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Tyler Munro November 30, 2022 13 min read

7 easy side hustle ideas to make money fast

If you’re looking to make some quick cash in your spare time without breaking a sweat, then we've got a bunch of side hustle ideas for you.

Rest assured, we didn't pluck these ideas from thin air and pass them on to you. In most cases, we tested them out first, because we wanted to verify that:

  • They pay well
  • They pay fast
  • They don’t take too much time or effort

All side hustle ideas listed below will include any tools we used (with links, so you can use them too), estimated monthly returns and an entirely subjective difficulty rating, so you can gauge the level of effort required.

So, without further ado…

What is a side hustle?

First thing’s first, a side hustle, side job or side gig is a job you take in addition to the one you’ve already got, typically to supplement your income. About 40% of Americans have a side hustle, so if it’s something you’re seriously considering, then you’re in good company.

Today, most people are turning to side hustles because of inflation. Extra cash can be the difference-maker, for sure, but how much extra can you expect to make? And how many more hours will you need to work?

According to a recent survey, people with a side hustle bring in an average of $483 extra per month. And that’s for an additional 13 hours of work per week.

Sound good? Then keep reading.

What to look for in a side hustle

Pay and level of effort are probably your top two considerations. But there are plenty of other things you should keep in mind before committing to a second job.

  • Does it allow you to use skills you already have, or will you need to learn something new?
  • Will it help you pivot into a career that pays better or is more fulfilling?
  • Is there a chance it could interfere with your day job (or night job, if you work in the evening)?
  • What additional costs might it incur (gas, technology, etc.)?

A side hustle should ultimately support your financial goals, whether that’s making more money or transitioning into a new career. And keep in mind, sometimes working a second job isn’t your best bet. Working overtime or picking up an extra shift can earn you more money and put you in your boss’ good books, which might lead to that promotion you’ve always wanted.

That’s all to say, try to adopt a short- and long-term view when evaluating whether an opportunity is worthwhile—and don’t be afraid to say no to opportunities that seem like they’d take up too much time and energy.

Our list of 7 easy side hustle ideas


1) Paid online surveys

Okay, so now I’m going to be real with you. I have never participated in a paid online survey. That is, until now. After some research, I opted to try out Swagbucks. I chose them because they have a high Trustpilot review and tons of positive feedback from users.


Swagbucks survey dashboard

Swagbucks survey dashboard

I signed in with my email account and proceeded to complete a series of onboarding surveys, which focused mostly on demographics, like my age, gender and income. Afterwards, I gained access to a bunch of active surveys.


Swagbucks rewards

For every survey completed, you get Swagbucks, which can be redeemed for gift cards from most online retailers and charities. Plus, you can score PayPal gift cards. In other words, real cash. And in case you were curious about the conversion from Swagbucks to dollars, 100SBs equals $1.

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: $7

Level of difficulty:  Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

Even though the surveys are straightforward, they can be time consuming and repetitive. In about one hour, I was able to collect enough Swagbucks to get a $5 gift card from Walmart. Granted, I hadn’t gotten access to any of the higher-paying surveys. Nor had I played any of the platform’s featured games, which also pay out Swagbucks.

While paid online surveys won’t get you rich, they do offer an easy way to put money in your pocket. Just as long as you have enough Swagbucks, redeeming for a gift card is easy, and fast.

2) User research

If you haven’t done user research before, you might want to consider it. Basically, you get paid to offer your opinion on a range of topics. Yes, it's that easy. 

For the past three years, I've been using a tool called Respondent. On Trustpilot, you’ll notice they have an average review score. That’s for two reasons:

  • The tool can be glitchy and clunky (customer service will generally respond to inquiries within 24 hours)
  • Companies select users based on their profiles, so if you don’t have the experience or knowledge they’re looking for, you won’t be invited to participate in a research study (for some, options can be limited)

First, you’ll want to get started as a participant. You can go ahead and input your name and email or sign in with your Linkedin account. Once you’ve done so, you’ll want to complete your profile. While you don’t need to provide (and verify) a work email, you definitely should. By doing so, you’ll get access to more projects and since they’re catered to your unique skills and experiences, many will have a bigger payout.

