When the kids fly the coop and the nest becomes quieter, parents can find themselves with time on their hands. That can feel lonely. But it also makes this a great time to make money during your free hours. Side hustles for empty nesters can involve almost anything that ignites your passions. But some require only the skills you developed through parenting.

Side Hustles for Empty Nesters

Like what? Organizing events; cooking for a crowd; driving kids to and from school and enrichment activities; doing laundry; and keeping kids entertained.

Having kids of your own gave you plenty of experience in these areas. But, this time you get paid to do them — and the pay can be generous, with some of these side hustles paying as much as $100 per hour.

Here are 7 side hustles that require only the skills you developed through parenting.

Virtual Assisting

Virtual assistants are the moms of the working world. They organize, schedule, and execute a wide array of daily activities. These range from posting on social media to simply making sure that everyone knows where they need to be and what they need to do at any given moment.

With virtual assisting, you use your planning, organization, research, editing and communication skills to help executives and businesses manage their schedules, email, websites or social media accounts.

On average, VAs earn $19 per hour, according to Zippia. However, the salary range is wide — from $10 to $100 an hour. The big differences in pay usually reflect the type of work that the VA is doing. Those who simply schedule and dispatch email earn considerably less than VAs who can handle light bookkeeping, social media and updating websites.

You have two ways to work as a VA: Find clients on your own though personal connections or social media. Or join a third-party platform like Boldly, Belay, Time Etc, and FreeUp. These sites pay between $15 and $75 per hour, depending on the site and what you’re asked to do.

You can potentially earn more finding clients on your own. But you’ll need to do your own marketing, invoicing and collection, which the online platforms otherwise handle for you.


When my kids were in grammar school, I used to joke that one-quarter of my day involved driving loops around our home town. Two kids, two schools, with two incompatible schedules added up to many 5-mile loops. And I was lucky because I worked from home and could break away to drive when needed.

However, parents who don’t have that flexibility hire people to do the driving for them. Several companies, including HopSkipDrive, Kango, RubiRides and KidCar provide these services. And they enlist freelance drivers, at rates ranging from $25 to $35 per hour. Unlike driving for Uber and Lyft, driving kids usually involves short trips that are scheduled in advance. And, you avoid the three-Ds that rideshare drivers know all too well — passengers who are drunk, disorderly or dangerous.

However, drivers need to pass background checks, DMV checks and to have some experience with children. Raising your own kids generally fulfills that final requirement.

Providing after-school care

If you loved hanging out with your own kids when they were young, providing after-school care for other people’s children could be both lucrative and rewarding.

A site called Care allows prospective nannies, babysitters, eldercare workers, pet sitters and others set up a profile and market their availability for both after-school care and occasional babysitting. If you have a car and are willing to pick kids up from school, this can be part of the service you offer here.

You set your own rates, availability and negotiate directly with clients. However, typical rates range from $20 to $45 per hour. Care simply charges a membership fee to list profiles and connect parents and caregivers.


Find yourself awash in leftovers, now that the kids and their friends aren’t raiding the fridge? You could turn your favorite recipes into takeaway meals for pay.  Sites like Shef and DishDivvy encourage home cooks to apply to make meals for others. You determine the menu, price and what nights you’re cooking. Customers simply order through the site and either pick up their meals or have them delivered through a separate service.

You also can offer meals in your own home through EatWith. You determine the menu, the number of guests you can accommodate and when you’re cooking. The site simply books customers, collects, and takes a portion of the sales price as a commission.

Since you set your own prices, the hourly pay depends only on you and how popular your meals become. Some chefs who work with EatWith say they can net $300 – $500 hundred in a single evening.

Love to cook, but don’t want to cook for others? Consider offering cooking classes online. A site called Tastemade lets home cooks set up profiles and hold online cooking classes. Again, the menu, schedule and pricing is up to you.

Doing Laundry

Washing and folding laundry can even be a profit-making pursuit. Two sites — Poplin (formerly known as SudShare) and Hampr will pay you to pickup, wash and fold other people’s dirty clothing. One site pays by the load; the other by the pound. Either way, launders say they make about $20 an hour with work that can be partly accomplished while watching t.v.

Online Tutoring

If you got good at helping your kids understand how to succeed in school, you may also be able to tutor online. Dozens of tutoring platforms enlist freelance tutors.

In many cases, you don’t need a teaching credential — or even a degree. Indeed, some sites are simply looking for native English speakers to help foreign students master conversational English. These sites include AmazingTalker, Cambly and iTalki.

Rent Out Extra Space

Since the kids have left the nest, you may have extra space too. If you don’t mind a little company, you can rent that space and earn regular income from it.

Several sites can help you fill up your guest room with paying renters. The best known, of course, is Airbnb, which specializes in short-term rentals for vacationers. You set the rates, terms, and availability. The site simply takes a 3% commission for handling bookings and collecting from clients.

If you’re open to a long-term arrangement, Nesterly and Silvernest (now Homeshare Online) are two solid options that specifically help empty nesters find long-term housemates. Both charge modest fees and let you set your rates and house rules.

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