More than 18 months into the pandemic, the expanded Child Tax Credit has been a huge help to almost every family across the country. However, as many families continue to grapple with job loss and lowered income—plus the skyrocketing costs of essentials like groceries, which the USDA reports have been rising steadily and are expected to continue climbing into next year—there are still lots of parents looking for side jobs to augment their main income.
When you’re a parent, having a side gig can mean the difference between having a child who takes ballet lessons and one who has to pirouette at home; or it could be the critical difference between being able to afford nutritious meals and struggling to eat. Side gigs can help fund extracurricular activities, a family vacation, holiday presents, or help with a short-term stopgap in income. In some cases, it can simply be the difference between barely keeping up and getting ahead financially.
If you can carve even just a few hours per week from your schedule, these nine “side hustle” options may be the perfect way for you to pick up some extra cash.
Sell new or gently used items.
There’s probably more lurking in your family’s closets and drawers than you realize, and if you pile it all together, it could add up to a significant amount of resale dollars. Anything that rarely or never gets used is perfect for resale, and there’s no shortage of digital tools to help you find a new home for the items. From Facebook Marketplace to apps such as LetGo, OfferUp, eBay and Poshmark, there are tons of options.
The pandemic has made online learning not only acceptable but familiar to just about everyone, making it easier to pick up a part time gig as an online tutor. If you know a second language, consider yourself a math whiz, you’d like to teach English to non-native speakers, or you have a background in anything from science to business and you’d love to share your knowledge with others, tutoring could be a great fit for you. Companies such as Tutor.com, Preply, Care.com, and Varsity Tutors should give you a few places to start.
From managing guest lists to buying favors and supplies, plenty of people—and companies, too—need help planning parties and events. Whether it’s a kid’s birthday bash, a family reunion, or a staff outing, if you’re a great multitasker with a penchant for planning and organization, this could be a great side hustle.
Be a transcriptionist.
If you have a computer and a WiFi connection, you can set your hours transcribing everything from interviews to meeting notes. There are even specialty transcription opportunities in the legal and medical fields, for example, so if you have expertise in a specific area, it can help and perhaps even earn you more money. The Write Life is a great resource for finding jobs in the field, including how much you can expect to be paid (around $15 per hour, on average).
Become a virtual assistant.
Answering calls, taking messages, light bookkeeping, and scheduling appointments are just some of the duties of virtual assistants. Depending on the employer, you may even be able to set your own hours. Everything is done via phone or computer so as long as you have both, this side gig is worth considering.
Flip your thrift.
Why wait until you have personal items to sell when thrift stores and garage sales are full of good deals? You can also scour the same websites and apps you’d use to resell items (Marketplace, Poshmark) and scoop up the very best deals, then resell the items on your own (this is exactly what many thrift store owners do when they need new merch).
Wash and fold.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t mind doing laundry, offering up your services to friends and neighbors may be a nice way to make some extra cash. Just factor in the cost of supplies (laundry soap, dryer sheets, water) and charge accordingly. You’d be surprised how many people work weird shifts that make it hard to get their laundry done on any kind of reliable schedule, not to mention the folks who simply hate doing laundry and would rather save elsewhere than have to take on the task themselves! Start by offering your services to family and friends, or dive right in with advertising on websites for locals like Nextdoor and paper fliers posted in libraries and grocery stores near you.
Offer to do some pet sitting.
If you love pets and you’re not worried about having strangers’ dogs and cats near your own children, this can be an easy, in-home side gig. You can also arrange to go to people’s homes if they just need someone to take the dog for an afternoon walk, or for their cats to be fed while they’re on vacation. Make sure you spend time with the animals before you’re left alone with them to ensure it’s a good fit for everyone, and check that they’re up to date on their vaccines. Rover, Petsiiter, and Care.com are all good places to advertise.
Be a freelancer.
Now more than ever, companies are embracing freelancers. Websites such as Upwork, Hey Mama, FlexJobs, and HireMyMom all specialize in helping parents find at-home work in a variety of fields. From writing to bookkeeping to executive assistance, these sites are designed with remote freelancers in mind.
Need more ways to stretch your family’s dollars? Click to download our FREE printable money-saving checklist to make sure you’re taking advantage of discounts, resources, and tips for saving on things like groceries, bills, credit cards, child care, and other monthly expenses.
Dealing with school closures, childcare issues, or other challenges related to coronavirus? Find support, advice, activities to keep kids entertained, learning opportunities and more in our Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic Facebook Group.
For ongoing updates on coronavirus-related issues and questions that impact children and families, please find additional resources here.