7 Apps You Can Use to Start a Side Hustle

Image shows a woman standing beside a collection of app logos from: Uber Instacart Postmates TaskRabbit Handy DogVacay OfferUp

Image by Theresa Chiechi © The Balance 2019

Want to earn a little extra money on the side without compromising your current schedule? There is a wealth of apps and services that let you get started quickly and without many of the startup costs associated with a traditional business. Here are seven such services that will let you start a profitable side hustle


The ridesharing service, Uber, has become a household name and has transformed transportation options as we know it. Uber connects drivers and passengers through their mobile app. Passengers can secure a ride quickly, while Uber drivers can make extra money in their free time, with resources they already have.

If you have a new car, a smartphone and a clean driving record, driving for Uber could be a good side hustle for you. Driving for Uber offers a flexible schedule, allowing drivers to make money driving any time and any day of the year.

How much you make can vary, and Uber offers incentives to keep their drivers happy and earning more money. The most notable incentive for drivers is well-known to Uber users—“Surge Pricing,” which allows drivers to earn more when there is a high-demand.

How much you can earn: In the most popular markets, Uber drivers can earn more than $19 per hour.

  • A driver’s license
  • A smartphone
  • A qualified 4-door vehicle (each location will have its own vehicle requirements)
  • Car insurance
  • Vehicle registration
  • Must be 21+ years old

Downsides to consider:

  • Wear and tear on your car
  • You pay for your own gas (though you may be eligible for an IRS mileage deduction)
  • Dealing with unruly or inebriated passengers
  • Unforeseen downtime between calls 


Going to the grocery store is something you’re probably used to doing. Why not get paid for doing it for other people? Through Instacart, you can earn more money by doing just that. You can sign up to become a driver + shopper and get assigned gigs through their app.

You sign-up for a time frame to work in a certain area and you’ll get a notification about which grocery store to go to and which items to pick up. Using an Instacart credit card, you make the purchase and then deliver the items to the customer. And you can choose shifts that work with your schedule.

How much you can earn: Up to $10 to $20 per hour

  • A car
  • A smartphone
  • Patience to deal with finding and scanning items
  • Ability to carry 30 or more pounds
  • Be at least 21 years of age

Downsides to consider:

  • Wear and tear on your car
  • Dealing with products not being available
  • Having to carry heavy groceries
  • Potential low call volume 


Postmates is an on-demand delivery app that connects couriers with customers. Customers can order food from their favorite restaurants and get it delivered straight to their door within the hour. Couriers pick-up the items at the restaurants and deliver them to residential homes, apartments and offices.

Unlike many of the other sharing economy apps, you don’t have to have a car to work as a Postmate courier. You can drive, walk, or bike as a courier and earn up to $25 per hour. Like other apps, you can work anytime you want and maintain a flexible schedule.

How much you can earn: Up to $25 per hour

What you need to get started:

  • A smartphone
  • A bike (optional)
  • A car (optional)

Downsides to consider:

  • Low call volume
  • Far distances between pickup and delivery (especially if you’re walking or biking)


Do you have a knack for doing odd jobs and getting things done? TaskRabbit might be the right platform for you. “Taskers” can sign up on TaskRabbit, attend an introductory orientation, and then get connected to gigs in their area.

Many of the gigs are related to moving, delivery, cleaning, IKEA furniture assembly, and more. Taskers use the app to check out local gigs and get booked with clients in the area. After performing the job, Taskers can then submit an invoice for payment.

How much you can earn: You can set your rates for various gigs.

What you need to get started:

  • A smartphone
  • Form of transportation to get to gigs
  • Tools (may be necessary for handyman and assembly gigs)

Downsides to consider:

  • High competition
  • Based on availability of gigs
  • There is a 30 percent service fee
  • There is a $20 registration fee, which covers the cost of processing your background check 


Do you love cleaning, or are you great fixing things around the house? Becoming a housecleaner or handyman using Handy could be a good side hustle for you.

Handy connects professionals with clients in the area. Unlike other gig apps, Handy requires you to have previous paid experience. If you do, the pay could be good. According to their website, housecleaners can earn up to $22 per hour, and handymen (or handywomen!) can earn up to $45 per hour.

Using Handy, professionals can have control of their own schedule and take on work when it makes sense. Additionally, Handy streamlines payment by depositing your earnings into your bank account when the job is done.

How much you can earn: Up to $22 to $45 per hour

What you need to get started:

  • A smartphone
  • Cleaning supplies (if applying as a cleaner)
  • Tools (if applying as a handyman)
  • Transportation
  • Previous experience

Downsides to consider:

  • You’re responsible for supplies
  • Based on availability 


Are you more of a dog person than a people person? There’s a side hustle for you, too. You can sign up for DogVacay to become a sitter, taking care of pooches while their owners are away.

You can decide which types of dogs you’d like to care for based on their age, size, and breed. As a sitter, you can set your own rates and offerings as well. To get started, you need to create a profile, set up your availability and services and get to work.

The good news is you can decide whether to watch pets in your own home or at the owner’s home and offer an array of services like dog walking, grooming, overnight care, and more.

How much you can earn: You set your own rates but can earn $20 to $50 per night.

What you need to get started:

  • A smartphone
  • Photos of your home, if hosting dogs there
  • A love of dogs

Downsides to consider:


If you’re looking to declutter your home and earn more money, you can use the app OfferUp to sell your used goods. You can download the app for free on Google Play or the Apple store.

The way it works is simple. You can take a picture of your item through the app and list it in a matter of minutes. Before, you might have to take a photo, upload it to an account and wait. Using OfferUp, you can quickly take photos of your items, create a short description and start selling your stuff all from the comfort of your smartphone.

OfferUp has user ratings for buyers and sellers, so you can make sure to do business with people that have positive ratings. You can also chat with potential buyers using their secure messaging system in the app, without divulging your personal contact information.

How much you can earn: You can set your own rates for the items you list.

What you need to get started:

  • A smartphone
  • Items to sell

Downsides to consider:

  • Market may vary by location
  • Potential for flakes and scammers