Now is a great time to begin thinking about how to increase your income for the year. Diversifying your income sources is a great way to achieve this goal. And incorporating side hustles can be one of the best ways to diversify. Some side hustles can cost a pretty penny right out of the gate to start up with no guaranteed return on your investment. So, we put together a list of some of the best low cost side hustles to consider.
Not all of these side hustles will be a great fit for you and your situation. But, hopefully at least one or two of them may be potential options for you to start now and start rolling in the extra dough throughout the year.
Airbnb & Airbnb Experiences
Airbnb offers two different types of side hustles you can choose from. With traditional Airbnb, you can rent out:
- rooms in your house
- a separate part of your property (such as a pool house, detached mother-in-law suite, etc.)
- your whole house
One of the best ways to do this is to search around on the Airbnb website to see what other people in your area are offering and for how much. That way you know where your pricing should be for your particular offering. If you are able to feasibly do this (meaning you don’t have 5 kids and board a million dogs), then this is a great way to make some money with something you already have.
The only things you will really need to purchase to start listing on Airbnb are:
- separate sets of sheets
- separate sets of towels
- bathroom soap, shampoo and conditioner
If you want to get really fancy, you can set up a coffeemaker and offer coffee and tea every morning too. So that will cost you a little bit of money to make sure those items are stocked.
Now, if you decide that you can’t rent out any portion of your home, Airbnb still has another potentially great side hustle for you. They have a site completely dedicated to experiences only. So if you have a certain skill or passion that you can offer to teach others about, this may be a better fit for you.
At one time, we did both Airbnb and Airbnb Experiences. And since we were the only chefs in the area, we were quite popular with our private culinary dinners. So take a look around the Airbnb Experiences website to see what is being offered in your area. If you can offer something that isn’t listed on there yet, then you can corner the market with your particular skill or passion. We call this a win!
Amazon Seller Central
Amazon Seller Central is a great side hustle that we have been doing for a little while now. We don’t make a ton of money off of it, but the possibility is there. One of the best ways to start with Amazon Seller Central is to look around your house for things you don’t want or use anymore.
Now, if the items are new and still in the packaging, you have a better chance of fetching a higher price for them. But, even if they aren’t new, you can still potentially sell them on Amazon.
Just go into the Amazon Seller Central portal and add a new product. This is what it looks like:
If you are having a hard time finding your product, it may be best to go to the regular Amazon site and search for it that way.
Another great way to do this is to search for new products on deep discount or clearance while you are out and about. I found a great app to help me see if the product is being currently offered on Amazon and what other people are selling it for to see if it would get me a high rate of return. This app is the Compare Prices and Amazon & Ebay – Barcode Scanner.
When you open it up, you can scan the barcode on any item you find and it will pull up current listings on both sites. But, the app is still in beta, so I have found that it is not 100% correct all the time. So I usually open up another window and search Amazon myself if I can’t find it on the app.
Just by using this app, I have been able to purchase some deeply discounted new products that yielded me up to a 800% return on my money. That’s insane!
If you happen to have any name brand clothes, shoes or accessories lying around your house, then Poshmark might be one of the best low cost side hustles for you. I have been using this app for a little while to get rid of things I don’t want anymore. This site is only for specific name brands, but they are easily searchable on the platform. Some of the brand names offered are:
- J. Crew
- Louis Vuitton
- Michael Kors
- Old Navy
Once you post a picture or two of your item and pick your price, your posting goes live. Poshmark has “parties” for different types of items on different days for you to push your posts, if you desire. They also have specific days where they will reduce the shipping rate to your potential customers if you are willing to reduce the posted price of your item by at least 10%. These are the days that I have been more successful selling items.
Ultimately, unless you have a lot of name brand items and are really active on the site, your chance of selling things is lower. But, instead of cashing out, you can keep the money you make in your Poshmark account. This way it is available for you to purchase other items you want. I’ve found it’s a great way to clear out my old stuff and get new stuff for free.
Rover & Wag
Rover and Wag are two pet sitting/dog walking sites that are fantastic side hustles if you love dogs! Both of these sites will let you create a profile and offer your services for whatever price you choose. However, in similar fashion to how Airbnb works, the best way to price your services are to see what everyone else is offering around you first.
We have been doing Rover for about a year and a half now and it has turned into another full business for us. Rover has increased our income so much, that we pay the kids to help with all the dogs.
The gist of how Rover works is that they take 20% or your earning and cover all of the:
- customer service
Wag is similar, except that they take 40% of your earnings instead.
The two main differences between the two companies, that I have found are:
- Wag is primarily for on demand dog walking
- Wag doesn’t perform in depth background checks on their dog walkers
Therefore, Wag is a great place to get started if you don’t have much experience with pet sitting yet and have a flexible schedule. However, Rover is probably the way to go if you:
- have a lot of experience with pet sitting (or just pets in general)
- can get at least 3 references
- are willing to board dogs in your home or spend the night in their home to watch them
Rover generally only accepts about 3% of the applicants though, so it is much more difficult to get into their platform.
Of course, if you really want to diversify and make some money, then why not just do both?
For those of you who have a vehicle and aren’t completely directionally impaired, Uber or Lyft may be some great side hustles for you. Both of these companies are pretty busy regularly and widespread. So, if you are a social person and like to drive around, why not use your vehicle to make a little bit of side cash?
RELATED ARTICLE: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DRIVING WITH UBER
Both of these services take a fee from your earnings, as well. But, depending upon when you choose to drive, you can make a pretty decent penny with them. I have a few friends who do both for their full time income now instead of working in an office. Sometimes the hours they have to work are a bit odd, like the middle of the night or early morning. But if this is when you make the most amount of money, and you have the rest of the day to yourself, then why the heck not? And it is one of the ultimate low cost side hustles because you are already using a vehicle you own and your own time. Win-win!
Low Cost Side Hustles for the Win!
Overall, there are a TON of great side hustles you can engage in to make some serious cash this year. If you have extra space in your home or a great skill to teach, then check out Airbnb. But, if you have items you want to sell, then check out Amazon Seller Central or Poshmark. If you are a dog lover, then Rover or Wag may be the best option for you. And if you love to drive, then Uber or Lyft is probably the way to go.
No matter which option you choose, there are strong possibilities to make some good side hustle money this year.
What are some great side hustles that you have started without costing much to begin with?