15 Lucrative Side Hustles for City Dwellers


One of the benefits of city living is having easy access to a wide range of income opportunities. If you need to make some extra cash, these lucrative side hustles are the perfect way to take advantage of your city-dweller lifestyle. (See also: 14 Best Side Jobs for Fast Cash)

Use your car

In large cities, most people are stuck taking public transportation. If you're lucky enough to have a car, that set of wheels can be in high demand. There are several ways you can use your ride to bring in extra dollars. (See also: 7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car)

1. Drive people around

Driving for Uber, Lyft, or other ride-share companies can be a lucrative side gig, especially if you live in a large city. In fact, some drivers in big cities like New York report earning as much as $90,000 a year. If you don't feel like signing up for something so official, consider charging for transportation or carpool services in your neighborhood. (See also: How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver)

2. Deliver items

Whether it's delivering takeout or groceries, you can find food delivery gigs through sites like TaskRabbit, Instacart, Postmates, GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEATS. If you have a pickup truck or cargo van, you can also charge to deliver or help move large items through services like Buddytruk and GoShare. The salary ranges based on where you live, courier availability, and overall demand. According to Glassdoor, Postmates couriers make an overall average $11.37 an hour, while Instacart shoppers make an average $12.15 an hour.

3. Rent out your car

If you don't drive your vehicle much, put it to work for you. Use sites like Turo and Getaround to rent out your car while you aren't using it. You can set your own daily price or choose automatic pricing. You could potentially make up to $10,000 a year, according to Getaround.

4. Use your car to advertise

If you live in a heavily populated area, companies like Wrapify and Carvertise will pay to lease ad space on your car. They do this by applying laminated decals to your vehicle, turning it into a billboard on wheels. Carvertise pays qualified drivers $100 per month, and all you have to do is drive the vehicle like you normally do.

5. Rent out your parking space

In cities like Los Angeles and New York, parking lots charge upward of $200 and $800 per month, respectively, for an available parking spot. If you have an extra space in a driveway or private lot, sites like JustPark can help you find interested drivers who need a place to leave their car.

Rent your space

If you live in a big city, your home may be in high demand for tourists and out-of-towners.

6. List your place on Airbnb

If it works with your schedule, consider renting out your home, or even an available room, on Airbnb. While you can potentially make a considerable income, you'll also need to factor in the associated higher utility costs and cleaning fees before determining what your revenue will be. (See also: 5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb)

Offer your acting talent

If you live in an entertainment mecca, like Los Angeles or New York City, you can get paid just for being you.

7. Become a background actor

Anyone can sign up to be a nonunion background actor (or "extra"). Television, film, and music video sets are always looking for background actors of all sizes, ages, and, well, backgrounds. If you live in New York City or Los Angeles, you may be able to make quite a bit of money just by being present in the background of different sets.

In most cases, you will get paid a guaranteed nonunion rate of $80 for the day (according to Central Casting), will be fed onset, and may be eligible for pay bumps due to small things like being near smoke. There is usually quite a bit of downtime, so you may be able to multitask. Sites like Central Casting and Casting Networks Inc. can get you started.

Sell your local expertise

As a knowledgeable local, there are a variety of ways to offer your expertise about your city.

8. Start a blog

If you're interested in writing about your city, you may want to start a blog that offers your insight, opinions, and recommendations about things to do or see in your area. If you earn a decent following, you can monetize the blog and see some passive income roll in. This can be lucrative over time, but just note that you likely won't see a large payout until you've built up your content and an audience. (See also: 5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Money Blogging)

9. Become a tour guide

If you live in a popular tourist destination, and you know your city well, then you can make some money as a tour guide. You can also explore some of your passions with this side hustle because there are so many different types of tours now available. For instance, you can lead a bike tour, food tour, walking tour, or Segway tour. The hourly pay for a tour guide can vary drastically depending on the gig and location, so explore your options to find the best fit for you. (See also: Make Money in Your Hometown: Become a Tour Guide)

Be a home helper

In large cities, there is high demand for people to help around the house and with the kids.

10. Become a dog walker

You can offer your dog-walking services to friends and neighbors, advertise on Craigslist, or sign up with a site like Wag! Angie's List estimates that you can make up to $30 for a 30-minute walk. (See also: How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter)

11. Be a baby sitter or nanny

In large cities, baby sitters and part-time nannies are always in high demand. If you are good with babies and children, consider offering your services through sites like SitterCity or Care.com. According to a Care.com survey, the national average salary for baby sitters was $13.97 per hour as of 2016 — but this amount will vary based on where you live.

12. Become a house sitter or housekeeper

Opportunities for house sitting or cleaning abound in large cities teeming with busy professionals and families. You can offer your services through sites like HouseSitter.com or Housekeeper.com. According to Housesitter.com, most house sitters charge between $25 to $45 per day. According to PayScale, housekeepers make between $8.05 and $15.56 per hour.

Sell your services

In a big city, there are many more opportunities to take advantage of the gig economy.

13. Do someone's personal shopping

Sell your knack for style by becoming a personal shopper through sites like Thumbtack. If you're a shopaholic, imagine making an average $14.32 per hour (according to Indeed.com) just for shopping for a busy city-dweller who can't find the time to do it themselves.

14. Offer your interior decorating expertise

According to PayScale, interior decorators can make anywhere from $11.15 to $74.67 an hour for their services. It all depends on where you work and the type of clientele you take on. You can conveniently offer your interior decorating services through sites like Houzz.

15. Give music or dance lessons

Cities with big entertainment offerings, such as Los Angeles and New York, have much higher demand for dance instructors, vocal instructors, or professional musicians who want to share their expertise. Advertise lessons on Craigslist or Facebook, and tap your network of friends and family members. A few students per week can bring in decent side income.

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