Raise your hand if you need some more money right about now. You didn’t raise your hand, but you related. Well done pretty much everyone for being honest.

As well as learning to cross-stitch ‘I Am bOrEd’ and developing a deep appreciation for literally anyone but our roommate, this pandemic has given us a chance to remember what we’re actually passionate about. With 49% of you in the US and 71% of you in the UK experiencing a drop in income last month, there's never been a better time to turn those things into side hustles.

The Penny Pal told us how to. Trust us, she’s nailed it.

The Penny Pal grew more than 18k followers in a year. It wasn’t my first attempt though, it was my third. I’d say it was less ‘third time lucky’ and more ‘third time, you know what not to do’. TL;DR if your heart’s not in it, nor is the money. Here’s the real stuff – struggles and successes.

WDYM $28 to make a cake?

My first personal project was a baking blog. I was in college, I liked cooking, and I loved cake. What I didn’t love though was the ridiculous amount of money that it took to make anything relatively blog-able. Sure, there are hacks, but it’s also way easier if you can afford a baking tray, you know. What did I learn? Act within your means and be realistic with your goals – when you’re a student, chances are you’re not gonna have a kitchen packed with utensils

Grow more than your bank balance

1 out of 4 people are now said to have taken on a side hustle, and a main attraction seems to be something that you can’t technically buy – skills. It’s a statistic that reflects the millennial need to be flexible. Of course, we want a little extra income, but we crave productivity and side hustles are a massive doorway to personal development and networking. When I initially started @ThePennyPal on Instagram, I was teaching myself how to use Adobe Illustrator, endlessly watching youtube videos on how to grow your Instagram and creating content, all while working a 9-5.

In the end, the skills I bagged by doing my side hustle have actually ended up making me money outside of it – from growing that platform, I learned a lot about social media marketing and branding that I now use to consult other small platforms, which is actually what brings in the most monetary value for me.

Do something different

There are now more than 100 million users on Instagram and 500 million blogs online. To really drive a successful side hustle, you’ll need to want something a little more than “some extra cash” to help you stand out in the crowd. That doesn't mean making people out of fruit, or knife juggling – it means finding your niche and owning it. Every human is different, so the best way to find your niche is to find what makes you genuinely tick.

People want help

Have you noticed that the most successful businesses solve a problem?. Let me give you some examples:

IFTTT (If this then that) - This service solves the issue that all devices connect to the internet, but none of the apps connect with each other. IFTTT merges the apps actions e.g. It can save a daily weather report to your google calendar every morning

Amazon - Right, so the reason you have likely used Amazon is that they have mastered the art of speedy delivery. Millennials and Gen Z are widely known for having little patience. Amazon capitalized on this as the USP for their brand, Amazon Prime.

Deliveroo - Long gone are the days of sifting through multiple restaurant menus from the kitchen draw, this service solves the issue of having to look across multiple different takeaway apps and menus and houses them all under one roof.

Slack - Slack makes it so much easier for work teams to communicate throughout the day. This is especially true for remote teams, which let’s be real, is most teams these days. Gone are the days where you need to go seek out someone in the office for a two second question. Gone are the days of having to wait for someone to notice an email. Just shoot them a message in one of your Slack groups and boom, instant communication.

The key with all of these apps is convenience.

Choose your fighter: balance or burnout?

In my experience, the type of person who starts a side hustle whilst working full-time is not usually the kind of person who prioritises ‘balance’. This doesn’t mean you should stop trying for balance, though, especially since the opposite can often lead to things like burnout — which is bad for you, and bad for business.

Buzzfeed recently reported millenials are the burnout generation. Simply put, burnout is a state of prolonged exhaustion — and it appears we are experts in it. The most damaging aspect of burnout is that it takes things that we should enjoy (for example a passion project) and flattens it into a list of tasks, intertwined with commitments from work and general life admin. I reached the burnout stage just before The Penny Pal hit 10k followers and, as a result, I took 2 weeks off from posting. This did more damage to the account than if I was to have just spent a little more time relaxing.

If you chose balance...

Utilising your time is key. It sounds simple enough but scheduling and planning often gets missed or lost amongst our weekly tasks. By investing 10-15 minutes into thinking through your week right at the beginning, you can save up to 100-120 mins per week.

Take inspiration from every aspect of your life. Be a sponge and absorb inspiration wherever you are and always have your phone or notebook ready to note anything you are inspired by. For example, I frequently note interesting conversations I have with friends about money and the problems they’re facing. I keep up with what is happening economically and I use my time on social media intentionally to see what kind of content is the most engaging.

My third piece of advice is to make time for the things you enjoy and don’t forget to relax! If you haven't realised already, I am a big fan of being productive and using my time effectively, simply because I love to have my evenings and weekends to myself. Money is great and all, but don’t forget about other needs you want fulfilled like finding purpose in your job, having freedom to explore and the space to be creative.

