Finance Your Budget Six side hustles you can do from home to boost your income
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Six side hustles you can do from home to boost your income

Writing content for blogs or email newsletters is a side hustle many can pick up online. Photo: Getty
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Fancy making extra cash from the comfort of your couch?

Wages are tipped to grow just 1.5 per cent during 2021-22, some 0.25 percentage points below forecast inflation. 

So it is little wonder many of us are thinking laterally about how to earn extra money, whether it be to help cover essentials like food and bills, squirrel more into savings, or to pay down debt. 

Financial planner Canna Campbell has invested tens of thousands of dollars in the sharemarket to build a passive income stream, buying shares each time her side hustle earnings reach $1000.

Some of Ms Campbell’s favourite side hustles that she can do from home include market research Zoom calls for companies such as Farron Research and selling unwanted items on sites like eBay and Gumtree.

She said the most important things to consider when choosing a side hustle are your existing skills and what you enjoy. 

“There is no point doing something like sitting there plugging away at your phone or laptop if you actually hate what you’re doing; it’s not what having a side hustle is about,” Ms Campbell said. 

“It really boils down to what your skills are, what you’re prepared to do and whether it’s worth it financially for you.” 

Ms Campbell, who authored The $1000 Project, said she avoids online surveys because the earnings don’t tend to match time invested. 

A separate bank account for your extra cash named to reflect your goal like ‘holiday’ or ‘debt free’ can help you clearly see the fruits of your work and stay motivated, she said. 

Here are six side hustles you can do from home with just a computer, phone and no formal qualifications required.

Canna Campbell
Canna Campbell has used side hustles to earn income to invest in the sharemarket.

1.    Social media manager

Small business owners are often so stretched for time that social media is one thing many would gladly dump from their to-do lists.

So if you know your way around Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, as well as newer platforms like Clubhouse and TikTok, then you could hire yourself out to manage social media content strategy, posting and engagement.

Approximate going rate: $20-$50 an hour.

2.    Content writer

If you have a knack with words and find a misplaced apostrophe incredibly irksome, you could write blog posts or email newsletters for brands, or even do proofreading. You can advertise on freelancing websites like Upwork.

Approximate going rate: $40-$100 an hour. 

3.    Virtual assistant

Some people are highly organised by nature and if that’s you, you could make a great virtual assistant.

Virtual assistants do a wide range of administration tasks including responding to email and phone inquiries, invoicing clients, sending email newsletters and creating presentations.

Approximate going rate: $15-$55 an hour.

4.    User tester

Companies engage user testers to complete certain tasks on their websites and collect feedback to help them build simpler websites.  

Once you have signed up with your email, you will receive alerts for new testing jobs and often payment is through PayPal.

Your best bet is to sign up with multiple companies to increase the number of jobs on offer. Some user-testing companies include Checkealos and UserTesting.

Approximate going rate: $10-$50 an hour (but some jobs are paid in smaller increments).

5.    Data entry

This is a task you could do during the ads of your latest TV streaming obsession.

Many of us loathe data entry tasks but if you don’t mind working with numbers, and you’re handy with a spreadsheet, it is an easy way to make some extra cash. Data entry jobs are posted on websites such as Freelancer and Upwork.

Approximate going rate: $9-$26 an hour. 

6.    Website builder

We’re not talking about writing code here but if you know how to build a decent website using a template platform like Squarespace, this one could be a good option.

Just be sure to have a few of your own websites under your belt, or websites you have built at no charge for family or friends, to be sure you can deliver a slick result.

Approximate going rate: $10-$80 an hour.

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