If you’re looking to become financially independent, you need to find ways to decrease your debt and spending. But increasing your income is also beneficial, and side hustles can be a big help toward that end. Some of the best side hustles for 2021 involve everything from delivering food to digital marketing to even being a notary public.

Thankfully, modern technology has created more opportunities to make money on the side than ever before. Of course, some opportunities can involve earning passive income while doing little work at all. Others require a more active role but can still be lucrative.

Whether you’re looking to drive people to the airport, rent out rooms in your home or engage in affiliate marketing, I bet you’ll find a side hustle on this list that is right for you. So let’s get to it:

An Uber driver holding his phone while steering his car and using the Uber app.

The Best Side Hustles for 2021 to Boost Your Income

  1. Tutor
    Are there any school subjects you’re good at? Put that knowledge to your financial advantage by becoming a tutor. Thankfully, teaching and learning never go out of style.

    Lots of students need some after-school help, whether it be for math, biology or standardized tests like the SATs. You can also work as an online tutor through platforms like WyzAnt or VIPKid and even tutor foreign students to learn the English language. Virtual tutoring can also be done over a platform like Skype, so finding students near and far is easier than ever.

    According to AppointmentPlus, the rate for private tutors can range anywhere from $10 to $100 per hour, so there is an opportunity to make a lot of money without putting in too many hours. If you love sharing your expertise and engaging with students, this may be the right side hustle for you.
  2. Proofread Online
    My talented and wonderful editor here at Investment U is a lifesaver for me when it comes to proofreading. It’s an invaluable service, and it can also be a valuable option for you as a side hustle.
    So if you’re detail-oriented and good with the English language, consider becoming an online proofreader for hire. To find gigs, you can register for freelancing sites such as Upwork and Fiverr.
    Lots of different businesses – from small blogs to larger websites and big companies – require proofreading. Plus, if you start getting more work than you can handle on the side, you can scale this business by subcontracting work to other freelancers.
  3. Drive for Uber or Lyft
    I used Uber to travel back and forth from the airport this past Thanksgiving, and it was incredibly convenient. In fact, I use the service all the time, as do folks all over.

    It is estimated that about 3.9 million people currently drive for Uber and many also drive for Lyft in addition to, or instead of, Uber. The ride-sharing industry is booming and growing.

    If you enjoy being behind the wheel and meeting new people, being a ride-sharing driver for Uber or Lyft could be one of the best side hustles for you this coming year. If you have free time before or after work or on weekends, why not help some people get to where they need to be?
  4. Deliver Food

    Want to make use of your car without having to worry about keeping it clean or talking to 
    strangers? If so, driving for a food delivery service may be more your style than a ride-sharing service.

    You can deliver for a company such as DoorDash or Uber Eats and make sure your neighbors get the pizza, Chinese food or crab cakes (sorry, I’m in Baltimore) that they’re craving hot, fresh and on time. Just make sure not to eat any of your customers’ food, please. They’ll probably notice.
  5. Be an Affiliate Marketer
    If you have your own website, then affiliate marketing can be a good option for you. Affiliate marketing is a form of marketing in which you link to other company’s products on your site. You earn a commission from sales generated through those links.

    Be careful, though, as there are scams and schemes out there that you need to avoid. Make sure to vet any partnerships you form for affiliate marketing so that you don’t get caught in a scam.

    It is best to try to find products and services that are a fit for the topic or niche that your website represents. Once you form a partnership, you can ask the affiliate program to send you assets, such as copy and images, that will help you in your affiliate marketing efforts.

  6. Sell Goods on eBay
    I have an uncle who makes a ton of spare cash by shopping local garage sales for gems like rare vinyl records and other collectible memorabilia and then reselling them on eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY).

    Ebay processes billions of transactions per day. Sure, selling on eBay can be competitive, but if you know your merchandise well you can make some solid money with this gig.

    If you don’t want to shop for all of the merchandise yourself, you can even sell goods on behalf of other people and collect commissions on the sales. Either way, be sure to post strong ads for your products with sharp images and strong descriptions of the items.

    And eBay isn’t the only option. Craigslist and Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) can also be great marketplaces for you to sell your used merchandise.
  7. Take Online Surveys
    Did you know you could earn money just by answering questions or giving your opinion? I give my opinion way too much for free, but I’d love to be paid for it. And now you can by taking online surveys.

    You can even multitask by watching your favorite shows on Netflix or Hulu while you respond. A few survey sites you may want to check out if you’re interested in this side hustle include Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

    This one is likely not going to be a huge source of income for you. But it’s easy to do anytime and anyplace you have your laptop with you if you want to earn a little bit of spare change.
  8. Be a Notary Public
    The job of a notary public is to serve the public as a witness to the signing of important documents in order to prevent fraud. To notarize documents, you need to become certified by the state.

    The cost to become a notary public is generally less than $100, so the investment is small. And by engaging in this service you are helping the general public with important business – for a fee!

  9. Host an Airbnb
    Hosting an Airbnb is a cool gig for several reasons. For one, it lets you convert the spare bedroom in your house (that you don’t know what to do with) into a moneymaking enterprise.

    Second, you’ll get to meet cool people who could be coming from anywhere in the world. I know this because at times I have been the cool person you would have met. A win for you!

    You get paid 24 hours after your guests check in, so the wait time to receive your cold, hard cash isn’t too bad. Plus, you could scale this business by renting multiple rooms or even multiple properties.

  10. Complete Tasks for Taskrabbit

    Watching me assemble IKEA furniture is ugly. There’s a lot of cursing, banging of tools and the occasional breaking of half-finished furniture. Sometimes the end product is usable.

    So you know what I do now instead? I hire furniture assemblers from TaskRabbit. The people I hire have been great. And they make money doing projects they excel at (the kind of projects people like me are terrible at).

    It’s not just for furniture assembly though. It’s for many different tasks and errands that people do not want to do themselves. Some of the work can even be done digitally. So put your talents to work in a side hustle that is much appreciated by both me and my furniture.

  11. Manage Social Media for a Local Business

    As an experienced person in this area, I am partial to this being one of the best side hustles. It may take a bit of initiative, but if you are willing to reach out to local businesses in your area, they may be willing to pay you to handle their social media tasks.

    This is a digital business, so you can do it right from home. Make sure to research what a fair monthly price for these services in your area would be and get a contract for the work.

    You can manage the social media posts for a company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms that they use. You can also expand into other areas of digital marketing like search engine optimization (SEO), design or coding. So find areas that interest you and go for it!

Concluding Thoughts

There are so many opportunities to make money from side hustles out there. The ones I’ve listed are just the tip of the iceberg. But there is an even better way to consider boosting your income. In fact, You Don’t Have to Drive an Uber in Retirement.

Investing your money is likely to be a much more lucrative long-term game for you. And you’ll find plenty of information on how to get started by signing up for our Wealthy Retirement e-letter. 

Once you learn a little bit about investing, you’ll be able to take the money you earn from performing one of the best side hustles of 2021 and compound it into additional funds down the road.

– Brian M. Reiser
Investment U Contributing Writer

Interested in Investing but do not know where to start? Check out Investment U’s recent article and video on “How to Trade a Stock for Beginners.”