Broke and time constrained? Hour-a-day hustles can help. Hour-a-day hustles can be accomplished over your lunch hour or managed on the way home from work. You can sneak one into a bedtime ritual or schedule it before breakfast. What makes these hustles unique is that they’re time-flexible and neatly accomplished in fairly short snippets of time.
Here are five options:
If you’re great at grammar, math, music or science, you can sign up to tutor in your spare time. To be sure, in today’s market, you can tutor full-time, if you want to. But, if your schedule is such that all you’ve got is an hour in the evening– or the middle of the night — that’s okay too. A handful of tutoring sites will allow you to restrict your availability to just the one hour that you have.
The best options? Wyzant allows you to set your own rates and schedule. It’s also one of the best-established and most popular tutoring sites in the country, drawing millions of monthly customers. Tutors set up a profile, saying what subjects they teach and when. These include academic subjects, but also include coaching, dance, and art. They also set their own prices.
Those who want to tutor in music and dance may also want to try LessonFace, which has both an international tutoring community and an international clientele. The ability to draw international clients can be helpful when your availability is at odd hours.
And if your free hour happens to be in the middle of the night, know that some sites specialize in overseas learners. AmazingTalker, iTalki and Cambly all help international students learn English. And because many of their students are from far-flung segments of the globe, peak tutoring hours are often late at night or early in the morning.
When you’re pressed for time, what could be better than combining a side hustle with a passion? If role-playing games are what you’d love to do in your free time — if you had any — consider signing up as a “game master.” Game masters manage tabletop role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons.
You determine the game, your mission and the hours you play. Naturally, you could set this up to be a multi-hour quest, or you can schedule your game to be a continuing hour-long meet-up, where your quest gets accomplished over the course of weeks — months or, even, years.
A site called StartPlaying allows avid game enthusiasts to sign up as game masters and control all the elements of play, including the schedule and the cost for a seat at your table. There’s no cost to sign up, but StartPlaying takes a 10% commission from GM revenue when players book.
There are few rules to register as a game master. However, the site provides a variety of tips to boost your chance of success, including suggesting that you write a detailed profile of both you and your game. You should, for instance, note whether your games are combat-heavy or light-hearted. Are you a stickler for the rules and accomplishing a mission, or are you likely to let the game morph based on player responses? The more detailed your descriptions, the more likely you’ll find players who suit your style. That increases the chance that they’ll become repeat players and will review you highly. Naturally, that’s a key to success.
Food delivery is a mixed bag as a side hustle. On one hand, you can make some decent cash. On the other, you have to contend with high gasoline prices and inconsistent demand. But it’s an ideal one-hour hustle for people who can deliver at lunch or dinner hours.
That’s mostly because lunch and dinner hours are peak times for food delivery, which means smart hustlers can often get multiple orders at a time. And, ideally, you can reduce potential gasoline costs by scheduling your food delivery side hustle for the hour — and in a direction — that makes sense when you’re headed home from work.
Good food delivery sites include DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats. The smartest thing to do is sign up for all three and turn on the apps only in the 15 minutes prior to when you’re interested in working. Then pick the deliveries that are going in the general direction of home.
Two sites offer enlist side hustlers for brief product reviews. One, Product Tube, enlists freelancers to create 2-4 minute video-taped reviews of products ranging from snack foods to cereal, soft drinks to toiletries. The specifics of each review can vary as does the pay. But, generally, reviews are filmed on your smart phone and take 15-minutes to an hour to complete, including drive time. In recent months, we’ve been offered $100 to review liquor stores; $35 to review cosmetics and $5 to review cereal and topical pain relievers.
Meanwhile. UserTesting enlists freelancers to check out websites for user experience issues. You’re asked to download the site’s software, which records you as you peruse a website. You’re asked to talk out loud, while completing a task — perhaps finding the site’s sign-up form or navigating a particular page or section of the site. The idea is to help web developers create more intuitive, user-friendly sites. Pay is generally $10 per 20-minute test.
Most survey sites pay pennies for providing a vast array of personal information and waste your time by “qualifying” you for each survey by forcing you to answer a laundry list of questions about your age, family, profession, and income. Often, after 10 minutes of answering “qualifying” questions, you get disqualified and earn nothing for the experience. In our view, these sites are not worth your time, unless you’re stuck in an airport.
There’s one survey site that acts differently and can bring in a decent amount of income for your time. This site, called Prolific, “qualifies” participants in advance. You fill out a profile with all of the relevant demographic information and link to your PayPal account. You then get a participant number and the site contacts you when it has a survey for which you qualify.
The surveys themselves often take 1 to 10 minutes and pay anywhere from 50 cents to $5. In testing the site, we’ve gotten a regular stream of offers and have participated in surveys involving everything from marketing perceptions to politics. You won’t get back-to-back surveys to fill an entire hour. But it’s easy to squeeze taking a Prolific survey into a 15-minute coffee break. You won’t make a fortune. But these require so little time, you can easily couple this with another one-hour hustle to make a few additional bucks each month.