The Best Side Hustle Apps

If your full-time income has you stretched thin, consider picking up a side hustle. Even if all you have is a cell phone and a half hour of spare time each day, you can earn some extra cash to pad your bank account. In fact, there are so many easy-to-use apps that don’t require skills or training, you may have trouble choosing one to try first. Read on for our favorite side hustle apps, plus a few other opportunities that require nothing more than a mobile phone. 

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How Do Side Hustle Apps Make Money?

You can use a variety of side hustle apps to make money online. Most apps pay you directly for completing services like transporting passengers, delivering food, grocery shopping, dog walking, babysitting, and more. Some apps also allow you to earn rewards for doing simple tasks like taking surveys, watching videos, or uploading your receipts. And other apps allow you to sell or rent things you make or own. The best part is, you can do any of these opportunities on your own schedule, and some apps may even allow you to set your own rates. 

What Apps Can I Use to Make Extra Money?

Swagbucks or Survey Junkie

One of the easiest ways to earn Paypal cash in your own hours is by taking online surveys. Market research companies like Swagbucks and Survey Junkie offer rewards for sharing your opinion, and Swagbucks also provides other fun opportunities for making money from the free app. 

For example, you can earn cash or gift cards for scanning receipts, playing games, and shopping online. You can even earn cash back on grocery purchases at Kroger, Albertsons, and other stores – there are over 10,000 cash back stores on Swagbucks.

You can start with a $10 bonus for signing up, and you only need $3 in points (called SB) to cash out. While you won’t get rich, Swagbucks is one of the best side hustle ideas for people who are short on time and who are looking to cash in on things they’re already doing.  

Rover or Wag

You can walk dogs or offer on-demand pet sitting with Wag. With this dog-walking app, you’ll be able to plan walks in advance or pick up last-minute jobs when you have some spare time. Rover is another free app for advertising pet-related services, and you can set your own rates. With this app, offering boarding could earn you twice as much money. 

Uber or Lyft

Ride sharing apps are a great way to earn extra income if you have a reliable vehicle that meets the requirements. With the Lyft or Uber app, you can earn cash for picking up and transporting passengers. It’s a great way to explore your city while meeting interesting people, and you can get paid quickly. 

However, you’ll need to pass a background check, and some states may require a vehicle inspection. You should also make sure to purchase the right car insurance coverage since your personal policy won’t cover the business use of your vehicle. 

Doordash, Grubhub, or Uber EATS

If you’d rather not welcome strangers into your car, you can still earn money with food delivery apps. In some cities, you may also be able to deliver by bike. With Doordash, Grubhub, or Uber EATS, you’ll get money for every delivery, and you can keep 100% of your tips. Plus, you can get paid weekly or sooner via bank transfer. Food delivery jobs are ideal for people who like learning about new restaurants and listening to podcasts or music while they drive. 

Amazon Flex 

With the Amazon Flex app, you can earn money delivering packages with your own vehicle. You can plan your week in advance or reserve new blocks each day. Most drivers earn between $18 and $25 per hour. Amazon Flex is currently recruiting in a variety of cities nationwide. 

Instacart, Shipt, or GoPuff

Grocery delivery services such as Instacart or Shipt are another way to make money on the side. You can work as a full service shopper for Instacart, or you can prepare orders for delivery as an Instacart employee. The Shipt app lets you pick up packages from Target, without doing any shopping, and deliver them to customers. GoPuff, another delivery app, allows you to pick up essentials from a local facility. You get paid a commission per order, plus you can work flexible hours and keep 100% of your tips. 

UrbanSitter

If you love kids, you can find flexible work babysitting, nannying, and tutoring with the UrbanSitter app. Parents pay for membership to the platform, so sitters keep 100% of their earnings. You’ll need to pass a background check, but then you can start accepting jobs with the tap of a button. 

TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, or Handy

If you enjoy doing odd jobs, especially if you’re handy with a toolset, you can advertise your services on a task app. For example, TaskRabbit allows you to offer help with moving, furniture assembly, laundry, or even waiting in line. Some of these jobs can be very lucrative — for example, movers in New York City make an average of $59 per hour. There’s a registration fee, but you keep 100% of your earnings. 

As a Thumbtack pro, you pay for leads for services like house cleaning, repairs, and even wedding photography. You can also provide house cleaning or handyman services with Handy, though you’ll need paid experience. 

Poshmark or Mercari

With an app like Poshmark or Mercari, you can make money selling gently used clothing and home goods that are taking up space in your closet. The selling fees come out of your earnings, but you can name your price for the items you sell. You can even post toys, kids’ clothes, or vintage items you pick up at local thrift stores. And it’s super easy to ship your items once they’ve sold. 

