If you’re looking for a way to make a few extra bucks, there are plenty of options. But the best choice for you may depend on your age. Some side hustles are perfect for the young and fit; others better suit people with life experience and assets. Here are a few side hustles for every generation.
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Side hustles for every generation
The idea behind defining and naming generations is that people in generational groups often share common experiences and goals. Some of those experiences are age specific; others reflect historic events that affected formative years. People who grew up during the Great Depression, for instance, tend to be thrifty because of the privation they suffered when they were young.
That said, personal preferences don’t always fit neatly into demographic niches, particularly for those near the beginning or end of a group. So be sure to check out the side hustles for generations older and younger than your own, too.
Side Hustles for Generation Z (ages 11 – 23)
The youngest generation in the workforce is hampered by legal and practical restrictions when attempting to make money. Child labor laws bar youths from work that’s considered dangerous. And privacy laws discourage online platforms from allowing adolescents to use their job matching services without parental permission.
That said, some online platforms seek out young side hustlers for everything from yard work and babysitting to cleaning. Some of the better options:
Bambino is aimed at teens looking to babysit. The site requires sitters to have a Facebook account, which is used to gather recommendations and familiarize parents and sitters with each other. Sitters earn between $12 and $25 per hour, depending on age and experience.
Etsy invites kids as young as 13 to create and art and crafts to be sold on the site. Pricing is up to you, but you’ll pay a commission on sales.
If you’re over 18 and want to re-create a summer camp-like experience, consider applying with CoolWorks or XanterraJobs. Both sites find seasonal work in resorts and national parks. These jobs are generally physical — work as a ski instructor, dishwasher, housekeeper or camp counselor, for example — and are seldom highly-paid. However, the locations can be spectacular. Many of these jobs also come with discounted housing and perks, like free lift tickets and cut-rates horseback riding and other activities.
College-attendees may be able to make money by taking good notes in class. Several sites, including Stuvia, Study Soup and Nexus Notes pay good students to upload their class notes to help other students, who missed a class or are falling behind.
Pay formulas vary by site. However, students contend that one of the best perks of this job is that it makes you so focused on lectures that you get better grades. One word of warning: Some colleges discourage selling notes unless you’re working directly with the college, generally through the school’s “disability services” department. Check with your school, if you’re unsure about the policy.
Millennials, age 24-40
Demographers say that the Millennial generation is staying single longer, having kids later and spending more money on travel than buying homes. While that may worry parents hoping for grandchildren, staying footloose and obligation-free provides plenty of job options.
A high-paying side job for the young and strong, for instance, is moving. A wide array of sites including LaborJack, Dolly, and GoShare seek out fit young adults to help people move furniture and appliances. Pay is generous — often $30 to $60 an hour. It can be even better if you happen to have a pickup truck that you can use. However, most of these sites require you to be available on weekends and able to lift 50 – 100 pounds.
Willing to spend a few days helping pharmaceutical companies test drugs? You can earn thousands of dollars volunteering for clinical trials. The best-paying clinical trials require overnight stays, but provide three meals daily and paid accommodations.
The catch? Your housing is likely to be clinically sterile and dorm-like. And the drug you’re testing could cause unpleasant side effects, like rashes and headaches. Still, outside of being available for regular health monitoring, the days are largely free, so you can watch t.v., read, study, talk to your friends or even participate in remote side hustles, like writing.
Most travel-oriented side hustles have gone on hiatus as the pandemic caused countries all over the world to lock down. However, as vaccines become more available, some are coming back.
CoolWorks and SeasonWorkers, which connect temporary employees with jobs in resorts, national parks and camps, are already seeking applicants, for instance. If you want to guide tours in your own city, you can also sign up with ToursbyLocals and Viator. (Sign up with Viator here.)
Side hustles for Generation X, age 41-56
Remember when you thought that things would get easier when the kids were a little older and could do more for themselves? There’s nothing like the reality of raising teens and tweens to shatter those pipe dreams.
Short on time; short on money; and spending whatever little time you do have on the kid’s school and extra-curricular activities? You might as well parlay your “all-about-them” era into paid work.
Consider this: If you’re helping your own kids navigate 5th grade math or history, you could sign on to be a tutor. Dozens of tutoring sites are actively recruiting, especially now as kids grapple with the fallout of learning at a distance. The best bet for tutors is Wyzant, a well-established site that allows tutors to set their own rates. (Sign up with Wyzant here.)
Younger kids make you feel like you’re running a daycare center? If you want to make it official, you can earn a five figure income. A site called Wonderschool can help you manage your home daycare operation and coach you through licensing.
Speaking of coaching, if you’ve got the hops to coach kids in sports ranging from tennis to baseball, you may be a good candidate for CoachUp, a platform that helps book coaching services. If you know all the rules, you may also be able to officiate kid’s sports. This side hustle has the dual benefit of allowing you to earn money while you get fit.
If you’re better at photography than coaching, you can make money taking photos at kid’s events and selling them to parents. A site called Snapped4U can help you distribute the shots and collect payment.
Baby Boomers, age 57 -75
Some professional job platforms woo retirees and near-retirees to provide consulting services to small businesses. Some worth mentioning, including WAHVE, which specializes in placing insurance, human resources and accounting executives; FlexProfessionals, which looks for lawyers, marketers and CEOs; Braintrust, which specializes in tech; Gerson Lehrman Group and Maven, which book short-term consulting gigs for all sorts of experts. (You can sign up with Maven here.)
However, what may be the most compelling side hustle for empty nesters are the myriad of sites that will allow you to rent out your assets and possessions.
Sites such as Giggster and Peerspace allow you to rent your home by the hour to movie producers and photographers. These gigs pay about 5 times more than Airbnb rentals and don’t involve hosting strangers overnight.