Want to Turn Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle? Here's How

Young woman smiling as she counts cash in her hands.

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The best kind of side hustle may be one that doesn't feel like work.


Key points

  • Working a side hustle is a great way to drum up extra cash.
  • You may be able to turn a favorite pastime into an income stream.

There are plenty of good reasons to get yourself a side hustle on top of your main job. That extra money could come in handy with paying the bills, building savings, or paying off those pesky credit card balances you racked up. A side hustle could also be your ticket to meeting a major goal, whether it's buying a home or taking your dream vacation.

But there's one downside to having a side hustle, and it's having to spend your free time working. That's something you may not relish, especially if you already put in long hours at your main job.

What if there were a way to land a side gig that feels more like play than work? It may be possible.

Among respondents who picked up a side hustle, 41% were able to profit from a hobby, according to a recent survey from Bank of America. If you play your cards right, perhaps you can, too.

Turning a hobby into an income stream

You may be surprised at how many hobbies can be converted to cash sources. Here are just a few examples of fun pastimes that can be money-makers:

  • Hanging out with animals -- you can sign up to walk dogs or watch other people's pets in your home while their owners are away
  • Baking -- you can try selling homemade cakes and sweets at local farmers markets, or to local parents when their kids are having birthday parties
  • Knitting - you can sell sweaters, scarves, and hats online or at local craft fairs
  • Playing video games -- some companies hire freelancers to test out their products or write reviews
  • Writing -- you could get paid to update a blog or create content for websites
  • Photography -- you can advertise at local daycares and schools and see if clients want to hire you to do family portraits
  • Playing an instrument -- you can see if local restaurants want to hire you to provide entertainment on weekends

There are plenty of options to explore beyond these. The key, therefore, is to think about the things you enjoy doing the most and find ways to monetize them.

A great way to avoid burnout

The danger of taking on a side job is working nonstop and teetering on the edge of burnout. But if you're able to convert a hobby of yours into a paying job, you may not experience those feelings of being overworked.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that you might manage to earn more money, or more consistent money, picking up shifts at a local store or driving for a ride-hailing company than you will by taking the occasional guitar-playing gig at a nearby restaurant or selling cakes here and there. You'll need to consider your income goals when deciding what sort of side gig to pursue.

The point, however, is that it is possible to make money doing the things you love. And if you'll be spending your time engaging in those hobbies anyway, you might as well eke some cash out of them and use it to better your financial situation.

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