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Side Hustles in a Strange Economy

I hate to say it, but the downturn we’re in, coupled with the massive wave of lay offs and furloughs in the wake of COVID-19, means a lot of people are struggling.  Stimulus checks are on their way, but many people are finding creative ways to uphold social distancing regulations and curfews or stay at home orders and still make money. 

Here’s some really clever ways others are making money in these challenging times…

  • Teaching.  Now, this might seem odd, especially if you only have an undergraduate degree and no previous experience.  On the other hand, with so many institutions forced to go virtual, the need for teachers and the people to assist with establishing programs with the correct technology and resources is at a premium.  If you’ve got those skills, then it’s worth looking at the local level – especially if your career experience indicates you can share tactical and strategic skills with students as an adjunct professor or lecturer.
  • Tutoring.  Right beside teaching is tutoring, and for some of the same reasons, if you have the skills necessary to share your knowledge, you can cash in.  In many cases, I expect the market for skilled tutors to rise rapidly in the coming months, as parents, worried about their children falling behind developmentally, look for folks to help kids hone their knowledge.  The best part?  Technology allows you to do this virtually, so there is little added expense for commuting. 
  • Selling old technology.  A LOT of folks have disposed of old phones, game systems, and computers on Ebay and other sites, and if you have a drawer filled with these, then this can be an ideal time to unload them.  Think of it as “Spring Cleaning.”  Of course, you’ll want to make sure you have “cleaned” the device of any personal data, but you can easily generate several hundred dollars in an afternoon of work. 
  • Selling items.  You guessed it!  While there is a tremendous draw for electronics, there is also a nearly limitless market for collectibles, antiques, books, and almost anything you can think of online.  While there are a lot of categories out there, it’s a great way to think outside the box and maybe unload some unwanted items. 
  • Clinical Trials.  While you might not want to be the guinea pig, the truth is, most clinical trials are well documented, well run, and safe.  Even better?  You might be able to really cash in – up to $4,000 per trial. 
  • Renting out your home.  If you have a second home, a mother-in-law suite, or are an empty-nester, you can consider renting the property.  Yes, certain areas are not “open for business” yet, but while we wait for the pandemic to abate, it is a great time to take stock of your real estate and see if such a plan makes sense. 
  • Renting out parking spaces.  Now you don’t have to rent your home, but if you’re in certain markets, you may find you can rent out parking spots – in the driveway, your complex (if allowed), or in other places you might control.  At the same time, you might find there is a need for people to simply rent out storage space, too.  Don’t be shy to explore all your options!
  • Dog Walking.  It might seem silly, but I once met a woman who made over $100,000 annually walking other people’s pets.  With so much emphasis placed on social distancing and keeping those at risk out of harm’s way, folks who are looking to get exercise and make some extra money can turn a tidy profit with Fido in tow. 

These are some easy ways to create more income, so put on your thinking cap and get busy!