12 Side Hustles that Help You Pay Down Debt

Debt can really drag on your finances.

If you have debt, and you’re trying to figure out how to pay it down, you’re not alone. Business Insider reports that a recent UBS survey indicates that 52% of those worried about defaulting on a loan in the next year are between the ages of 21 and 34.

So, how can you find the money to destroy your debt and move forward with your finances?

One of the best ways is to make more money. Here are 12 side hustles that can provide you with the cash you need to ditch your debt and build a solid financial foundation:

1. Rideshare Driver


You probably use Uber or Lyft to get around. Why not drive for these companies?

What you need to get started: Clean car, along with up-to-date license and registration. You also need to pass a background check and a DMV check.

How much can you make? Depending on the demand in your area, it’s possible to make $200 or more a week, driving for just 10 hours.

2. Car-Wrap Advertising

If you’re willing to have your car wrapped in vinyl and drive around town, you could make money advertising. Carvertise, Pay Me for Driving, and Autowrapped are all options.

What you need to get started: Late model car (usually within the last 10 years) in good condition and clean driving record. You need to drive a lot, or have a long commute for best results.

How much can you make? Depending on the local area, you can make between $100 and $500 a month when you drive as normal.

3. TaskRabbit


Are you willing to fold t-shirts, change a faucet, or run to the grocery store? If so, you can sign up for TaskRabbit and do odd jobs on the side.

What you need to get started: Live in one of the metropolitan areas associated with TaskRabbit and pass a background check.

How much can you make? Taskers set their own hourly rate. Depending on your skill level and the types of tasks you complete, it’s possible to charge $20 or more per hour. Some highly-specialized Taskers charge as much as $150 an hour.

4. Airbnb

You don’t have to rent out your whole place to make money as a host. If you have a room you are willing to rent out, you can make money.

What you need to get started: A place for guests to stay. You should also plan to clean the space after each guest leaves. Institute a process for providing access, including a key drop.

How much can you make? Depending on where you live and how often travelers visit, you can make $50 to $150 a night or more. Airbnb estimates your potential earnings when you sign up.

5. Tutoring


Do you have a flair for academics? Can you impart your knowledge to others? Help students from elementary school through college learn their material.

What you need to get started: Expertise in an area of specialty. Depending on the education level of your potential students, you might need a degree in that area.

How much can you make? Tutors commonly earn between $10 and $75 an hour, depending on the level of the student and your own credentials.

6. Teach Music Lessons

Impart the joy of music. Plenty of people of all ages are interested in picking up a new talent, and you can help.

What you need to get started: Proficiency on the instrument you plan to teach. Visit a music store to find instruction books that follow a system. This makes it easier to help your students progress.

How much can you make? It’s not uncommon to charge $20 or $30 for a half-hour music lesson.

7. Freelancing


If you have a skill like writing, coding, or graphic design, you can freelance on the side to earn extra money.

What you need to get started: Proficiency in your skill, and a portfolio to showcase your work. A website is usually a good place to start. It can be difficult to land these types of gigs initially, so sites like Freelancer.com or Guru.com can be good launch pads.

How much can you make? Depending on your skill level, it’s possible to make $20-$50 or more an hour.

8. Stock Photos

Do you love taking pictures? You can set up with a stock photography site like ShutterStock.com and iStockPhoto.com and sell your photos based on use.

What you need to get started: It helps to have a digital SLR camera. It can be difficult to have your images approved at a bigger site, so look for microstock websites to start.

How much can you make? You keep between 15% and 50% of the sales, on average. The more images you offer, the better your chances.

9. Sell Online – For Others


If you have online savvy, but know people who don’t, you can list their items for them.

What you need to get started: An online selling account on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, or Craigslist. Ability to take and upload pictures, and control over shipping.

How much can you make? It’s common to claim 15% to 20% of the item’s sale price as commission.

10. Yard Sale Flipper

Speaking of selling online, you can find your own treasures and make money. Visit yard sales to find likely items and sell for a profit.

What you need to get started: Online selling account. Ability to find items that will be popular.

How much can you make? Depending on the items you find to sell, and how well you sell them, it’s possible to make $100 or more after a weekend of yard sale shopping.

11. Virtual Assistant


Manage email, social media, schedules, and even answer the phone – from the comfort of your home.

What you need to get started: Good internet connection, a phone with headset, and a computer. Good organization skills and good communication skills.

How much can you make? In the United States, virtual assistants can earn $15 or more an hour, depending on your skill level. Some executive virtual assistants make $50 or more per hour.

12. Sell plants

Grow seedlings in your own back yard and sell starter plants online.

What you need to get started: Seeds and a green thumb. It helps if you can grow plants that are hard to find in nurseries. You’ll also need a seller’s account on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or another site.

How much can you make? During months you can grow, you can make $150-$500 a month or more. If you live in a place with temperate weather (or you have a greenhouse) and can grow seedlings all year-round, plants can be a steady source of income.

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Published September 15, 2017 Updated: September 12, 2017
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