With inflation and the cost of living impacting all of us, finding ways to earn some extra cash has never been so important.
One of the most effective ways to boost your income is by taking on a second job or side hustle. We've compiled a list of 51 of the best side hustles, so you can get out there and make some extra dosh.
Data from Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker, a survey of more than 53,000 respondents, shows that around 35% of Australians have a side hustle. That’s more than 7 million people who have an additional income stream outside of their main job.
The best side hustle ideas
1) Airbnb. This idea makes use of THE most expensive asset you will ever purchase in your life – your house.
Wouldn't it be great if you could have someone else pay your mortgage while you still live in your home? Wouldn't it be great to double your income in comparison to the traditional rental market?
The next time you go on holidays or away for a few days, you can have vetted people stay in your house and keep the money flowing in. Find out how Tom makes $700 per week from his property.
If you want to get the ball rolling now, you can become an Airbnb host in just minutes.
2) Driving. If you have a car and commute to or from work, you are in a prime position to start making extra cash.
You can work before or after your regular job, on weekends and even during your commute to work!
Use your vehicle to transport people to the club, medical appointments or to get groceries in your spare time. Check out sites like Uber to start earning while you drive today.
3) Delivery services. Make extra money by delivering takeaway food to your local community today.
Uber Eats will pay you to run errands and deliver food, groceries and other similar items to people. It's a cool idea if you are already running around on a bike on your regular commute.
You can work in your own hours, on weekends and during times that suit you.
4) Freelancing/gig economy. Perhaps you work in a specialised field or have high-level skills in a specific area.
You can be certain someone, somewhere is willing to pay you for those skills. For instance, you can do some freelance writing outside your regular journalism job or cash in on your video skills using your drone.
Sites like Fiverr or Upwork offer a quick way to start earning extra today.
5) Invest in stocks. If you're willing to take on a little risk, investing in the stock market can be a great way to make an extra income. In share trading, you earn a profit by selling shares for a higher price than what you first paid for them.
Some companies also pay a portion of their profits to shareholders in the form of dividends twice a year. This means you can get an ongoing passive income without ever having to sell the shares or worry about stock price volatility.
According to Finder’s research, being an influencer, brand ambassador or promotional worker is the most lucrative side gig. Our research found that on average, those who perform this activity on the side earn around $1,204 on average per month.
This was followed by renting out a spare room in the home, with Aussies who do this bring in around $761 on average per month. Rounding out the top three is food delivery, with drivers earning around $672 on average.
How much can you make on each platform?
We've compared a few popular side-hustle options and estimated the potential earnings.
How can I ensure my side hustle is successful?
To make a success of your side hustle, you need to have a plan, and change how you view your time. Here are 6 things you need to consider:
- Be realistic with your time. To be serious about your side gig you'll need to be prepared to sacrifice some of your free time outside work.
- You'll need to have discipline. You need to be prepared to work on your side gig when your friends and family are off socialising and you're wishing you can join them.
- Evaluate your skills. Decide on a gig that's a good fit for your skills, because you'll need the right knowledge and abilities to make them work.
- Research your idea. Before you spend time and money getting started, test out your idea to see if it's a viable way to make money that will work for your circumstances and lifestyle.
- Set clear goals. These need to be measurable milestones so that you can track your progress and feel a sense of accomplishment as you build up your hustle to a regular source of cash.
- Build a sustainable customer base. A successful side hustle will have more than one customer. If your gig is sustainable over the long term, it could put you in a position to replace the income from your day job.
How can I work out the right side hustle for me?
If you're trying to decide the right side hustle for you, here are some things you need to think about:
- Start by making a list of your skills and interests. After all, if you don't have the appropriate skills for the work it'll be an uphill climb. Even if you do have the skills, if it's not something you'll enjoy you won't want to spend your free time doing it.
- Be realistic about the time you'll have available. Estimate how many hours or days a week you'll be able to spend working on your side hustle. Don't forget you still need some sleep and free time!
- Set an income goal. Be clear on why you want to make the extra money and how much you want to make so that you can explore side hustles that have the potential to reach that goal. If you only need to make a few extra dollars it might be enough to clean out your closets and sell a few things on eBay. But if your goal is to make hundreds of dollars, consider higher-earning gigs like renting out a room, consulting or freelancing.
