12 Side Income Ideas You Can Explore In 2019
Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world could mean that making ends meet is a never-ending battle. For those who need that extra boost in income, having another job on the side can be helpful, as well as provide an opportunity for you to explore alternative careers.
To help with your cash flow, here are a few side income ideas you can explore:
Private tutoring is the Singaporean undergraduate’s favourite job that actually pays well and isn’t hard to pick up. If you are an undergraduate, you can expect to charge between S$25-35 for an hour of tuition with a lower Secondary pupil, and even up to S$65 if you’re teaching JC students.
If you’re an MOE teacher, you can charge much higher rates – S$50-70 for an hour with a lower Secondary pupil, and up to S$130 for a JC student. Some private tutors who market themselves well can even earn much higher – it’s not unheard of to hear of tutors who earn over S$1 million a year.
In terms of pay per hour and flexibility, tutoring is a financially attractive option if you have ability (and patience) to teach.
Assuming you’re an undergraduate spending eight hours a week to tutor lower secondary level pupils, here’s how much you can earn:
|Number of hours per week||Fees per hour||Total fees in a month|
|8||S$30||8 hours x 4 weeks x S$30 = S$960|
In a year, you could be pocketing S$11,520. As there are many online tutor agencies that you can sign up with, all you have to do is to pay the initial commission fee, which varies, or go with word of mouth advertising.
Getting a steady stream of students usually isn’t a difficult matter, though you do have to be selective about your students if you want to minimise the travel time from one home to another. Also, you’ll need to take into account the preparation time for lessons, so if you specialise in teaching one or two subjects in the same grade, you may be able to work more efficiently.
2. Shopping for groceries
Love grocery shopping? Do you get a thrill out of ticking items off your shopping list? If your answer is yes, then being a shopper could just be side gig for you.
Honestbee pays up to S$11 an hour to do grocery shopping and up to S$22.20 an hour if you have a car and want to do deliveries.
Grocery shopping doesn’t require qualifications or too much mental strain. Plus, you’ll get the benefits of retail therapy vicariously by shopping for customers. On the downside, the earning potential per hour is relatively low.
|Number of hours per week||Fees per hour||Total fees in a month|
|8||S$22 (driving)||8 hours x 4 weeks x S$22 = S$704|
|8||S$11 (shopping)||8 hours x 4 weeks x S$11 = S$352|
3. Shopping on your overseas trips
If you love hunting for the best deals even on vacation, you might as well make some extra cash out of it.
Services like Airfrov and ShopandBox matches travellers to shoppers looking to get specific items from international destinations. You”ll get compensated for bringing back an item that has been requested by a shopper. While it may not be a consistent source of side income (unless, say, you’re a flight attendant), it’s a great way of making money out of your extra luggage space.
Freelancing could be your side gig-turned-full-time job if you get really serious about it. Depending on the work experience that you already have and the industry that you are in, freelancing can earn you anything from peanuts to a good salary. You don’t need to freelance in an area that you’re already an expert in, but instead you can use this as a way to develop an interest that you are good at.
You can teach yoga, start getting photography clients, sing at weddings, or be a consultant.
Assuming you’re an editor with a few years of experience, your average rate could be S$35 per hour or more if you work with clients based in the US or UK due to exchange rates.
As a freelancer, the hourly rate can differ greatly depending on the industry and years of experience you have. However, you do have to be responsible for getting your own clients and ensuring a regular stream of customers, which is why freelancing is a good idea for a side-gig but a little risky as a full-time job.
|Number of hours in a week||Fees per hour||Total fees in a month|
|8 hours||S$35||(8 hours x 4 weeks) x S$35
That’s a handsome S$13,440 in a year! If you have a skill that is in demand, offer your services. Check the terms and conditions before you sign up. Platforms like Freelancer or Upwork are useful for building up a steady group of clients, though they do charge commission.
Do you have an experience that you can’t wait to share with visitors to Singapore? Designing and offering an experience on Airbnb is a great way to turn something you love into a cash-generating venture.
