In general, it’s never a bad idea to pick up a side hustle. But, with the inflation at a 40-year high of 8.6%, side hustles are becoming much more of a necessity for many Americans. Luckily, there have never been more ways to earn spare cash in your free time. With that in mind, let’s dive into this exhaustive guide to the best side hustles in 2022.

NOTE: There are a few links to other businesses/services in this article. I DO NOT get paid if you use any of these links. I just included them for your convenience.

A complete guide to the best side hustles for 2022.

The Best Side Hustles in 2022


Since we mainly cover investing here, this is the perfect place to start. Now, most people don’t consider investing a side hustle. This is because many investors focus on building their wealth over time. Growing a portfolio of stocks over the course of 20-30 years is a great way to build wealth, but it’s not a side hustle. This is because this type of investment doesn’t really produce consistent income.

However, if you invest your money so that it produces monthly income then we can consider it a side hustle. Here are a few ways that you can do that:

  • Dividend stocks: Build up a portfolio of stocks that pay monthly dividends. There are lots of funds out there that are designed for this strategy. This way, your investments are paying you consistently each month.

The good part about this strategy is that you can also choose to re-invest your dividends each month. When you do this, you can expect to earn even more the following month. The biggest downside to this strategy is that it requires a pretty significant chunk of money to earn a decent income.

  • Real estate or Airbnb: You can also invest your money into real estate. This is another way to generate monthly income. Or, you can turn this into a side hustle by buying and flipping properties.
  • Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): Investing in REITs is a combination of these two strategies. A REIT is a fund that buys income-producing properties. It then pays out 90% of its income to investors in the form of dividends. This is an easy way to get exposure to real estate while also getting paid monthly.

Start a Business

I know what you are thinking, starting a business is hardly a side hustle. Most of the time, starting a business is more time-intensive than working a job. But, there are a few huge reasons why starting a business is worth it:

  1. Financial: Most side hustles will only ever generate a few extra hundred bucks a month. While this can help you pay some bills, it’s not exactly life-changing. On the other hand, starting a business has almost unlimited financial potential. It’s not an exaggeration that starting a business could turn you into a millionaire within just a few years.
  2. Control: On that same note, starting a business is one of the best ways to gain more control over your life. When you own the business, you are essentially in control of your own destiny.
  3. Passion: Starting a business gives you the opportunity to work on projects that you are passionate about.

The biggest misconception about starting a business is that you need to start the next Amazon or Apple. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You don’t need a revolutionary idea or concept to start a business. In fact, many successful businesses are based on a fairly simple idea. For example, Allbirds created wool shoes. Nerdwallet started a credit card comparison spreadsheet. All you need is a simple, yet valuable product.

Start a Product-based Business

If you have a great idea for a new product then it’s definitely worth your time to try and create it. From there, it’s fairly easy to set up an online store on Shopify. Or, you could leverage existing marketplaces like Amazon and Ebay.

Etsy is another great marketplace to sell on is Etsy. Etsy is a marketplace that focuses on handmade or vintage goods. If you have a passion for creating crafts then Etsy is the perfect place to start selling.

With that said, no one said that you even need a product at all. You could start a one-person service business. The best way to get started with a service business is to start freelancing.

Start Freelancing

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies are much more open to offering flexible remote working schedules. This rise of remote/hybrid work is blending the lines between full-time employees and freelancers. From the company’s perspective, it’s cheaper and easier to work with a freelancer than to bring on a full-time employee. In other words, it’s a great time to start freelancing.

You’d also be surprised at the number of different ways that you can make money freelancing. The freelancing marketplace Fiverr currently has hundreds of different service categories. Its main umbrella categories are:

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Digital Marketing
  3. Writing & Translation
  4. Video & Animation
  5. Music & Audio
  6. Programming & Tech
  7. Business
  8. Lifestyle
  9. Trending

Each of these categories is broken down into smaller sub-categories. Browsing these categories is a great way to generate potential freelance ideas for yourself. If you want to get started freelancing then Fiverr, Upwork and Flexjobs are all good places to start.

Freelancing is also a good side hustle choice because it’s scaleable. Once you establish a client base, you can raise your rates and control your income. It’s not uncommon to start freelancing as a side hustle, only for it to snowball into your full-time gig.

