These side hustles can help people earn money and beat inflation

These side hustles can help people earn money and beat inflation

When struggling to make ends meet and cover the cost of living, people generally have two alternatives: spend less or take on extra work to earn more.

Today, with high inflation outpacing wage growth and federal pandemic relief programs expiring, many Americans are looking to stretch their dollar as far as possible. This can mean trimming costs around the house by culling streaming subscriptions and extending the shelf life of certain foods, for example. But when you’ve already cut costs to the bone and feel like you can’t chop your spending any further without forgoing basic necessities, it could be time for a second job or side hustle.

Three-quarters of middle-income Americans say they don’t earn enough to afford the cost of living, according to a recent survey. At the same time, more people than ever hold two full-time jobs, amounting to more than 70 hours of work a week. In June, 426,000 people were working two full-time positions, compared to 308,000 in February 2020, according to federal labor data.

For workers with enough spare time and energy who are looking to earn extra cash, these side hustles — flexible part-time jobs — can help bridge the gap between your income and regular expenses.

How to earn cash on the side

People can make money performing tasks that run the gamut from designing websites to less specialized activities like dog walking or even just providing companionship to a stranger.

“There are so many alternatives right now,” said Kathy Kristof, founder of Side Husl, a site that reviews gig economy apps and platforms. “There are all these online platforms that invite you to sign up and earn money through them, and you can do almost anything by connecting with the right platform.”

For example, Wizedemy lets users set their own rates for tutoring students in a range of subjects, allowing them to keep 100% of what they earn. Tutors typically charge between $30 and $100 an hour.

“The tutoring options are great. You can tutor anything, music, math, English, a foreign language, drama, athletics — for any topic there is a tutoring site that will help you market that skill or service to others,” Kristof said.

An app called Rover is another popular platform, particularly among dog lovers. Users can sign up to dog walk, pet sit or provide other animal care services. You set your own rate and earn around 75% of the fee. Some of the app’s top earners make more than $1,000 a month dog sitting, according to SideHusl.

Who is taking on side hustles?

While workers of all ages are eager to pick up extra cash, Americans in either the early or late stages of their careers tend to be most interested in side hustles.

“They are very popular among younger workers and older workers. We see a lot of people solving their financial problems on either end. With young people trying to pay off student debt and start saving, a side hustle is a great way to earn that extra money to make ends meet and service the debt payments,” Kristof said. “Then we see it on the retiree or near retiree side, from people who either haven’t saved enough or are fearful that they haven’t saved enough.”

MoneyWatch: The Uncertain Economy: How to stretch your dollar at the grocery store


Alex Atwood, founder and CEO of GravyWork, a site that helps people find part-time, flexible jobs in the travel, hospitality, retail and other sectors, said he has seen a huge increase in candidates signing on to the site.

“We’re doing phenomenally well because of inflation,” he told CBS MoneyWatch. “For our users, the money they earn on the app is spending money. A lot of times their nine-to-fives go into a savings account, and this way they can go out to dinner, buy their kids a game console or upgrade their iPhone.”

Other side hustles involve making money from things you own. For example, a number of resale platforms allow you to sell used clothing and goods online, but they tend not to be very lucrative. ThredUp, an online thrift store, lets users sell and buy secondhand apparel.

For items purchased for under $20, the seller earns between 3% and 15% of the sale price. Sell a t-shirt for $20 and you’ll net just $3. But for articles of clothing that sell for $200 or more, you earn 80%.

If you have a car, pool or house

If you have more valuable assets, like a tennis court or swimming pool, you can rent it out by the hour for a pretty penny through an app called Swimply. Rates users charge range from $30 to $100 per hour, with owners pocketing 85% of the fee.

“It’s something that helps people earn additional income in financially confusing times,” Swimply co-founder Bunim Laskin told CBS MoneyWatch.

Individuals who have cars can also cash in on their vehicles by wrapping them in advertisements and getting paid just to drive to and from work as they usually would.

Carvetise and Wrapify are the two main players in the roving billboards market. Drivers can expect to earn between $250 and $1,300 a month on a given ad campaign — passive income that can go toward paying for fuel, effectively making commuting free.

You can even rent your apartment or house out by the hour for film and photo shoots. And no, it doesn’t need to be luxurious.

“They’re looking for a style and era, something that fits their story. So you could have an empty lot or a broken down, old, ugly home and it could be very popular because it happens to fit that theme,” Kristof said.

Other ways to earn

There are dozens of other side hustles that can help people earn cash, including:

    Teach cooking classes through Cozymeal. Set your own rate and earn 20% – 30% commission. Cooking experience required!Use your tech skills to design websites or emails for small business, or troubleshoot or code for individuals who need help. Earn between $30 and $100 an hour. Market your skills on Fiverr or SMA Inc.Transcribe court hearings, police calls, or companies’ quarterly reports and earnings calls through Ditto Transcripts. Make up to $1.10 a minute, depending on experience and the difficulty of the recording. Work as a mock juror through Online Verdict or Jury Test and earn about $50 per trial.Deep clean homes or offer up just about any kind of service — from carpentry to furniture assembly — on TaskRabbit. Set your own rates.