According to our research, these are the 5 most popular side hustles in Australia:
|Side hustle||Proportion of Australians|
|Selling pre-owned goods (e.g. eBay, Gumtree)||15%|
|Collecting recyclable cans and bottles||12%|
|Making and selling goods (e.g. markets, Etsy)||5%|
|Getting paid for a hobby (musician, sports instructor etc)||4%|
|Freelancing (e.g. Airtasker)||4%|
Source: Finder Customer Sentiment Tracker, 2019-2022
- Self-financing. Taking the time to amass your savings before launching is one of the most tried and true methods of funding a new venture. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook on the side – what can you do?
- Personal loan. It might be difficult to obtain a business loan as most lenders require a minimum of 6 months trading history. It could be a better idea to check out personal loans instead.
- Borrow from those close to you. Going to the Bank of Friends and Family can be a quick way to help you get your side hustle off the ground at the beginning, but always be cautious not to blur the lines too much between business and personal life!
Side gigs can be a lot of fun, but you're still required to report this income to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) alongside your everyday earnings.
In Australia, the first $18,200 that you earn is considered tax-free as it's in the tax-free threshold. However, you can't claim that tax-free threshold twice so if you have a second job or start a business on the side, the second income will be assessed for tax.
How much will you pay in tax?
The tax office will take a look at your total taxable income for the financial year. So if you have a side hustle it's a good idea to set aside money from that income to pay for your tax at the end of the financial year.
Take your total projected income and look at the official tax brackets to get an idea of how much you'll need to pay.
Resident tax rates 2022-23
|Taxable income||Tax on this income|
|0 – $18,200||Nil|
|$18,201 – $45,000||19 cents for each $1 over $18,200|
|$45,001 – $120,000||$5,092 plus 32.5 cents for each $1 over $45,000|
|$120,001 – $180,000||$29,467 plus 37 cents for each $1 over $120,000|
|$180,001 and over||$51,667 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000|
Foreign resident tax rates 2022-23
|Taxable income||Tax on this income|
|0 – $120,000||32.5 cents for each $1|
|$120,001 – $180,000||$39,000 plus 37 cents for each $1 over $120,000|
|$180,001 and over||$61,200 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000|
What are the insurance requirements of a side hustle?
Keep in mind that certain side hustles may require you to get the right type of business or personal insurance. Every side hustle is different, but as a general rule of thumb:
- If you're running your side hustle as a business out of your home you might need property insurance to cover your equipment and product inventory.
- If there's a possibility a client could sue you if they're not satisfied with your work, professional liability insurance could protect you against legal claims.
- If you interact with the general public, you might need public liability insurance to cover in case an accident happens.
- A small business insurance package can protect you from a host of unexpected costs like theft, loss of assets, or injury to a client who sues for damages.
Start out with even a small side gig, and you may be surprised at how quickly it takes off. It could just become your main source of income.
Icons made by Freepik, Those Icons, Pixel perfect, pongsakornRed, Smashicons, itim2101, Nikita Golubev, mynamepong, Vectors Market, srip, prettycons, surang, ultimatearm, Flat Icons, smalllikeart from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0 BY
More guides on Finder
Personal finance events calendar
Track all the key financial dates for the Australian financial year, including tax, interest rates, health insurance, energy and sales.
Passive income ideas
Want to earn more money? Passive income is a way to boost your income without having to be actively involved.
Get Started Investing Podcast by Equity Mates
A 3-part podcast series to help you master investing.
10 finance hacks to boost your cash flow
Our team of 12 finance experts love the stuff that you don't (super, insurance, banking, debt management, you name it!) - and have put together a list of 20 things you can do right now to take control of your finances.
Airtasker guide: Airtasker fees, insurance and tax
Everything you need to know about Airtasker including how to get started, how much you can earn and how tax and insurance work.
How to make money online in Australia
The 8 best ways to earn extra money fast online or from your home.
Centrelink Student Benefits: What assistance can you access?
Besides assisting with your tuition fees, the Australian Government also offers other incentives.
Student guide: Paying for your education
Depending on your enrolled university, the fees and financing for your studies may differ. Learn more about paying for your higher education as a tertiary student.
Ask an Expert