Etsy

With the Etsy app, you can list handmade and vintage items for sale. You might make money designing t-shirts, knitting scarves, customizing gifts, selling prints of your artwork, or repurposing thrift store items. There’s a small listing fee, and Etsy also takes a percentage of every sale. However, some people are able to earn full-time income with an Etsy shop. 

Field Agent or Mobee

Mystery shopping apps like Field Agent and Mobee allow you to make money by completing tasks related to retail stores. You might collect photos and product details, try a product and review it, or share feedback about your shopping experience. Field Agent gigs pay $3 to $10 or more in cash. With the secret shopper app Mobee, you can even earn rewards that you can redeem for gift cards in as little as 48 hours. 

Airbnb, Turo, or Neighbor

You can earn extra income renting out your spare room, vehicle, or storage space on an app, and these opportunities tend to be especially lucrative. For example, hosts in Los Angeles earn an average of $2,475 per month renting out a private room on Airbnb. With Turo, the average vehicle earns more than $10,000 per year. You can even build your own business buying and sharing cars with the app. And with Neighbor, you can list your closet, driveway, basement, or nearly any other space for storage and earn cash. 

Shutterstock or Foap

If you have professional-quality photos or videos on your cell phone, you can sell them on photography apps like Shutterstock and Foap. Each platform will take a percentage of your earnings, but it’s a great way to get started selling photography online. If you’re successful, you may want to build your own website, where you can host a portfolio and sell your images to agencies. 

Fetch, Drop, or Receipt Hog

Receipt apps can be a great way to get a little cash back from shopping. It may only be a few dollars here and there, but it takes little effort and can help you save money over time. On Tada, you scan receipts for money: for grocery, pharmacy, or even gas purchases. Tada will even pay you cash rebates for purchasing featured items in stores. With Fetch, you can earn points from any receipt for a store or restaurant. Receipt Hog is another app that allows you turn your receipts into cash. And with Drop, you don’t even need to upload your receipt to earn cash — you can link a credit or debit card and earn points automatically, which you can redeem for a variety of gift cards. 

What Other Side Hustles Can I Do From My Phone?

Influencer Marketing

If you have a large following on social media, you can leverage that to make money in your free time, all from your phone. You can make money through affiliate marketing, display advertising, sponsored posts, or promoting your own products or services. 

Selling Items Locally

If you need instant access to cash, try listing furniture, electronics, or other items on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or OfferUp. If you set the right price, you may find someone to pick up and pay for your item the same day. 

Freelance Work

If you have valuable skills or training, you may be able to provide services on a freelance basis to make extra money. For example, you might offer graphic design, accounting, social media management, or blog writing services. You can start by listing your services on a platform like Fiverr. With enough happy customers, freelance work can earn you enough income to quit your full-time job. 

Investor Apps

If you have some money stashed away and want to use it to earn more money, consider downloading an investment app like Robinhood, Stash, or Betterment. You can get started with as little as $5, but the more you invest, the more you can earn. The Robinhood app lets you pick and choose stocks to build a portfolio, while Betterment does the work for you, and Stash offers some of both. 

Nielsen’s Computer and Mobile Panel

If you want to make easy money without lifting a finger, download Nielsen’s Computer and Mobile Panel. For allowing Neilsen to collect your data, you could earn up to $50 in rewards points each year, which you can use to get free gift cards or Paypal cash. It’s totally secure, and Nielsen does not sell data that directly identifies you. 

Shopify ECommerce Store

Believe it or not, you can run an ECommerce store entirely from your phone with the Shopify app. Whether you want to dropship items from a distributor, build products from raw materials, or sell handmade items, you can build a website without coding experience and process payments securely with Shopify. There’s just a small transaction fee based on the plan you choose. 

What Side Hustle App Pays the Most?

With most gig apps, the amount you can earn depends on the time and effort you put in. Swagbucks is a great app if you only have a little bit of free time each day. But there are more lucrative opportunities as well. The highest-paying gigs on our list include Airbnb and Turo hosts, influencers and freelancers, Etsy sellers, and skilled laborers and movers. But you can also make decent money as an Uber driver or tutor. 

Final Thoughts

To ensure your side hustle is a success, choose something that excites or interests you and works with your schedule. Most of the gigs on this list are completely flexible, and some even allow you to make money without leaving your house. Whether you’re saving for a vacation or just trying to make ends meet, your cell phone can be a powerful tool to help you reach your financial goals. 

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