5 side activities to start this summer

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The COVID-19 pandemic is finally drawing to a close and people are starting to return to normal lives. For some, it could mean a major travel itch after being largely locked up over the past year and a few odd months. For others, it could mean working to restore emergency funds that were depleted during the pandemic.

What do these two things have in common? They cost money.

Even if you’ve returned to your normal job, it never hurts to have an extra stream of income. Check out these side push options that are perfect for getting started this summer.

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1. Jobs in the service sector

The service industry – restaurants, hotels and retail in particular – has been hit hard by the pandemic. It is also having trouble recovering. Many shops and restaurants, although officially reopened, find themselves able to offer limited hours due to low staff availability.

If you find yourself with free evenings and weekends, consider applying to a local restaurant, bar, hotel, or retail store. You can host, bartender, serve tables, act as a cashier or even cook or wash the dishes if it’s more your pace. You will turn your free time into an opportunity to earn money while helping a business in need.

2. Lifeguard

This one is all over the news lately. Many pools and beaches in your area may not be able to open this summer due to a shortage of lifeguards. So if you are looking to earn some cash while soaking up the summer sun and hanging out by the pool, consider becoming a lifeguard.

Lifeguard certification requirements vary by state. Typically, you will need to be a minimum age and complete a certain number of hours of class, including CPR or other life-saving training. You will also need to pass certain swimming skill requirements. This side activity will take a bit of legwork on your part, but when completed, it will open the door to an ocean of summer opportunities, this year and beyond.

3. Carpool or food delivery

Maybe you prefer to earn your extra cash from the comfort of your own vehicle. You’re in luck: opportunities abound here too. You can sign up to drive for a carpooling like Uber or Lyft, which involves picking up people and taking them from one destination to another. You can also sign up to pick up people’s groceries and deliver them to their homes.

Here’s an idea if you have older kids or teens at home: Sign up for a food delivery service like DoorDash or Grubhub. Have your child accompany them and send them inside to collect the orders and drop them off at the doors of the recipients. Not only is this job relatively easy to do, it is in high demand. This will allow you to spend quality time with your child this summer and provide them with an extra allowance while giving your personal finances a boost.

4. Data entry

If you’re still not quite comfortable with returning to normal interaction after the pandemic, there are plenty of work-from-home options available, especially jobs that involve data entry.

These jobs generally require:

  • Access to a computer
  • An Internet connection
  • A basic understanding of computer programs
  • Minimum typing speed

A quick Google search for “home data entry jobs near me” returned dozens of options, including jobs from reputable sources like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. These jobs are pretty well paying and allow you to work as many hours as you want.

5. Turn your hobby into a bustle

There are plenty of jobs out there that you could easily land as a side activity, but if none of them appeal to you, consider turning one of your hobbies into a side business instead.

Maybe you make beautiful pottery, knit baby blankets, make jewelry, or can make some super tie-dye clothes. There is a demand for all of these items. And where demand exists, so do income opportunities.

Have someone with the right skills to help you set up an online website to sell your products or maybe just a small shop using a popular online marketplace like Etsy. This sideways shake option lets you do what you love while also earning extra cash to spend (or save) at your leisure.

Your summer could be filled with money

Whatever activity you choose this summer, be sure to set aside the recommended 20-35% of your income for self-employed taxes if they aren’t already withheld. You’ll have to report any side income on your taxes, and you don’t want to end up with a big tax bill down the road that you’re not prepared to pay. It is useful to open a savings account dedicated specifically to this money so that you are not tempted to spend it.

If you are ready to go to work this summer, there are certainly some opportunities just begging to be filled. Decide which would be the best option for you, do some research and start making that extra cash.


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