Respondent project list

When I say unique skills and experiences, here’s what I mean. In the screenshot above, you’ll notice a bunch of projects specific to marketing. That’s because I am a marketer. These projects also pay out substantially more than those catering to the general consumer. Just something for you to keep in mind.


Prescreener survey

Once you’ve selected a project, you’ll fill out a prescreener survey to determine whether you’re a fit. If you are, you’ll be contacted to book a time. Once the project is finished, payment will be issued through Respondent. Typically, that takes about a week.

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: $40 - 60

Level of difficulty:   Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

I’ve tried to be conservative in terms of what you can expect for an hour of your time. The truth is, Respondent can be highly variable. I’ve offered website feedback to a big ad agency that paid $200. And that was for just one hour of my time. On the flipside, there are projects that pay out $20 for the same level of effort. In other words, mileage varies. It’s also worth noting that while Respondent payouts can be significant, the work isn’t steady.

All that said, starting a Respondent account costs you nothing. And the time it takes to complete a prescreener is minimal. To me, it’s a no-brainer.

3) Ridesharing apps

Here, let’s focus on the biggest ridesharing app in the biz: Uber. If you have something against Uber, there are plenty of other apps to explore like Lyft, DiDi or Bolt.

Full transparency, I have not personally driven for Uber (or any other ridesharing app), but I do have a friend who has and continues to do so, so I’ll be deferring to their expertise here.

What you need


  • Be 21 years or older
  • Pass a background and driving record check
  • A four-door vehicle with five seat belts that is 10 years old or newer (so 2012 models and later at the time of writing)
  • A valid driver’s license (with one year of experience driving or three years if you are under 23)
  • Vehicle registration
  • Insurance registration
  • Proof of work eligibility in your jurisdiction (like a passport, for example)
  • To pass a vehicle inspection (either at an Uber inspection center for free, or for a minimal fee at an auto repair shop)

A word of caution, these requirements are applicable in most places. Some jurisdictions have others, including everything from mileage requirements to rideshare licenses (which come with a fee).

How to become an Uber driver

Uber’s interface walks you through every step of the process

  • First, you’ll want to complete a driver application, either through the Uber app or website
  • Upload all necessary documents, from your proof of work eligibility to a vehicle inspection report
  • Consent to a background check, which typically takes about 10 days
  • Assuming your background check comes back in the clear, you’ll be activated as a driver in the Uber Driver app

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: $15 - 25

Level of difficulty:  Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

A couple caveats to the estimated hourly returns quoted above. First off, to see these kinds of returns, you need to live in a city. Here are the cities that rank highest in terms of pay. Furthermore, you’ll want to take advantage of Uber surge pricing and driver promotions. While our hourly estimate is lower than other side hustle ideas on this list, the work is far steadier (in cities). So, if you have a car and enjoy driving, ridesharing might be your thing.

I ranked the level of difficulty as higher here, because: a) there’s plenty of prep work involved, and b) being a rideshare driver takes your full attention.

4) Food delivery apps

Chances are you’ve ordered delivery from UberEats, DoorDash, Instacart, Skip the Dish, Postmates or any one of the other hundreds of food delivery apps out there. Turns out you can also deliver for these companies. And the pay isn’t half bad.

Again, I’ll be deferring to a friend’s experience on this one, specifically delivering food by bike with UberEats.

What you need


  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Proof of work eligibility
  • Background check

The requirements above also apply if you’re opting to deliver by foot. If you’re driving a car (or scooter), requirements are far stricter.

How to become an UberEats courier

The process for becoming an UberEats courier is pretty much the same as becoming a driver, only less rigorous. You can get started here.

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: $17 - 22

Level of difficulty:  Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

Again, these returns are for a bike courier. And they cover peak hours (i.e dinnertime) in the summer. It’s also worth noting that being a bike courier is hard work. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

Finally, you’ll want to seriously consider whether this side hustle idea makes sense for you. If you live in a small town, it’s probably not going to work out. Also, keep in mind what makes sense from a transportation perspective. Being an UberEats driver in NYC is probably going to be... hectic. Being a bike courier, on the other hand, is going to help you steer clear of NYC's infamous traffic, making life a whole lot easier.