I Don’t Have the Necessary Skills to Start Freelancing

It’s okay if no freelancing skill immediately jumps to mind. Remember that you can always learn a new one! This strategy is sometimes preferable because you can ensure that you are learning an in-demand skill. For example, you could learn how to efficiently run ads on the most popular social media network. Or, you could learn to code in the most up-to-date computer language. Think about what skills companies need and then learn that skill.

If learning a new skill seems a little unrealistic, there are dozens of simpler service businesses that you could start. You could go door-to-door offering to clean pools. You could start an in-home car maintenance business. Housecleaning. Tutoring. There’s really no limit. To brainstorm ideas just think of any service that you’d be willing to pay money for.

For some people, all of this might still sound like a lot. You just want to work and make a few bucks, right? You don’t want all the pressure and risk of trying to start something on your own. If this sounds like you then working in the gig economy is one of the best side hustles that you can find.

Work in the Gig Economy

The gig economy is the term for short-term independent contractor jobs. Basically, jobs working for companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, or Doordash. These types of jobs are ideal for a few reasons:

  1. You can usually get started right away (as opposed to going through a lengthy interview process).
  2. These jobs usually pay you fairly quickly. Some of them will even allow you to cash out your earnings the same day. Compare this to corporate jobs, which tend to only pay you every two weeks.
  3. You can set your own schedule. This makes it easy to work around your other obligations.

Gig economy jobs are one of the best side hustles you can start if you just want some quick, fairly easy cash.

Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft pioneered gig economy jobs. But, the market has grown much larger than just these two companies. Today, you can make money doing everything from walking dogs to helping people move. There are too many opportunities to list, so click here for an in-depth list.

Use Social Media

Social media has blossomed into another great hub for side hustles. There are plenty of ways that you can earn money from social media. However, almost all of them involve building an audience first. This means that they are a little time-intensive. Once you’ve built an audience, there are plenty of ways to monetize your platform.

As far as building an audience the best strategy is to find a niche that interests you. From here, you just need to create engaging, high-quality content related to your niche. Picking a niche that you’re interested in you can also help you avoid burning out.

Here are some of the best ways to monetize your social pages:

  • Create a YouTube channel: YouTube is one of the only social media platforms that pays you directly.
  • Partner with relevant brands: Many brands pay creators to promote their products.
  • Post affiliate links: Many companies will pay you a small percentage for referring customers. For example, the investing platform Robinhood will gift you up to $1,500 in stocks for referring new users.

With that said, most social media platforms require skills like photography, video editing, and even acting. What if you don’t have these skills? I sure don’t.

If you’re better at creating written content then you can also start a newsletter. This is a similar concept but leverages a different skill set.

Start a Newsletter

Just like social media, starting a newsletter will take some time to gain traction. You can’t start a newsletter and expect to earn money in week one. The only exception to this is if you already have another audience that you can tap into.

Starting a newsletter is a great idea if you have specific knowledge that you can share with others. It’s best to start small by sending a weekly or even monthly newsletter. This gives you time to make sure that each edition is high-quality. As far as monetizing your newsletter, Substack is a great place to start.

Best Side Hustles: Where do I Start?

This exhaustive guide to the best side hustles covers a range of different ideas. So where’s the best place to start? The answer to this question depends on your financial goals:

  • Want to hustle and get paid today?: If this is the case then the gig economy is probably your best bet!
  • I could use some extra cash but don’t want a second job that I hate: Let’s assume that you already work long hours and the thought of another hourly job makes you want to vomit. If this is your situation then you should try your hand at freelancing! It’s easier to get started than you’d think. Plus, there is plenty of flexibility when it comes to the hours that you work and the rates that you charge.
  • I’m willing to work hard if it means that I might be able to quit my job: If your motive is to eventually quit your current job then starting a business is the best option! Starting a business will require a lot of upfront work. It will also take more time to start making money. But once it’s up and running, all the long hours will be worth it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this exhaustive guide on the best side hustles! If you want even more ideas, Side Hustle Nation is another great reference that I’ve followed along with for some time.