3 In-Demand Side Gigs to Earn Extra Cash in 2020

pizza restaurant storefront view through window at night with neon pizza by the slice sign
Side-hustle culture has become increasingly popular as millennials attempt to monetize themselves and their hobbies. Driven by necessity, social media influence, and the desire to make extra money, around 37% of Americans have a side hustle. Among millennials, this number climbs to 50%.

Whether you walk dogs or sell your own art, thousands of dollars are being made by people doing jobs outside of their main careers. With the conveniences of social media, the internet, and smartphones, there are several ways to make money almost immediately—sometimes without even leaving home.

For most, the ideal side gig doesn’t involve sacrificing one’s quality of life but allows for added freedom. This means it doesn’t take away too much leisure time. People with side hustles don’t mind the constant feeling of being “on-the-clock,” but the general consensus is that flexibility is key. Being able to decide when you are going to work is a popular requirement when choosing a side gig.

If you’re looking to earn some extra cash, here are some examples of lucrative side gigs, as well as pros and cons to consider.

Rideshare Driver

Flexibility is a major benefit to being a rideshare driver and it’s one of the few side hustles where you can start or end your day with the click of a button on your smartphone. You can work as much or as little as you would like and rideshare drivers can dictate their driving schedule. Depending on location, Uber drivers can bring in anywhere from $12-$22/hour.

young woman waits on curb for ride seated with cell phone in hand

With the high mileage requirements plus the potential for damage to your vehicle from wear and tear and riders, there are some significant cons to consider. Increased mileage will depreciate the value of your car. You should also be aware of taxes while you’re working as a rideshare driver. Because rideshare drivers are considered independent contractors, they have to pay their own taxes. Make sure to save around 25% of earnings for taxes.

Food Delivery Driver

Food delivery has rapidly grown in popularity with contactless dropoff becoming the norm. Popular food delivery service DoorDash claims that more than 10,000 new drivers sign on each week. But similar to being a rideshare driver, being a food delivery driver has comparable pros and cons.

While your schedule is flexible, it is very hard to make money outside of the lunch or dinner rushes. Sure, working outside of these hours will still get you a few orders. However, it’s not nearly the same as working during peak hours. With such inconsistent pay, it’s hard to know if you’re going to make any income throughout your shift. Drivers have found that it is very hard to make actual money with DoorDash and other popular delivery services.

Just like with Uber and alternative ride-sharing applications, you are responsible for your own taxes, so it’s important to save some of your earnings for this. You should also take into consideration the wear and tear on your vehicle with this side gig, as well.

Grocery Shopper

Personal grocery shopping services are also in high demand during social distancing. It’s almost impossible to socially distance yourself in a grocery store unless you follow every protocol recommended. Many people have resorted to grocery shopping and delivery services where someone will do the grocery shopping for you and deliver it right to your doorstep.

If you like grocery shopping and find it relaxing, this might be the perfect side gig. Shoppers can make $7-$10 per order. It gets tricky when the store is out of something requested by the customer. Most of the time, the customer has selected backup options, but once in a while, it changes into a back and forth or a refund of the product.

Many current and former shoppers say that there is no longer much of an incentive to shop as tips and pay seem to be decreasing, especially during the times of COVID. Some shoppers still do well with this side gig, so it seems this can be worked around.