5) Odd jobs

Nowadays, there are apps for everything—including doing odd jobs. Odd jobs can be anything from waiting in line to helping someone move. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, check out Taskrabbit or Handy. Fiverr and Upwork are also worth checking out, though they focus more on freelance work, everything from copywriting to graphic design.

Today, I’ll walk you through my experience with Taskrabbit.

What you need



How to become a Tasker

Once you get the Tasker app and sign in, you’ll want to select your skills. There are plenty listed…

Tasker skills

Then, you’ll add a headshot. You’ll input your banking information to receive payments. Big heads up: in my jurisdiction, Tasker charges a $25 registration fee, but this isn’t true everywhere. On the flip side, they do n't charge commission, so anything you earn via the platform goes directly into your pocket.

After paying the registration fee, you’ll set up your availability and work area. Finally, you can start getting jobs (and making money). The best part: you decide how much you get paid.

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: $23

Level of difficulty:  Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

Taskrabbit’s level of difficulty depends on whether you’re carrying heavy furniture or helping someone plant flowers in their garden. It’s totally up to you. That said, you’ll likely have to commute at least some distance to get to your job.

6) Classifieds

You’ve heard the saying: “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Instead of throwing stuff out, see if you can sell it. I’ve used Craigslist more times than I can count, and it’s always worked, from selling an old mattress (yes, seriously) to a spare television.

What you need


  • A computer
  • Something you'd like to sell

How to sell on Craigslist

It doesn’t get much easier than selling over Craigslist. Simply create a posting, and it’s off to the races. Naturally, you’ll want to do some market research to make sure you set a fair price. You’ll also want to write a compelling (but honest) posting.

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: Depends on what you're selling...

Level of difficulty:  Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

Estimating the hourly return by selling items over Craigslist presents a huge challenge. There’s just too much variability. While selling stuff isn’t sustainable and probably not the best side hustle idea, it is a good way to make some quick cash.

ZayZoon Perks

ZayZoon Perks technically doesn’t qualify as a side hustle, but it's an extremely easy way to score big savings on day-to-day expenses. Plus, Perks is totally free.

Unfortunately, you can only access Perks if your employer offers ZayZoon (if they don’t, definitely notify your HR business partner about us, and we'll see if we can work something out with them).

Assuming you do have ZayZoon, you can access Perks through the app. On your next payout, keep your eyes peeled for these perks:

  • CleverRX: Get access to the Clever RX prescription savings card. Employees can receive up to 80% in savings on prescription drugs and OTC medications.
  • Boost: Take out earned wages early in the form of gift cards from major retailers, increasing your buying power by up to 20% on essentials like groceries, utilities, and much more
  • Gas Card: Redeem earned wages onto a gas card and receive a 5% bonus. The gas card is digitally available on mobile wallets and immediate use at any major gas station of choice.
  • Savvy: Get a refund on your car insurance. Savvy's team of licensed agents provide free services to see if you are eligible for a refund. This results in an average of $720 in savings on annual car insurance a year.

Like I said, not exactly a side hustle. But the savings are substantial, making it feel like a side hustle. Minus having to do any actual work.

The verdict 👨‍⚖️

Estimated hourly returns: N/A

Level of difficulty:  Star iconStar iconStar iconStar iconStar icon

While I can’t estimate hourly returns on ZayZoon Perks, I can tell you it’s laughably easy to use, and it’s something you can generate real savings from.

Final thoughts

We chose these side hustle ideas because they pay well, they get you cash relatively fast and they're not too time consuming. Hopefully one of them suits your needs and brings you closer to achieving your financial goals, whatever they might be. While this list isn't by any means exhaustive, we've vetted most of the options for you to confirm they're the real deal. 


Tyler Munro

Tyler Munro is the director of brand and content at ZayZoon. He has previously led content marketing teams at OneTrust, Flybits and In his spare time, Tyler writes literary fiction. His work has appeared in Yemassee Review and decomP, among others. He's also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.