According to the ADP Research Institute1, the gig economy is booming, with a 15% jump in independent workers between 2010–2020. In addition, online platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy have made it much easier to find and take on side hustles. In short, there’s never been a better time to start a side hustle!
Why start a side hustle?
Side hustles are ideal for busy parents who want fun, easy, or lucrative ways to make extra money. The hours are flexible, and you can do most of them from home—even with a day job.
The variety of side hustles available is almost endless. Whether you want to make money online, earn some quick cash, work from home, set your schedule, or do something productive with your free time, there’s a side hustle to suit your lifestyle!
15 Best Side Hustles for Busy Parents
Hospitality Side Hustles
1. Airbnb Your Suite or Guest House
Got an empty suite or unused guest house? Why not list it on Airbnb to earn additional income? You won’t have to leave home to do it, and if you’re in a desirable area, it can be a steady and high-paying source of income.
Even better—it’s a great side hustle for kids. They can help with cleaning, tidying, and laundry. You can also turn it into a learning experience by showing them how to create and manage the listing, photograph the suite, and reply to guest messages.
2. Be an Airbnb Co-Host
Airbnb Co-Hosts help Airbnb owners run their Airbnbs. (Similar to property managers for long-term rentals.) Airbnb Co-Hosts are usually friends, family members, or neighbors of an Airbnb owner. Co-Hosts can also offer their services to owners through Airbnb.
If you know someone who has an Airbnb close to where you live but feels strapped for time, offer to co-host it for them. Depending on the level of involvement, a co-host could earn 15–25% of the booking fee.
Airbnb Co-Hosting is another side hustle where kids can be present or involved. The hours can also be flexible—something that busy parents always appreciate!
3. Host Homestay Students
Did you know that there’s a way to meet people from other cultures, teach your kids about the world, and get paid to do it? If this sounds appealing, you and your family will love hosting homestay students.
There are many benefits to hosting students:
- You can make money from home.
- It’s flexible and can fit a variety of schedules.
- It can be no or low-cost to start.
- You could earn enough for one parent to stay at home or scale down to part-time work.
- It allows you to put under-utilized spaces in your home to work.
- You can write off expenses you’d pay for anyway.
- It’s a fantastic way to make lifelong friends.
For the reasons above and more, hosting homestay students is a perfect side hustle—not only for parents but for the entire family. If you have an extra guest room that’s sitting empty, why not give this unique side hustle a try?
Flipping Side Hustles
4. Flip Used Items for Profit
If you love shopping at flea markets, scoring deals on Craigslist, or picking up unwanted items on the side of the road, this could be your dream side hustle. It takes time and elbow grease, but flipping used items for profit can indeed be very profitable.
This side hustle is also flexible and easily tailored to your schedule. You can scale it up or down, pick your hours, and decide when and where to buy and resell your items. And, for those who are in a financial pinch, flipping used items is one of the fastest ways to make a quick buck.
Finally, it’s another side hustle that your kids can help out. Younger ones can scrub and wipe down items. Older kids can help with photography and listings—all while learning about one of the many ways to make money online.
5. Sell Unwanted Clothes on Poshmark
Do you have an overflowing closet? Love scouring thrift shops for vintage and unique finds? Poshmark and other clothing resale apps may be the side hustle for you!
These services make it simple and easy to set up shop (virtually) and list your items for sale. All interactions with your customers happen inside the app, which offers safety and convenience for both parties. (No need to meet up in person or deal directly with payments.)
If you’re a parent, these factors are essential as you may not want buyers coming to your home to pick up items. As for the convenience, any time saved is always good for parents!
Selling your clothing on Poshmark is a side hustle that’s easy to do in your spare time. It can also help you declutter your house and recoup some of your purchase costs. You could get started quickly and easily today, so why not try it out?
6. Sell Collectibles
Whether you’re into vinyl records, coins, or comic books, you could turn your collectibles hobby into a fun and profitable side hustle. Selling collectibles does require in-depth knowledge and an eye for detail. But if you’re an avid collector already, transitioning into a seller shouldn’t be difficult.
eBay is the most popular platform to sell collectibles when you’re ready to list. But there are many others—websites like Etsy, Bonanza, and RubyLane are just a few.
As with flipping used items, this is another side hustle that your kids can help with. If you’d like to make it more appealing, consider selling toys, games, and collectibles that they’re interested in (or no longer want).
Offer to pay them a percentage for helping you. Or, if you opt to sell those old toys, let them keep all the profit. (Then, stack on the learning by showing your kids how to invest their newfound wealth!)
Financial Side Hustles
7. Become a Financial Coach
Are you good with money? Passionate about personal finance? If so, financial coaching could be the perfect side hustle for you. According to Wealthtender:
“A financial coach is a financial professional who focuses on your day-to-day money habits… to help you identify which habits need to change to reach your bigger goals, then supports you as you work toward that change.”
Financial coaching can involve reviews, discussions, and planning around:
- Budgeting: cash flow, spending, emergency funds, etc.
- Income: employment, business, side hustle, etc.
- Saving: saving rate, how and where to save your cash, etc.
- Debt: credit cards, student loans, mortgage, etc.
- Investing: portfolio review, investing approach, etc.
- Workplace benefits: 401k matching, employee stock options, HSAs, etc.
- Goals: vacations, retirement, children’s education, etc.
Most financial coaches work full-time, but some do it part-time. By limiting how many clients you take on, you can scale the hours up or down to suit your schedule and lifestyle.
