Side hustles continue to grow in popularity, with nearly two-fifths, 39%, of Americans saying they have one, according to a recent Bankrate survey of 2,505 U.S. adults. On average, they’re bringing in $810 extra per month.
If you’re curious to start a side hustle yourself, summer could be a good time to dive in. “Follow the money,” says Angelique Rewers, founder of consulting firm BoldHaus. That is, consider what popular activities people do from June through August and see if there’s a way to make money from them.
For example, “55% of Americans are planning to travel this summer,” she says. That’s according to a May 2023 survey of 1,000 Americans by marketing firm Prodege. Consider what kinds of activities might surround their travels and how those could translate to a new income stream.
Here are four summer side hustles experts recommend trying.
Apropos of travel, people will be looking for places to crash wherever they go. Especially if you live in a tourist hub by the beach or near a big city, consider checking local ordinance to make sure it’s legal then renting out your place. There are multiple ways to go about it.
- Airbnb has long been a popular way to go for people renting out their space, and the site has been upgrading of late. It recently added a new category, Airbnb Rooms, which makes it clearer that you’re listing a room within a shared home as opposed to an entire residence. “It’s easier than ever but also more robust than ever in order to rent out one room in your home, in your condo, where you live while you’re still there,” says Rewers. Rooms in San Diego go for as much as $148 per night, while those in Portland, Maine, go for as much as $169 per night. Just keep in mind fees – Airbnb can take as much as 16% of your cut, depending on the fee structure you choose.
- Misterb&b is a site “by queer and trans people for queer and trans people,” says Daniella Flores, founder of the side hustle blog I Like to Dabble and the Remote Work Bestie Podcast and who goes by they/them pronouns. Renters know they’re “going to a safe location,” they say, and hosts can feel comfortable with whom they’re renting to. Categories include rooms, full apartments and even sofa beds. A room in Dallas, Texas, is going for $65 per night, for example, while a room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is going for $119 per night. Fees depend on the type of accommodation you’re offering as well as its location.
- Facebook is another platform on which to let people know you’re offering your space. Doing it that way means you’re finding people “through word of mouth and through a personal connection,” says Rewers. You can also join Facebook groups for tourists from all over the world looking for housing in certain locations. It’s a good way to avoid fees, just make sure you’re comfortable with the people coming to rent out your place. A four-bedroom apartment in New York goes for as much as $325 per night.
“We still have all the pandemic puppies that are now full-sized dogs,” says Rewers. They make for another popular category of side hustles.
Pet owners need people to come spend time with their pets, feed them, walk them and so on. Some pet owners may want you to stay the night with their animals as well.
“Rover’s really good for summer because people go on so many vacations,” says Flores of one platform to find gigs. Wag and Care.com offer pet sitting options as well. Pet sitters can charge anywhere from $15 to $50 per hour, according to Thumbtack. But keep in mind platform fees — Rover fees are 20%-25%.
Rewers has also noticed one particular new pet-oriented hustle: “There are now pet side hustlers who pick up dogs at the end of the workday and take them to the park for two hours,” she says, adding that they’re called “dog park chaperones.” They charge $15-$20 per hour, she says, and offer their services on sites like Facebook and Nextdoor.
Post pandemic, many kids are far behind in school. As such, more parents may elect to send their kids to summer school than usual. This “opens up this sort of interim child support care that otherwise really wouldn’t have existed,” says Rewers. She calls it a “summer school assistant.”
The summer school assistant would pick kids up from summer school, help them with their homework and tutor them in any particular subject if needed. “This is a great side hustle, I think, for college kids,” Rewers says.
Rewers recommends offering your services on Facebook mom groups in your area, letting friends and family know you’re available and even letting local schools know you’re looking for work. As tutoring could be part of the package, she recommends charging $50 to $80 an hour.
Finally, if you already know there’s something you love doing, you might consider turning your hobby into a hustle, says Rewers.
“Do you like to go sailing? Do you know how to play the guitar? Do you know how to speak French? Do you know how to kayak?” she says. Any of these can be turned into hustles.
Do a search on sites like Fiverr, Etsy, TaskRabbit, Lessonface and GigSalad to see what kinds of services and items people are selling within your field of interest. A crochet bouquet of flowers is going for $57 on Etsy, for example. A juggler in New Jersey is charging $40 or more for his skills. And an electronic music producer is charging $50 per hour on Lessonface to help others produce.
You could also look into offering classes or lessons in your hobby at local community centers or reach out to family and friends to spread the word about your new gig.
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