Side hustles are huge right now, and with good reason. It can be seriously tough to juggle a part-time job with a full-time role elsewhere, but it can also be more than worth it. That’s true financially (hello, extra cash!), but even more so if your side hustle is your real passion in life. No matter how much you want to, sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to leave your day job to pursue your dream, which is why a side hustle can be such a brilliant idea. You get to learn the ropes, build up a customer base if you need one, and make a steady entrance into a new work world. Of course, if you’re just in it for the extra money, that’s OK too! We looked everywhere from the fashionable community at Poshmark to animal lovers at Rover to find Millennials raking in extra dough. Here, they share how much they make—and what motivates them to keep at it.
1. Side hustle: Freelance magazine writer
Projected year-end earnings: $3,000
“Last year I made $2,300 before taxes, but this year I’m on track to make $3,000. I’m an assistant editor for a B2B publication, but on the side, I freelance for a couple city regional magazines. I’ve also done some work for a local fashion designer creating Instagram and blog posts. While the little bit of extra money is nice to have, the real reason I side hustle is to get my work in front of other editors in hopes of improving my writing skills. Writing for magazines and blogs makes me really happy, although I still have lots of goals, like diversifying my portfolio and writing for larger publications.” —Cassie, 24, Cleveland
2. Side hustle: Selling clothes through Poshmark, a popular shopping app
Projected year-end earnings: $15,000
“I’m a substance abuse counselor at a women’s outpatient clinic, but I also make money through Poshmark. I have designer taste but a social worker’s budget, so I learned to make it work by selling my items at local consignment shops. I was so excited to discover Poshmark because not only am I in charge of how much my items sell for, I also get to keep way more of the money than I did at consignment shops! Poshmark only takes 20 percent versus consignment shops, which take between 50 to 60 percent. I also love that because it’s a mobile platform, I can work whenever I want, from wherever I am.” —Jessica, 29, Scottsdale, Ariz.
3. Side hustle: Dog sitter
Projected year-end earnings: $3,357
“I’ve only been dog sitting for Rover since the end of July, and I only work weekends, but so far I’ve made $1,119. Based on that, by the end of the year, I’ll have made around $3,357 beyond what I make during the day as an executive assistant. I love animals and have three of my own—two cats and a dog—but I don’t want to get a second dog at this point in my life. With Rover, I get to satisfy that itch to get a new pet without actually making the commitment.” —Ash, 29, Covington, Ky.
4. Side hustle: Selling crafts online
Projected year-end earnings: $10,306
“I wasn’t feeling challenged in my day job and needed an outlet for my creativity, so I started selling crafts online. I love working hard for myself and knowing I can independently make money if I need to. The most challenging parts are time and balance. Also, focusing on my day job when I would much rather be working on my shop. I would love to make my shop my full-time job, but I am at a weird place of needing to grow my business but not having the time I need to actively promote it.” —Jen, 32, Washburn, Wis.
