How to Side Hustle: 25 Ways to Earn Extra Income

If you are wondering how to side hustle but aren’t sure where to begin, you’re in the right place!

Whether you want to pay off debt or save for a rainy day, I have plenty of side hustle options for you.

I love to side hustle for so many reasons. I have done a ton of different side hustles to earn extra income that you could do too.

If you want to know how to side hustle and make extra income, these side hustle ideas can help you get started.

Two words: side hustle


25 side hustles to try

These are jobs I have tried to earn extra income! I am excited to share this post and a bit horrified at the same time as I have tried all of these at least once.


I signed up to be a professional pet sitter.  

This was a great side hustle job at the time as I was working from home and could really commit to this.

First of all, this job is not for everyone. I feel strongly that you must love pets or it is not fair for everyone involved.

However, pet sitting can be fairly lucrative and can also get you some awesome puppy time. 

Potato chip taster

I have completed a few of these taste tests and wish I could complete more!

I have been paid to sit for an hour and taste various food products and provide my opinion. Not only did I get free chips but was compensated for it with a compensation of $75.

Coffee study panel

For a 2-hour panel study on coffee, I tested coffee and was paid $150.

This study panel was completed with about a dozen other people. We sat around a large table and answered questions from a moderator on all things related to coffee. This was a lot of fun!

This blogger made over $4,500 from side hustles. She is literally the queen of side hustles! She is sharing over 25 ways she earned extra income in this post that anyone can do. If you want to make extra money, this post will tell you how!Random sniffer

Yes, I have been paid to sniff things and give my opinion.

I have sniffed dryer sheets, soap and dish detergent.

Each of these sniff tests took about 30-45 minutes and I was compensated between $20 – $45 for my time.

Testing products

I’ve tested shampoo, body wash, mascara, and foundation from high end, well-known brands.

I have done several online surveys where I have been asked to replace my regular skincare products with a tester and record my opinion over the course of a couple of weeks.

Each study paid between $10-$25 and is an easy way to make money from home and test out products!

Vodka drinker

I was provided a large bottle of a well-known brand and asked to consume this product over the course of a month.

Now, I was not required to drink the entire bottle (ha!) but mainly document how I incorporate the liquor if I was having a cocktail. I was compensated $50 and got to keep the remaining liquor.


I gave my opinion on how I felt about different drapery rods. These curtain rods came in a bevy of styles and finishes. This took 20 minutes of my time and I was compensated $25.

I ate beef jerky

This was the most challenging side hustle I have ever done. I cannot stand beef jerky but somehow managed to qualify.

In a 1-hour study, I was allowed to eat as much beef jerky as I wanted and review various flavors.

While this survey was not for me, I was compensated $40.

Donate plasma

This is not for the faint of heart. I tried this for a couple of months and it was too much for me.

After the initial 4-hour exam of blood work, a physical and filling out paperwork, I was able to donate plasma twice a week, with each visit taking roughly an hour.

Compensation was $20 or $25 each visit and was loaded onto a pre-paid Visa card I could use anywhere.

While many people do this on a regular basis and donating plasma benefits numerous people, it wasn’t my cup of tea. I fainted on my last visit while donating and that was the end of that!

Dog walker

This is a really great side hustle that can be pretty consistent. I used to dog walk for 30 minutes and charged $20 per walk.

Most of my clients needed me 3-4 times a week and this was regular income. Again, I used Rover but you can do a quick google search for pet sitters in the area. There are usually companies hiring as this business seems to be booming!

Played a video game

This study was done through a local college. I found the ad posted online through the school’s local newspaper/website.

I was with a team of 3 other people around a computer and the study was how well we worked as a team solving a problem in a video game.

Students receive grants to test theories/studies and use the grant money to pay for their research, which includes paying others for their time. I was paid $50 for 1 1/2 hours of my time.

Part-time retail job over the holidays

I wasn’t able to go home over the holidays so I sought out a part-time holiday job

Because I worked full time, Monday to Friday job, I opted for 1-2 evening shifts and 1 weekend day. This amounted to 12-16 hours a week and between $140-$190 a week before taxes.

Another bonus was the company discount, which was a 35% discount for seasonal employees.

I even stayed on with the company after the holidays for a few months as I enjoyed working with my fellow employees and genuinely liked the company I worked for.

Used my cell phone to make money

I downloaded a few apps onto my cell phone that I used when grocery shopping.

I would complete quick surveys in 3-10 minutes and get compensated $3-$10 for each survey I completed.

These surveys consisted of taking a few photos of a grocery display or answering a few questions through the app.

Sold textbooks from college

Selling your college textbooks back to your school is one of the worst ways to make money and very rarely pay well.

When I completed my 2nd college degree, I had a textbook that I purchased new for a little over $300. This was a new textbook and could not be purchased used anywhere- trust me, I looked!

When I went to see how much the school was offering to buy it back, I was offered ZERO dollars because the school wasn’t sure it would be using the textbook again.

So I sold the book online and made roughly $250. Sell your college books here

Sold old stuff on Craigslist

When I moved, I got rid of a ton of stuff on Craigslist.

Since my goal was to become more of a minimalist, and I just had stuff laying around, I decided to try my luck.

