21 Ways to Make Money on the Side in 2021

How to Make Money in 2021

What a rollercoaster 2020 was! You might be feeling drained and as if there is no way you can make money in 2021. We are fortunate that with such a shift in work last year, there are loads of ways to make money on the side.

Be sure to check legalities in your area. With the world how it is, those can change in a second!

I have tried all of the below and only recommend things I have done. you can find these 21 below, but also how I made $33,277 on the side in 12 months or check out 99 Side Hustles for Aussies (which can mostly be done by any nationality, not just Aussies).

This post may contain affiliate links to the products and services I personally use. Check out the full disclosure here if you want.

1. Shares

You can start with micro-investing to test it out first if you prefer or get right into it and invest larger sums. Some people learn to trade shares regularly and make money on day trades. Others invest for the long term.

Personally, I do a mix of micro-investing and larger investing for the long term. Shares are part of my plan to retire early.

Spaceship is my preferred micro-investing app and you can get $10 for joining and investing with the code S8ONS71M9X here.

2. Bank Bonuses

So many banks offer sign up bonuses now from $5 instantly or larger amounts such as $50 to $300 but you have to do a bunch of things for the larger ones.

I am NOT talking about signing up to credit cards (although you can if you want). Bank accounts aren’t going to impact your credit score or ability to get a loan/mortgage like applying for multiple credit cards will.

Up Bank is one I have used for over a year in Australia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. They offer $5 when you join and $5 when you complete 5 transactions with your new card in the first month.

86 400 is another online bank I have trialled last year. Similar to Up, you get $10 when you join and use the code S7VL6WF.

I’ll share other bank bonuses here when I come across them or when they are running.

Photo by Justin Saula of Black Beard Photography. Image of Australian $50 notes and a pink pencil case on a dark background. Text says “21 ways to make money in 2021”

3. Online Surveys

Most readers make $2,000 to $5,000 extra a year with online surveys. I’ve listed the best online survey sites for Aussies in this post.

Octopus Group is the highest paying and the one I made the most with last year. There were a few issues at one point and customer service is abysmal but the income can be good.

Swagbucks and PrizeRebel are the two that have made me the most after Octopus Group, followed by PureProfile.

4. Buy Things to Resell

I used to do this heaps and at one point was making over $10,000 a month from it. I did best with rockabilly clothing, travel and camping gear, photography items and a couple of cars.

Find tips on how to do it here or I have a full eBook including everything here.

5. Blogging

My favourite side gig which turned into full time income for me. I’ve been blogging for years, have bought and sold sites as well as founded others. The Thrifty Issue has been by far my favourite.

To make money from blogging you need good content, an engaged community then use methods such as ads, sponsored posts, affiliate links and your own products.

Check out this post on how to set up a blog and make money blogging.

6. Market Research

Generally paying $100 it’s not a bad gig. It’s not consistent but I get offers most weeks for a market research gig and the ones I have done were great. Read how to make $100hr with market research for tips on how to do it and what is involved.

7. Freelance Writing

Another one of my favourites, I have done writing on the side for years. Initially, I started with financial writing but the last few years did more travel writing which provided some amazing opportunities all over the world.

Freelance writing isn’t for everyone and now is more competitive but there is still money to be made. Read how to make money as a freelance writer for more info.

8. Virtual Assistant

Most things can be done online so if you have any experience with admin, marketing or similar, this is a good one. You can make $20 to $50hr easily in Australia, it is more competitive elsewhere.

How to become a virtual assistant covers the set up and what is involved.

9. Rent out a Room or Your Space

This is one you will definitely need to check the laws in your area. I’ve made thousands with Airbnb at different times, $50 a week renting out my garage in different cities and even rented other space in my home.

Find out how to make money with Airbnb here or if you prefer long term tenants, read these 14 tips for renting a room to a boarder. Plus this one about how to sell your stuff or space.

