Side hustles are big in 2022. Inflation is high, and everyone is trying to earn extra cash to stay ahead of this inflation. However, the reality of a sustainable side hustle that pays a steady income is not that easy.
Often, blogs will provide you with meaningless information, such as how to start a dropshipping business, become an influencer, or establish a wholesale business. Seriously? All of these require your full-time commitment, and on top of that, you can’t start a wholesale business in one day.
It requires time and capital. I am not saying it can’t be done, but don’t brand them as low effort side hustle.
I will cut through all the clickbait fluff and provide you with a list of side hustles that take minimal effort. And to be fully transparent, I will provide screenshots of how much I earned from these side hustles. Based on that, you can decide if it’s worth your time getting into it.
Over the past years, the last side hustle that I talk about in this post has earned me more than $2000.
In this post:
Cashback via Gas and Shopping Rewards App
Sell iPhones on Ebay or Mercari
Swagbucks Offers and Surveys
Amazon Shopper PanelTime required: 2-4 minutes a day
Initial investment: $0
Tools required: A cell phone and your receipts.
If you are an Amazon customer, then this is the easiest $120/year on Amazon gift card you will earn. This an “invitation-only program where participants can earn monthly rewards by sharing receipts from purchases made outside Amazon.com and by completing short surveys.”
Basically, anytime you shop for groceries, fast food, clothes, save your receipt. And then upload it through the Shopper panel app by taking a picture. You have to upload at least ten receipts to get the full $10 per month.
Sometimes Amazon might also ask you to complete 1-2 surveys. And in return, you get somewhere from $0.25 – $0.50 per survey. I got accepted in the app on May 2021, and so far, I have made $75.00.
Online SurveysTime required: 20-30 minutes a day
Initial investment: $0
Tools required: A cell phone and patience
This is a side hustle that every single blog post and YouTubers mention. But, not all the Survey websites are worthy of your time. Some of these survey platforms give you $0.10 for an 8-10 minutes survey, which is ridiculous. If you look at this NerdWallet article, you will see this is not a feasible side hustle that you can do 5-6 hours a day.
I recommend doing surveys while watching TV, on your lunch break or taking the Subway. Basically, anywhere you want to kill time.
My preferred platform is SurveyMonkey and Google Opinion Rewards. Both of these are low effort platforms. I earned a $31 Amazon gift card from SurveyMonkey and $23.37 on Google Opinion Rewards, which pays out via PayPal every 2 dollars. I could make more on SurveyMonkey, but I don’t like surveys that ask too many personal questions.
When a survey becomes available, you will receive a notification on your phone. If you invest your time, I estimate you can make maybe $5-$10 per week between these two platforms.
Sell iPhones on Ebay or MercariTime required: 4-5 hours a week
Initial investment: $300-$400, scale up later if you enjoy
Tools required: A cell phone, laptop and your existing knowledge
This one is a little time consuming, and you have to understand the iPhone ecosystem and its resale values.
Why iPhones only? Because to be honest, most Android phones don’t have a good resell value after 6 months except Samsung, maybe. The goal of this side hustle is to look for decent conditions on eBay or Mercari and upsell on Amazon and pocket the difference. You can do it vice-versa as well. Recently, I sold a used Apple iPhone 7 Plus for $130. This phone came out 6 years ago and still has good resale. Hence, why I only mentioned iPhone.
When purchasing an iPhone, thoroughly examine it: screen & body condition, are the buttons working, is the loudspeaker working properly and not iCloud locked.
This side gig is called product arbitrage, and there are literally 100s of videos about it on YouTube and articles on how to do this. Nevertheless, that requires a lot of time and effort. I am only focusing on a particular type of product.
When you list a phone to be sold online:
- Always take quality pictures, plenty of light and a good background.
- I list everything that works and does not and encourage questions to avoid surprises.
- If a seller has a question, try to send them a video of the device if you can. You avoid scams using this method and have a proof for claims.
- I take pictures of before, and after packaging so there is no confusion if the buyer opens a false claim.
Get Cashback via Gas and Shopping Rewards AppTime required: 5 minutes or less
Initial investment: $0
Tools required: A cell phone, car and gas loyalty program.
I am going to share a clever trick here. Do you want to know how to get 10%-15% back when putting gas in your car? Use the GetUpside app and combine it with your preferred 5% gas cashback card and gas company’s loyalty program. This will net you at least 10% cashback on gas purchases.
Here is how I do it. Let’s say I am going to a BP gas station today. I will open the GetUpside app, find a suitable offer nearby and claim it. And then, when I am at the gas station, I will use the BP app and pay via Apple Pay to make it easy. For some gas stations, GetUpside will automatically give you the cashback, and for some gas stations, it will ask you to submit the receipt.
I know it’s a whole process to make a couple of dollars, but this is a lot easier compared to starting a wholesale business. I have made $134 so far on the app, and that’s not counting the cashback from the credit card and BP loyalty app. Here is a referral link that gives a 20¢/gal bonus on your first purchase if you want to join.
There is also GasBuddy which give you up to 25¢/gal discount, but it requires you to use their debit card.
Swagbucks Offers and SurveysTime required: Depends on you and offers that are available
Initial investment: $0
Tools required: A cell phone and computer
I love Swagbucks. This is my favorite side hustle/passive income method so far. Swagbucks is a free online rewards program that allows you to make money or gift cards when you complete offers, surveys and tasks. I have earned $2279 since 2017.
The offer ranges from opening a new bank account to completing a HelloFresh offer and such. The caveat is that you have to remember to cancel your free trial offer and close your bank account. And if you sign up for an offer, be sure to use a credit card or Privacey.com.
Anything you receive from completing the order is yours to keep. In addition, you can redeem for gift cards, prepaid visa cards or cash. If you redeem your earnings for a prepaid visa card or certain retailers, they also offer a bonus.
I tend to complete worthwhile offers. For example, an offer of $100-$150 for opening a new bank account or $75 for trying out a new meal subscription. Again, minimal work on my end is the focus here. If you want to sign up, here is a referral link for $3, and I highly recommend joining the r/Swagbucks subreddit.
I will mention 2 more apps below that puts more money in your pocket:
- Slide: Earn 4% cashback instantly on various gift cards when shopping. Combine this to your 2% cashback card or Capital One Venture X for miles. I have gotten $25 cashback so far.
- Fluz: Similar to Slide, they offer cashback on gift card purchases. I recommend checking these two apps to see who offers the most cashback for a certain retailers.
In conclusion, I know these side hustles won’t make you rich. But if you have a full-time job and want to be frugal and save some incremental money without too much work, these side hustles are great.
The goal for these side hustles is not to make a crazy amount like an extra $500-$1000 a month. You certainly can cake that amount if you put in a lot of effort, but my goal is somewhere between $50-$100 a month.
Invest some of that money back into your Roth IRA or brokerage account, and in a decade, you will be a thousandaire 🥲.
Featured image: Garrhet Sampson, Unsplash