7 Side Hustles That You Can Start for Next to Nothing

Second jobs, sidelines, “rackets” (as we refer to them in the Filipino vernacular)… Making a bit of extra money has certainly taken on different names over the years. Among my millennial peers, we’ve taken to referring to such extracurricular activities as “side hustles.”


Some of our baby boomer counterparts might shake their heads at how many of us prefer side hustles to “real jobs” (hey, side hustles require work too, you know), thus making us “lazy and entitled.” Sure, whatever. They just don’t know what they’re missing.


You see, there’s more to side hustles than just the extra income. Don’t get me wrong, additional cash is always good, but the beauty of these so-called gigs is that you get to decide which ones to do and WHEN to do them. As part of the generation that’s characterized by placing a higher value over work-life balance, the flexibility that side hustles offer is very appealing indeed.


Best of all, you need next to nothing in terms of capital to earn money through side hustles. Here are a handful of the ones you can start with now:


1. Create stock photos.

1. Create stock photos.

Image Credit: iStock


These days, you no longer need an expensive and unwieldy DSLR camera to produce great photos. You can use your fancy-schmancy smartphone instead.


If you already like taking photos of random objects like flowers, bugs, or rainy days, you can try selling them online as stock photos. If I recall correctly, you can collect a royalty each time your photo is purchased or used.


High-quality photos, of course, are more likely to sell, but you don’t need to enroll in expensive photography schools to come up with them. Instead, why not peruse the many different blogs on the subject available as free references online? Better yet, try tinkering with your phone. Take various photos of everyday objects and discover firsthand how angles, lighting, and cropping can transform ordinary photos into breathtaking ones.


You may just surprise yourself and have fun in the process, so it’s a win-win either way.


2. Write and sell e-books.

Write and sell e-books.

Image Credit: Getty Images


Are you particularly knowledgeable about herbs and their healing powers? How about the benefits of mindfulness?These topics might sound rather odd or obscure, but if they’re your particular area of expertise, you can make a few bucks churning out e-books online.


Electronic books lend themselves especially well to self-publishing, so you won’t need an editor or publisher’s approval before releasing your work onto the market. This also means you can write one at leisure, without the pressure of publisher-imposed deadlines (i.e., you can put all those idle hours staring at your computer to better, more profitable use).


If you want to try your hand at writing or selling e-books, Amazon.com’s marketplace provides quite a good platform for reaching your target audience and determining what they want.


3. Tutoring.

  3. Tutoring.  

Knowing a second language is common among entrepreneurs, and you can actually monetize this by offering to help others become fluent in, say, English, or sharpening their conversational skills through online chats and calls.


Better at Mathematics than the English language? Fret not. There are lots of kids and adults out there who could use a tutor that can help them make heads or tails out of all those bizarre symbols, and they’re willing to pay quite competitively for that privilege.


There are lots of websites and online companies that hire language tutors, so do your due diligence before picking one. As for tutoring other subjects, you can try scrolling through various message boards populated by students on the Internet to see who might need your services.


4. Building and testing applications.

Building and testing applications

Image Credit: 360 Logica


Gone are the days where you need hardcore coding knowledge to develop applications for smartphones. Rather, there are now various platforms and visual interfaces that can enable you to build one in a matter of minutes.


If you’re still not confident about your app ideas, you can volunteer to test other people’s instead and get paid for it. App developers often need test users for certain applications, and they’re usually willing to pay well for anyone who will download, use, and review the said apps. You don’t even need to upgrade your phone or mobile device for these gigs since the developers also need to see how the apps work on different models and operating systems.


5. Uploading quality content to Youtube.

5. Uploading quality content to Youtube.

Image Credit: 123rf


The word “Youtuber” might bring to mind a loud, flamboyant, and unforgettable personality broadcasting their take on every single thing in the world, but you can still make money off this online video site without resorting to gimmicks.


As with E-books, helpful tips for activities like fixing the sink, giving yourself a manicure, or even getting rid of weeds in the garden all have an audience. If you can provide useful and value-laden information on these things in a visually-appealing video, you’re looking at another potential gold mine.


6. Review products and services for a fee.

  6. Review products and services for a fee.  

You know how celebrities are paid to endorse a certain product or service? This is a bit like that but without the eye-popping salaries and ironclad contracts specifying that you shouldn’t be seen using rival brands.


Jokes aside, you can make a pretty penny reviewing various products on ecommerce pages and other websites. It’s a plus if you’re already an authority in the industry where the product or service fits in (think someone like James Deakin reviewing the latest SUV from Subaru), but all it takes to succeed in this endeavor is the ability to provide honest and constructive criticism.


As a bonus, doing paid reviews can also expose you to some of the most innovative up-and-coming products or services on the market. Nifty.


7. Groom and/or look after pets.

7. Groom and/or look after pets.

Image Credit: iStock

  If you like taking care of animals, this is a side gig where you literally get paid for doing something you love.


Thanks to the typical fast-paced lifestyle we have nowadays, many pet owners are jonesing for someone to walk their pets and/or wash them for a few hours while they toil away at work to keep paying for those wickedly expensive dog collars for their “children.”


Related post: Like Pets and Traveling? You May Want to Try Pet-Sitting


Imagine spending time with some pretty affectionate and furry mammals AND receiving a paycheck for it. What’s not to like?


I’ve done several side hustles over the years. Heck, this gig I have going on with iRemit counts as one. They come in varying degrees of difficulty and with equally varying paychecks, but they all require professionalism (if you want to keep getting booked, that is), and some pretty nifty time management skills.<


Now, that doesn’t sound like something that someone “lazy and entitled” would opt for, no?

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.

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