5 Side Hustles to Start This Summer

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Summer is prime time to spend your free time making some extra cash. These suggestions might help get you started.

The COVID-19 pandemic is finally winding down, and people are beginning to return to their normal lives. For some, this might mean a major itch to travel after being largely cooped up for the last year and some-odd months. For others, it might mean buckling down to work on re-establishing emergency funds that were depleted during the course of the pandemic.

What do both of these things have in common? They cost money.

Even if you've returned to your normal job, it never hurts to have an extra stream of income coming in. Check out these side hustle options that are perfect for starting this summer.

1. Service industry jobs

The service industry -- restaurants, hotels, and retail especially -- was hard hit by the pandemic. It's also having a hard time recovering. Many stores and restaurants, though officially reopened, are finding themselves only able to offer limited hours due to low availability of staff.

If you find yourself with evenings and weekends free, consider applying at a local restaurant, bar, hotel, or retail store. You could host, bartend, wait tables, act as cashier, or even cook or wash dishes if that's more your speed. You'll turn your free time into a money-making opportunity while also helping out a business in need.

2. Lifeguard

This one is all over the news lately. Many pools and beaches in your area may be unable to open this summer due to a lifeguard shortage. So if you're looking to make money while enjoying the summer sun and hanging out by the pool, consider being a lifeguard.

Lifeguard certification requirements vary by state. Generally, you'll have to be a minimum age and complete a number of hours of coursework, including CPR or other life-saving training. You'll also have to pass certain swimming skill requirements. This side hustle will require some legwork on your part, but once complete it will open the door to an ocean of summer side-hustle opportunities, this year and beyond.

3. Rideshares or food delivery

Maybe you'd rather earn your extra money from the comfort of your own vehicle. You're in luck: Opportunities abound here, too. You could sign up to drive for a rideshare like Uber or Lyft, which involves picking people up and taking them from one destination to the next. You could also sign up to collect people's groceries and deliver those items to their homes.

Here's an idea if you've got older or teen children at home: Sign up for a food delivery service like DoorDash or Grubhub. Have your child ride along, and send them inside to pick up the orders and drop them off at recipients' doors. Not only is this job a relatively easy one to do, but it's in high demand. It will allow you to spend quality time with your child this summer and provide them some extra allowance money while also giving your own personal finances a boost.

4. Data entry

If you're still not wholly comfortable with the return to normal interaction post-pandemic, there are lots of work-from-home options available -- particularly jobs involving data entry.

These jobs typically require:

  • Access to a computer
  • An internet connection
  • A basic understanding of computer programs
  • A minimum typing speed

A quick Google search of "work from home data entry jobs near me" returned dozens of options, including jobs offered by reputable sources like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. These jobs pay pretty well and allow you to work as many hours as you choose.

5. Turn your hobby into a hustle

There are lots of existing jobs available that you could easily pick up as a side hustle, but if none of them interest you, consider turning one of your hobbies into a side hustle instead.

Maybe you create beautiful pottery, knit baby blankets, make jewelry, or can churn out some rad tie-dye garments. There is demand for all of these items. And where demand exists, so does the opportunity for income.

Have someone with the necessary skills help you set up an online website to sell your wares or maybe just a small shop using a popular online marketplace like Etsy. This side hustle option allows you to do what you love while also making extra cash to spend (or save) how you please.

Your summer could be flush with cash

Whatever side hustle you decide on this summer, be sure to set aside the recommended 20% to 35% of your earnings for self-employed taxes if they aren't already taken off the top. You'll need to report any side-hustle income on your taxes, and you don't want to find yourself with a large tax bill down the road that you're unprepared to pay. It's helpful to open a savings account dedicated specifically for this money so you're not tempted to spend it.

If you're willing to put in the work this summer, there are definitely opportunities out there that are just begging to be filled. Decide what would be the best option for you, do a little research, and start bringing in that extra cash.

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