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It’s been said that the fastest way to build wealth, is to spend less than what you make and save more than what you spend. For most of us, this is easier said than done, especially if you aren’t on a budget, in a lot of debt, or are living paycheck to paycheck. However, reaching financial independence is possible IF, you are willing to put in hard work and sacrifice your time today for a better tomorrow. Some of the best ways to reach retirement earlier or pay down debt faster are usually right in front of your face.

The internet is oozing with articles on how to make extra income, the best side hustles, and the quickest ways to increase your income today. You just have to be willing to find an idea that works best for you and your WHY. Whatever your financial goal(s) may be, whether it’s as simple as just wanting to save more, to pay down, save for a home, pay for a wedding, take a nice vacation, we all can benefit from having a little extra cash in our pockets. While having a side hustle isn’t always the easiest thing to maintain (I have two side hustles- photography and this blog), depending on your goals, it can help you achieve them a lot faster.



Here are 5 side hustle ideas you can start today and still keep your day job!

1.) Driving for Lyft/Uber 

If you have a valid drivers license and car insurance in your name then why not drive for Uber/Lyft to earn some extra cash? Once you complete the application process, pass the background check, go through fingerprinting, get your car inspected, etc, you may be able to start accepting passengers in as little as 1 week. Your earning potential is also limitless and is all determined on how much time and effort you want to put into driving. The great thing about driving and almost all side hustles is that you are the boss, you make the rules, you determine how much goes into your pocket. To get started on the process of becoming a Lyft or Uber driver, here are a few key pieces of information you will need to know:

  • You will be required to pass a background check;
  • You will need a valid in state Drivers License and proof of car insurance;
  • Must be at least 21 years of age for Lyft;
  • You will probably need to undergo fingerprinting, which can cost a little upfront and;
  • You will need to have your car inspected.

Your vehicle must also have four doors, be in good condition with no cosmetic damage, and have no commercial branding. There are also car year limits (check with Lyft and Uber for each city’s year limit). A good friend of mine has been driving for Lyft for 2.5 years and seems to love being her boss, setting her own schedule, and the ability to freely generate extra income when she needs it.  Don’t believe me? Here is what she has to say about it –

“I’ve been driving for Lyft for 2 1/2 years part time for extra cash. Sign up was extremely easy. It takes less than three days to start driving and with Easypay you can get paid as many times a day as you want! I once made $250 in 2 hours on a rainy Monday morning driving in Philly. This is your small business so treat it as such. Always track your mileage, gas, and vehicles expenses to ensure you’re make a profit.”

If you’re interested in driving for Lyft, click here. Also, if you sign up through the link on this page, my pal will get a nice referral bonus at no cost to you (spread love it’s the Brooklyn way).



2.) Create a blog

I have two side hustles myself, one is photography and the other is this blog! Last month was I attempted to monetize this site for the first time and it worked. My aim was to make at least $1 dollar from blogging and I actually ended up making $12 (humble small beginnings, I know). I figured that if I can passively make one dollar by sitting on the beach in Mexico on Christmas without doing a single thing, then I know earning potential from blogging is limitless.

Creating this blog has literally been one of the best and most rewarding thing I’ve done in my 20s. I’ve been able to reach and connect with so many different people and it’s all focused around something I am truly passionate about – Personal Finance. I love receiving emails from my followers about my story and that this blog is inspiring them to get it in gear and tackle their finances. There is nothing more rewarding than receiving kind words from people I haven’t spoken to in years, just to tell me how much they enjoy reading Make Real Cents.

I have another good friend Leo, also a former colleague, that started his blog (Levitate Style) as a side hustle while working full time for an investment bank. His blog (click here) has grown so much that within 4 years, he was able to quit his well paying job to travel and blog full time.

With a few initial start-up costs and effort, you can create a blog and start generating passive income from it. Whether you have ideas to blog about cat mom problems, high fashion, or cooking, what is stopping you from starting today? If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog but haven’t been sure how to go about it, here is a quick step-by-step guide to get you blogging as soon as today. How to start a blog Here is the quick and dirty way to get your blog up and running within an hour.

“I figured that if I can passively make one dollar by sitting on the beach in Mexico on Christmas without doing a single thing, then I know earning potential from blogging is limitless.”

• Register a domain name – I purchased my domain name through godaddy.com without realizing I could have gotten one for free* through my hosting provider, bluehost.com. (*Free if you purchase 12 months of hosting).

• Choose a Platform – There are plenty out there to choose from like blogger, wix.com, etc. but I use wordpress hosted by bluehost.com because it gives me the design flexibility and will be much more scaleable for my future endeavors like adding ad space, sponsors, etc.

• Buy hosting services – I recommend and use bluehost.com to host my website. They have great customer service and make it super easy to get your blog up and running.

• Complete your hosting registration – Again, bluehost.com makes this super easy to do in just a few short steps. You will need to enter some personal information, set up payment stuff, and all that jazz.

• Connect your domain and hosting service – For bluehost.com, you will need to point your newly purchased domain to your website via modifying your DNS Nameserver.

1.) Log onto your godaddy.com Account Manager.

2.) Go to the DNS Management page.

