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5 Side Hustles that Really Work

The South African economy has taken a few knocks over the last few years, and it can feel like the rich are just getting richer, while everyone else is just struggling more and more every day to put food on the table. Even those of us with decent jobs are feeling the pinch more, and some things we used to consider necessities are slowly becoming luxuries.

The way we see it, each of us has two choices – accept the situation for what it is, and hope and pray that things get better, or take matters into our own hands and do something constructive to improve our own situations.

If you’re the type who doesn’t just want to sit back and let a weak economy happen to you, you’ve probably considered taking on a side job of some kind, so you can bring in a few extra Rands every month. Unfortunately, there are a lot of side hustles out there that either don’t work or take up far too much time for too little reward, or, even worse, are scams that end up costing you money.

So, how do you tell a legitimate side hustle from a scam, and how do you know which ones are worth investing your time and energy into? We’re taking a look at five side hustles that are not only legit, but that actually help you bring in some extra cash.

1 – Digital freelancing

Everyone has a talent or skill that someone else is willing to pay good money for, and the beauty of the internet is, there are hundreds of portals that help you connect with those potential clients.

Whether you’re skilled at creative work, like writing or graphic design, or have awesome admin skills, including finances, general admin, PA skills, or even something as simple as being able to type fast, there are clients all around the world waiting for your skills – and who are willing to pay in Dollar, Euros or Pounds.

Have a look at these legit and reliable portals to look for part-time or even full-time freelance work:

2 – Be a fashion guru

Gone are the days when you had to hire a silkscreen artist, buy a huge stack of t-shirts and hope that you could sell them. Nowadays, thanks to print-on-demand online t-shirt vendors, you can create all kinds of t-shirt designs and sell them online, without having to shell out a single cent in advance. And it’s not just t-shirts, either. Products include sweatshirts, hoodies, even mugs and caps.

All you need to do is register with the vendor, create some great designs for t-shirts – which you can do right there on the portal – and share them via social media to get the ball rolling on sales. If anyone buys them, the online vendor takes a percentage to cover materials and delivery fees, and pays you your cut. If your design doesn’t sell, you lose nothing, and get a chance to try again and again.

Try these t-shirt design portals:

3 – Teach a skill

Is there something you’re particularly good at? Would you like to share that knowledge and skill with the world and potentially earn some extra money? Then consider teaching it. You can either start offering one-on-one or group classes, or you could create a website, blog or YouTube tutorial channel where you can offer your knowledge and expertise.

Whether you’re teaching music, dance or art, basic car mechanical skills, or even showing people how to create and work with a budget, there are plenty of people who will happily attend a class and pay you directly, or who will visit your website or watch your video and help you rack up the advertising revenue.

Check out these online options for starting your own online blog or vlog:

4 – Sell your creative or technical work

If you like to make things, then you might have a market for them. People are getting tired of mass-produced, identical, samey goods and love hand-made, crafted and unique things. There are people selling all kinds of hand-made items online and if you have a talent for it, you could make a decent bit of cash on the side by offering your goods.

Use one of these marketplaces to sell your creative projects:

5 – Offer a time-saver service

It’s easy to think that side-hustles should all be based online, but there are hundreds of things that people just don’t have the time to do for themselves, that you could help them with for a fee. It’s even better if you can offer this service without having to take out any extra time of your own.

For example, if you’re good at cooking, you could easily offer to make and deliver home-cooked meals to a few customers in your local area. Plan your own home-cooking so that you are making your own family’s meals at the same time, thereby using time you would have used on a task anyway to make a bit of extra money.

Other time-saver services you can offer include doing their grocery shopping, collecting post from boxes, dropping off and picking up kids from school and extracurricular activities and all kinds of tasks that people find difficult to manage.

Making the side-hustle lifestyle work

Finding a side-hustle that works for you doesn’t have to involve getting a second job and working yourself to death, never seeing your family and never getting a chance to relax. Look for something you can fit into your lifestyle, that is a natural extension of things you already do, or that you have always enjoyed doing.

Spend some time evaluating your strengths and work out what you have to offer that people will be willing to pay money for. With a bit of creative thinking, you might even get to keep enjoying those little luxuries that make life great.

If you’re looking for more ideas for side-hustles, check out our guide to 13 Legit Ways to Make Money Online in SA.