Side Hustle Ideas to Make Extra Money on the Side

87 Legit Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2021

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read my full disclosure.

Let’s face it. You’re here because you want to come up with some ways to make money on the side in 2021. Maybe you’re fed up with your day job, you can’t stand the corporate politics. Or perhaps you want to be your own boss or work from home so you can spend more time with the family.

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to make money on the side this year, it’s easier than ever to start a side hustle and make money on the side. Over the past year, I’ve learned so much about online business and making money from home that it’s become a true passion of mine.

Whether you’re an introvert or a social butterfly, online business and side hustles are a great way to make money, and I’m going to share 81 legitimate ways to make money on the side.

First, I want you to consider the easiest way to have more money…

Give Yourself a Raise by Learning How to Budget

Have you ever heard of the term HENRY (high earner not rich yet)? These folks earn six-figure incomes but they fail to grow their net worth because they don’t follow a written budget.

You can automatically give yourself a raise if you learn how to track your spending and cut back on excessive spending.

The only way I was able to quit my full-time banking job was because I became obsessed with budgeting, living frugal, and saving money.

Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance

We gave ourselves a $10,000 per year raise by switching from traditional health insurance to Christian Healthcare Ministries.

They offer different coverage levels, but there is unlimited coverage available with just $500 out of pocket per incident.

It is so much more affordable than traditional health insurance, and we actually had several claims a couple of years ago totaling $60,000. Our out of pocket? $1,299.

Check out my Christian Healthcare Ministries review here.

Online Side Hustle Ideas

I’ve tried so many different side hustles in my 36 years of life, but my all-time favorite is having an online business. Making money online seems like an unattainable dream to many. My mother-in-law still, to this day, doesn’t “get it”. She doesn’t understand how I make money blogging.

And that’s okay. People are skeptical, but making money online is more than possible if you’re willing to put in the work. Make no mistake…this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Online business should be treated as a true, ride-or-die business that you pour your heart and soul into in order to make it work.

I love being able to make money online because it allows me the freedom to work from home or while traveling, vacationing, and yes…even in my pj’s. Every morning, I check my balance to see how much I’ve made overnight (while sleeping, y’all).

If online business is your jam, and you’re interested in making money online, here are some options:

How Can I Make an Extra $1,000 a Month?

When I first quit my job to be a stay at home mom, I wanted a way to earn a little bit of extra income from home.

$1000 per month is just a little more than $30 a day. When you break it down into daily goals, it seems much easier to reach. $1000 seems like a stretch when you’re first starting your side hustle.

This was my first goal when I started working from home on the side. Pretty soon, $30 a day turned into $100 a day and more.

This is why I recommend every single side hustler should start a blog. Whether you own a service-based business or just want to share your expertise, gifts, and talents with the world, you need a blog.

In fact, I would argue that starting a blog is the most beneficial thing you can do.

Start a Blog in 2021

Starting a blog is easy, but it takes work to grow it into a source of income. Launching a blog is one of the best things I’ve ever done, but it’s far from passive.

For the past 11 years, I wanted to start blogging, but I allowed fear to hold me back until January 2018 when I launched Perfection Hangover. I started blogging in January of 2018 and went from earning $100 per month to over $3,000 every single month.

You can learn how to start a blog here with my easy-to-follow tutorial.  It only costs $2.95 per month, and when you sign up for hosting using my guide, you’ll get to choose your domain, and I’ll even send you my free video course on how to find keywords, how to optimize, outline, and structure blog posts to rank on page one of Google search results.

Click here to learn more and start your blog.

Of course, blogging is my favorite side hustle, but there are so many other ways to make extra money, so read on…

Use Pinterest to Make Money Through Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing accounted for over 25% of my income for 2019. Here’s the gist: companies pay people (like you and me) to share their products and services online with their social media, YouTube, and/or blog following.

81 Legit Side Hustle Ideas to Make More Money in 2020

Have an Instagram following? Have a blog that’s struggling to make money? Check out this course. The course creator earns over $100,000 per month and teaches others how to make money through affiliate marketing.