3.) Under “Nameservers”, click “Change”.

4.) Enter the following into the spaces provided- ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com then click Save Changes at the bottom.

5.) Then you will need to add the domain your purchased to your Bluehost account by logging into Bluehost, clicking on “Domains” on the far left, entering in your domain, selecting “addon”, and then clicking “assign this domain” at the bottom.

*Please note that after you update, it may take a few hours for the to fully update.

• Install WordPress (WP) via your service provider – Click here for their 7 easy step guide on installing WP. (https://my.bluehost.com/hosting/help/wp_install) Basically you just need to log on, select “websites” on the left, and then click “install wordpress”.

• Log into your site- Set you your admin information, select a template by browsing around in the appearance tab and clicking “add new” once you find one that you like, and start posting!

Click here to check out what Blue Host has to offer

3.) Service provider apps like Fiverr & Postmates

Websites like Fiverr offer an awesome way for anyone who has a skill or talent to make some extra cash. Sign up is free, all you have to do is set up your gig (e.g. freelance writer, editor, singer for backup vocals, graphic designer, etc), and offer up your work. People can then find your portfolio via Fiverr and commission you for work or book a gig with you. The great thing about Fiverr is that the platform is open to such an array of skill sets from graphic design to video editors to musicians & computer programmers, everyone is welcomed on Fiverr. Postmates you earn up to $25 an hour, you work out a schedule that works best for you and best part about it is that you don’t need a car to do it (walking is fine too!). You just have to be 18 years or older and be able to pass a background check (locations in a lot of major cities). You will also have to attend an onboarding/orientation session before you can get started. In the onboarding session, Postmates will go over how to use their app, how everything works, answer any questions you may have, and let you know if you passed the background check.



4.) Put your creativity to work

Maybe you are an artist or have some sort of artistic talent, why not sell your work on the world wide web? There are plenty of websites that allow artist to create shops via drag and drop websites which in turn, allow you to reach a much wider audience than you possibly could on your own. Websites like Esty, Big Cartel, Storenvy, are all sites that you can build a virtual store front with.

Etsy Shop

If you are good with crafts, create cool handmade goods, or just have a talent for all things that look like they come straight off Pinterest, then why not open a shop on Esty? You can open your online store in less than 1 day. Opening a shop is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

• Go to etsy.com/sell

• Create a shop name

• Add items to your shop

• Choose your payment methods

• Set up your billing

• Open your shop

Photography

One of my side hustles is photography (click here to see my photography website) . While this side hustle requires a bit of an initial investment up front for things like a camera, website cost, editing software, it is a great way to make good money on your own terms. If you’ve been told you have an eye, love taking photos, or people love the photos you take now, why not take your craft to the next level?

I’ve been passively taking photos for friends of friends, family, and coworkers for the past two years and love it. It gives me the ability to do two things that I love; take photos and make some money on the side. The money that I’ve made on the side has gone directly towards paying down my debt. The other thing I like about photography is being able to schedule based on my availability which gives me the flexibility to say yes to a gig or pass on it if I want to relax etc. My photography side hustle is one of rewarding things I do besides blog! While creative side hustles may require a bit of investment upfront like buying supplies or investing in a workshop to hone your skills, there is nothing like putting your stamp on something you’ve created with your hands. There are so many free outlets on YouTube or Vimeo to learn how to do things and tutorials on how to improve your craft. With a few late night catch up sessions after work and a small initial investment, selling hand crafted goods or selling your talent, is always a pretty easy and fun way to make extra cash.



5.) Part-Time Job- Babysit, Tutor, Brick & Mortar

You can also opt for the somewhat traditional side hustle like babysitting by signing up on platforms like care.com or urbansitter.com. There are also dog walking websites like rover.com, if you love animals, this might be the side gig for you. Signing up to work part-time at any brick and mortar shop also allows you to take advantage of their employee discount deals. Tutoring is also another great way to make money on the side, can’t find any tutoring services to sign up for in your area? Create a free website and put an ad up on craigslist or tell your friends on social media. As you can see there are plenty of ways to earn extra income on the side. The great thing about a side hustle is that it doesn’t have to be long term, so whatever your financial goal is, just know that it is achievable with a little grit, patience, hustle, & know how.

5 Ways to Make Extra Income Summary

1.) Drive for Lyft or Uber – Get started driving for Lyft or Uber in as little as we week.

2.) Start a blog – Create a blog to generate income, sell products, start building your empire in as little as a few hours.

3.) Sign up for service apps – Run errands, edit writing, create content for others by booking gigs or picking up jobs via Fiverr & Postmates.

4.) Use your creative talents – Open a shop on Esty, turn photography into more than just a hobby, create things to sell.

5.) Old school part-time jobs – Applying to Brick & Mortar stores and take advantage of their employee discount, tutor kids, babysit, mow lawns, take up extra shifts, or consider dog walking .

What’s your side hustle? Drop me a comment and let me know!



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Written by Carmen

Creator of www.makerealcents.com, a blog dedicated to all things personal finance and money. Crushed over 38k in debt in less than 18 months and I’m on a mission to help others achieve financial freedom.