If you’ve got debt and a main job that covers your regular monthly expenses, aim to apply earnings from side hustles directly to your debts.
Flexible side hustles that are worth your time do exist (and we’re not talking about pyramid schemes or online surveys). There are legitimate options to help pay off debt. And the extra income can be meaningful: Pay an additional $250 per month toward a $10,000 credit card balance with a 20% annual percentage rate and you’ll save over $9,000 in interest and pay off the balance almost seven years faster.
Here are some ideas and tips to get started.
Rideshare drive or delivery
Potential monthly earnings: Up to $300 or more, depending on location and how many hours you work.
Flexible hours make rideshare driving with Uber and Lyft a popular side hustle for people who own or have access to a car.
Uber drivers earned an average of $364 a month, while Lyft drivers made $377 each month, on average, according to a 2017 study of thousands of online loan applications by Earnest.
If you aren’t comfortable driving strangers, an alternative is to use your car to deliver items with companies like Roadie, which matches drivers with stuff bound for their destination. Pets, furniture and lost luggage are just a few items that can be delivered.
Earnings range from $8 to $650, depending on the trip distance and size of delivery, says Marc Gorlin, Roadie founder and CEO.
Delivering packages via Amazon Flex could be a lucrative side gig, with drivers earning $18 to $25 an hour, according to the company, and it operates in about 35 regions nationwide, including some major metro areas plus smaller cities.
Tutor or teach
Potential monthly earnings: $200 to $1,000, depending on experience.
Tutoring can be an option for teachers, professors or those with expert knowledge they can share. Startup costs are typically limited to books and other supplies.
Teachers have a leg up in tutoring for tests like the SATs, since they already know how to prepare students, says Gabriel Kaplan, founder of Wealth Habits, a financial planning firm in New York.
Telecommuting can expand your potential customer base. Remote tutoring jobs are listed on sites such as FlexJobs and SimplyHired.
Potential monthly earnings: $200 to $500 or more, depending on experience and clientele.
Freelance blogging, proofreading or editing are popular gigs for wordsmiths, while graphic design and music composition may appeal to artists.
If your passion is photography, income opportunities may include taking pictures at weddings and graduations and doing family portraits.
These side hustles can be found on job boards such as Indeed, Remote.Co or ProBlogger, or at freelance sites such as Fiverr.
Startup costs and time requirements could be on the higher side with these gigs. You’ll need the right equipment, a strategy for getting clients and ideally a website to market your services.
Rent or sell your stuff
Potential monthly earnings: Up to $1,000 for short-term home rentals in popular travel destinations; $100 to $300 or more for car rentals, depending on location.
Things you already own can create passive income. For example, you can rent your car via sharing marketplaces such as Turo or Getaround, which operate in many larger cities.
You can rent your home, apartment or a guest room through Airbnb or HomeAway. Check local laws because some cities restrict short-term rentals.
Sell unused items on eBay, Craigslist or specialty sites like ShareGrid, where you can rent or sell camera equipment.
Side hustle considerations
Set debt repayment goals. Seeing how much interest you’ll save by repaying debts early can motivate you to continue your side hustles. Track your debts on a spreadsheet or a budgeting app and check your progress monthly.
Match up skills to the hustle. Find something you’re good at and enjoy, says Chad Rixse, co-founder and financial planner at Millennial Wealth, in Seattle.
Don’t jeopardize your 9-to-5 job. Consider the time commitments of the side hustle, and check if you have a noncompete agreement, which may prevent you from working a gig in a similar field.
Obtain permits or licenses. For example, contractors may need a business license to work on houses, while fixing up and reselling items online may require a sales tax license, says Dwight Dettloff, a CPA and financial planner for Winding Trail Financial Planning, in Lafayette, Colorado.
Get insurance. You may need liability insurance for side hustles where there’s risk of being sued, Rixse says. Short-term house rentals and renting equipment are a few examples. You may also need rideshare insurance if your car insurance policy doesn’t cover it.
The article Got Debt? Get a Side Hustle originally appeared on NerdWallet.
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