Start a YouTube Channel

I think just about everyone should be utilizing YouTube to grow their online business. Last April, I uploaded a video about Why I Quit Beachbody Coaching, and it has received over 237,000 views and is my top source of YouTube ad revenue. I currently have just over 4,000 subscribers, and I’m earning over $200 per month (mostly from that video).

You can get started with your cell phone, editing with iMovie and later upgrade to better equipment. I use this video creator kit for my videos, but if I had to do it all over again I would have gone with a compact camera, and now Canon has a compact kit better for vlogging (lightweight and less bulky). As a bonus: It’s cheaper!

But if you don’t start now, you are missing out on valuable time that you need to grow your channel so you can start monetizing it.

Start an Inbox Zero Service

Start your own email decluttering service, offering to clean up clients’ email accounts. If you have a knack for creating subfolders and organizing inboxes, this can be a great way to make extra money! This is a service I think many of us would pay for!

Become a Facebook Ads Specialist

My good friend Robert learned of this side hustle after he took a course on how to run Facebook ads for local businesses. He then started reaching out to local real estate offices and is now working with Realtors to create ads for their listings.

It has turned into one of the most lucrative side hustle ideas. He makes well over $2,000 per month as a Facebook ads specialist.

Start an Amazon FBA Private Label Business

Amazon offers an FBA service, also known as “fulfillment by Amazon”.I’m unfamiliar with the specifics of Amazon FBA, but my friend Peter has written about it extensively here. It has been a great way for him to make money online.

Make Money Completing Surveys at Home

If you’re trying to find ways to make extra money while binging Netflix, answering surveys might be the answer. Survey Junkie and Swagbucks are two great ones I recommend.

The key is to actively participate in as many surveys and polls as possible. You can even get freebies in addition to making money online. Get $10 bonus cash for signing up for Swagbucks through my link.

Start an eCommerce Site & Sell Your Goods

Etsy, eBay, Craigslist, and now Facebook marketplace are great places online where you can sell your handmade goods. Buyers are willing to pay top dollar for unique, handmade items, and the internet makes it easier than ever to make money online selling your products.

If you’re crafty, a Cricut maker can earn you thousands per month when you sell your tumblers, wine glasses, wall decor, and other items.

More Ways to Make Money on the Side Online

76 Ways to Make Extra Money in 2020

Make Money Online Teaching English

Teachers are finding it harder and harder to receive fair pay and decent benefits. Contracts are being drawn out. Schools are taking away raises for teachers with advanced degrees.

Our education system in America has become a bit of a nightmare. If you’re looking to use your teaching degree to work from home, check out job listings here.

Create an Online Course That Helps Others

In the past year, I’ve invested in a few different online courses. At some point, I’d like to put together a course to help women get started blogging (an SEO and Pinterest Playbook of sorts).

Some bloggers making bank by selling online courses are Michelle at Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and Ruth at Elite Blog Academy.

I’ve personally invested in both of these courses and feel that they are worth the investment if you want to save yourself months of researching, implementing, and making mistakes along the way.

These two women offer a guide to making money online, and I don’t believe I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for their courses.

Create and Sell an ebook

Elise at House of Brazen did just that when she created this affordable ebook to teach you how to make your first affiliate sale in 24 hours. She made over $30,000 the first year after launching that ebook and continues to sell copies to this day! This is also on my to-do list.

Become a Pinterest VA

There are a lot of opportunities to manage other bloggers’ Pinterest accounts. The reason bloggers hire VA’s is so that they can free up time to create more content.

It’s quite a lot of work creating pins that grab readers’ attention and scheduling pins. You’ll need a professional Tailwind account, but you can make good money by becoming a Pinterest VA. Just be sure you don’t undervalue yourself if you do go this route.