I have sold everything from patio furniture to books to leftover pavers from a home improvement project. My biggest tip would be to provide a full description with lots of pictures.

Got rid of old electronics on eBay

This is an oldie, but a goodie. I’d found a pile of old cell phones and a digital camera.

I had no use for any of these, and each one surprisingly sold, including a broken Blackberry.

Scrapped my laptops and computers

Thanks to spilling an entire drink on the keyboard and then dropping it on the floor, my laptop was no more.

When I went to Apple, they were able to salvage my hard drive, but then I was left wondering what to do with the laptop.

After putting an ad on Craigslist, I received numerous emails from people who wanted to buy my laptop and I accepted an offer for $350.

The person who bought my laptop has an eBay shop where he sells individual parts and pieces, so it worked out perfect for each of us.

Sold Halloween outfits on eBay

This is most profitable in September and beginning of October.

I have also sold dog costumes my dogs have worn over the holidays. My dogs wore their costumes for a couple hours on Halloween, but that’s it!

I have the photos and memories and don’t need to keep every costume or outfit they wear. People will pay for dog costumes, and I have easily made back the money I initially spent!

Participated in a medical study

Want to be able to improve your health and get compensated for it? This is the side hustle for you. 

I participated in a particular study that compensated me $100 for each return visit and this study lasted several months. It eventually rolled over into a similar study and I was compensated a similar amount.

There are a ton of medical studies out there, such as quitting smoking, asthma, ADHD, depression, etc.

Freelanced in my field of work 

Every couple of years, I help similar companies in my field of work with updating their records, renewing certifications with the state, and filing. Each job ranged between 10-15 hours and paid around $300.

I signed up to be a driver for Lyft

I tried this side hustle for a few weeks. Lyft, Sidecar and Flywheel are rideshare programs in my city. Ultimately it wasn’t for me, but I am amazed how much drivers are making!

I have met several people that do this part-time and full time. It takes about a week to go through the entire set-up process.

You have to have a smartphone for this as the program runs through an app. Based on each ride that you complete, it takes about a week to get paid.

Accepted a short term contract position

I accepted a 3-month contract position on top of my regular, full-time job.

The contract position was similar to my full-time job title but gave me the opportunity to branch out to a slightly different line of work that I hadn’t done before.

This position turned into 6 months and there were numerous benefits to accepting the contract. While the pay rate was just good, not great, I was able to work from home, learn a new niche in my field of work, make new contacts, and update my resume!

Mystery shopping

This is becoming more and more popular as there are a ton of websites you can sign up with. When I did it, I would be paid flat fees plus purchase reimbursement.

This includes your basic retail shopping and free meals (not fast food.) But I have also completed shops that include trips to the aquarium, sporting events, and theme parks.

Online shopping and cash back apps

This isn’t really a side hustle as you have to spend money to make money, but if you are going to buy something online, use Rakuten and get paid for it! This is an easy way to make cash.

Ibotta is another free cell phone app. You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.

My favorite part about this app is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc.

If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate. For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. Crazy, right?

If you want to grab the Ibotta app and start making money off your grocery receipts, click here to get started. You will receive a cash bonus of $10 when you scan your first item!

You can also try survey apps like My Soap Box and Survey Junkie. Both are super easy to work with and can pay out quite a bit if you take them seriously. These are other great ways to have extra cash on hand.

Cleaned someone’s closet

I organized and cleaned a master closet, and got paid hourly to do it.

This was a customer referral, but there are quite a few ways to earn a side income by organizing homes. This took an afternoon and I made about $100.

How to side hustle today

As you can see, there are a ton of side hustles that you can try. There are so many ways to make extra money, and I’ve only tried a handful of them.

While the above are the ones that I would recommend the most, you can really try anything that you’re passionate about.

You can make a side hustle out of just about anything!

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  1. Thank you for sharing, it was fun and informative to read. The side hustles I have done are baking pies and selling them, fruit cups, snacks, getting a part time job at a call center and mystery shopping.

  2. These are fun ideas, but you don’t really tell us where you were able to find some of these side hustles. I’m really curious, as I really need to find a little extra income, but I already work full-time, and a lot of these ideas sound neat!

    1. Hi Kylee, which ones were you interested in? I found most of these through Craigslist, college postings and signing up with focus studies online.

  3. kristen,

    I found this article to be very interesting. Would it be possible for you to elaborate more on how other people can sign up for some of these focus groups and testing products?


    1. Hi Austin, thanks for stopping by! I am going to be doing more posts about side hustle jobs in detail, including research studies and focus groups, in the coming weeks. I would start with the Mystery Shopping Forum, it’s a great resource for starting out. I would also check out Craigslist, as a lot of companies and local colleges post for research studies. I hope this helps and good luck!

  4. I was just thinking about donating plasma. The local center says you can make up to $200 a month, but I was worried it was painful. I’m sorry you fainted! Maybe it’s not worth it after all.

    1. I thought about writing an entire post on this because it’s really fascinating! I still have the scars to prove it, ha! You can definitely make $200+ a month depending on the facility you go to. I was shocked how many people do this on a regular basis and it’s totally legit. I just couldn’t handle it 🙂

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