By: Anna Compagine Cohen
Buying your first home should be a happy occasion: going to open houses, exploring new neighborhoods, picking out new furniture. It’s all excitement until the financial reality sets in. Because you’re going to have to come up with a down payment.
Most mortgages will require anywhere from 5-20% of the home value as a down payment, due at closing. Plus there are closing fees, which can easily set you back another $5,000+. That’s a lot to save, especially if your paycheck is already on the leaner side.
So what do you do if your regular job just isn’t paying you enough to save for your first home? It’s time to start looking into a side hustle!
Here are some of the most lucrative side hustles for when you need cash, pronto.
If you love snapping pics, then this side hustle is perfect for you. You get to enjoy your hobby and make good money at the same time. Submit your high-res pictures to stock photography websites such as shutterstock or 500px. Every time a customer buys your picture, you get paid. Travel, nature, and animals are all best sellers.
If you have a skill or hobby, someone out there wants to learn it! All you need is a webcam and a reliable internet connection. Local schools often hire online tutors. If you’re good at a certain subject (math is always in demand), you can pick up some hours there. Don’t have a specific skill set? You can earn up to $22 per hour teaching English with VIP Kid and they don’t even require a teaching degree.
Whether you’re creative or techie, freelancing during your spare time can be a high-paying side hustle. Designers, writers, artists, photographers and programmers can all carve out a steady side hustle on sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. Signing up for an account is free, and you’ll have the flexibility to choose your clients and pick your own schedule.
Takeout is more popular than ever, and someone has to deliver it. It might as well be you, so you can pocket the extra cash. All you need is a car and some free hours to drive for Uber Eats or DoorDash. Food delivery is most in-demand on evenings and weekends, so if you work a 9-5 job this side hustle should work perfectly with your schedule.
Another one that only requires a (newer) car. Driving for Uber, Lyft, or any of the other rideshare companies is a fast way to make money. You can sign up for one or more of them on their websites, then use their apps to monitor for peak time - when you’ll get paid more. Their busiest times are usually weekends (especially nights), which can mesh well with a full-time job.
If you’re the creative type, designing and selling printables on websites such as Etsy can help you pocket quite a bit of money. The best part? You only have to create a design once, then sell it over and over to customers. If you want to make a little extra cash, offer personalization on your designs - monograms are always popular!
Here’s a side hustle that requires no degree and that you can easily do from home. Sign up with a site such as Scribie and spend your free time working as a transcriber. All you have to do is listen to the audio files and type out the text. You can make up to $25 per hour of audio, so as you get faster you can make more.
Work as a V.A.
If you have office skills, you can pick up extra hours by working as a Virtual Assistant (V.A.). Some of the most in-demand skills are social media management, travel planning, answering emails - all of the things you already do in your free time! Sign up with a company such as Time etc. and they’ll match you up with just the right clients.
Dog Walk or Pet Sit
If you love furry friends, getting paid to play with puppies might seem too good to be true. But it’s a legit way to make money. Sign up with a service such as Rover to connect with pet owners who need your help.
These are some of the most lucrative side hustles for when you want to make a lot of money, quickly. And since a side hustle is newfound “extra” money in your budget, you can set aside all of the money you make towards your new home. If you have enough time, you can even work more than one side hustle and really watch your down payment fund grow!
Working a side hustle will take up a lot of your free time, though, so make sure it’s something you enjoy. In the end, when you’re sitting in your new home, all those extra hours of work will be well worth it!