Alexa, play The_Hustle.mp3
I’ve checked my calendar twice while attempting to write this introduction. Twice. In fact, I’m tempted to peek at it again just to make sure that there are, in fact, a full four days left until the next payroll comes around.
Somewhere between the beginning of my first job and the present, my life stopped being about weekdays and weekends, workdays and holidays. I find that I don’t even care quite as much about my birthday. No, my life now is measured in 15ths and 30ths—the mid-month and end-of-month godsends that signal my bank account fattening up if only by a little. While I don’t live paycheck to paycheck anymore (been there, done that), the hard, honest truth is that I do still find myself nervously dancing across the spectrum of ‘doing A-okay!’ to ‘clinging for dear life’ between paydays.
Thankfully, millennials—despite all the lazy, downgrading names we might be called—are more resourceful than we give ourselves credit for. These days, having a side hustle or two to help keep ourselves afloat is no longer uncommon. Heck, I'd go as far as saying it should be more common now. Take it from someone whose little K-Pop merch store kept her alive during a two-month period of unemployment: side hustles work.
To simply end there would be romanticizing, though. Sure, a lucrative side gig can help you rake in a little extra cash, but a large part of the success equation is finding the right business to try your luck at. If you find yourself curious, consider this your first step. Up ahead, seven side hustles for your consideration:
If you’re (literally) thrifty: open an Instagram thrift store
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Recently, our search has led us, long-time ukay enthusiasts, to social media where we’ve been observing the rise of the Instagram thrift shop. This version of ukay shopping makes the thrifting experience accessible and less hectic. It also cuts straight to a curated roundup of clothing, home décor, accessories and vintage finds for your shopping pleasure. ??? ?? All the shops we're eyeing at the link in bio ???
Since the ukay became a thing again, you, me and all our friends who give a damn about keeping their outfits fresh or their savings intact are all guilty of frequenting the thrift. Thankfully, those who skim, scroll and shop through the internet are just as endeared by the concept (and prices) of second-hand clothing. If you’ve got a good eye, a knack for haggling and the patience to take product photos, consider yourself set for the world of the Insta-thrift.
In case you need a little direction, these stores are among our faves.
If you’ve got some extra space: open an Airbnb listing
While the roommate set-up isn’t for everybody, those with an extra bed space or a spare room can rest easy knowing they can temporarily house a guest in exchange for some cash. Those with whole houses or condominium units, or better yet, ones located in either the city center or popular vacation hotspots, are even luckier. But make no mistake: running an Airbnb is no walk in the park—not when you think about all the cleaning, maintenance and customer service that goes into the equation.
Discover more about becoming an Airbnb host here.
If you’ve got opinions and don’t mind sharing ‘em: give UserTesting a shot
The thing about being online for so long and so often is that we’ve all been exposed to our fair share of wonky websites. A glitch here, a broken link there—the only way to truly catch the little kinks and hiccups is to click through and experience a site first-hand. Enter: UserTesting, a website dedicated to QA-ing websites and making the world wide web a better place. By completing a few tasks and sharing your feedback out loud, you can earn up to $10 an hour (that’s right around 500 bucks!).
Check out what you need to become a tester here!
If you’ve got a way with words: do some freelance writing or editing
Not to sound supremely full of myself, but there if there were a list compiling malleable skills that would be useful across multiple industries, writing would probably be on it. Look, the unfiltered truth is that it’ll be difficult to get rich by simply writing alone—not unless you've got an equivalent of the Harry Potter franchise brewing in your head, that is. But there’s good news, too: a way with words can get you a handful of copywriting and editing jobs, especially when paired with the desire to understand other industries and break down complex concepts.
If you’re fluent in a language: teach it online
Let’s get this one thing straightened out: fluency in a language is a skill, and one that can help you make some extra cash, at that. If you’ve got a little extra time and confidence in your linguistic abilities, try out teaching online. Most websites, as expected, are on the hunt for English teachers, but with a little Googling you’ll find there’s a demand for Mandarin, Korean and most common languages, too.
If you do most of your shopping online: try out a cashback app
Okay, if we're being 100% technical, this doesn't exactly count as a side hustle. Hear me out, though: if you can't quit the shopping sprees, you might as well get some of your money back. Cashback applications are the next big thing where e-commerce is concerned, and with good reason. After all, who doesn't want to be rewarded for shopping from the convenience of their devices?
Shopback, the most popular cashback application, has over 100 partner stores and returns a fraction of your spend within 72 hours. Discover more here!
If you like taking risks: invest in the stock market
I don't know how many times I've heard my parents say the phrase “passive income” over dinner, but it's only now that I'm beginning to understand the concept of it all. It's really not as abstract as it sounds. Essentially, passive income is what we all want: to make money without really having to do much.
Three cocktails into a late afternoon event last week—which I've found is just the right amount to get you curious about things you've never thought about in depth before—I asked my friend Tara about how the stock market works and how I could even make an investment in the first place. Said friend, who also gives some pretty kickass financial advice, broke it down nice and easy. A number of factors—changes in management, mergers, campaigns, you name it—can impact a company's value, which will then affect how much a person's shares in the said company are worth. It's a little like gambling from the outside looking in, but if you want to get into the nitty-gritty of it, there can be a lot of research involved in making the right decisions with your money.
If you're ready to dip your toes into the stock market, first thing's first: get acquainted with the basics.
So, what's the plan? Have you found your side gig match? Sound off in the comments below!
Art Matthew Fetalver
Header image via Shop Ancienne