New Year, Same Bills

6 Ways to Make Some Extra Cash in 2021.

By Lani Allen • January 29th, 2021

Calendar Showing January, by Maddi Bazzocco from Unsplash
Photo by Maddi Bazzocco •

Ah, 2021. The long-awaited year that promised hope, a return to “normal,” and—most importantly—the end of 2020. As people all over the world prepare to start the new year with a clean slate, we can’t help but recognize just how much has changed. And a lot has.

Take the gig economy, for one. Pre pandemic, on-demand apps for rideshares and food delivery were already pretty integrated into our lives. But now that so many people are self-isolating, demand for these services has sky-rocketed. People are depending on these apps to not only order takeout, but also deliver their groceries, find last minute baby-sitters, help them move out of the city, the list goes on.

So what does this spike in the gig economy mean for people looking to earn some extra cash?

We did some digging to discover how you can take advantage of this lasting trend and make more dough in the New Year. While not all of these side hustles can offer the stability of a regular job, they’ll go a long way in supplementing income and helping you prepare for whatever 2021 has in store.

We’ve vetted a bunch for you below:

Got Muscles? Get Movin’

Whether you’re looking for a part-time gig or full-time work, services like Bellhop need strong movers to help both people and businesses package, lift, and transport their things. As a Bellhop mover, you can set your own schedule, exercise those muscles, and make up to $21 an hour (including tips and bonuses) with no limit to how much you can earn.

Both strong and driven? Bellhop offers tons of opportunity to build your leadership and problem-solving skills on the move. They reward top-notch pros for going above-and-beyond in their service (and getting great reviews) by increasing your rank, boosting earnings, and inspiring pride in what you do. Plus, the most tenured of moving pros can shoot for the “Captain” title - a pretty sweet deal.

With nearly 150 moving hubs across America, Bellhop could be your ticket to move up in the world. Sound like something you’d enjoy? Apply now .

Check out other similar services like: Dolly (moving for people & businesses), and Schlep (moving, logistics & events), Thumbtack (independent contractor services across industries)

Shop ‘til you Drop (it off at someone’s house)

Fruit display in a supermarket by Gemma from Unsplash
Photo by Gemma •

There are a ton of great grocery shopping services out there, so we did some research to filter through the noise and figure out which is the best for shoppers (not just users). Our verdict? Instacart came out victorious for both compensation, number of participating stores per city, and–a cherry on top–the fact that they don’t make you wear a uniform.

How it works: Instacart is an on-demand service that lets customers order groceries online or in the app, and has shoppers pick up the items before delivering them to their house. You have the flexibility to choose between being a full-service shopper (unlimited hours, shopping and delivery), or an in-store shopper (limited to 29 hours/week, no car required).

In either role, you can make anywhere from $11-25 an hour, and keep 100% of your tips. And that’s not all–their payment algorithm factors in the number of grocery units, the item weight, and the store location so that shoppers get paid according to their time and effort. Finally, you can look forward to bonuses for getting 5-star reviews and working during peak hours.

With 700,000 app downloads each month, demand is high for new shoppers like you! Sign up here .

But there are one TON of food delivery services out there, including: Shipt (grocery delivery), Amazon Flex (grocery delivery), Burpy (grocery delivery), DoorDash (takeout delivery), Uber Eats (takeout delivery), GrubHub (takeout delivery), Caviar (takeout delivery), Bitesquad (takeout delivery), Zifty (takeout delivery), Hungr (takeout delivery) Ricepo (Asian takeout delivery), SkipTheDishes (takeout delivery), Takeout Central (North Carolina takeout delivery), Thistle (healthy food prep and delivery)

Drive Up Your Income

Driver with smartphone, by Humphrey Muleba from Unsplash
Photo by Humphrey Muleba •

There are a lot of cool rideshare services for new drivers to pick from, so how (oh, how) do you choose? As the most downloaded app among competitors, Uber is probably the safest bet when it comes to driver demand (and opportunity for you to make that $$$). Plus, whenever there’s a spike in ride requests, the app directs you to the hot spot where you can activate surge pricing and earn more money every ride. Most drivers make around $10 an hour after taxes - not bad when compared to competitors.

Because time = money, Uber’s easy-to-use app also has a more modern navigation system that gets you places a lot faster. And, to put your loved ones at ease, they have a “Follow My Ride” feature that lets family know where you are at the tap of a screen. Should anything fishy happen on the clock, Uber customer support is on-call to help you almost immediately.

Ready to earn cash behind the wheel? You can apply to be an Uber Driver today.

Though Uber just happens to be the most UBiquitous (pun intended) of services, be sure to check out other less-popular names to see if there’s demand in your area.