Technically, you can’t be tour-guiding around the island as you need a license from the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to do that. However, what about giving a fun Singlish class in the park, or being a home chef?
You can check Airbnb’s Help Centre to learn more about the licenses that you may require for your experience. If the idea of sharing your home sounds really appealing, then why not apply for a tour guiding license from STB?
The best part of this job is that it won’t feel like a job!
6. Insurance or property agent
Selling insurance or property is not exactly a side-gig for those who want to commit as few hours as possible. Quite the opposite, being an insurance and property agent requires a lot of time, effort, and preparation, although it can bring in financial rewards that may even rival your full-time job.
In order to be a property or insurance agent, you need to take courses and examinations. This means commitment and investment of time and money, so you should be prepared to be in this for the medium to long haul to reap the benefits. Closing a deal on an S$1 million condo unit would fetch you about S$10,000 in commission (1%). However, it is an industry that can have dramatic ups and downs, and you may go on for months before closing a deal.
Have a car and want to make it earn money for you? Being a Grab driver can be a very sensible option that allows you to take advantage of the very expensive car you have and doesn’t involve too much preparation work.
All you need is just time spent on the roads and perhaps some openness to dealing with potentially awkward conversations with complete strangers.
How much you earn per hour really depends on how much and what time you drive. If you have your own car, your net profit will be higher and with frequent incentives given by the companies, you can expect to earn around S$25 per hour on average.
Using Grab’s revenue calculator, if you’re driving 2 hours a day (from 7pm to 9pm) five times a week, you can expect to earn about S$280 a week:
That’s S$1,120 a month, or S$13,440 a year with just ten hours of driving per week. To maximise your earning potential, get a card that helps you save up to 20.88% on fuel:
Up to 20.88% savings (Esso & Shell) and 8% cashback (other petrol stations)Includes 8% cashback on groceries
If you like kids, babysitting could be a fun side gig. Start by looking for parents in your social circle, and letting them know that you’re available to babysit. Alternatively, join an agency such as Nanny SOS that already has an existing client base. Such agencies will usually charge around S$25 per hour for ad hoc babysitting.
9. Pet sitting
Not a fan of children? Try pet sitting instead. You can sign up to be a sitter on Pawshake and set your own rates, although Pawshake takes 19% out of your revenue. Pet sitters on Pawshake generally charge around S$15 to S$30 for a dog-walking session, but you can charge more for house visits or house-sitting services.
10. Making deliveries
Get paid to make deliveries through Amazon Flex. With this platform, you can set your own schedule to pick up and drop off parcels. Your potential earnings are S$22 to S$25 per hour.
11. Selling your stuff online
Got a lot of stuff lying around? Don’t just throw them away – you can make money out of your pre-loved items by selling them online on sites like Carousell. You can put up almost anything for sale, from clothes to books, to kitchen appliances.
Alternatively, if you’re good with crafts, try your hand at selling your handiwork on Etsy. It’s a great platform for selling items ranging from bags, jewellery, art or even quirky items like custom Santa Claus letters for kids.
12. Selling digital products
If you’ve a bit of tech know-how, or you’re willing to learn, selling digital products online can be quite lucrative. The assortment of products you can put up for sale is almost limitless – from e-books, online courses, templates, photographs and more.
|Price of book||US$4.99|
|Royalty per book||Amazon Kindle Publishing (70%)|
|Barnes & Noble Press (65%)
|Estimated monthly revenue based on 100 sales||US$349||US$324|
|Estimated revenue per year||US$4,188||US$3,888|
The best part about selling digital products online is that unlike other side income jobs, your earning potential isn’t limited by the number of hours you put in. Although creating the products may be time-intensive early on, it can become a recurring stream of passive income that requires little or no upkeep.
So, what now?
Side-income jobs can be both interesting and financially rewarding, though they do leave you with little time for play. Be sure to do your research and weigh the pros and cons before committing to one. With a bit of preplanning, you can even use your side income gig to explore alternative careers or broaden your skillset to boost your existing one. Good luck!
This article was originally published on June 6, 2017.