More than 20 million Americans are now making money in the so-called gig economy, according to research by the American Action Forum. And while ride shares and room shares make up the bulk of these flexible, no-strings-attached gigs, according to the Brookings Institute, you have more options than Uber and Airbnb. To flex your side hustle, consider these sites:
1. IF YOU LIKE ... TACKLING TO-DO LISTS
Assembling IKEA furniture, dropping off dry cleaning, painting a spare room, sorting old family photos: The list of odd jobs that people post on TaskRabbit couldn’t be more varied—which means odds are good you’ll find a fit. After attending an orientation in your city, you can pick whatever gigs fit your schedule, skills, and rates.
2. IF YOU LIKE ... BARTENDING
Shiftgig lets you snag tip-heavy bartending or serving shifts at local venues, whether that means one hour at a wine event or four hours pouring at a packed brew pub. It also saves you the hassle of vetting listings on Craigslist.
3. IF YOU LIKE ... DELIVERING STUFF
Uber and Lyft aren’t for everyone. If you hate making small talk with strangers or want to use your bike instead of a car to make a few bucks, take a peek at Postmates. You can earn up to $25 an hour plus tips, making sure everything from office supplies to restaurant meals gets from Point A to Point B.
4. IF YOU LIKE ... MAKING SPACES SPARKLE
You can make up to $22 an hour cleaning apartments with Handy, as long as you have some kind of prior experience as a housecleaner and can pass a background check. You can either claim posted jobs through the platform or set your availability and watch the gigs roll in. Through Handy you can also profit off of your furniture-building, shelf-hanging, or room-painting skills.
5. IF YOU LIKE ... WATCHING KIDS
Babysitting has been a popular side gig since basically the dawn of time, but new platforms that connect you with families in need of childcare just made landing a job so much easier—and more bookings means more money. Chime by Sittercity obliterates the usual back-and-forth with parents about schedules and rates. Instead, once you’re vetted by the site, parents can book you during your availability with a few taps of the app at a standard rate.
6. IF YOU LIKE ... SNUGGLING PUPS
Don’t think dog-walking is your only option for earning extra cash with other people’s pets. With Rover.com, you can host dogs and cats at your house after booking sitting gigs through the app. You can control every detail—from only wanting to watch one dog at a time to taking on several, only being available on weekends, or choosing to watch the pets in the owner's home.
7. IF YOU LIKE ... GROCERY SHOPPING
Instacart brings groceries from local supermarkets to time-starved customers. But you don’t need to have a set of wheels to work for the company. Instacart shoppers are stationed in the stores. When a grocery order comes through the app, you carefully scour the store for specific items, stand in line to check out, and then hand off those bags full of sundries to the drivers.