If you’re self-employed and need to improve your income, not every idea has to turn into a long-term business commitment. You may just want to take advantage of an opportunity for a few months, or cover a brief drop in client work until your main career takes off again. Some of the quick and easy temporary side hustles for freelancers could be just what you need to bring in some extra cash.
Many freelancers already have side projects and income streams, including affiliate, reseller or eCommerce businesses. But these generally take time to grow, so what if you need to find extra money in the next few weeks or months?
We’ve compiled some general ideas for any freelancer who needs to earn some extra income quickly from a side hustle that can potentially fit around their main career. Most require very little in preparation or existing qualifications, and could bring in some useful money almost immediately.
If you’d prefer to focus on your main occupation, but need to find extra clients, then it’s worth considering white labelling your skills to agencies if appropriate (for example, if you’re a freelance web designer, copywriter or SEO). And if you’re struggling with debt, you can find information and sources of useful help via the IPSE guide on managing personal debt when you’re self-employed.
Dog walking and pet sitting
It’s one of the quickest and easiest services to offer, with no qualifications needed for you to become a dog walker or become a pet sitter. And in addition to potentially earning around £10-£14 per hour, getting regular exercise and being around animals can help to reduce stress.
Obviously, it helps if you actually like dogs, cats and other pets. But it’s quick and easy to advertise your services through local Facebook groups and other social media, and to register on sites such as Rover. And you’re able to list your available hours and services to fit around your work.
Leasing out space in your home
You don’t have to take in a lodger to earn extra income from your home. It’s possible to rent out your driveway, offer storage space in a spare room, garage or loft, or even provide office space for other freelancers. And the first £1,000 income is even a tax-free property allowance.
Could your garden be used as a micro campsite? Or fancy seeing your home used as a location for television or film productions? Take a detailed look at your options in our guide on how to turn your home into a side hustle.
Renting out your car, caravan or motorhome
If you’ve started working from home as a freelancer, your car might be an overlooked asset. Sitting in a garage or driveway, new cars will depreciate while costing you for insurance, MOTs and maintenance. By hiring it out via the range of car sharing and leasing sites, you could make between £50 to £300 per day.
Typically, your vehicle will need to be less than six years old and have a typical average mileage, but it doesn’t need to be a luxury car to be worth offering. Just check the insurance requirements and terms before accepting a rental.
Many services even use keyless technology and apps, so you don’t have to give out your car keys if someone wants to rent your vehicle. Examples of car renting sites include Karshare, Hiyacar, Getaround, and Turo.
Cleaning and odd jobs
The gig economy means it’s fairly easy to find cleaning work quickly, although this is typically low paid. But if you have some existing knowledge and skills which could help people with odd jobs as a handyman (or woman), then you can get higher rates for tackling general fixes and DIY tasks.
It’s important to make sure you’re not taking on tasks which require a qualified plumber, electrician or gas fitter (for example), and you have suitable insurance cover for yourself and any tools and equipment you’re supplying.
Working alongside someone I hired to help with some simple home woodworking, it turned out he was a college lecturer who also made violins. And while he was overqualified to replace a window sill and some skirting boards, it was a useful source of extra income between teaching and instrument building.
Contract driving and deliveries
If you have a clean and valid UK car, motorcycle or HGV driving licence, then there are always options available for contract drivers. These range from local takeaways to the largest online shopping services, depending on your personal preference. And they include couriering parcels and products between businesses rather than to home customers.
You could also become an HGV driver to earn higher rates, and you may need to obtain a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). But being on the road can be a change from corporate and client work. I’ve personally known a couple of senior and respected self-employed consultants who have become contract lorry drivers in their spare time, as a change from their main jobs, and to cover any downturn in work.
You can find contract driving opportunities across all the main UK freelancing and job sites, along with more details on becoming a qualified HGV driver via the Gov.uk site. Along with insurance requirements, if you’re using your own vehicle, it’s important to take those costs into account to make sure you’re actually increasing your income.
Bar work and hospitality
Much like cleaning and delivery driving, bar work and hospitality roles won’t typically make you a lot of money, but the extra cash could definitely come in useful if you need something extra to pay the bills.
And it’s a great way to potentially meet people in your local area, whether you’re behind the bar or waiting tables. If you’ve found yourself feeling a little isolated or lonely since becoming self-employed, it’s a good way to balance that, and earn some money at the same time.
You can find bar work and hospitality jobs via the main listing sites, including Indeed, Total Jobs or LeisureJobs. Or by following local pubs and bars on social media and responding if they put out a call for additional staff.
Temping and contract work
If you don’t want to set up your own side hustle, or go through the hassle of finding temporary roles, then there’s always temping and contract work. Staffing agencies and businesses will generally bring you in for an interview and check skills such as typing if you’re intending to look for office roles, and then contact you when work is available.
The benefit is that you don’t have to actively do anything to find new jobs. But the downside is that most agencies will expect you to be available whenever they have something available, especially at short notice. So it can be a lot harder to balance with your freelance career. And depending on your experience and skills, you can find yourself doing all kinds of random work across different shift patterns.
Selling or renting your belongings
Most people are probably aware they can sell any unwanted possessions through various online platforms, including eBay. But if you want to hold onto an expensive item and may use it in the future, it’s possible to offer it for rent instead.
Various sites offer item rental, including Fat Llama, Hurr Collective (for clothing), and a variety of specialist platforms for various hobbies and needs. So, if you have unused cameras, drones, musical instruments and DJ equipment, sewing machines or anything else people may be willing to pay to rent, it’s worth finding out how much you could earn by loaning it out for a bit.
For example, an unused guitar could be rented out for £10, £20 or more per day, depending on the make and model.
Coaching and private tuition
We’ve previously shared detailed guides on how to become a freelance coach, tutor or personal trainer, with lots of useful information whether you’re doing it for a full-time career or as a short term route to some extra income.
You don’t need any specific qualifications for coaching, tutoring, or even being a personal trainer, although they’ll help you get clients. And in the case of fitness training, the insurance required by law will generally require a minimum of a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training.
But there may be skills used in your daily freelancing, or that you can dust off from past roles and education, that could be worth monetising. As a freelance writer and marketer, I’ve been hired to deliver courses in digital marketing, social media, writing and more. And that work has come from well-known educational organisations as well as private clients.
If you’re looking to monetise your work quickly, you’ll probably want to target local students or business people who need to learn or improve their skills. So you may want to consider notice boards at local schools if you’re teaching piano, for example, or business meet-ups if you’re offering to share skills with Excel, online advertising, or management.
If you’re struggling financially due to a lack of work or rising costs, then hopefully the suggestions above can provide some inspiration and help. But whatever your situation, working 24/7 isn’t a sustainable answer for anything other than short-term money needs. So it’s important to balance any quick and easy temporary side hustles for freelancers with a longer term approach to improving your income and lowering your expenses.
Understanding how to save money as a freelancer, and how to manage personal debt when you’re self-employed will help you potentially identify ways to reduce your costs and outgoings, and relieve pressure on your cash flow. And mean you can focus more on finding new freelance clients, building your self-employed career, and being able to support yourself through freelancing.
Other freelance side hustles to earn extra income
Looking for ways to earn extra income alongside your self-employed or freelance career? Why not check out some of our other guides to bring in some extra money?