Alternatives include: Lyft (ridesharing), Safr (ridesharing for women), Via (on-demand public transport), Getaround (car sharing), Veyo (medical transport), Wingz (personalized rideshare), Zūm (student transport), Fasten (driver-first ridesharing), Luxe (valet services)

Tech it Out

Person looking at a computer screen, by Sigmund from Unsplash
Photo by Sigmund •

Are you a total tech nerd? Are you your family’s go-to for answering Wi-Fi questions, setting up TVs, or putting up the Christmas lights? If you’ve got these skills (and some extra time on your hands), Puls can match you with thousands of clients willing to pay well for a qualified handyman.

Once you apply, undergo a skill assessment, and pass a background check, you can pick from a wide variety of jobs for projects that actually interest you. From appliance repair and plumbing services to tech support and smart home set up, Puls will have you making up to $60 an hour, earning tips and bonuses on every completed job, and getting paid up to three times a week.

The icing on the cake? You get to make someone’s day, every day. Now that’s good vibes.

You can find similar job opportunities with: HelloTech (on-demand tech support), Fixt (tech support for businesses), and Field Nation (tech support for businesses)

Kids Rock

Kid Crafting, by Sigmund from Unsplash
Photo by Sigmund •

Good with kids? Looking for an engaging way to make some extra money? Babysitting is another great gig to cash in on. And no, we’re not talking about the 15-year-old-gets-paid-twenty-bucks-to-chew-bubble-gum-and-text-while-babysitting-their-neighbor stuff. We’re talking about the ever-popular UrbanSitter , a legit service that background-checks sitters and families, matching you with reliable opportunities that work with your schedule. Create your new profile, share your experience, and set your hourly rate. Once you’re given the all-clear, you’ll gain access to both a jam-packed job board and a welcoming community.

Not only is UrbanSitter free to join, but they also refuse to charge you a service fee when you start making money. Your profits are yours (and, according to their site, top sitters can earn over $1,000 a week). Plus, parents pay $100 a year to use the site, so you know they’re looking for quality care for their kids. Could it be you? 🤔 Find out here .

Other caregiving services to look into: (childcare, pet care, eldercare, housekeeping, homecare nurses), Trusted (childcare), NannyLane (childcare), HopSkipDrive (child transportation)

Your Boots Were Made For (Dog) Walkin’

Dogs in coats, by Chewy from Unsplash
Photo by Chewy •

If you love animals and fancy semi-regular exercise, then Rover is for you. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, Rover finds you paid opportunities to look after both cats and dogs, from pet sitting and pet boarding to doggy daycare and drop-in visits. As one of the most popular pet care apps, pet-sitters enjoy a large network of opportunities in cities in all fifty states (and nine countries abroad 💁‍♀️).

The application process is pretty simple, too: after passing a ~$30 background check (which pays off) and receiving your walker certification, you can start earning up to $25 an hour hanging out with your new (fluffy) best friend. It’s typical for these kinds of services to charge a service fee, but Rover’s is comparably low at 20%–especially when factoring in the average hourly pay.

Sounds pretty great, right? Sign up here .

These brands tend to pay a little less, but are solid alternatives: Wag! (pet care), PetBacker (pet care), Fetch (pet care), PetSitter (pet care), SitterCity (childcare and pet care)

Put (Yourself) to the Test

Taking paid surveys is a super easy way to supplement your income. Companies subscribe to survey sites to gain access to people who fit their target audience demographics (that could be you!) and have them try new products, read marketing language, and test customer experiences to gain feedback.

If you’re interested in becoming a test-taker, note that not all survey sites are created equal. Before signing up, you should evaluate not only how much you’ll make per survey, but also when you can cash out, how you can cash out (paypal, giftcards, etc.), and how often your demographics match the needs of the different surveys (fewer matches mean fewer income opportunities).

Out of all the options, our pick for best compensation and tester reviews was Opinion Outpost . Though you earn an average of $1.50 an hour, their rate is strong compared to competitors, and they have a solid qualification rate. For something you can do in your pajamas, we’d say taking surveys is a pretty effortless way to top off a paycheck.

Other trustworthy survey sites to explore include: PingPong (PayPal) UserTesting (PayPal), UserCrowd (PayPal), Swagbucks (gift cards), Survey Junkie (PayPal or gift cards), Validately (PayPal), Vindale Research (PayPal), Prize Rebel (cash or gift cards), OneOpinion (cash or gift cards)

The way we figure, if you’re going out of your way to do extra work, it should either pay you well, bring you joy, or be SUPER easy. In your search for your next great side hustle, we hope this collection of opportunities helps you find just that. Happy Gigging!

These companies are not affiliates or agents of Mission Lane. We are not responsible for any service, product or employment terms they offer, which are subject to change. For any tax implications, please consult with your independent financial advisor.