Side hustles are all the rage these days. If you’re not familiar with the term, side hustles are basically jobs that allow you to earn extra income outside of your regular job. Some people look for side hustles because they want the extra income while others have realized that they can make money from the things they enjoy. Heck, I started this website as a passion project before it became a side hustle and now a full-time job.
When it comes to side hustles, many people assume that you need a specific skill that people will pay for to get started, but there are so many different ways to make income out there. Own a car? You can side hustle. Know how to ride a bike? You can side hustle. In this post, I’m profiling a few different people across Canada who have side hustles. It was interesting to hear their stories and I’m hoping it’ll motivate you to think about getting a side hustle too.
Name: Ryan Lu
Occupation: Law Clerk
Side hustle: Turo host
I collected model cars and remote-controlled cars as a kid. I also built large scale race tracks for radio controlled (RC) cars with the neighbouring kids. I got my licence and my first car at the age of 16. Safe to say, car ownership is a passion and obsession for me. It’s not just a means of transportation from one place to another.
I decided to be a Turo host because I loved the idea of being able to transform a depreciating asset into a money-making machine. I started with my own car, but I now own seven cars which are all available on Turo’s peer-to-peer car-sharing platform. Car ownership usually costs you money, but I’ve turned it into a profitable side hustle. Owning exotic cars has always been a dream of mine, I used Turo to realize that dream and to off-set my costs.
Although I’ve only been using Turo for 15 months, I’m earning $5,000-12,000 per month from my cars or about $1,500-3,500 per month per car. Mind you, it depends on the season and how many cars I’m sharing at the time. The biggest issue right now is that not enough people know that renting cars through a peer-to-peer service like Turo is even available. They’ve been around for three years and they have more than 750,000 users so I think there’s still a lot of potential. I believe that I could turn this into a full-time job, I’m even investing all my extra income into more vehicles.
Side hustle: Wedding game rentals
When my wife and I got married a few years ago, I decided to build some giant games to entertain the guests. I did it because I didn’t want my wedding to feature the same games that everyone else had. Never would I have imagined that a giant Connect Four, Jenga and TIC TAC TOE would be so popular.
Instead of selling the games or throwing them out after the wedding, I decided to try and rent them out. I’ve been using word of mouth and Kijiji to advertise the games over the last two years and I’ve been getting about 10-15 rentals per year.
On average, I’m earning an extra $3,000 – $4,500 from my side hustle every year but it can be feast or famine. The majority of the rentals come during the summer and I’ve also gone months without a single rental. The extra income has come in handy as I use it to pay bills and home renovations.
The good thing is that it takes very little of my own time. If someone is picking up the games, I’ll only spend 30 minutes per rental. There are times where I need to deliver the games which will take up to four hours when factoring in drop off and pick up times. I’m also building some new games that take some time. If I averaged everything out, it would be about 3 hours a week spent.
There’s potential to make this a full-time career but that wouldn’t change the fact that rentals are only busy for a very short period of time. I do plan on changing my marketing strategy to increase traffic. Currently, I have an Instagram account @bigshugames and a website is on the way.
Name: Beau Humphreys
Occupation: Insolvency Counsellor (in training)
Side hustle: Band member
When I was in between jobs, I was an Uber driver. This was a great way for me to earn some money while meeting new people but I knew this wasn’t going to be a permanent thing. Once I started my training as an insolvency counsellor, I considered keeping Uber as a side hustle, but my vehicle was getting old and I wanted to focus on my full-time job and my family.
That said, I’ve been a member of a band, Saturday Night Superstars for 5 years which earned me some extra income. Music has always been part of my life so the opportunity to make money from it has been exciting. It’s hard to leave my family on a Saturday night for a gig, but performing music with a band is one of my favourite things to do.
My band splits the pay, but I usually make $500-800 per gig, and on average we play 2 gigs a month. Once I made $1,200 in a day because I performed for all parts of a wedding! We’ve increased our rates every year as our reputation improves so this can be quite lucrative.
As a new father, this extra money has been handy. My son doesn’t cost much now at 8 months old, but everyone keeps telling me that’s going to change soon! (daycare). Considering I only dedicate about three full days a month to my side hustle, I think it’s worth it.
Occupation: Energy Efficiency Project Manager
Side hustle: Uber Eats deliveries (bike)
Biking has always been a passion of mine. I didn’t immediately decide to join Uber Eats once they launched in Toronto as a delivery person, but I figured I could do what I enjoy, see more of the city and make money in the process. It felt like a natural fit.
What makes Uber Eats appealing to me is that I can choose my own hours. I look at what plans I have going on and how much time I want to devote to my side hustle before deciding my “schedule.” I’ve been working for Uber Eats since last June and I don’t do it once it gets cold since I’m on a bike.
The income can vary quite a bit depending on how often I’m working. The hours I choose to work can also make a difference. Spring and fall are the best times to work since more people stay indoors and order food delivery. A good month earns me an extra $400 but there have been times where I’ve made nothing since I chose not to work. I would estimate my hourly rate is between $15-$30 depending on the season and surge pricing. The extra income has been nice since I’ve been able to make extra mortgage payments and it’s also allowed me to justify a night out at the bar.
If I ever lost my full-time job, Uber Eats could be a good option to hold me over until I land my next job. However, it’s a physically demanding job and you have the added risk of riding your bike in the city which is inherently more dangerous than a desk job.