Fun & lucrative side hustles
I haven't had a legit side hustle for a couple years now. I am building a small business and it is a dynamic, exciting, full-on experience that currently is demanding all of my attention. But I used to have two side hustles that I loved and I highly recommend considering.
1. The very fun first! Rover.com
Before little Pennywise joined our family, I had a dog-shaped hole in my heart. I desperately wanted a dog but was still convincing Mr Pennywise, plus we travelled a lot, I made very little money as a grad student, blablabla. I've always volunteered to dog-sit for friends, and when I heard about the DogVacay.com site (that turned into Rover.com) I jumped right on there. You kind of become an Airbnb host but for dogs - in my case, I had dogs come to my home and I would watch them for about $18/day, once the site took their cut. If caring for a dog is a chore for you, then this would not be enough cash to really be worth the logistical challenges and effort involved, and plus it probably wouldn't be a great experience for the dog either. But if you adore dogs and taking them for walks and spending time with them is a delight, then getting paid at the end is just a bonus. I specifically saved the cash from this gig and used it for the initial Penny expenses after years of sitting - it added up to several thousand dollars. It was great for the adoption fee, initial vet visits, some early puppy classes, excessive numbers of dog toys and treats, etc.
Some of our furry friends: a lazy great dane; a geriatric but spunky Yorkshire terrier; a 150lb gentle french mastiff; a snuggly black lab mix; a gorgeous and loyal Australian/German Shepard mix, and many more. Missing these old friends is one of the only downsides of having Penny!
These two were such a handful…
You can also find dog-walkers and people who will come and stay in your home with your dog. I found a super lovely dog walker on there who I use when I'm in a bind with Penny. I couldn't recommend it more! If you work from home anyway, this could be an awesome option for you. If you live with roommates or family and would welcome a break away, house/dog sitting could be a great option and you can charge a bit more.
2. The surprisingly fun second: Tutoring
I started tutoring for $15/hour during my masters, and kept going throughout my PhD, ending up around $50/hr. There are some tutors who charge more, depending where you live and the supply/demand of tutors. My speciality was introductory statistics, and there was a huge demand in my area. I began through a university program that dictated the price and coordinated the students with me, but I quickly went freelance on Craigslist, Kijiji and UniversityTutor.com. I found a real joy in helping other students get through a course that was causing them some grief. There's a lot of shame about being 'bad at math' and it's very rewarding to tackle that - people are smart, they can figure it out, and if you help them overcome that fear you both end up feeling great. Not into math? No problem, you could tutor in your first (or second or third) language or any skills that people are trying to learn and you already possess.