5. Side hustle: Lifestyle blogger
Projected year-end earnings: $5,247
“I’m a magazine editor, but I also run a lifestyle blog, The Glossy Life. I love that my blog is built on what I would enjoy doing regardless—cooking, crafting, decoration—so getting paid for that (through sponsored posts, where you work with advertisers) is just icing on the cake. Like any side job, running a blog can come with added pressure. Just like if you miss a day of work, I feel the same disappointment if I don’t post regularly on my blog, or if a post falls short of my expectations. Plus, there’s never really a weekend off. Even if I’m not doing work for my full-time job on the weekends, I’m still devoting hours to planning content for my blog, testing recipes, and photographing projects. It’s creative and fun, but it can definitely get exhausting.” —Alyssa, 26, New York City
6. Side hustle: Product reviewer
Projected year-end earnings: $4,661
“I work full-time at a digital marketing agency, but about a year ago, I created Only Top Reviews, a website that compares and reviews products. I’ve written about 20 articles that help people make smarter purchasing decisions. I link to Amazon in my product reviews, and if the visitor ends up buying, I earn a commission. I learned about this method about five years ago when I was experimenting with website creation. I created a fansite for a TV show and when it started getting traffic, I started looking for ways to monetize it.” —Bodhi, 30, San Antonio
7. Side hustle: Tabata instructor
Projected year-end earnings: $937
“I’m the founder of guesterly and PR School, but my side hustle is teaching Tabata classes (a form of high-intensity interval training exercises, i.e., the hardest bootcamp ever). I get paid $15 an hour and teach two classes a week, but there are lots of holidays. I’m not in it for the money, because I love it. It’s so much fun to get out there with a microphone and help people have a great, active start to their days. I get a free gym membership as a perk, fitness classes as ongoing training and education, and clothes and shoes I wear to teach can be written off as well. In short, I think it’s the best side hustle ever. It’s like a hobby that I get paid to do instead of paying to do.” —Rachel, 31, Salt Lake City
8. Side hustle: Dog care blogger
Projected year-end earnings: $8,000
“I work by day as a digital marketer. In my off-time, I write a blog about dog care called K9 of Mine, specializing in dog owner educational resources and product recommendations. Through the Amazon Affiliate program, I make a small commission if a visitor purchases one of the products I recommend. I started the blog after learning about affiliate marketing through the Smart Passive Income blog by online marketing pro Pat Flynn. At the time, my dog had recently passed away. I found myself needing an outlet to talk about my experience with my senior dog and things I wish I had done differently with him as he got older. K9 of Mine became the perfect place for me to share insight and advice with fellow dog lovers!” —Meghan, 28, Boston
9. Side hustle: Health coach
Projected year-end earnings: $5,000
“I work in PR, but I’m a health coach on the side. I help people to reach their goals whether they be to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, or even just to have more energy. It’s my own business, so I am able to make my own schedule and fit it in to the pockets of my day (like commuting and evenings) or the weekend. My personal interest in health and fitness led me back to school to get a Master’s in nutrition education. I eventually ended up back in PR working on (healthy-ish) food and beverage brands, but my real passion is health coaching. I love being able to do it my free time. The extra income is also very important to me! I have tons of student loan debt made more manageable with this part-time job. It can get hard to manage at times as my clients require lots of attention, but I make it work.” —Maeghan, 28, Somerville, N.J.
10. Side hustle: Event planner
Projected year-end earnings: $2,000
“I’m an assistant account manager at an advertising agency, and I manage the publicity efforts for the agency. I also manage the blog content and social media pages of Northlich (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to ensure the agency is seen in a positive, strategic light. Outside of work, I have had a passion for event planning since I saw the Jennifer Lopez movie The Wedding Planner at a young age. In my off-time, I’m a day-of wedding coordinator. It definitely takes up a good portion of my free time, but with only five to seven brides per year, it spaces itself out nicely. My goal in life is to eventually make this a full-time gig and be able to work from home.” —Ali, 24, Cincinnati
11. Side hustle: Musician
Projected year-end earnings: $15,000
“I recently transitioned from my full-time job as marketing manger for The Philly POPS to running my own consulting business after doing it on the side for a few years. I have a background in performing classical music and am now able to do what I love full-time as a marketing consultant who helps musicians and arts organizations while still actively freelancing as musician—I play French horn!” —Seth, 25, Philadelphia
12. Side hustles: Product salesman, YouTube videos, Amazon Affiliate
Projected year-end earnings: $6,867
“I’m a roofer by day, but I have three side gigs that each make some money. I make and sell Rubber Roof Repair Kits on Amazon and my website. The sales aren’t great because it’s a super niche product and also a bit expensive—annual sales are about $5,000 before the cost of materials, shipping, and advertising. After subtracting that, I’ll come away with $1,950 in profit. I also make YouTube videos about Android Dual SIM phones, because phones and tech gadgets are my hobby. Then I make about $75 per month with Amazon Affiliate links that I include in the video descriptions. If I review a phone and a viewer buys it from my Amazon Affiliate link, I get 4 percent commission.” —Leo, 33, Boston
13. Side hustle: Motivational speaker
Projected year-end earnings: $83,800
“I’m the founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a headband shop that also donates headbands to children with cancer. I’ve been featured on the Today show, Forbes, Sevent
14. Side hustle: Softball coach
Projected year-end earnings: $9,200
“I am just getting started in my PR career, but previously I was a NCAA DI college softball player. My credentials as a college athlete allow me to get off the computer, unplug from the emails of my public relations life, and work as a private fast-pitch softball pitching coach. If I choose to dedicate more days per week to it, I could make even more in the future. Being a pitching coach allows me the chance to work with young girls at a pivotal part of their life, and have them become not only confident athletes, but also confident young women. As an ex-athlete myself, I am definitely passionate about girls feeling good about themselves, and the best way for that to happen is through sports. My side hustle fuels my passion, and helps me make a difference in a way that I can see results happen right before my eyes. I don’t see myself stopping my side hustle for a very long time.” —Erin, 23, Newport Beach, Calif.