Ready to start your own side hustle

On a last note, if you are considering starting a side hustle then be rest assured that there has never been a better time to start. There are so many free tools and resources on the internet that can educate you on just about anything so don’t let them go to waste. Here are some side hustle ideas for 2020 that you can try out:

Food delivery

Although this might not be the most lucrative side hustle out there, it’s certainly one of the easiest to start doing. With services like Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats always hiring new delivery drivers, you can sign up today and get started delivering right away. In fact, many people work for multiple services to maximize their profits. With more people ordering delivery than ever during the pandemic, you’re sure to get a decent amount of business on any given day.

Sell your passion

Thanks to online stores like Etsy, it’s easier than ever for creatives to start selling the things they love to make. If you make jewelry, bags, clothing, or just about anything else, you can start selling those things on Etsy. Of course, you don’t have to be relegated to Etsy forever. Maybe if you start selling enough and your Etsy store takes off, you can open up your own Shopify website and start a business. The pandemic sucks, but if you can start making money off your passions that you have more time for, why not try?

Teach your skills

If you’re really good at something, why not help others to learn that skill too? With platforms like Skillshare, you can create courses and sell them. Are you really good at coding? Why not make a coding course? If you’re really good at drawing, you can make a course about that. Skillshare doesn’t really have any limits on what kind of courses you can create, but it can be difficult to get people to start buying. Buyers expect their courses to be a certain level of quality, but if you’re willing to put in the work, then you might be surprised at how many people are willing to pay to learn from you.

Sell things online

Do you have a ton of things you don’t need anymore? Are you really good at finding stuff for cheap and flipping them for a profit? Websites like Poshmark, Ebay, and Grailed are the perfect places for you to make a quick buck off clothes, furniture, and whatever else you can sell. Many people make whole businesses out of just finding vintage clothing and selling them on platforms like these.

Get paid to hang out with pets

If you’re a pet lover, there are some great side hustles out there for you. Platforms like Rover and Wag let you offer pet care services, like dog walking or pet sitting. You can set your own rates based on your experience, show your available schedule to potential clients, and choose the services you offer. Experienced with taking care of older pets? You can charge a little extra for your services. You can even set it up so people can bring their pets to your house and you watch them there. Like your own doggy and kitty daycare!

Freelance your *ss off

Freelancing is a pretty general term, but there are so many freelancing gigs and short term contracts out there that there’s bound to be something that fits your talents. If you’re good at writing and grammar, there’s blogging, copywriting, and proofreading freelancing you can do. If you’re a graphic designer, there’s website design, logo design, and much more. Social media freelancing, film editing, and photography are just a few more options out there. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are all good options to start bringing clients in. The more clients and good reviews you get, the more people will want to use you as a freelancer and the more money you’ll get.

Do the things people are too lazy to

People can be a little lazy sometimes, and you can take advantage of that! Or maybe some people don’t have the time in the day or the ability to do certain things. That’s where apps like TaskRabbit come in. This is a side hustle that you can do whenever and wherever you want, where people will post jobs, like installing a TV, cleaning a gutter, shoveling a driveway, etc. You show up, do the job, and get paid. If you have some extra time, but don’t want to commit to a long-term side hustle, TaskRabbit is the perfect solution for you.

Part-time work

Although this can be a little bit more of a commitment than your typical side hustle, it’s a good way to guarantee steady income. By getting some part-time work, you can get some hours in per week at a guaranteed rate. There are things like bartending, serving, delivering pizza, working at a retail store, becoming a barista, and much more. There’s also plenty of fairly low-stress part time jobs out there if you don’t want to add too much stress to your weekly routine. Some companies, like Starbucks, even offer benefits to part-time employees. If you don’t want to commit to something for more than a few months, there are tons of seasonal jobs as well. Typically seasonal jobs pay better too because they need to entice people in for the workload.

Become a virtual assistant

Since just about everyone is remote these days, more people are looking for some help with the daily virtual tasks they have on their plate. That’s where virtual assistants come in. A virtual assistant might do things like handle social media posting, scheduling meetings, managing calendars, taking care of billing taks, handling bookkeeping, and much more. Typically the work can be fairly tedious but just about anyone with an Internet connection can do it. This is great for people who want to work remote.

Taking surveys

Yeah, so this one definitely takes a decent amount of time if you want to make much money from it, we’ll be honest. That being said, the work is extremely easy, and can be done at any time, wherever you are. If you’re straight up bored and want to make a little bit of money while you’re just sitting there doing nothing, then taking surveys isn’t the worst way to spend your time. Platforms like Survey Junkie can hook you up with the surveys, then it’s just up to you how many you want to do.

Put your money to good use with Cleo

Now that you’re making bank from those side hustles, make sure you’re putting that money to good use. With Cleo you can set up a budget, savings goals, learn better spending habits and so, so much more. All without getting bored. Like you would if you read all of the things we’re supposed to include like how we’re a top app for money saving and money budgeting etc etc. Time for a download?