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Top 4 Side Hustles for 2021: How I Make $1000 a month

The phrase “side hustle” is defined in the Cambridge dictionary as:

“a piece of work or a job that you get paid for doing in addition to doing your main job

Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

According to a 2019 study by Bankrate, here are some interesting statistics:

  • 45% of American adults have a side hustle to complement their primary income.
  • The average side hustler spends 12 hours a week on their side hustle.
  • The average side hustler earns around $600 a month from their side hustle. Furthermore, 30% of these side hustlers use this money to help pay for monthly expenses.

How to choose a side hustle?

  1. Focus on what you know

I am by no means saying that you cannot learn a new skill and find a way to monetize it. When you focus on where you already have a sensible skill level then it is just easier to identify a side hustle. It could be anything from baking to giving career advice; if you have some experience or expertise in the field, you can definitely set up a side hustle quite quickly.

2. Focus on what you love

In the pursuit of finding my own side hustle, I remember reading an article that really stuck with me. The whole point of a side hustle is yes, to make some extra money but more so, at least for me, is to love what you are doing. My full-time job is as an IT auditor and my side hustle is as a ghost music producer. The two are not similar in any way but they work perfectly because I enjoy doing both but, would never want to do either for 16 hours a day. My average day is broken down into an 8-hour workday as an auditor and then an average of 4 hours in the evening focusing on my clients and making music for them. I LOVE this balance between the two and each gives me a break from the other, allows me to interact with completely different individuals and insights, and altogether makes me absolutely love what I do. Your side hustle should be something different from your full-time job well, because then you are just performing the same thing all the time.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Top 4 Side Hustles for 2021

Obviously, every person is different, so therefore this list may not be of interest to you. However, like me, it may spark a couple of ideas you have never thought of.

Here are 4 side hustles you could look to start:

  1. Virtual assistant for a start-up

As a virtual assistant, you would perform tasks ranging from managing an individual’s calendar and setting up their meetings to performing basic data entry and maybe booking flights and travel (maybe not so much now during Covid-19 lol). The benefit of this being virtual is that you can do it remotely from anywhere in the world and the hours are flexible.

According to websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Indeed, a virtual assistant can earn up to $50 an hour. Plus, the more experience you gain in this field, the more you can charge.

Easy to perform: 5/10

Flexibility: 7/10

Pay: 7/10

Overall Assessment: 19/30

2. Buy and Sell

This is probably the oldest and simplest side hustle in history. You could opt for the trade-up strategy which entails finding an item in your home that you do not use anymore and trading that for something of a slightly higher value. By continuing this process, you could slowly but surely build up to a high-value item you could sell for cash or use.

The other option is to use some imagination and sell your own product. My sister did this over the Christmas period by making and selling personalized Christmas baubles.

Easy to perform: 7/10

Flexibility: 8/10

Pay: 6/10

Overall Assessment: 21/30

3. Sell your slightly used clothing

If you do not want to design your own product to sell, you could just opt to sell your slightly used clothing. There are many people who purchase clothing, wear it a couple of times and never wear it again. Personally, as a Minimalist, I saw this as killing two birds with one stone as I was able to sort through my closet and get rid of a lot of clothing and shoes I do not wear anymore and at the same time sell those items for some extra cash.

Websites like and if you are in South Africa are amazing places to start. Internationally, you can look at

Easy to perform: 9/10

Flexibility: 10/10

Pay: 6/10

Overall Assessment: 25/30

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

4. Sell your creativity

Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are just some of the many freelancing platforms available. On these platforms, you can sell your skills in everything from logo design to music production to giving career counselling via video-conferencing.

This is a side hustle I currently perform, selling my services as a ghost music producer. In 2020, I was able to make just over $1000 in profit (Freelance websites take anything from a 10% to 30% margin) in 1 month.

I personally love this type of side hustle as it is flexible to work from anywhere in the world, you are exposed to a large audience through the platform you decide to use and you earn in US dollars which is always great.

Easy to perform: 4/10

Flexibility: 10/10

Pay: 8/10

Overall Assessment: 22/30

The above 4 side hustles are just a few of the many possible options out there. It should be noted that not all side hustles are created equal and it is imperative that you perform your own research and find the side hustle that fits best for you.

Happy New Year, wishing you nothing but the best for 2021!




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Digital & Financial Minimalist | Music Producer | Coffee Addict

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