5 Unique Side Hustles to Make Extra Money

These days you might be looking for ways to make money aside from your full time job. You may want to have a backup for if something with your career doesn’t go to plan. Maybe you want to supplement your income so that you can get closer to buying that new house or contribute more to savings or retirement. If you’re looking for some great side hustles to make extra money, you’ve come to the right place!

Did you know that 45% of Americans have a side hustle and that that number increases to 50% among millennials? You can earn money with so many different side hustles such as scanning receipts or selling used clothes or even starting a resin business! I’ve personally always enjoyed diversifying my income streams and finding new ways to make money. Here are five things I currently do as side hustles to make extra money and supplement my career income.

Brand Ambassador Gigs

brand ambassador side hustle for Nike

Brand ambassador gigs are sometimes little known to the community but they’re some of the most exciting gigs around. These are all short term commitments, pay much higher than minimum wage, and often come with a variety of perks. I’ve attended special YouTube content creator events for PAX East, witnessed people spending thousands of dollars at charity auctions, and even saw world famous runners by working for the Boston Marathon Expo. I’ve also held student brand ambassador gigs giving presentations around my university campus for Amazon Student and Kaplan. As a brand ambassador, I got to give presentations, hand out free items, and answer questions as a representative for the brand at various events.

Brand ambassador gigs make it easy to find quick side hustles

Brand ambassador gigs are great because you can easily find temporary jobs with a very short notice. In 2016, I had a 12 week summer engineering internship that abruptly got cut short to 8 weeks. I still had to pay for rent and wanted to find another income source so I utilized the Facebook page for my particular city to find gigs. For example, here is the Brand Ambassadors of the Greater Los Angeles Area group which has daily posts on agencies that are currently hiring gig workers. I was able to lock in a part time job for 20 hours a week as a promotional ambassador for a food delivery startup within two days of getting notice that my internship was getting cut!

Brand ambassador gigs sometimes have variations of titles such as “promotional model” or “street team.” Regardless, you are usually representing a brand and being the front face for that particular promotion or event. Even when I had internships or full time jobs, I would occasionally work these on weekends or evenings to attend exciting conventions for free or just to be exposed to a new industry while making money. If you’re proactive, you can always find work to do with brand ambassador gigs. These are definitely one of my favorite side hustles to make extra money.


Side hustles tutoring students

Tutoring is one of the best paying side hustles to make extra money. Students of all ages and abilities need tutors in all different kind of subjects and you’ll definitely be able to find one that fits you. Standardized test prep for SAT, ACT, and AP tests are always in the highest demand but you can easily sign up to tutor other subjects. I’ve personally tutored students for over ten years for various agencies and with private clients as well. You can find these jobs easily through Indeed if you want to tutor for an agency or you could find these on the Craigslist jobs section for your particular city through school parents looking for supplemental education for their children.

Online tutoring is also incredibly popular and a growing industry with the current pandemic. Some popular online tutoring sites are Varsity Tutors or Tutors.com and pay a nice salary without requiring a commute. Tutoring keeps your brain sharp, allows you to help students in their academics, and pays well!

Research Studies

research studies side hustles

Research studies (sometimes called focus groups) are great because they pay you extremely well for how much time you put into them. I’ve been paid upwards of $300 an hour for some of them. In terms of hourly pay, research studies are one of the best side hustles to make extra money.

Some of my favorite places to find research studies are Addison Research and Adler Weiner. However, there are a ton of companies that conduct research studies so make sure you do a thorough search of the Internet looking for studies to participate in. When you sign up for these places, you’ll initially answer some demographic questions. Afterwards, they’ll send you some extra screener questions via email when studies come up that you might qualify for. These range from testing new apps, giving feedback on new features, or even being sent products to test at home!

You can read more about paid research studies and hear about the 10 best research study platforms here!


Craigslist gig side hustles doing data entry

Did you know that Craigslist has a gigs section that’s always looking for people to do extra work? I frequently visit this section to see if there’s something that might pique my interest. I’ve previously worked as a digital assistant, done some data entry, and even walked a runway as a hair model! You can even find research studies here for various startups who are looking for people to test their newly released products. This section is great to find quick hustles to make some money on the side.

However, it’s good to be wary of some people on Craigslist. Use your best judgement and get a thorough understanding of what they’re asking for and how you’ll get paid. While Craigslist is a great platform for connecting people, the anonymous nature of it has also attracted tons of scammers. I’ve found lots of success finding gigs on here but make sure to do your research!

Credit Card Churning

credit card churning

Churning is the practice of applying for credit cards with the intention of trying to reap signing bonuses and then canceling the card afterwards. I personally use a modified variation of churning which entails only signing up for no annual fee credit cards. I keep these cards open to make my credit history longer without taking the detrimental hit on my credit score of closing my card. This is different from the classical approach to churning which entails signing up for high signing bonus credit cards which have annual fees and then canceling the card so that you don’t have to pay the fee in the future.

I would recommend doing some research before getting into the practice of churning. Each credit card you apply for puts a hard inquiry on your credit report. Accumulating a lot of hard inquires will drop your credit score for the 24 months that they’re on your report. There are a variety of other factors in applying for a credit card that may negatively impact your credit score. While this is one of my favorite side hustles to make extra money, I always actively monitor my credit score and take a break if need be. I’ll be doing future posts about churning and how to effectively manage your credit score so subscribe to stay notified!

Future Side Hustles

There are so many different side hustles you can do to make money such as making crafts for sale or starting a virtual bookkeeping business. If you’re in college, you can even look at this article to find the best side hustles for college students. I’m currently working on starting a tutoring business and creating digital content for sale. I’ll be posting updates when these side hustles hit the ground running! What side hustles are you currently doing or planning to do? Comment below!

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