10. Rent Out Your Car

It can be a bit hit and miss because people do not care about your car as much as you do. So if you rent it out, you could end up with more dings and scratches. Some people find it worth it, others have not. The customer service is lacking a little and insurance policies have changed so it is not as great as it was.

Photo by Justin Saula of Black Beard Photography. Image of #GirlBoss book, pen, plant, glasses and MacBook. Text states “21 ways to make money in 2021”.

11. Airtasker

I experimented with this at the end of last year and was surprised at the options and how much I made. From delivering flyers to updating a business page on Tripadvisor, I tried everything. Some were worth it, others were not.

Read how to make money with Airtasker to see what I did, how much I made and my tips.

12. Cash Back Sites

While not technically making money, you do get a sign up bonus once you make your first purchase. Plus getting cash back on your shopping is great. I get at least a few hundred each year, depending on what I am buying. One year, when setting up a new home and selection new items instead of second hand I got over $1,000 in cash back!

Cash Rewards is my favourite, followed by Shopback then Honey. Honey also scans for discount codes for you. Sign up to all 3, add them to your Chrome bar and download the apps then do your shopping with them.

They will let you know how much you can get back so you can choose which one to use which time. Sometimes they have the same amounts, other times one will have more than the others.

13. Flip Websites

I was more active with this a few years ago. Flipping websites is where I would buy a website for a few hundred, improve it then resell it for thousands. It took a little work and sometimes it was a pain with the handover but the income was great.

As soon as I write about how I do this specifically, I’ll add it here. In the meantime, check out how to make money blogging for tips to do this.

14. Deliveries

Ubereats or even your local restaurant, couriers, Australia Post has taken on more delivery drivers or if you have a bike, deliver flyers. With a car, postie bike or even a pushbike you can make some decent money.

15. Cars e.g. Uber, Shebah, Lyft etc

With a fairly new car, you can make money driving others around. It will cause wear and tear on your car plus there are the expenses of insurance, petrol etc. But most people I talk to enjoy doing it as a side gig. If you live in a main city you can make a lot of money too.

The pay isn’t huge once you account for the expenses but it’s generally regular as you choose your own hours.

16. Medical Trials

I made $4,050 with one medical trial and have been featured in the news for this. There are a variety of trials and not all involve medication. You don’t need to have the condition to be involved in the trial either.

My top tips and personal experience are outlined here.

Photo by Justin Saula of Black Beard Photography. Image of plant and notebook on dark background. Text “21 ways to make money in 2021”.

17. Voiceover Work

Get paid to read things, do intros for podcasts or other shows, ads and so much more. A few of my friends from different countries make thousands each year with this. And as different places want different accents, genders etc. There is work for so many people.

18. Pet Sitting/Walking

This can be a great way to enjoy a pet without the cost of owning one. Some people pay to have you house and pet sit, which means free accommodation too. Others will let you housesit at yours for payment.

As for dog walking, I see a huge need for this in various areas as people lead such busy lives now.

19. Ironing

One of the most commonly requested gigs that I see in Facebook groups is people looking for someone to do their ironing. Personally, I hate ironing and have paid others to do it. If you choose to do ironing be really clear on your prices e.g. per item or per FLAT basket. Otherwise people will try to stuff as much as they can into a basket.

You can also offer pick up or drop off for an extra fee.

20. Cleaning

Especially in touristy areas, cleaning can be amazing. There is a lot of work and even Airbnb specific gigs you can pick up now where you clean between guests.

Look on Facebook, Airtasker and Gumtree for gigs to get you started. Be sure not to underquote though!

21. Second Job

Hospitality, delivery driving, nightfill etc. There are numerous jobs with different hours depending on your experience, interest and availability. Many of these jobs are picked up by uni students, semi retired people or mothers now and are in high demand as so many have been laid off.

But in terms of regular payment, a second job is more definite than random gigs as you know how much you are making each week usually and it can include superannuation and other benefits.

What are you doing to make money in 2021?

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