Having a side hustle can make the world of difference. Whether you use the extra money to pay down debt or boost your savings, one thing’s for sure: that cash can really come in handy.

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Added bonus: a side gig can also be a way for you to practice a hobby or exercise skills you can’t use for your day job!

So, we recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their money-making side hustles during and before the pandemic. Here are the ones that have been lucrative for them:


“My pandemic baking hobby turned into a small bakery business.”

A community member showing sugar cookies decorated to be a baby boy theme


“I don’t spend money to advertise, but I have a Facebook and Instagram page. It brings in a few hundred dollars per month. Feel free to check me out! I’m @stpetecookies on both platforms.”



“Babysitting. I get $10 an hour, and I can schedule it around my classes and homework.”



“I’m a veterinary technician, but I pet sit on the side.”


“I once watched a pharmacist’s two Shih Tzus for two weeks and got paid $500. Not all jobs pay that much, but I make at least $100–200 per job.”


“I dog sit! It is great. Most dogs are very well-behaved and it is fun for both of us. It keeps me active and entertained since my boyfriend and I work opposite schedules. He and I signed up through an app and would recommend it to anyone. Last month, I made an extra $700!



“I’m a dog walker for a famous actress who’s in her eighties. I get paid $30 for a 30-minute walk and do at least one walk a day.”

“It’s the perfect lil’ side job to supplement my full-time income, and I get outside and get some fresh air at least once every day!”


If you want to get started with dog walking, Rover is a platform that’ll help you book gigs as a pet sitter or walker.


“I have a custom pet portrait business. People send me pictures of their animals and I make a custom painting for them.”

Paints and a set of paint brushes on a table

Elva Etienne / Getty Images

“They make awesome gifts, especially when it is a memorial portrait. I made $5,000 this year! My dream is to make this a full time gig.”



“I referee hockey games on the weekends (and occasionally, weeknights). I make anywhere from $25 to $100+ per game.”

“Most games are an hour to an hour and a half long. If you played a sport in high school, you can ref it. You don’t need to know everything to get started, and some sports are easier to get into than others. You just have to look up what the officiating body is and when they have clinics to get certified. Those usually only happen once a year, so put it on your schedule and don’t forget to register when the time comes!”



“I started making custom sugar cookies!”

A community member's cookie with a painting of a squirrel on it


“Although I’ve worked in bakeries, this is my first attempt at doing my own thing. It’s kinda scary, but fulfilling! It’s not the steadiest income, but at least I’m doing what I love. Feel free to check me out @baked.by.mina.”



“My husband buys and sells sports cards — specifically baseball and basketball cards, but he’s dabbled in football every now and then.”

“He’s an avid sports fan and loves to read up on potential basketball draft picks and baseball prospects in the minor leagues. If he thinks a minor leaguer will be a star player once he reaches the majors, he’ll buy a bunch of that player’s cards and hold onto them. Most of these cards sell for $1–$5, depending on the player. If those minor leaguers are having a great season, or if they make it to the majors and absolutely kill it, he resells them and makes a pretty profit. One time he bought a card for $10 and resold it a year later for $800. It takes a lot of time and patience to see that money, but it’s definitely worth it. That extra money he makes helped us pay for our wedding and also helped us buy a car after my 1996 Toyota finally gave out last year.

His side hustle helped us a lot during the pandemic, especially when baseball and basketball started again during the summer. We’re counting on it to help us buy our dream home soon and so far we’re almost there!”



“Delivering for Uber Eats averages around $20+ an hour.”


“I am a teacher and worked delivery over the summer.”


“Before COVID-19 hit, I did GrubHub for maybe 15 hours a week — mostly Friday, Sunday, and Monday nights because those were the busiest times for food ordering. I’d regularly make about $25 an hour including tips, which helped pay my post-divorce bills.



“I run an infant sleep consulting business on the side.”

“Because of it, I was able to buy a house instead of a condo.”



“I’m an elementary school teacher with an engineering degree. Since I’ve come to know many families, I also get to tutor math (algebra, geometry, calculus, etc.) on the side for their older kids.”

Paramount Pictures

“This has helped me tremendously during the pandemic (and is also paying for my violin lessons that I’m taking for fun!).



