14 Ideas for Side Hustles In 2021

Side hustles are a great way to make some extra money to work on your financial goals. In the end, personal finance comes down to the following things; spend less, earn more, invest the difference. Let’s see how side hustles in 2021 can help you earn more.

Why You Should Earn More Money

If you want to become financially independent, you should aggressively focus on earning more money. The reason is simple: you must invest more and more!

By increasing the amount of money you can invest, you will be quicker reach your financial goals.

You can increase the amount you invest by lowering your expenses. As a direct result, your savings will go up. There is one big problem: lowering your spending can only bring you so far.

Since it’s impossible to have a spend of less than 0, there’s a natural limit placed to how much you can save. The obvious strategy, therefore, is to increase your income.

Now increasing your income might be more difficult than lowering your spending, but I think it should be doable for everyone. And while there are many strategies to increase your income, this article will be to inspire you to pick up side hustles in 2021 to increase your income.

What Are Side Hustles

Side hustles are small jobs that you have on the side. During the day, you do your thing for a salary. In your spare time, you engage in activities that either make you money directly or give you the possibility of making money.

Side Hustle Examples

Side hustles can range from working legitimate jobs in the evenings or weekends, to more self-employed style of jobs like dog walking, web design, to more scalable (but way harder) things like developing and selling software or monetising a blog, podcast or vlog.

1 Working an hourly wage job

Perhaps the easiest way to earn a little bit of extra money is to start working more hours in your current job or to get an additional job for an hourly wage.

I am aware that this might not be the best use of your time. Earning the minimum wage working in retail might not be what you’d like to do.

However, if you need some extra income and need it fast, this might just be the way forward. If you have a well-paid job, and could use the time, I’d advise against working a minimum wage job.

2 Dog walking

Dog walking is the best thing ever, considering you’re a dog person of course. Let me explain to you why it is the best thing ever: DOGS. Need I say more?

Of course I need to say more: you get to go out in nature (good for your mental health), you’ll move (good for your mental and physical health), and did I mention dogs already?

Ok, we get it, I like dogs. But seriously, consider this; sometimes dog owners cannot walk their beloved pets and they might be open to pay someone to fill in that spot.

That someone could be you. Granted, you’ll probably won’t make millions from this side hustle, but it can be a fun and profitable activity.

3 Pet sitting

Similar to walking someone’s dogs, you could offer your services as a pet sitter. This requires more time than just walking the dog for an hour, but can be more rewarding as well.

If you don’t mind having someone’s cat or dog over for a day, a night, or perhaps the weekend, you might make yourself some sweet little cash while having a temporary companion at the same time!

4 Web design

This was my original side hustle, all the way back in high school. I followed a course on building websites and taught myself the rest. This was before WordPress, mind you.

I made some very nice money building websites for a few clients. Obviously for today’s standards the money would be not that cool, but for a high schooler who was making 6 euros per hour in his supermarket job is was great.

Today, if you are a great web designer or developer, you could make big bucks offering your services. The type of job is also perfect for people looking to pursue this part time.

If you’ve got the skills, this might be the ideal side hustle in 2021!

5 Online marketing

Similarly to web design, if you are skilled in online marketing (SEO copywriting, social media marketing) you might be sitting on a nice potential income.

Online marketing as a field of work is growing for years now, and with the shift of retail from physical stores, to e-commerce, to social media marketing it’s only getting more important.

If you know how to market a story to an audience, consider selling your services as an online marketer.

6 Consulting

If you are, like me, in a field where there’s a chronic shortage of good people, chances are you can easily make some money by providing services in a field you’re experienced in.

This is what I used to do, while employed I occasionally worked a few hours here and there (usually remote) while getting paid very nice hourly rates. Granted, my current rate is higher, but back then I also got a salary. The additional consultancy was extra.

You could provide consultancy services in anything you’d like. Really. Typical professionals that are likely to succeed in part-time consulting might be data analysts, software developers, HR professionals, writers, translators, etc.

7 App development

If you are a good enough programmer and have a great idea, you’ll make millions. Now of course, most people don’t have the right idea, but please follow me.

Remember that one app, Flappy Bird? It was developed by a programmer in a few hours, that’s right. It went viral and before he knew, the kid was making tens of thousands of dollars per day!

The plus side of creating an app like this is that it’s essentially decoupling your time working on the project and the revenue you can make. As a consultant, every hour equals a bit of money. As a developer, it doesn’t.

That means that for good ideas, you can make way more. But the opposite is also true. For bad ideas, you’ll spend a lot of time not making anything.

8 Starting a blog

That’s what I did with Fire The Boss! Granted, I’m not a blogging millionaire (yet), but yes this site is making money. In 2019, it made (as of the time I wrote this) over 1,500 euros in profit.

That’s not bad, but if you consider the amount of time that went in, it’s probably not worth it. Anyway, I like blogging so for me, it is worth it. Financially speaking, I hope that in 2021 the blog income continues to grow.

Ways I make money on the blog are mainly through affiliate income. You might see pieces of text like this one:

Which is the affiliate link I have to my favourite online investment broker, DeGiro. If you click that link and complete the free sign-up process, I might receive a monetary compensation.

I also have a few other affiliate programs out there, plus, I made a few bucks through display ads. However, those are peanuts compared to the affiliate income.