15. Side hustle: Fitness instructor
Projected year-end earnings: $4,200
“I teach three group fitness classes during the week. My full-time job is in higher education, where I plan events and advise both prospective and current students within technology-related fields. My side hustle allows me to engage with people of all ages and fitness levels in a challenging, yet fun environment: the group fitness studio. With a background in martial arts, cheerleading, and theatre, I’d like to think that I kind of fell into it, really.” —Jaclyn, 32, Chicago
16. Side hustle: Entrepreneur
Projected year-end earnings: $20,000
“I am an account executive for a big tech firm, but I also started a cashmere scarf business with a couple of friends. The cashmere business, Evanston, designs high-end scarves that are primarily marketed online. We source all of our cashmere from the cashmere capital, Inner Mongolia. I work primarily as the marketing lead, business development lead, and basically everything else that needs to be done. The side job gobbles up every bit of outside time I used to have from work. It has turned into a 24-hour a day project to make sure things are successful.” —John, 29, Chicago
17. Side hustle: Motherhood blogger
Projected year-end earnings: $450
“I am the founder of MyMommyVents, a support community and blog for mothers. MyMommyVents started in 2014 as a way for me to connect with other moms and work on my passion, events planning. I haven’t made a huge profit, but getting paid to do something I already enjoy is a bonus. I hope to make $1,000 or more in 2016 through e-books, sponsored posts, and in-person events. By day, I’m a payroll administrator for a large music company. MyMommyVents gives me an opportunity to break out of the accounting and math box and interact with other women.” —Tiffani, 33, Brooklyn, N.Y.
18. Side hustle: Entrepreneur
Projected year-end earnings: $24,870
“I make and sell handmade, organic products on the internet and at local events. My business, essential8, is my true passion. I have spent the past 10 years as a special education teacher, and three years running my business. I would love to take my business from side-hustle status to full-time, but I haven’t made it happen yet. I sell my essential8 products through several avenues: Etsy, my own website, and local retailers and craft shows in upstate New York. Time spent on my business never feels like work. I guess that’s how you know you’ve found your niche!” —Sarah, 35, New Hartford, N.Y.
19. Side hustle: Day-of wedding coordinator
Projected year-end earnings: $8,200
“I’ve been an ’employedpreneur’ for nine years. By day (employed), I work as a communications consultant for a management firm where I help clients create and manage internal, external, and executive communications. As my side hustle (preneur), I run my company Just For The Day as a a day-of wedding coordinator. I work with do-it-yourself couples who plan their own weddings but need someone to manage and oversee the actual wedding day. Although I don’t plan weddings, I meet with couples at least two times to discuss their wedding day vision. Then I serve as a resource to them during their planning process by answering questions and making referrals for wedding vendors.” —Jasmine, 32, Rockville, Md.
20. Side hustle: Career consultant
Projected year-end earnings: $6,500
“During the day, I work at Mount Holyoke College creating and coordinating virtual and on-campus programming. I’d describe my side hustle as a potpourri of activities related to one imperative: to shape communities by empowering individuals to hone their capacity for leadership and position themselves for professional success. As a career consultant, I listen to clients’ professional dreams and provide strategies and support to make them a reality. I review documents for the job search, present on networking effectively with professionals, and blog on such topics as leadership, workplace dynamics, and salary negotiation.” —Meghan, 31, Northampton, Mass.
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