Hustling for the Hustle

According to a new study by LendingClub (, upwards of 58% of Americans are now living paycheck-to-paycheck.   That accounts for more than 150 million adults.  And this is not limited to low-income individuals, as the study also found that 30% of those earning more than $250,000 or more per year are also living week-to-week.

It can offer a certain sense of solace to hear these statistics for many who wonder if they are alone living from one check to the next.  But many also can take comfort in the fact that there is hope for finding just a little more cash each month.  There are, in fact, several “side hustles” that can brighten anyone’s financial landscape.

Some of the following “gigs” require minimal investment (some require no money to get started) and yet the return can be very favorable indeed.


Upwork ( offers an ingenious platform to work and earn in a variety of ways.  Users can search for temporary jobs that can be done remotely.  People essentially ‘bid’ for jobs that include such skills as IT support, writing, editing, translation, marketing, and even digital design.

Anyone can register their Upwork profile to search for interesting projects where in-demand skills are leveraged.  Users can set their rates of pay and even their desired completion rate and bid on jobs that are posted to the Upwork marketplace.


Shameless promotion here from “yours truly.”   I have been fortunate to be chosen as a narrator on ACX ( which is Amazon’s audiobook production platform.  If you have a voice that would lend gravitas or articulation for everything from novels and self-help books to travelogs and children’s books, you might have what it takes.
In addition, there are a host of platforms where anyone can lend their vocal talent to myriad commercials, audiobooks, e-learning content, or corporate presentations.  I have gotten started with a minimal amount of investment and my ‘studio’ is in my closet surrounded by the auditory buffers of my dress shirts and some foam padding purchased online!  A decent microphone and audio recording and editing software round out the setup to earn a little more each month with voiceover work.


There are so many types of accommodations that are available on Airbnb (  They range from tiny houses and trailers to widespread mansions.  You could rent out your abode at various times during the year, perhaps when you vacate the premises for a much-deserved vacation yourself, or during a well-populated event in your town.  There are countless individuals in High Point, for example, who sublet out their homes during the celebrated High Point Furniture Market each season!  I personally have a friend who simply rents out a spare room and bathroom in his home and it has a separate entrance, meaning this arrangement becomes even less invasive to his privacy.

Uber, Doordash

Both Uber Eats ( and Doordash ( are fabulous services as a side hustle for extra cash.  Signing up to drive for either service is relatively straight-forward and offers people the chance to deliver food orders for extra income.

The concept of food delivery has now put convenience front and center.  And being a part of this burgeoning market as a driver can yield some nice rewards.  Customers can also add tips to their order for extra money going straight into the pockets of delivery drivers.

Teach online cooking courses

It is a great time to teach online cooking classes if you have the passion and knowledge to do so.  People are now willing more than ever before to learn from online curriculum.   Organizing content, picking a culinary niche and marketing yourself well are all key components for teaching online courses.   Teaching via the Facebook Live platform is a great way to share your love and passion to teach others how to cook.

If you want to conduct live cooking classes, then you may want to consider a platform such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, or another platform with these same capabilities. Then you can charge people for the meeting link, and it can be a good way to interact with your attendees as you can answer their questions.

If you do not have the time to live stream a cooking class every day or week, but you have one day a week where you can pre-record a series of classes, then you can still do this – obviously, this would require more planning and a good budget. Then you can upload your classes to your website or another website like SkillShare ( where you can charge for your classes.

Online surveys

Market research is a huge industry.  Completing online surveys for marketing organizations can be a great way to earn some extra cash, but one should be cautious about what websites are chosen to fill online surveys.   There are legitimate market research companies out there, but also plenty who exist as scammers who do not mind ripping you off.  Be sure to do your research before embarking on this pursuit.  There are lots of websites who investigate the validity of these market research companies and can help you sort out the legitimate survey sites versus the scammers.


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