It’s September and the kids are back in school. After a jam-packed summer filled with activities, stay-at-home parents finally can take a breather for a few hours a day − until it’s time to pick up the kids. With a few hours of extra time on your hands, it might be a good idea to start some side hustles for parents. After all, those summer vacation bills are probably coming due.
There are a number of side hustles that can not only pay well but also offer the flexibility you need so you can still make time for your kids. And, if you're doing some work from home, remember to think about home office tax deductions, if you qualify.
Here is a list of jobs that offer both income and flexibility:
Get paid to do other people’s laundry
In 2017, Mort Fertel’s wife, Ari, was home with their five children and buried in laundry. In frustration, she told him, “This is crazy. I can tap an app and get to the airport, FaceTime somebody on the other side of the world, but I’m still doing laundry like my grandmother.”
A light bulb came on. “She was right,” Poplin CEO Fertel said in an interview with Kiplinger. “Technology’s transformed every aspect of our life, making it fast and easy, except for this chore that takes the longest and we hate the most. It’s actually shocking if you think about it.”
That was when they created Poplin, a nationwide laundry service that uses gig workers – mostly stay-at-home moms – to do other people’s laundry and get paid for it. Called Laundry Pros, these gig workers pick up, wash and deliver laundry to people in their area. The pay is $1 per pound of laundry for next-day service and $2 per pound for same-day. Poplin takes 25%.
Fertel says they have more than 100,000 Laundry Pros serving one million customers. Top workers earn more than $6,000 a month. The service is in 48 states, more than 500 cities and serves 8,000 zip codes. The average cost per load is $42 and gig workers also accept tips.
In-home pet sitting
If you're an animal lover, pet sitting or dog walking can be both enjoyable and profitable. Apps like Rover, Wag!, Care.com, Fetch and PetSitter.com make it easy to connect with pet owners in your area.
Be an on-demand expert
If you have a specialty, such as veterinary medicine, you can sign up to be an on-call expert with JustAnswer. The service said its experts can earn an average of $2,000 to $7,000 a month. You are paid for each question answered through a live chat.
It accepts experts in 150 categories such as veterinary medicine and animal behavior, legal, medical, wellness, cars, boats, tax and finance, appraisals, computer and tech support, consumer electronics and heavy equipment.
Rent out your pool or a room in your house
Your backyard is now sitting unused with the kids back in school and you're maybe starting to regret buying a house with a swimming pool. How about making it earn money for you? Swimply lets you rent out your pool by the hour, with several listings charging $35 to $50 an hour. Swimply also expanded into pickleball, tennis, basketball courts and yards.
The company takes 15% of the booking. Hosts can charge a cleaning fee, as well as extra for amenities such as a hot tub or grill.
Meanwhile, Airbnb has become such a commonplace option for travelers that you don’t even have to explain what it is to most people. However, it is also increasingly more competitive to list your lodging as many people have realized how much you can make renting your home.
One strategy is to target niche travelers such as the remote worker. Offer good Wi-Fi, work table and chair, bright lighting, printer, unlimited coffee and office supplies.
Rent out your car
Don’t have time to be an Uber driver? You can still make money from your idle car by renting it out by the hour with a group like Turo. This peer-to-peer marketplace makes sense because there’s not always a rental car office nearby for consumers.
That’s a plus for car owners with their wheels sitting in a garage. Turo offers insurance for your car, too. It charges a commission of 10% to 40%.
Teach live online classes
Teach youths from 3 to 18 years old on any topic you’re passionate about. Outschool does not require a teaching certificate, but you must be at least 18.
You set the curriculum and your schedule. Engagement is through video chat, messaging and group discussions. It takes a 30% commission.
Remote customer service
Take customer service calls at home. There are many remote call center jobs available with pay starting at $16 an hour and up. For example, Amazon pays $16 to $35 an hour for part-time customer service jobs. Booking.com advertises $35 to $45 an hour part-time. CVS pays $35 to $60 an hour for customer service part-time.
One source for these jobs is Indeed.com. In the search bar, type “part-time virtual customer service” to get listings.
Deborah Yao is an award-winning journalist, editor, and personal finance columnist who has held editorial roles at Kiplinger, The Wharton School, Amazon, The Associated Press, S&P Global (SNL Kagan) and MarketWatch. She specializes in writing and editing articles on finance and technology, with particular expertise in the areas of stock analysis, monetary policy, fintech, blockchain, macroeconomics, financial planning, taxes, among others. She has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, CBS News, ABC News, Wharton Magazine, and many other news outlets.
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