
According to the Side Hustle School podcast, marketing pro Sarah Hannington wanted to send personalized candy hearts to customers as giveaways, but found that many companies in the industry had less-than-stellar websites. It wasn’t unique, but she saw an opportunity to do it differently. She created a website and eventually started her own candy making business.
Today, Hannington says she is generating a six-figure income from this business while still working. But it’s not the only way to have a side business that has increased his family’s wealth. “This project has also allowed me to get more schedule flexibility and even higher pay from my ‘real job’ since I’m not dependent on my income and my boss knows that,” Hannington told the podcast.
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Drive traffic to your website
Another of Sabatier’s side gigs is consulting companies regarding their search engine optimization strategy, a way to help companies get their websites to appear higher in internet search results. “I learned YouTube SEO consulting in 60 days,” he said. Sabatier says he’s billed companies between $500 and $100,000 over the past decade. But as anyone who works on an email-bombed website knows, it’s also a cluttered area.
Refurbishment of old cars
Monetizing a hobby is another way to get into a side hustle without too much extra effort. So far, Sabatier has earned over $50,000 buying, refurbishing and selling vintage Volkswagen Westfalia motorhomes and European mopeds. Because of his lifelong love of these vehicles, he found it easy to spot great deals on models he could shape up and resell. “I know when I see value,” he said.
Manage a blog
While working as a postdoctoral fellow in Israel, James Ashenhurst began teaching organic chemistry to earn extra money, using his doctorate in the field from McGill University in Canada, he said. told the Side Hustle School podcast. Since he couldn’t find many English-speaking students, he turned to Skype and then started a blog, Master Organic Chemistry. His blog now generates income through advertising and the sale of his study guides.
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Walking a dog
Yes, traditional side gigs like dog walking can become extremely lucrative. After losing his passion for dancing following a battle with cancer, Ryan Stewart first turned to jobs like performing in commercials and waiting tables. Today, he earns over $100,000 from his dog-walking business, even though he doesn’t work full-time. And he’s not alone, the dog-walking business employs 23,000 people and is worth an estimated $907 million, according to data from research firm IBISWorld.
The catch with any hustle
What you do with the money is just as important as how you earn it. Bankrate’s latest study on side hustles found that 54% of people who have some sort of side gig use their money for necessary expenses instead of treating it as disposable income for other activities. Simply setting aside a few dollars a month from the money people generate through these efforts is good practice and can help them build a significant nest egg.