For 2021 I want to increase my affiliate revenue, while also looking for other venues of growth. But don’t worry, your favourite personal finance blog won’t become an ad-infested place!

9 Making money with a podcast

Similarly to blogging, you can monetise your podcast (if you have any). Making money through a podcast works a little bit different than with a blog.

The main source of blogging income (at least for me) is affiliate marketing, and through a podcast that’s hard. Online, you click a link then buy an item or service. By clicking the link, the company knows I sent you.

With a podcast that’s hard to track. That’s why you usually see income generated through advertising, where companies can buy blocks of airtime from you and you’ll play their ad in the episode.

For the Goed met Geld Podcast I co-host, we’re looking to find a few companies willing to sponsor ads in our show. Currently we’re reaching about 2,000 listeners per episode so we feel it’s time to start making a little bit of money as compensation for our efforts.

10 Monetising your Instagram

Yes that’s right. That app you use to look at photographs of people’s perfect lives (trust me, they’re staged) allows you make a shit ton of money, if you have enough followers.

Becoming an Instagram influencer might not be easy. Honestly, I wouldn’t know. But if you manage to get a nice following, might be followed by income streams.

It really helps if either you or your pet (preferably both) look really cute. That’s how Instagram works…

What you can expect to make is somewhat vague. Online research told me that accounts between 5k and 10k followers might make up to 100 dollars per post, if they use that to advertise.

It’s wiser to not do that, and grow your following even more before monetising. After reaching over 100,000 followers, there’s this rule of thumb you can make 10 dollars for every 1,000 followers. Ka-ching!

Now go and make pretty pictures!

11 Making money on YouTube

YouTube is just another platform you can use to post content to. The idea behind it is basically the same as with blogging, podcasting, and Instagram. You create content, people watch it, you put ads in your videos and get paid.

It sounds so simple, because it is! The only problem here is getting a large following. The technical aspects of uploading videos and putting ads in are not a problem.

Getting a large following can take time. It helps if you put out extremely good content. Just as in blogging, that should be the basis. Then, you could figure out the YouTube algorithm and work with that. You know those recommended section? That’s where you want to be.

It also helps if you already have an audience through either blogging, podcasting, or Instagram. That will make it easier to get a lot of people to your channel. Or, you know, solve a real problem. After all, YouTube is the second search engine after Google.

12 Selling photographs to stock photo sites

Another cool side hustle I heard of lately is selling photo’s to stock photo web sites. Ever wondered how those images appear on Adobe Stock, Pexels, and more? People take them, then upload them.

Now this isn’t easy and you won’t make a lot of money selling your photos. So selling a lot of photos is key, and to do so, you’ll have to come up with systems around it.

There are a few business models to stock photos. The first is to just sell your content (and all rights) to a web site, that then goes on to sell your photos to users. That means you get paid up-front, but you don’t get to participate in any of the profits.

Other models include you getting a fixed fee or percentage for every sale that happens. That can be more lucrative, but there won’t be any guarantees. No sales means no money for you.

13 Host an experience on Airbnb

This might be the best side hustle in this list. By now, everybody should know about Airbnb. I have used it many times to rent rooms in foreign countries. I have thought about renting out my apartment while I’m away, to make a little extra money.

While you can certainly do that, you need to own a piece of real estate. But don’t cry! Even if you don’t have an apartment or house to rent, you can still use Airbnb to generate some additional income.

Airbnb experiences are the thing you should look out for. If you want to host people visiting your town, basically doing anything, that’s possible through the platform.

I’ve used the service to book a guided tour in Belgium, a bike ride somewhere in Spain, and more. It’s amazing, and anything you can think of – that you think travellers might like – you can offer.

14 Writing articles for other bloggers

Seriously. If you are interested in personal finance and can write reasonable English, I will pay you for articles.

This could be a perfect side hustle for you in 2021, by doing something you love (talking about personal finance and investing), from the comfort of your own home, and you’ll be getting some experience in case you ever want to pursue your own blog. The best thing? I’ll give you money to do it.

Make sure to contact me if you’re interested in selling articles to me.

Will you have a side hustle in 2021? What do you do?

4 thoughts on “14 Ideas for Side Hustles In 2021”

  1. Thanks for the insights. There are a lot of possibilities to make some extra money, but only a limited number of hours in a day. That’s what I find to be the most difficult! Keep it up!

    • Time is a constraint for all of us. I’m approaching this problem from two fronts: keep working for money but for ever increasing hourly rates (i.e. getting salary increases and now freelancing), and building businesses that will cashflow with minimal interference from me (i.e. this blog, our podcast, and some other things I’m working on).

  2. Hi Bas,
    Since a couple of years I have a creative hobby, which normally costs me more than it brings money in, but from time to time I am able to consider it a ‘side hustle’. You might compare it to your ‘dog-walking’ suggestion as a side hustle: I am able to do my hobby, and somebody else pays for the materials I use and also pays me to own the result of my creative work. This might be applicable to a lot of people: as long as it stays within reasonable margins (for Dutch taxes that is..) you can sell the fruits of your creative labour. Every area has their share of Christmas-markets, art-routes, and other venues who like to host creative people who want to sell their goods and services. This will get you in contact with customers who either buy your ready-mades or want to have something custom-made by you.
    BTW: I like your blog a lot, and also like the podcasts you do together with SVMV-Arjen! You are both sources of inspiration to become FIRE!