Sell Your Services on Fiverr or Upwork

Are you great at creating graphics or music intros for YouTube channels? Even something so simple as enabling Rich Pins for bloggers is a service offered for sale on Fiverr and Upwork. Create a listing and offer your services.

Use Rakuten for Purchases

Not only do you receive cashback for using Rakuten, but you can also refer friends and family and earn $25 for each person who uses your link and makes a purchase! When you sign up using my link, you’ll $10 bonus cashback! It’s free to sign up.

Get Paid to Browse the Internet

Companies like Swagbucks will pay you to complete short surveys. I actually just received a $50 Amazon gift card for answering surveys in my spare time.

Install the Swagbucks button to your toolbar, and it’ll automatically notify you when there are money-making opportunities.

Become a Freelance Writer or Ghost Writer

Make money online by writing for other bloggers. Some bloggers wish to publish every single day to their blogs, but writing quality content can be a struggle every single day. So many outsource the writing to qualified staff writers. That’s where you come in and can make extra money on the side!

Become an Influencer

If you have a good social media following that’s highly engaged in your content, you should consider becoming an influencer. Izea and TapInfluence are a couple of networks that connect influencers with brands for collaboration.

Dropship Tees and Merch

Another one of the many ways to make money on the side is to start a merchandise dropshipping business with a Shopify store or woo-commerce website. I actually added a few t-shirts to my store recently and plan on adding more merch!

You design the products, place images and shopping carts on your site, and Shopify does the rest, fulfilling and delivering the orders to your customers.  Irwin Dominguez earned 1 million dollars in just 8 months after launching his e-commerce website.

Sell your Coaching Services

This one I am sharing cautiously. There are a lot of self-proclaimed “experts” in the blogosphere selling their coaching services for tens of thousands of dollars.

Don’t be that guy. But if you can help people and charge a fair price for the services provided, go for it! But if you’re simply looking to con vulnerable people, look for other business opportunities.

Get Paid to Play Video Games on Twitch

If you’re a gamer, you can try to develop a following on Twitch, and you can monetize using Patreon.

Donate Blood Plasma for Money

This is legit a thing, y’all. My husband and I earned $800 per month extra donating blood plasma at Octapharma Plasma a few hours per week for a while. This is a great way to make extra cash immediately, but it’s not for everyone. Make sure you know the risks. You may not be a good candidate. Read more about blood plasma donation risks and factors here.

Create a Part-Time (or Full-Time) Business to Make Extra Money

Start a pressure-washing business

This is a cool one and you don’t even have to have a pressure washer. Bear with me for a minute. There is a product available at Amazon that you hook to a water hose, and it gives you comparable results as a pressure washer!

It removes that yucky green mildew and leaves it good as new! If buying a pressure washer is out of budget right now, start with a couple of bottles of Mold Armour and go door-to-door, asking neighbors if you can wash their house for a price. You’ll be surprised how many will be happy to pay you to do it!

Stain or Paint Porches or Garages

Buy a couple of gallons of a neutral color, and again, go door to door and ask if you can stain porches.

Start a Photography Business

My Mom has a knack for photography but not your typical family photoshoots. She’s is really great at capturing action sports photography. If you have the same talents, print business cards and take photos of local sporting events. Then offer your card to parents at the games with a specific code to reveal photos for purchase within 48 hours.

Become a Closet Organizer

What fun it is going through other people’s clothes! If you enjoy cleaning out the closet and organizing, you can make really good money helping people embrace their inner KonMari.


This is a well-known side hustle. If you have a newer vehicle with low miles that passes inspection, you can work for rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft. Just don’t try to use your Dave car to drive clients around. The companies won’t go for that!

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

Rover is an app that connects owners with pet sitters. Sign up for a free account and get $20 off when you hire a sitter/walker or start your own pet sitting/dog walking business!

Babysitting/Child Care Services

Check your local area for pricing. You might be able to earn up to $100 a night babysitting.

Food Delivery Services

UberEats and other food delivery services might not pay great hourly, but you can earn quite a lot in tips if you’re good at your job!

