If the idea of digging in your car seats for money leaves you feeling less than thrilled about your summer plans (or lack thereof), you’re not alone.
The good news: With a little bit of ambition and a whole lot of creativity you can make some serious bankover the summer — and we’re not talking about slinging burgers or folding and refolding sweaters at the mall.
There are a ton of side-hustle gigs you can pursue that allow you to cash in and have fun at the same time (Yes, we’re talking about totally legit jobs).
Here are eight gigs that can help you make bank this summer.
Parents of school-aged children (K-12) often hire tutors for their kids over the summer to work on skills such as writing and math. If your town has a Facebook page, you can post about your services there. Or, you can put up flyers at local stores or a community center.
Also, check with your local college about tutors for summer classes and tutoring labs.
2. Sports trainer/coach
Along the same lines as a tutor, many parents hire students to train their child for a specific sport. If you have an area you excel in (or have a good foundation), this could be a fun and lucrative summer job.
If you know families looking for a youth trainer, seek them out and offer to help. Otherwise, talk to the local "pee-wee" associations (soccer, basketball, softball/baseball), middle and high school athletic directors, golf course pros, or swim coaches for leads or to find out how you can advertise your services.
3. Online seller
Sites like eBay and Etsy are a great way to make money if you have items to sell. There is an initial time and creativity investment with Etsy, but if you can come up with a product that is easy to produce and yields a high return, this could be an easy source of (mostly) passive income. eBay is another go-to site for making money with very little time commitment.
4. Senior helper
Another option is to be an errand runner for senior citizens or other people who can’t drive. This may include driving them to appointments, the grocery store, or a friend's house.
Ask the director of your local senior citizen's home, assisted living center, or senior center if you can post flyers in their lobby advertising your services.
5. Human guinea pig (aka: study participant)
If you’re willing to subject yourself to different tests, answer a lot of questions, and undergo some scientific testing, you may want to consider becoming a study participant. Supplement companies (think: vitamins), college research labs, and consumer research groups are just a few examples of companies that hire study participants.
The pay varies, but it’s often either hourly or by the job. You can Google “clinical trials,” check with the local college psychology department, or research and contact supplement companies.
6. Driver/delivery person/shopper
Even as the pandemic (hopefully) winds down, most experts believe many people will continue to rely on delivery services for everything from groceries to prescriptions or dinner from the new Thai place. If you don't mind the hustle and have a reliable car, there are no shortage of options. Companies like Uber, GrubHub, Shipt and many others are hiring in droves. These jobs give you a lot of flexibility to still have a life during the summer and make money. Note: For some of these gigs, you will have to be at least 21 years old so do your research to see which companies would be the best fit for your circumstances..
7. Mystery shopper
Yes, it’s a real thing. Companies hire and pay you to shop at their store and report back on your experience. You can also dine at restaurants and share your feedback with management. If getting paid to eat or shop sounds like a great way to spend your summer, check online for companies that hire mystery shoppers. Just investigate a company before signing up. While this is a legit gig, it's an area of the job market that some scammers have targeted. Know what you're signing up for.
8. Dog walker and playmate
If you like dogs and being outdoors, dog walking and sitting can keep you quite busy in the summer. In addition to walking a dog several times a day, you can also make money keeping them company while their owner is at work. Hit up your neighbors or use a site like rover.com to look for jobs. (Sitting for cats and other pets such as birds while their owners are away is a less common, but even easier option.)
Carol Katarsky is a contributing writer for Nitro. She is an award-winning journalist with extensive experience writing about both finance and education. Her corporate and non-profit clients include AIG, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Project Management Institute. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, son, and one cat more than she should. Read more by Carol Katarsky