8. Do Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is an essential task, but many business owners are too busy or lack the skills to do it themselves. If you have bookkeeping experience, turn your skills and knowledge into a side hustle!
As a bookkeeper, you’ll help business owners manage their ongoing financial activities, including:
- Incoming and outgoing transactions.
- Financial reports and records.
Bookkeeping is ideal for people who are detail and number-oriented. Busy parents will also appreciate the flexibility that bookkeeping offers—part-time positions are readily available and allow leeway to work around kids’ schedules.
9. Prepare and File Taxes
Accounting firms and tax filing services often get inundated with tax returns—more than their permanent staff can handle. If you have experience with tax preparation and filing, consider applying for the many temporary positions that open up every year.
A unique advantage to this side hustle is it is seasonal. You’ll be busy for a few months during tax season, but then you’re done until next year. Since it’s a defined block of time every year, this side hustle could be one of the easier ones to schedule around.
Service Side Hustles
10. Run a Home-Based Daycare
If you love kids and wouldn’t mind having a few more in your home, this could be an ideal side hustle for you. Since you’ll be caring for and feeding your kids already, adding a couple of extra children may not be a significant change.
In addition, because the hours align with your children’s school schedule, it won’t take a lot of juggling to make time to run the daycare. However, to keep it a side hustle (and not a full-time business), limit it to before and after school care.
11. Become a Personal Chef
Do you love prepping and cooking delicious meals? If so, becoming a personal chef may be the side hustle you’ve been seeking. “Personal chef” may sound fancy and expensive. But you can tailor your services to the clientele you’d like to attract—turn the role into whatever you’d like.
For example, you could cook for busy families and specialize in healthy, kid-friendly favorites. Or, if you’re good at cooking a particular cuisine (for example, Korean, Mexican, vegan, vegetarian, etc.), you can target customers looking for those specialties.
Many personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time, then portion and freeze or refrigerate them for clients to reheat later. Being able to cook ahead makes it much easier to fit in being a personal chef as a side hustle. (When your kids are at school, that could be when you batch cook a few days of meals for a client.)
You don’t need specialized training or a license to become a personal chef. And, if you cook from home or in your clients’ homes, startup costs could be zero. If cooking’s your passion, why not give this side hustle a try?
12. Dog Walk or Pet Sit
Pet parents love their fur babies and want the best care for their pets when they can’t be there. Becoming a dog walker or pet sitter could be a rewarding side hustle if you’re an animal lover.
Some dog walkers and pet sitters already have their pets and find that adding one or two pets to the mix isn’t much extra work. Others can’t commit to a pet or aren’t allowed to have one in their home, so dog walking is an ideal way for them to get their puppy fix.
Dog walking and pet sitting are two more side hustles that are great for families—especially those with kids who love animals. They can help with walking, feeding, grooming, and cleaning. And, as an added benefit, if you’re considering a pet of your own, it’s a no-commitment way to see if your kids are ready for one.
Dog walking and pet sitting can be a very flexible side hustle to fit in. Use apps such as Rover or Wag to list your services and only accept jobs that suit your schedule.
Creative Side Hustles
13. Become a Freelance Writer or Graphic Designer
Do you have a way with words or a flair for design? You’re in luck—your skills are in high demand right now! From news sites to bloggers and social media influencers, content creators of all types need creative services like yours to help them grow.
Freelance writing and designing are great ways to earn extra money on the side. Since there are no set hours and you can work from home, they make for very flexible side gigs. Many freelancers can fit in the extra work, even with a full-time job, while caring for kids.
Nap times and the evening hours could give you just enough time to squeeze in some writing or design work. You could tailor the work and schedule to fit your family’s needs, allowing you to earn extra income doing something you enjoy.
14. Start an Etsy Shop
Have you ever dreamed of selling handmade crafts, art pieces, or digital templates via an online business? If so, Etsy is the ideal platform for you. Selling online through Etsy allows you to avoid the overhead costs, staffing headaches, and inflexibility of a bricks-and-mortar business.
Instead, you’ll enjoy a flexible schedule, the ability to close your shop for vacations, and no one to manage but yourself! Another advantage of Etsy is it gives your business more visibility via Google search and their built-in search function.
Many Etsy sellers have replaced their full-time jobs by first starting on the platform part-time. It could be an excellent way for you to provide for your family while indulging your creative streak.
15. Sell Items on Teachers Pay Teachers
Do you have a knack and a passion for creating educational materials that make learning fun? If so, there’s a website just for you—it’s called Teachers Pay Teachers (but you don’t have to be a teacher to use it).
TpT is a website where teachers (and others) can buy and sell teaching materials and resources. Items for sale include worksheets, curriculum guides, posters, and much, much more. One huge advantage of TpT is it can become a source of passive income; you create a resource once, and it can bring in money for years to come.
It’s also a rewarding side hustle—you could be helping to improve and enrich the education of students and make many teachers’ jobs easier. In addition, you can build in some philanthropy by offering up some of your items as downloadable freebies.
It can be hard to find time to make extra money as a busy parent. However, side hustles like the ones listed in this article offer a lot of flexibility (and, in many cases, an excellent source of income).
Some side hustles are also kid-friendly, allowing you to teach your kids valuable life skills. In addition, you’ll grow your connection by working on your side hustles together.
Whether you include your kids or not, side hustles could be a fun way to generate income, learn new skills and meet new people. Most cost little or nothing to start, so get out there and give one (or a few) side hustles a try. You could start making money today!
1 CNBC (2020), The gig economy has ballooned by 6 million people since 2010
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