Referee or Umpire Local Sports Games

Do this at your own risk. As a parent of a sporty kid, some parents can be too much to handle!


Mail Delivery Seasonal Work (UPS, USPS, FedEx)

This is a great way to get your foot in the door with these companies that pay upwards of $20 per hour.

Start a Landscaping Business

Or simply mow some lawns and shovel some driveways.

Become an Airbnb Host

Rent a room in your home or your vacation home on Airbnb as a way to make money on the side.

This is one of my ultimate dreams…to buy a beachfront condo for about $150,000 and offer short-term rentals (and a vacation home for us!)

House Sit

Got coworkers traveling out of town? Offer to housesit while they’re out of town. Water the plants, feed the cats, etc. You can make up to $25 per day.

Become a Pet Groomer

Are your pooches always looking dapper? Offer your services as a pet groomer and turn it into a solid way to make money on the side.

Start a Cooking Class

Catering to couples, you could offer date nights teaching couples how to cook a romantic meal together. Special licenses will be required. Be sure to check with your local municipalities for any health code requirements, too!

Become a Professional Organizer

Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with her new Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, where she teaches people how to declutter and only keep items that spark joy. I swear my teenager could be a professional organizer.

She loves going through items and making rooms and closets functional. Right now is the perfect time to capitalize on KonMari, the life-changing magic of tidying up!

Home Service Side Hustle Business Ideas

Offer Handyman Services

We actually used handymen to help us fix up our house, gaining us nearly $30k in equity. They did a great job on the work, and we saved so much money instead of hiring contractors to do the work. If you’re handy and can do things like installing backsplash, flooring, and painting, you can make decent side income!

Start a Moving Company

You can pack and move people from one home to another, or you can do what my cousin did. She and her husband saw a need for transport services. They started their company by renting u-haul style box trucks and transporting equipment to and from work sites. One driver can earn them up to $10,000 per month.

Flip Furniture for Profit

I used to buy furniture from Goodwill to restore and although I had every intention of selling it for a profit, I’d keep most of them for my own home. My husband was thrilled every time I came home with another item! ๐Ÿ˜› If you’re talented and can buy furniture at cheap prices in your area, there may be an opportunity to flip furniture for profit.

Start a Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing Company

We painted our kitchen cabinets using chalk paint, and it was the easiest, cheapest upgrade ever! Rather than replacing cabinets, more and more homeowners are opting to use what they already have but painting blonde, builder-grade cabinets a classic white. This is an easy business to start if you’re handy with a paintbrush!

I painted my own kitchen cabinets. It’s really not that difficult to do!

Kitchen Renovation After Flipping House

Become a Tutor

Tutors can earn upwards of $30 per hour. If you’re skilled in certain subjects, offer your tutoring services through the school’s program.

Start a Personal Shopping Business (Seasonal, Birthday, Grocery, etc)

Offer Music Lessons

Guitar, piano, french horn, voice lessons…the opportunities are endless! My daughter’s middle school choir teacher quit her full-time teaching gig to start her own music studio out of her home.

Become a Dance or Cheer Instructor

High schoolers can do this job. Offer private or group lessons to students wanting to learn cheer or dance! You could work out of your home or partner with a local gym for space.

Start a Real Estate Business

It’s fairly simple to become licensed to sell real estate. You simply sign up for online (or in-person) courses, take the exams, and pay the appropriate fees to join the local real estate board and National Association of Realtors.

It costs approximately $2,000 in my State to get started, and there are fees associated with certain brokerages. I have chosen to affiliate with Real Broker, a virtual brokerage who charges NO transaction fees. As a result, I only pay 15% of my commission up to $11,000 per year, and after that, I gross 100%.

I actually earned $5ok gross my first year in real estate as a newbie in Illinois. I would have taken home much more had I known about Real Broker!

