In a financial jam? Whether your car broke down or inflation left you with more months than money, sometimes you need to make money in a hurry. With that in mind, the editors at SideHusl.com searched our database of 450 parallel platforms to find the ones that could help you make $500 fast.
Our criteria for fast? We looked for jobs that could bring in $500 in a month — from applying to getting the money into your bank account or PayPal. And that assumed you would only work a few hours a day to accommodate a day job. This has enabled us to search for jobs that are in high demand with platforms that pay promptly and offer decent hourly earnings. We also select jobs that require extraordinary skills, such as coding, accounting or law.
Here are five good options.
Walk or watch dogs with the Rover
Millions of pets have been adopted in the last two years. Now, two factors are creating a booming business for dog walkers and pet sitters: holiday season and companies pulling workers back to their offices.
For freelancers who like animals, this is an enjoyable and well-paid side activity. Dog walkers typically charge between $15 and $25 for a 30-minute walk. This works out to $30 to $50 an hour. And pet sitters can get paid upwards of $50 a night to host someone else’s pet – or pets – in their home. The best place to list both services is Rover. Rover allows freelancers to set their own rates and terms and pays you within two days of completing a job. The site takes a 20% commission from most bookings.
It’s not glamorous, but watching other people’s kids can also be a great way to make a quick buck. Dozens of online platforms, including Bambino, Urban Sitter and SitterCity, can connect potential sitters with clients. Assistants typically charge between $15 and $25 an hour and are often paid within hours of completing a job. Assistants can also find work simply by posting their availability on free neighborhood sites like Nextdoor.
In many restaurants, the window display menu is being replaced by a “Help Wanted” sign. The shortage of waiters, bartenders and chefs has been acute since the country began reopening after lockdowns. Various online platforms help you find work as a waiter, bartender or cook. The best bet?
Instawork connects hospitality workers with businesses and organizations in need of bartenders and waiters. Workers earn between minimum wage and $25 an hour, and are typically paid once a week by direct deposit. However, those who complete a certain number of shifts and get consistently good ratings may qualify for Instant Pay. Instant Pay compensates workers within hours of completing a shift. Instawork is available in over 30 major markets across the country.
Other good options: Jitjatjo hires waiters, waiters, and waiters to work as W-2 employees in select cities. Qwick works in food and beverage positions for restaurants and special events. The site pays in days.
If you are proficient in any subject and think you can tutor, dozens of websites will help you market your services.
For those able to provide music instruction, the best choice is LessonFace. The platform is distinguished by charging low site fees — from 4% to 15%, depending on who found the student. (Other music platforms charge 20% or more.) And LessonFace pays tutors within three days of completing a lesson.
For academic subjects, there are several good options:
Wize, formerly Wizedemy, is an online education platform that allows tutors to set their own fees and receive 100% of what they earn. (The site makes money selling college prep materials.) Wize pays tutors on demand, as often as they want.
Varsity Tutors also recruits freelancers to teach a wide range of subjects, paying $15 to $40 an hour. Tutors are paid twice a week by direct deposit.
TutorOcean accepts tutors in almost all subjects, including academic basics like reading and math, as well as music and sports. Tutors set their own fees but pay a marketing fee to the platform. Those who choose Stripe as their payment method are paid one week after the session. Those who prefer PayPal are only compensated once a month.
With gasoline prices soaring, few driving and delivery jobs make sense unless you have a hybrid or electric vehicle. However, food delivery jobs may be the exception for people who only deliver to their neighborhoods.
DoorDash is the best option, providing payment details and distance to pick-up and delivery for each job. “Dashers” are paid weekly. However, the smartest way to work on food deliveries is to sign up on multiple platforms, including Grubhub and UberEats, and try to pick up and deliver multiple meals in a single trip. A seasoned freelancer says he earns between $30 and $40 an hour this way, mostly delivering meals by bike.
Pro Tip: Only deliver during lunch and dinner hours when demand is highest and you are most likely to receive multiple orders that can be delivered at once.
Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent website that reviews opportunities to make money in the gig economy.