More than 61 million Americans plan to start a side hustle in 2021, according to a Zapier survey of 2,001 U.S. adults. And though a higher percentage of the younger generations like millennials have picked up side hustles ― 48%, according to Bankrate ― older generations are trying the trend as well. More than a third, 39%, of Gen Xers and 28% of baby boomers say they earn extra income on the side.
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If you're in your 50s and are keen to dive into a side gig, there are "so many things that a person over 50 can do, even with minimal skills," says Jen Glantz, founder and CEO of the business Bridesmaid for Hire.
Here are five side hustle ideas for people in their 50s.
By your 50s, you might own a home. Maybe you've even upgraded to a bigger or more luxurious house or apartment. Whatever the case, consider renting your space out for hours, days, or even weeks at a time.
"You can rent your apartment, obviously, on Airbnb, but you could also rent your apartment for the day with something called Peerspace where people can rent it for a video shoot or a photo shoot," says Glantz. A site called Splacer helps you rent out your space for holiday parties, workspaces, and launch events.
Video by David Fang
Hosts on Airbnb make an average of $924 per month, according to lending platform Earnest. Hosts on Peerspace and Splacer rent out spaces from $75 per hour for a house in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to $1,000 per hour for a loft in Manhattan.
Airbnb host fees are range from 3% to as high as 16%, depending on which fee structure you elect to use, while Peerspace charges hosts a 15% fee, and Splacer, a 17% fee. Make sure to check local laws around short-term rentals as you might find this isn't an option where you live.
By your 50s, you may well have accrued an assortment of tech, clothing, and household items, some of which you could stand to get rid of. Glantz suggests getting "in the habit of selling" unused things in your life, she says. Here are three sites and apps you can use to sell your things.
- Mercari, on which vintage Christmas decorations are currently selling for $36 and vintage china is selling for $22. Seller Dallas Wolford, who made $2,400 on the app within a few months, recommends posting small items like kitchenware and clothing.
- Poshmark facilitates the sale of clothing, shoes, and accessories. A Levi's jacket is currently selling for $50 and a Louis Vuitton bag is selling for $2,150 on it. Student Kaitlin Kao makes up to $3,000 per month on the app.
- eBay, where consumers can find anything from Prince's "Purple Rain" on vinyl for $23 to a skateboard deck signed by Tony Hawk for $400. "Collectibles are one of the most popular items on" eBay, side hustle expert Daniella Flores previously told Grow.
Make sure to check fees each site charges sellers. Mercari charges a minimum of 10% of the item price plus a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per sale. When you're done selling your own items, ask family and friends if they need help selling theirs.
Plus, recording and uploading a class can be a way to earn a passive income because even after you made the course, you'll keep earning income as new students take it.
Consider creating an online course on sites like Udemy or Teachable, where people teach subject matters ranging from coding with Python for $24 to photography for $27. As always, keep in mind moneymaking models like Udemy's revenue sharing program. Instructors receive 97% of revenue when a student purchases a course through their own referral link, and 37% of the revenue on sales where no instructor coupon or referral link was used.
Instructor Chris Haroun has made more than $1 million selling courses on business to content creation on Udemy.
If you like reading and are "really good with catching grammar mistakes in individuals' writing," says Peterson, consider picking up some proofreading gigs. Sites like FlexJobs list open gigs and you can create profiles on sites like Polished Paper, Fiverr, and Upwork to see what jobs are posted there.
Proofreaders make an average of $26 per hour, according to Salary.com.
If you find yourself attending local events frequently for your kids and have a good eye for photography, consider posting your photos on sites like Snapped4U, which enable others, like busy parents who couldn't make it, to download and buy them. Photographers on the site charge up to $20 per photo. Snapped4U takes a $10 registration fee, as well as $0.50 per photo for photos priced $5 or less and 10% of the price on photos priced higher than $5 for U.S.-based accounts.
If none of these options speaks to you and you're still seeking your perfect gig, "make a list of 25 skills or strengths that you have," says Glantz, then "simply type into Google, 'How to monetize public speaking,' 'How to monetize organization,' 'How to monetize being a good listener,' and I promise you, you'll find a side hustle."
The article "5 Great Side Hustles for People in Their 50s: Some Could Pay Thousands of Dollars Per Month" originally published on Grow (CNBC + Acorns).
Video by Courtney Stith