Alternatively, you could create a business that supports real estate agents or buyers. Examples include:

  • Real Estate Photography Business
  • Virtual Tour Services
  • Home Staging Services
  • Marketing Services for Realtors
  • Drone Photography
  • Videography
  • Home Inspection
  • Septic or Well Inspection
  • Termite or Pest Inspection

Related Real Estate Content:

Side Hustle Ideas for Moms and Dads who Already Work a Full-Time Job

If you already work a full-time job, you might be wondering what part-time side gigs you can find.

Deliver Pizzas or Toss Dough

Food Delivery Services – Door Dash, PostMates, etc

Retail Store Clerk/Stocking Shelves

Get a Job at Chic-fil-a

Work overnights at a hotel or resort on days off from your regular job

Become a Lifeguard

Become a phlebotomist and work for American Red Cross

Work in a Call Center Scheduling Appointments

Run Errands as a Side Hustle

Substitute Teach at a Local School or Childcare Center

Cafe Barista


Bartend (Both Waitressing and Bartending can Lend Some Hefty Tips)

Work for Hobby Lobby

If you still want your Sundays off, consider a part-time job at Hobby Lobby or Chic fil a. The retailer is closed on Sundays for a day of rest.

Remote Work from Home Jobs

Many companies are finding that it’s cheaper to hire remote work than to maintain an employee “in-house”. As a result, many different lines of business are utilizing remote opportunities for employees. Here are some ways to make extra money on the side remotely.



Working Nomads




Power to Fly


Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurance companies

Ways to Make More Money at Your Current Job

If you’re struggling and need to increase your income right now, it might be easier to try to make more money in your current position.

Negotiate a Raise

Don’t wait for your annual raise. Negotiate a merit raise based on performance.

Learn your Commission/Bonus Structure and Work it

If your employer offers bonuses for selling certain products, learn how you can sell more of those specific products. Find ways to present it to every single customer you speak with. Find ways to prospect.

Apply for a Promotion 

Talk to your boss about the promotion potential within your company. Let her know that you’re interested in growing your career with the company and are willing to do what it takes to move up.

Take Advantage of Continuing Education

Higher education can lead to higher pay. If your company offers tuition reimbursement, take advantage of the opportunity.

Take on Extra Projects to Show Your Worth

Serve others with a grateful heart. Go above and beyond at work. Someone will take notice.

Look for Employment Elsewhere

If your employer isn’t “filling your cup”, consider looking for better opportunities. Don’t just quit your job without another one lined up, but if you’re not getting enough out of the company you’re with, it may be time to put some feelers out there from competitors.

Creative Ways to Make Money on the Side

Become an Audiobook Narrator

It’s no secret that audiobooks and videos are the preferred methods of content consumption. With Scribd and Audible subscriptions at an all-time high, publishers are hiring narrators left and right. Try a free month of Audible here or better yet, check out Scribd for an even lower price. At just $8.99 per month, you can listen to unlimited audiobooks…not just one per month! Try a free month of Scribd and compare the two. And let me know if you land a job narrating!

Become a Walking Advertisement

When Jason Sadler founded on January 1, 2009, he changed the marketing and advertising game. By placing a calendar on his site, he allowed advertisers the opportunity to bid on a specific day of the year. January 1 cost $1, December 31 cost $365.

He grossed over $70,000 his first year in the business through sponsorships…all because he decided to wear company’s t-shirts and “go live”every day at the same time for about an hour. Imagine what you could do in 2019 with a little creativity?! Side note: he ended up making over a million dollars in just a year and a half. Ready to start your own blog yet?

Click here for my tutorial on how to start a blog. You can also see my income reports and how my blog makes money here.

Why I Don’t Recommend MLM as a LEgitimate Business

I really hate the multi-level marketing business model. It’s set up to make the company and top 1% rich while nearly everyone else loses money.

I had my own experience with Mary Kay and later with Beachbody coaching, and I can tell you that multi-level marketing is a scheme.

You can read more from other former coaches in this post:

Bottom Line

There are plenty of ways to make money on the side that you can work around your full-time job. You’ve just got to find something that interests you and go for it! Find something that you’re passionate about or that will help you get closer to the goal of paying off debt, saving more for retirement, or traveling more.

