Published in: Banks | Nov. 5, 2019

Need Money? Check Out These Side-Hustle Apps

By:  Dana George

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When you need to bring in extra cash, a job app can be your ticket to finding the perfect side hustle.

If you're looking for a way to pay off credit cards, chip away at student loans, or save for a rainy day, you may have considered a side hustle. But where do you go to find such a job? It's 2019, and wouldn't you know it, the perfect hustle may be as close as your smartphone.

With a critical eye toward the good, the bad, and the ugly, we took a dive into app stores and found four practical side hustles.

A smiling female teacher instructing a young girl playing a trumpet.

Image source: Getty Images

Postmates

Postmates is an app that allows customers to order food from their favorite restaurants and have it delivered to their door within the hour. And that's where you come in. You can make those deliveries any time that fits your schedule. Furthermore, how you make them is up to you. You can drive, walk, bike, or windsurf on your skateboard (come on, that's just cool). I point this out because it makes Postmates unlike other delivery apps in that you don't have to own a car to get the gig.

Getting started is fast and easy. There are no fees to pay and you don't have to commit to a specific number of hours. Postmates provides you with everything you need to get started, gives you the opportunity to earn more with weekly guarantees, and lets you keep 100% of the tips you receive. According to employment website Indeed, Postmates deliverers earn an average of about $24 per hour.

Pros:

  • All you need to get started is a smartphone and possibly, a mode of transportation.
  • Allows you to meet new people.

Cons:

  • You can't predict call volume.
  • There may be quite a distance between the pickup and delivery points.

Turo

Live in or near a major city and have a car that doesn't get much use? Turo allows you to offer it for rent through its app. Turo is a peer-to-peer vehicle rental service that works by connecting people who need a vehicle with people who have vehicles available. Once you list your car, you have control over who rents it. The Turo website has a cool tool that shows you how much your car will rent for in your area. The vehicle requirements are not particularly stringent. They include:

  • Vehicle must be less than 12 years old.
  • Must have fewer than 130,000 miles.
  • Needs a clean title (no salvaged hoopties).
  • Cannot be worth more than $150,000.
  • Can be gas, diesel, hybrid, or electric.
  • Cannot be a full-sized van, limousine, or vehicle that requires a commercial license to operate.

Pros:

  • You don't have to do anything but accept a potential renter's request and provide them with keys.
  • Turo offers up to $1 million in liability insurance from Liberty Mutual and contractually protects your vehicle against theft and physical damage.
  • You can set your own daily price or have Turo set it for you based on market value, where you're located, and time of year.
  • Depending on the vehicle protection package you choose, you'll earn 65% to 85% of the rental price.
  • You're paid via direct deposit within five days.

Cons:

  • Unless you have another form of transportation, you may be without wheels for days at a time.

Wyzant

The Wyzant app gives students in search of a tutor a wide array to choose from and offers you the chance to get paid for the subjects you know best. Wyzant offers tutors in just about every subject imaginable, including math, science, languages, computer skills, test preparation, English, business, history, special education, music, and art. 

So, if you play the clarinet, speak Italian, and have a knack for AutoCAD, you have several specialties that qualify you to tutor. The application process involves telling Wyzant about yourself, what you have to offer, and how far you're willing to travel to meet with a student. If you don't want to travel at all, the company also offers online tutoring. You're not required to be a certified teacher, but you must be at least 18 years old, live in the United States, and possess a valid Social Security number.  

Pros:

  • It's free to list your services.
  • Wyzant claims that millions of people visit their site each month in search of a tutor.
  • The company takes care of collecting payment from students and pays you via direct deposit or check.
  • You set your own hourly rate (Wyzant claims that top tutors earn more than $50,000 per year).

Cons:

  • Wyzant takes 25% off the top, so you should set your rates accordingly.
  • There's no guarantee of how often you will get a new student.
  • Working with students online requires a computer with a camera and microphone.

Handy

There's a lot to like about an app that matches people who need things done with the people who can do them. Are you good at fixing things around the house? What about cleaning or organizing? Can you set up a security system or fix a leaky toilet? There's someone out there who needs those skills. 

Handy users log on for help with everything -- from mounting televisions to painting rooms, hanging pictures, installing window treatments, repairing faucets, and assembling furniture. In short, if a client cannot do a job on their own, they look to Handy to provide them with someone who can. According to Indeed, handyman chores through Handy will earn you an average of about $28 per hour. House cleaners earn an average of about $16 per hour. 

Pros:

  • It's a great way to help people.
  • You can set your own hours and accept only the jobs you're good at.
  • Handy does the marketing so that you don't have to beat the bushes for your own clients.

Cons: 

  • You could earn more per hour, particularly for house cleaning, if you found your own clients and worked independently.
  • You must bring your own supplies to each job.
  • The company penalizes workers for missing an appointment.
  • You need reliable transportation.

The short version of the story is this: Whatever you're good at, there's an app for it. If you're worried about where you're going to find extra money, there are apps that allow you to be personal assistant, grocery shopper, photographer, secret shopper, dog walker, designer, mover, survey taker, or driver. Jobs are not in short supply, and neither are the apps that can connect you to them. 

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