Looking for side hustle ideas that will pay you $500 or more per month? Check out this list of the best side hustles that you can start right away. Use your free time to have fun and make some extra money!
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My Opinion On Side Hustles (Hint: Absolutely!)
I love a good side hustle.
Extra cash, flexible scheduling, and being your own boss. Who can say no to that?!?
Sometimes, a side hustle can even transform into a lucrative business. One that I did in college eventually became a start-up that I sold to Microsoft for six-figures!
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12 Side Hustles That Pay $500 A Month
1. Take Surveys With Swagbucks
A personal favorite of mine is Swagbucks.
Swagbucks is a free online rewards site that pays you for doing things like taking surveys, playing games, and watching videos. If you’re buying stuff online, you can also use their cash back portal to make even more money (read my Swagbucks review).
Making $500 a month is kinda tough if Swagbucks is your only side hustle, but pair it up with another site like Survey Junkie and it’s not unreasonable to make $300 a month.
2. Earn Free Stock
Everyone loves making money and investing in stocks is one of the best ways to build your wealth. But it’s also scary, especially for new investors.
Luckily, there are a ton of stock trading apps today that will give you free shares of stock just for trying them out! It’s perfect for those who want to dip their toes in the markets and not worry about losing their own money.
For others, it’s another way to make free money. I have signed up for every stock app just to get the free stock bonuses and have made thousands doing so.
The best part is once you join, you can refer your friends and get more free stock every time someone joins. They also get free shares of their own too!
3. Drive For Lyft
Driving for Lyft (and Uber) has become synonymous with having a side hustle.
When I was laid off at my corporate job early in my career, I became a driver for Lyft to make extra money. Ridesharing apps were just becoming popular at that time and I wanted to test it out. I loved that anytime I wanted to work, all I needed to do was turn on the Lyft app and start driving.
It was really cool to see how much I earned at the end of each ride. Shorter rides paid between $5 to $15 per ride while longer ones where I dropped people off at the airport earned as high as $100!
4. Become A Dog Walker And Pet Sitter
Do you love dogs? If so, you can get paid to play with dogs! Really!
Rover is a site for pet owners looking for people who can babysit their dogs. You get to set your own schedule and what types of pet care services you want to do. How much money you can earn by taking care of a dog varies depending on the service type:
- Dog Boarding – Care for a dog (or cat) overnight in your home. Sitters who offer dog boarding often earn more than double sitters who did not offer boarding.
- Dog Walking – Pick up dog walks that fit your schedule.
- Doggy Day Care – Ideal for work-from-home dog lovers.
- House-Sitting or Drop-ins – Stay with or check up on pets in their natural habitat.
My wife loves dogs. We don’t own one so she uses Rover to play with dogs and get paid for doing so! That’s a win-win situation!
5. Start Your Own Blog
Starting your own blog can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make and the ultimate side hustle. I started The Money Ninja in 2019 and two years later earn more money from this blog than my high-paying corporate job. In December 2020 alone for instance, I made $40,139!
There are a few ways you can make money from a blog, but the two main ones are display ads and affiliates.
Display ads are ads that shows up on your site. New bloggers usually do this by adding Google Adsense to their sites. Once your blog gets more traffic, you can sign up for premium ad management networks like Ezoic, Mediavine, and AdThrive.
The other method is becoming an affiliate, which really just means linking to products and services made by other companies. You get paid a commission whenever someone uses your link to buy something. For example, when someone clicks on my Amazon link like this one, I earn a small commission if they decide to place an order.
If you’re interested in making your own blog, but don’t know where to begin or feel overwhelmed – have no fear, The Money Ninja is here! I wrote a really easy-to-understand guide on how to start a blog in just 7 steps.
6. Chase Bank Bonuses
When I was in college “back in the day”, I remember signing up for bank accounts and credit cards for free t-shirts and BBQ sets. If I can go back in time and tell the young version of myself one thing, it would be:
“Don’t do it, John! You’re worth more than that!”
Banks are loaded with cash and they’re willing to pay a high price to get new customers, a very high price. At any given time, there are several banks that will give you $250, $500, or even $1,000 to sign up for a bank account!
