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21 profitable side hustle ideas

7-minute read

Need help paying for ever-increasing living costs? Or want to generate extra cash for holidays or purchases? Or simply want more financial independence? Whatever the reason, many of us have now entered what’s called the gig economy by supplementing our day job income with side hustle money. Here’s how side hustles work, plus some ideas for your own ‘business on the side’.


What we’ll cover


Key take-outs
  • A side hustle is a part-time business run in your spare time
  • Side hustles are often extensions to hobbies or other interests
  • Side hustle ideas come in all shapes and sizes
  • Income from a side hustle should be included in your tax return
  • Side hustles can test new ideas that expand into full-blown businesses.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle (also known as a side gig) is generally a small business you run for extra cash to add to your full-time income. It could be an extension to a hobby – such as selling things you love making – or a way to test a new product or service you’re thinking about launching as a full-blown business idea.


Or it could just be offering the service you’re paid to do in your day job, but as a freelancer in your own time.

What should I consider if I want to start a side hustle?

If you’re already working hard for an employer, it’s a good idea to make sure your side hustle isn’t going to add stress to your life. Many choose to offer services that are an extension to a hobby, or involve friendship networks, or simply get them outdoors doing something physical.


In an ideal world, work should be fun. So, pick a side hustle that enriches your life rather than adds burden to it. Ask yourself, would I still enjoy doing this, even if it paid me little or nothing? If the answer is ‘yes’, getting that extra cash for a fun side hustle is a real bonus.


And if you're wondering ‘how much money can I make out of it?’, not all side hustles are the same and much depends on how much effort you're prepared to put in. Many side hustlers just want enough money to help meet their financial goals.

What are some side hustle ideas to make more money?

1. Rent out your car space.

If you’ve got a garage or driveway you don’t use, someone else may be grateful for it – and prepared to pay you for the security of a guaranteed spot. Once you’ve set up the arrangement, you have a passive income.


2. Cleaner.

House, car or office, many would rather pay someone else to clean it rather than do it themselves. Some cleaners get great satisfaction from a job well done, and there can be rewarding social benefits too – when cleaning for a householder who doesn’t get much company.


3. Craftsperson.

If you paint, pot, sew, carve, or cook, you could turn your hobby into a business, setting up a market stall or selling online. Search for sites that offer the convenience of online sales in return for a small commission; or set up your own eCommerce website.


4. Distributor.

Delivering newspapers and brochures for local businesses can turn your morning walk into a healthy money-making exercise. Search ‘leaflet distribution jobs <your location>’.


5. Dog walker.

Dog ownership has grown in recent years, but many owners struggle to find the time to exercise their new family members sufficiently. That’s where you can ‘step in’ with a dog walking service once you have the right ‘leads’.


6. Driver.

Whether you want to transport passengers, rent out your car or deliver food, there’s good money to be made in driving and car sharing. You can generally just work the hours that suit you, fitting the side hustle into your own schedule.


7. Dropshipper.

You don’t need a huge warehouse full of stock to run an eCommerce business. With a drop-shipping business, you simply choose products from a variety of suppliers and feature them in your own online store. You only pay for items once you've received payment from your customers, then put in your own order and the supplier manages all the packaging and delivery.


8. Extra.

Production companies are always looking for ‘background extras’ of all ages, shapes and sizes for film, TV and ad work. Assignments can vary from a couple of hours to weeks at a time. Search ‘extras agencies’ to find a reputable agency in your area to represent you.


9. Farmer.

If you’re already growing fruit and veg, grow extra and sell it outside your home or on a market stall. Eggs too, if you keep chickens. Succulents are a ‘growth’ industry for home producers too, as they’re often quite simple to propagate and are fairly resilient.


10. Freelance writer.

Many businesses are in constant need of digital content, such as blogs and articles that attract visitors to their websites. If you have a way with words and good grammatical skills, you can offer a freelance writing service from virtually anywhere.


11. Gardener.

Many keen gardeners don’t have gardens and many people with gardens don’t have the time to look after them. That’s a side hustle waiting to happen. One-off jobs such as hedge trimming and landscaping are often offered on sites such as Airtasker.


12. Influencer.

Through platforms such as YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram, amateur content producers are building followings and promoting products, simply by live streaming or sharing videos. Their revenue generally comes through channel subscriptions, advertising, and merchandise sales.


13. Landlord.

Got a spare room, or a garage you’re not using? Either could make the perfect office or warehouse space for a start-up business. You could even sell your tenant extra services such as Wi-Fi, printing and catering.