27 thoughts on “87 Legit Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2021”

  1. Wow, Melissa, these are definitely some great ways to make money. I actually like a lot of them that you listed. Some of these are great for stay-at-home moms and even college students. I see some of these jobs as a way to make passive income. This is post is definitely worth bookmarking and sharing.

  2. Hello! I’m Kurt Russell and I’m a new user. I’ve been working as Financial advisor for over 3 yrs. I’ve a Bachelor of Commerce from NY, U.S.A. I’ve assisted more than 100 clients in investing also help them to bring their business at the top with digital means.
    For more information you can visit my blog which is related to Green Trust Cash App.

  3. Hi Melissa, I love your content! So many great ideas.

    We each need to find what we are really good at and passionate at the same time. That way, the work will not really feel like “work”.

  4. Wow! Really an amazing list of some cool ideas for making money easily with some extra effort. Especially loved the idea of making money by INBOX ZERO SERVICE. It’s totally unique to me. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Good ideas here. Iโ€™d like to add a caution with the tutoring option. As a parent and teacher, I would only recommend having a child tutored by a trusted family member/friend or a legitimate tutor or teacher who is good at relaying knowledge and teaching skills to children and teens. Tutors and teachers have gone through a vetting process, had a background check with police records, and have official fingerprints on file. Be cautious about whom you entrust your children.

  6. Some extra money never hurts anybody. It’s just that one has to smart and passionate to make money.
    You have provided everyone with a wonderful list of jobs, from which one can choose and make money.
    Thank you!!!

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  8. Pingback: Flipping Furniture for Profit - Income Ideas + Chalk Paint for Beginners

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  10. cool ways! but i would love to share what i do to make money while sleeping – I use Honeygain. So basically this is an app that lets you sell your unused internet traffic and can make up to $25 every month.

  11. Pingback: How to Start a 2020 Christmas Savings Plan Now (With Little Money) | Perfection Hangover

  12. Pingback: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Launching a Blog in 2020

  13. Pingback: 5 Things You Can Do if You Desperately Need Money Now | Perfection Hangover

  14. hey girl, just to let yo know swaybacks is not legitimate…i tried it and it took 20 min to find actual surveys that worked to earn like 20 cents…then when you go to claim your gift cards they don’t work…customer service doesn’t answer at all…just thought id let you know cos your site is great and i know you don’t wanna promote anything thats a scam ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I appreciate this feedback, Kels! I have never had a problem with them, and I have several friends who have used Swagbucks, but it does take a TON of work. I’m not saying it’s the best option out there. Obviously blogging and affiliate marketing are my favorite ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I love your ideas but for a group of us the details are missing. I am old enough to know the basics of using a computer but too old to be up to speed with those who are 10 years younger. I blog or U Tube video to get us up to speed is desperately needed. My life experiences allowed me to experience 20 lives during my one. I am a 100% disabled and retired vet so some of your ideas would be a perfect fit for so many of my ideas. Please help me get started. Use me as a true to life example.
    Iโ€™ll be waiting for your call.

    1. Thank you, Liz! I can do a simple tutorial video and blog post on how to get started. I can even share my screen to walk you through how to start your own blog.

  16. Melissa: Awesome sets of tips. I have to ask though, many of your tips are simply work more, longer and harder. What tips do you have for the hiring-challenged (such as those subject to various forms of discrimination even in the world of the internet/online work where young and bouncy trumps old, white guy) regardless of his enthusiasm, energy level and continued love of travel, technology, and all the same things 20-30-40 somethings see as positives for employment?



    1. See, I believe there’s an audience for everyone regardless of age, sex, weight, or any other factor. I’m a huge fan of starting a blog and/or a YouTube channel about something you’re passionate about. Also…real estate investing. I’d recommend looking into it. You could also try Diversyfund for REIT investing. Thanks for your comment!

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