With recession looming and bills increasing, we could all do with some extra cash in our pockets. A side hustle is a great opportunity to earn more money doing something you’re good at or passionate about. You’re in good company, too — according to research from Canada’s Direct Sellers Association (DSA), 42% of Canadians had a side hustle in 2022, while 64% hope to sometime in the future.
We’ve put together a list of some top side hustle ideas you can get into for 2023 to help put a few more dollars in your bank account.
But first, what’s a side hustle? And how can you get into these lucrative gigs?
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is a way to earn some spare cash outside your 9 to 5 job — it provides you with a supplementary income that can offset any cost-of-living increases. It can even become a recurring revenue stream to cover extra living costs or pay for a few luxuries. For some, it may even become their primary source of income, enabling them to leave their day job altogether.
What side hustle can I start with little money?
If you’re starting a side hustle to earn a bit extra, you may not have a lot of cash to invest in the first place. But fear not — a side hustle doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. You can start many side hustles with little to no capital at all. Look at the skills you already have or what assets you own and might be able to use.
You can earn additional money as a rideshare service or delivery driver if you have a car. Similarly, consider hosting travellers if you’ve got a spare room in your home. If you’re a wordsmith, you could start a blog on a subject you’re passionate about, monetizing it through affiliate marketing. And if you know how to sew and make clothing, turn your hobby into a paying opportunity by charging people for alterations, repairs, and even original creations.
How much profit can you make from a side hustle?
You can earn anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to $1,000 or more. According to Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), increasing inflation has spurred 74% of small businesses and rising entrepreneurs to investigate how to begin a side business. This number increases to 84% among Gen Z, while an astounding 86% of Millennials want to start a side hustle to generate enough income to support themselves.
Top Side Hustle Ideas for Extra Income in 2023
Here’s our list of the 15 top side hustle ideas for earning extra money in 2023:
1. Become a dog walker
If you like animals, becoming a dog walker can be a simple way to supplement your income and get those steps in. While Canadians adopted more than 3 million pets in the wake of the pandemic, there’s a striking 63% spike in the number of pets now being surrendered to shelters. That means there’s a massive demand for reliable dog walkers and pet sitters. With sites like Rover or Pawshake, it’s easier to find clients.
2. Sign up as a rideshare driver
Got a car? You can become a rideshare driver in your spare time. With apps like Uber or Lyft, it’s easy to register as a driver and choose your hours — simply log on and mark yourself available whenever your schedule allows.
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3. Register as a delivery driver
You could become a delivery driver for a local restaurant or sign up on apps like Uber Eats or SkipTheDishes. Much like the rideshare services, you can pick and choose when you work, toggling the app on and off according to your availability.
4. Become a tutor
If you speak another language or are a whizz at math, monetize it by teaching online. There’s strong demand for tutors to help high school students prepare for standardized tests, which can vary between provinces. Some people take up tutoring while still at university to earn more and support their studies. Sites like FirstTutors Canada and SOSteacher can help you get started.
5. Sell your creations
For anyone creative, selling crafts to a broader audience can be a way to do what you love and make money from it. Marketplace apps like Etsy and VarageSale have given artisan sellers a global platform. VarageSale even lets you narrow your area to specific communities in each province. Alternatively, you can create an online store that gives you complete control over marketing, pricing, and shipping.
6. Start dropshipping
Dropshipping could be the answer if you like the idea of running a business but don’t want the hassle of fulfilling physical orders. In this business model — much like print-on-demand — a third party manufactures and sends the products. It’s simple to set up: You create an online store, set your prices, and handle the marketing and day-to-day operations.
7. Consider B&B and home rentals
With sites like Airbnb, renting out a spare room or apartment has never been easier. Depending on how often you want to do it and what your province says about short-term rentals, you can make a sizable additional income from this side hustle. If you live in a downtown area where parking is hard to find, you could also rent out your driveway.
8. Become a virtual assistant
VAs help business owners with everyday and administrative tasks, such as answering calls, replying to emails, organizing schedules, posting to social media, or writing content. Depending on the type of work and business, you can earn between $20 and $50 per hour, although the median VA hourly earnings are around $24.
9. Start a podcast
Podcasting has grown in popularity recently, with the best shows receiving millions of plays. The best part about this side hustle is you can start with minimal equipment — a high-quality microphone that links to your phone or computer is all you need. Once you build a following, you can begin to monetize your show by setting up sponsorship, selling merch, or becoming a brand affiliate.
10. Fill out online surveys
Online surveys won’t earn you a fortune, but they require minimal effort in exchange for freebies, cash, and other compensations. With sites like Toluna Influencers, you can sign up in minutes and start earning from the comfort of your sofa.
11. Start an odd-job business
For any DIY whiz, offering yourself as an odd-job person is an easy way to make some money. People always need help putting up shelves, mowing lawns, or painting walls. Make getting paid even easier by sending electronic invoices or using Square Reader to take mobile payments.
12. Become an affiliate marketer
You can earn extra income as an affiliate marketer if you already have a blog or website. In affiliate marketing, you advertise someone else’s products or services on your site and receive a commission from sales made through your referral links. Being an affiliate marketer is like a side hustle within a side hustle, if you will. It’s also a great way to make passive income while you work on other things.
13. Write and review resumes
Many people need help when writing or updating their resumes, and you could be the one to do it. If you understand how to write resumes and have excellent grammar and attention to detail, advertise your services on marketplace sites.
14. Sell digital products
Digital products could be online PDF guides, e-books, educational materials, digital templates, new fonts or graphics, music, or sound effects. You can sell your products online, and users can pay and download them directly to their devices.
15. Start and monetize a YouTube channel
YouTube is the country’s most popular social media channel, with 72% of Canadians using YouTube more often than any other social media platform. Starting your channel is free. While building your audience and monetizing your videos takes time, it can be very lucrative in the long term — popular YouTubers pull in thousands in ad revenue each month.