14. Market research participant.

Companies are always on the lookout for ‘consumers’ to participate in one-to-one research sessions, providing views and opinions about new products, services, and advertising messages. Participation is generally paid by the session, which could be online, by phone, or in person. Search ‘paid market research <your location>’.


15. Pet minder.

When they go away on holiday, many pet owners prefer their loved ones to be looked after in family homes rather than kennels and catteries. Pet-sitting for hours a week or even weeks at a time can be very lucrative, whilst still offering great value to owners. Some pet-sitting side gigs even turn into house-sitting gigs, adding an extra dimension to making money on the side.


16. Photographer.

If you’re a keen photographer with a large portfolio of places, landscapes or people engaged in activities, you may be able to offer them for use through stock shot agencies. If a company wants to use your image, you may be paid a commission for use, or a one-off fee for ownership. Search ‘stock photo platform’.


17. Reseller.

Thinking about how you could earn money online? Your old clothes, or vintage wear you’ve found in an op shop, could be someone else’s dream wardrobe and a source of income for you. Second-hand furniture and furnishings are popular too, offered on sites such as eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.


18. Secret shopper.

These part-time consultants are paid to do what many love to in their own time – go shopping. Secret shoppers provide retailers or brands with valuable insights about genuine sales environments, reporting back on customer service and attitudes to products.


19. Sports or fitness instructor.

Love your yoga? Or gym workouts? After attaining the relevant qualifications, you could share your passion with others and get paid while you’re doing it. Many activities can be carried out in public parks, helping you make money without having to invest money in property or rent.


20. Tourism guide.

If you’re interested in history or architecture, you’ll find that visitors to your city or region might be too – and may be willing to pay for your knowledge and guidance. Talk to your local tourist office about ways you could advertise your personal guide service.


21. Virtual assistant.

As many businesses move into virtual office space, so the need arises for virtual assistants to help with office admin and bookkeeping. Qualifications may be required for some roles, while others may simply require an orderly mind and a good phone manner.

How can I take payments in my side hustle?

Cash was always king when it came to side hustles, but nowadays many of us don’t even carry any and expect to pay for things without contact.


Your small business may not be big enough to merit an EFTPOS machine in order to take card payments, but a simpler solution is now available. Nowadays, you can download an app such as Westpac’s EFTPOS Air to your compatible smartphone or tablet1, allowing you to take secure payments from credit and debit cards and digital wallets with no extra hardware required. The app also has point of sale capabilities, so you can build menus of items or services on them.


If your customers prefer to make bank-to-bank payments, you can just give them the BSB and account number of your business’s bank account. Or if you’d rather not share your bank account details, you can ask customers to pay by PayID, meaning you’ll only need to provide the unique number you’ve registered for the service – which could be your mobile number or ABN.

Do I have to pay tax on my side hustle income?

Paying tax is a fact of life and any income generated from a side hustle needs to be reported in your tax returns.


The good news is that, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) , you can also claim deductions for expenses if you’ve kept your receipts and they directly relate to earning the side hustle income. You can also claim the cost of managing your tax affairs through a registered tax agent.


Just one thing to be aware of is that the extra income you receive from your side hustle may take you into a higher tax bracket when added to the income from your full-time job.

Is it worth separating my side hustle income from my personal finances?

Having separate bank accounts for your side hustle to both receive payments into and pay expenses from, can be a good idea – particularly when it comes to tax time. Ideal for sole traders and other small businesses, Westpac offers a $0 monthly fee business account. Or to get access to exclusive discounts on popular business products and services, consider an added value business account.


 And if you need funds for a vehicle, tools, equipment or stock for your side hustle, consider a Westpac business loan for startups.

What if I want to grow my side hustle into a full business?

Westpac offers a number of handy guides to help side hustlers turn dreams of being your own boss into reality. Check out the links lower down this page, plus all our other Help with starting a business articles.



To sum up:

Running a side hustle can be exciting and rewarding, while helping you with your personal cash flow. And if you treat a side hustle job as a hobby rather than an extra hassle, you may get the best of both worlds – making money doing something you love.

Read more

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Things you should know

Westpac’s products are subject to terms, conditions, fees and charges; and certain criteria may apply. Before making a decision, read the disclosure documents for your selected product or service, including the Product Disclosure Statement and T&Cs; and consider if the product is right for you.


This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this article, including when considering tax and finance options for your business. Westpac does not endorse any of the external providers referred to in this article.


1. Compatibility: To use EFTPOS Air your iPhone or Android device will need to be Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled and running on one of the supported iPhone Operating Systems (iOS) or Android Operating Systems (OS) listed at, which may change from time to time. Tap to Pay on iPhone requires iPhone XS or later running iOS 16.4 or later and a supported payment app. Some contactless cards may not be accepted by your payment app."