Here’s a little secret: most banks allow you to get the bonus again and again. Once you receive the bonus and close out an account, the majority of banks will consider you a “new customer” after 12-24 months. Taking advantage of these bank promotions, I’ve made over $100,000 chasing these sign-up offers.
7. Rent Out Rooms With AirBnB
Have extra rooms in your house? Turn them into money-making machines!
If you don’t mind renting out to strangers, you can do it through AirBnB by becoming a host. You set the price you want to rent your place for and AirBnB will market it on your behalf. You can even rent your entire house or condo and make more money.
You’ll get paid after each successful reservation (AirBnB will take a small percentage as commission for helping you find renters). Just make sure it’s actually your own house… my friend Tracy made a killing renting out rooms while she was still living with her parents – it was a nice way to earn extra money until her parents found out!
8. Shop Groceries With Instacart
You can get paid to shop for groceries! Sign up to shop with Instacart and become your own side hustle boss. There are two options to earn money:
- Full-Service Shopper – This is a contract role that requires you to drive to various grocery stores, shop for items on a customer’s grocery list, and delivery it to their door. You can work whenever you want – it does require your own car to get around.
- In-Store Shopper – You become a part-time Instacart employee that prepare orders at one store only. You’d still set your own schedule up to 29 hours a week.
Smart phones have produced a new era of side hustles that were unavailable previously. I like to try new things and actually went undercover as an Instacart shopper to see how much you can earn over a weekend!
9. Sell Your Photos Online
Are you a talented photographer looking to making additional money on the side? If so, consider selling copies of your pictures on the internet.
If you look online, you can’t help but notice that there are photos all over the place; blogs, news articles, advertisements, etc. It may surprise you that very few of these sites are using their own photographs (this blog included). Most of us pay sites like Shutterstock a monthly subscription fee in order to use images created by other people.
You can make money by uploading your photos to places like Shutterstock. Every time someone downloads one of your pictures, you’ll earn a royalty payment. The larger your photo portfolio, the more money you can potentially make. This is a great side hustle that will provide you a passive income stream for years to come.
10. Transcribe Audio-To-Text
“A company sends you an audio file which you listen to, type out the words you hear onto a document, and send it back.”
That’s what audio transcribing is. There are tons of sites you can sign up to do this for and if you’re good at it, you can easily make $500 or more per month.
TranscribeMe is a popular option for newbies that want to dip their toes in transcribing as a way to earn extra cash. They don’t require previous experience and pay between $15 to $22 per audio hour. GoTranscript is another company you can go with. Similar to TranscribeMe, they don’t have strict requirements and pay up to 60¢ per audio minute.
After you get the hang of it, you can sign up for other companies that require more experience, but pay higher.
11. Teach English Online
We’re living in a global economy and communications is vital to get things done. English is, by and large, the de facto business language of the world so it makes sense that the demand to learn English has never been higher.
Firms like VIPKid connects you to foreign kids to teach one-on-one with. You can set your own schedule and there are no lesson planning required on your part. Their platform allows you to just focus on teaching kids English.
The program is available for people who can legally work in the U.S. or Canada and have a 4-year degree from a university (the degree can be in any field or major). If you’re accepted into the program, expect to earn the equivalent of $14 to $22 per hour.
12. Sell Poop 💩
You didn’t misread that title. Yes, you can sell your poop for money!
We’re able to donate blood, plasma, eggs, and sperm… so why not poop? Your feces are probably the last frontier in monetizing a bodily fluid (eh, bodily solid). Biotech companies need your fecal matter to research healthy microbes that could lead to promising new treatments.
Thanks to sites like Poop With A Purpose, you can be a stool donor and make money. How much can you earn for donating poop? Some programs will pay you $50 per donation. If you’re willing to donate your poop 3 times a week for example, you can earn $650 per month!
Although Poop With A Purpose is only available for those who live in the Boston area, demand for this means there’ll be a market in other areas soon.
Maybe you can hold it in a little longer?
The Bottom Line
Side hustles benefit everyone!
When I had a low income job, it helped me save money that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. Even though I make good money now, I can’t resist taking part in a good side hustle! Once a hustler, always a hustler.
These side hustle ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. I know there are a lot I left on the table. Did I miss something great? Let me and other ninja readers know by dropping a comment below!