“I’m a full-time kindergarten teacher and mother of four kids. I started a business selling all-natural, sugar-free sweeteners and drink mixes after I had gestational diabetes.”

A packet of Sweet Cheat sweetener and a homemade fruity drink


Sweet Cheat is small, but growing!”



“I have a full-time job at a college, but I run a photography business on the side.”

“I only do around 15 weddings a year and a handful of family shoots, but it brings in an additional $40,000 a year before taxes.



“I bartended on Saturday afternoons before the pandemic.”

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“I made a surprising amount of money, as I was usually the only bartender on shift since it’s a bit slower.”



“I have a Redbubble shop where I sell products with my art on them.”

“I’ve only had it for a few months so I haven’t made that much, given that I only make about 15% of profits. But any money helps when you’re a college student.”



“I started an Etsy shop! It doesn’t bring in a ton of money, but after the first few months, I definitely saw a significant profit.”

A clear resin tray with gold handles and pink flowers and green leaves designed throughout

bluemooncraftshop / Etsy

“I work out of my house and make plates, trays, etc., out of resin. (@bluemooncraftshop on Etsy and Instagram!)”



“Before the pandemic, I worked a part-time gig for a pro sports team promoting their beer sponsors.”

“We would go to local bars to give away swag and free tickets. Then on game days, we would work different promotions, like alumni signings, during the game. Best side hustle ever.”



“This year, my dad decided to start selling birthday cakes, and he makes $100–$300 dollars a week from them.”


“My dad has been decorating birthday cakes for me and my siblings for years — doing pictures of our favorite animals and scenery — and he’s REALLY good at it. He has always wanted to open a bakery when he retires, so he jokes that this is his preparation for that.”



“I delivered pizzas as a second job for years.”

“It really depends on the area you live in, your car’s gas mileage, and the store you work for, but overall, it’s an easy night job that can bring in extra cash ASAP. I’ve made up to $150 in one night, although the average is closer to $50.



“I rent my spare bedrooms to traveling nurses and other medical professionals.”

A bedroom with a desk, dresser, curtains revealing a window, and chair

Paulmaguire / Getty Images

“It is a safer option than finding people on Craigslist to rent your room, since nurses already undergo background and drug testing and typically work opposite shifts.”



“I clip horses’ coats and do fun designs for them.”

“I’ve made over $3,000 in just three months this season!”



“I buy items on sale at outlets and clearance stores and resell them on eBay.”


“I just made almost $1,000 this weekend with less than three hours of work. I started in June and made $8,000 in profit. It’s very hit or miss, though.”



“I was a trivia host a few nights a week, and I loved it.”

“When bars and restaurants can open fully again, I will return to it. Some places do have trivia still running but I have chosen to stay away from that type of contact until it is much safer.”



“I’m a freelance artist. My main work consists of picture books, comics, video game art, and pet portraits. But any time I need some quick easy income, I do cute cartoon animal art for furry commission.”


“I don’t do anything R-rated, though (but I hear that stuff brings in even more money; it’s just not my thing). I just do cute drawings of peoples’ cartoon animal characters. [Members of] the furry community are honestly some of the best clients I’ve had. They’re usually appreciative, used to working with artists so they respect our skills and time, and good at providing detailed descriptions of what they want and clear feedback. I’m amazed by how often they *tip* me on top of my regular fee. I’m not part of the furry community myself, but I enjoy doing work for them because it’s fun and they’re often great clients!”



“I used to sell pictures of my feet.”

“I know it sounds weird, but there are a lot of people who are willing to pay ridiculous amounts for them. I once got $500 for a video of me putting on lotion.”



“I made $500 in two months selling crap on Craigslist.”


“The trick is to not bother selling really valuable/collectible things — people are rarely interested unless they’re scammers. I sold things like an air conditioner that was missing knobs, cabinet pulls that had paint on them, and other things that needed a little love (and yes, I made those flaws clear in the ads). I did this mostly at $10–$20 a pop. People will buy just about anything if you price it at $5.


Tell us about a side hustle that makes you some extra cash! You could be featured in a future BuzzFeed Community post.

If this sounds like music to your ears (and bank account), check out more of our personal finance posts.


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