As you probably know, Amon and I have long been advocates of the side hustle. The best way to work towards financial independence goals is to not only save (though saving is crucial), but also to find ways to increase your income. Side hustles are the perfect way to do this because literally everyone can find at least one thing that they’re skilled at . . . even if they don’t necessarily think so.
So, if you’re one of those people that don’t think you’re skilled enough to create a side hustle, or if you’re one of those people who simply can’t think of an income-producing side hustle - this article is for you!
What is an HSA?
Below are five unique side hustles for you to try out. Amon and I did three of them, we have a friend who did another one, and one is . . . well, it was just a really cool idea and I wanted to include it!
It’s possible that not all five will work for you. But, I’m hoping that at least one will and if they don’t . . . I’m hoping that the side hustles below will at least give you an idea of a different side hustle that you could potentially start. Here goes!
1. Address Painting
What’s address painting, you may ask? Well, if you drive around any city in the US, you’ll see numbers painted in black and white paint adorning the sidewalk in front of city homes. Those numbers are courtesy of an address painter. This is something Amon did when he was younger (and even in college) and was able to make a lot of money from it. He actually started when he was 10 years old and continued with it all the way through college.
Address painting is such a great side-hustle because it is so accessible. There are so few barriers to entry that pretty much anyone can do this. There is minimal competition and low upfront costs.
All you need to get started are:
Interlocking numbers stencils (around $15)
A rectangular frame for the background colour, which you can make yourself ($0)
Masking tape (around $5)
Spray Paint (around $10)
Face Masks (under $30 for a respirator mask)
A Credit Card Reader, which will make collecting payment much more convenient ($20- $30)
How much money you make depends on a few factors including (1) how much you charge; (2) the types of neighborhoods that you canvas; and (3) how many houses you go door to door to. But on average, you can expect to make around $20 per house.
2. Selling Toothfairy Letters on Etsy
Ok, ok! I know this one sounds odd, but before you start laughing, let me explain! So what I did for this side hustle was I created personalized, decorated, colorful, handwritten letters that parents could purchase for their kids and give to them. Personally, I wrote as the Toothfairy, but the same concept could apply to any mythical or fantastical personality, from Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or even Spiderman!
This side hustle was so fun and allowed me to really let out my creative, fun-loving side. At the same time though, it was a great business because it’s the type of business that can easily be scaled up or down depending on the demand. It is also really cheap to get started because of the low up-front costs involved.
So my first step was to hand-draw a fairy design and digitize it with a platform called Gimp, which is a free online photoshop alternative. Then I turned these designs into stickers, which I stuck onto little packages that contained the letters and some “fairy dust” (i.e., baked cane sugar with different food dyes). I then took pictures of these packages and uploaded them onto Etsy, at which point parents could start ordering them.
This is an amazing example of how you can think outside the box to create your own niche side-hustle. Bring something new to the table and you’re more likely to see demand! Here are a couple of tips for selling on Etsy:
Upload a video showing how you make the product. People buying off Etsy are specifically looking for hand-crafted goods and want to know who they’re buying from. Uploading a video to your online store can really help differentiate you from other sellers and personalize your Etsy shop, making your audience more likely to buy from you.
Reach out to past satisfied customers and ask them if they could leave a positive review of your product on your Etsy store page.
3. Sports Videography/Photography
This is a niche that you can break down even further by narrowing your focus to a specific sport, age group, competition level, etc. For example, Amon and I have 2 school-aged daughters who are both active in sports. When we go to their sports games, we want to document them so that we can have memories that last forever. But at the same time, we also want to be able to be in the moment and actually focus on our daughters and the game. Seems like a catch-22 . . . which is where you can find your money-making opportunity!
You can work with other parents to tape their children at their sporting activities, allowing those parents to walk away with professional level recordings (or photos) of the event without having to tape it themselves. We had a friend that did this. She used Sunoa to build up her action/basketball shots and she got a lot of business as a result!
Again, this is a hustle you can easily scale up by getting gigs with high schools, amateur games, AAU Leagues, competitive swim teams, etc.
Here are some tips on how to get started and succeed as a freelance sports videographer or photographer:
Make sure to build up your portfolio with all the gigs that you’ve done as that is what will get you your next gig. Start your portfolio off with edited, high-quality videos and pictures of your own kids, nieces and nephews, grandkids, or your friends’ kids.
Always carry around business cards. Use every event you film at as a networking opportunity. Talk to parents, coaches, administrators, etc. and sell yourself and your services.
Use a high-quality camera. You want to look as professional as possible, and really sell. The more quality you can provide your clients, the more you can charge them.
Maintain a visible social media presence. Instagram is a really great platform for this because it’s a platform that focuses almost entirely on images and videos.
4. Sublease Properties on Airbnb
Regardless if you are a homeowner or renter, if you have an extra room, renting it out on Airbnb could be a really profitable side hustle. For us, subleasing out the extra granny-unit that came with our rental flat actually turned out to be one of our biggest money-makers.
One reason I love this side hustle so much is because it is a form of house hacking that doesn’t require owning your home. With subleasing, you avoid the 20% investment cost associated with purchasing rental properties.
Here are 2 tips for getting started with Subletting on Airbnb:
Make sure you check your city ordinances to make sure you’re complying with the relevant laws and regulations before you get started.
If you are a renter, you will need to get your landlord’s approval before doing this.
5. Rent out Baby Equipment
And the final side hustle involves baby gear! There is a site called BabyQuip.com. The site caters to families who are traveling with a baby and don’t want to lug around things like cribs, strollers, etc. This side hustle allows you to rent out new or used baby gear to vacationing families. And if you don’t have any equipment yourself, you can simply pick up used baby items for free off of Craigslist or Freecycle.org. Considering this, there are very few upfront charges associated with this hustle (though BabyQuip does have a small fee to use their platform). You can even scale this business yourself with some creative thinking!
So these are some side side hustles that you can use on your road to financial independence. Remember, a side hustle is a great way to earn more money to invest, pushing yourself even closer to your FIRE goal! Good luck!
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