More and more, millennials are embracing the “gig economy,” also known as the sharing economy. If you are unfamiliar with this trend, these gigs are typically meant to supplement a regular income. Alternatively, some people are using this form of employment as their main source of money. It is now estimated that about a quarter of Americans are involved in the gig economy in some way1.
Using the gig economy to your advantage is a great way to make some extra cash. Here are some of the main opportunities to capitalize on the gig economy for additional income:
Utilize Your Car
For car owners who don’t mind ride-sharing, they can choose to work for a service like Uber or Lyft. Most of the drivers working with these companies average about $15 to $17 per hour. That can fluctuate depending on whether or not you live close to a major metropolitan area. Obviously, you can make more dough in busy cities like Chicago, Miami, or Dallas, but you also have to contend with more drivers in competition for a rider’s business.
Uber specifically has certain requirements listed on their website to become a driver. Some of those stipulations are being at least 21-years-old, as well as having a valid driver’s license and four-door car. Uber will also put your car through an inspection to make sure it's in good shape to safely transport customers.
Keep in mind that the wear-and-tear of your car is not compensated for by these ride-sharing companies, so be sure to factor in any car maintenance that may arise quicker due to the extra use.
Rent Out Your Home
If you have extra space in your home or a rental property, another way to make additional income is through home-sharing platforms like Airbnb. This is a service you sign up with that allows you to rent out either a single room or your entire home to vacationers seeking an alternative to traditional, often expensive hotels. You simply list your home on their website, and Airbnb takes a percentage of what you make.
Sell Something Crafty
If you are a creative budding entrepreneur, you can use a website like Etsy to make extra money. People sell all kinds of homemade goods and services on this open marketplace, including jewelry, home items, clothing, art, and collectibles. Many shops also have great vintage finds. Etsy takes a 3.5 percent transaction fee on everything you sell.
Keep in mind that with many of these gig economy ventures, it takes a little bit of forward thinking and a “go-getter” kind of attitude to be successful. Find something that works for your lifestyle, and stick to it. When you embrace the gig economy and do it right, you’ll love the extra money it can bring in for your household.
1Pew Research Group
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