U.S. job reports show that as many as 30 million workers lost jobs because of the pandemic-induced recession. Other data suggests it is closer to 40 million. No matter the amount, job loss triggered by the pandemic is historically high and likely to leave a lasting mark on the U.S. economy. People were being let-go from jobs they’ve held for a better part of their lives.
This prompted the market to shift to freelancers and independent contractors to take their place in an unsteady economy. While many people predicted that this would be a short-lived phenomenon, that hasn’t been the case at all.
“Research has shown that the gig economy has exploded with more opportunities for people to make money fast with the best gig economy apps than ever before.”
In fact, 57 US Million Workers are part of the gig economy. Many people have flourished being freelancers, and they feel that it is the way forward. Clocking in and out of work has seen to be less desirable these days compared to earlier.
Gig Economy Examples
Want free money?
We are smack dab in what we call the gig economy – where independent contractors and side hustlers are doing just as well for themselves compared to the people working regular shifts at a job. This has impacted the economy considerably – the Freelancers Union has over 300k members meaning over 35% of the total US workforce are freelancers. This equates to about $1.4 trillion last year.
What this means is that more people are inclined to create their own jobs. There is a lot of debate about this and how it affects the economy in the long run, but gig workers are quite upbeat about it. According to HustlerGigs.com, some freelancers feel that working gigs can even lead to better work opportunities.
The Best Gig Economy Jobs
Here are more than a few side gig opportunities that you can try that you can do near you.
“This list of gig economy apps is curated by us to maximize your profit for the effort you put in and over a wide variety of different things you can get done.”
Let’s take a look at them.
Earning potential: $15-25 an hour
If you’re free nights and weekends, you can earn extra money delivering food for fellow citizens around your city. It’s easy to deliver food as a DoorDash Dasher – if you have a car, it’s a perfect way to make a good amount of extra cash whenever it’s convenient for you.
A lot of people do this full time, so you can imagine that’s it definitely possible to do this to make money on the side and make money by delivering food with DoorDash and be on your own schedule.
Rover Pet Sitter
Earning potential: $1,000 per month
This one is for all the animal-lovers out there. Dog walking has two lucrative benefits – you get to spend time with your four-legged friends and you yourself get some exercise.
You can find dog-walking gigs on Rover. They are one of the nation’s largest networks of pet sitters and dog walkers. Users can easily search for the services they need, connect with a sitter or dog walker, and even book and pay securely without the need for cash, checks, or tips.
Earning potential: $18 to $25 per hour
If you are looking for a way to support yourself full time in the gig economy you can look into joining the Postmates Fleet. There are good chances that you’ve come across Postmates and even used their services when you wanted something delivered to your home.
Postmates is another gig app where you can download the app and come online whenever you want to make money. You get to keep 100% of your tips and earnings every time you complete a delivery. Plus, you can cash out instantly anytime you want, or get free weekly deposits.
Earning potential: $15 to $25 per hour
If you’re free nights and weekends, you can earn extra cash delivering groceries with Instacart. You can earn money by becoming an Instacart Shopper – as a shopper, you'll pick and deliver the items that customers want and get paid for it.
There are no set hours with this gig economy job. Just open the app and shop whenever it works for you. Download the Shopper app to start earning and working when you want with this on-demand app job.
Earning potential: $250+ per month
Did you know that you can rent out your car when you're not using it? And that you can likely make $600 fast in a few days by doing so? Do you plan on heading on a vacation soon while your car sits unused at your home? Do you sometimes not use your car on the weekends? If so, renting out your car while you're not using it could be an easy way to make passive income with this gig economy app.
Getaround lets you make extra money and turn your second car into a payment with no driving necessary. You can get paid monthly, and earn $1,000s per year actively sharing your parked car.
If you are interested you can sign up for more information from Getaround here.
What Are the Best Gig Apps?
If you are in need of some extra money part-time or even full-time, you'll want to use the best gig apps to earn money. In case you are interested in delivery jobs, the best apps are:
Delivery Jobs in the Gig Economy
This is a list of the best gig jobs if you want to become a delivery driver.
Most of these gig economy apps will require that you have an insured car, truck, van, motorcycle, scooter, or just a bicycle if you're located in a populated city.
These are the best apps for gig work as a driver:
- Postmates: You can earn $8 and $15 per hour with this gig job delivering everything from booze to home office supplies.
- Instacart: You can earn $300–$500 per week depending on how much you work delivering groceries as an Instacart Shopper.
- DoorDash: You can earn $10 to $15 per hour delivering take-out from restaurants as a DoorDash Driver.
- AmazonFlex: You can earn $18 to $25 per hour delivering packages from Amazon to client's homes.
- Shipt: You can earn a bit more than Instacart and Postmates delivering groceries with Shipt.
- GrubHub: You can earn $10 to $15 per hour delivering food from restaurants as a GrubHub Delivery Driver.
Best Skilled Worker Gig Economy Jobs
Why not start your own business with these gig jobs for skilled workers.
Here are the best gig economy jobs for skilled workers:
- Care: You can earn $10 to $20 per hour babysitting, taking care of seniors, tutoring or housekeeping.
- Rover: You can earn over $1,000 per month as an active dog walker or dog sitter on Rover.
- Your Mechanic: You can earn $40 and $60 per hour for simple auto repairs.
- Soothe: You can earn $50 per hour on average for giving massages as a licensed massage therapist.
Best Driving Gig Economy Jobs
Don't feel like delivering food to people and rather just pick up people and drive them to their destination? Then gig economy jobs for drivers is your best bet.
You probably already know about the top two players in the ride-sharing space, Uber and Lyft:
- Uber: You can earn around $18 to $25 per hour giving people rides to their desired locations.
- Lyft: You can earn a bit more Uber, according to reviews, with this ride-sharing app.
Pro-tip for gig workers: Hyrecar can help you rent a car for ridesharing (or any other gig economy job) case you don't have a car or don't want to use your own car because of the wear and tear.
Once you’re on the road you can use Everlance to automatically track your miles and expenses so you can save on taxes.
Manual Labor Gig Economy Jobs
Do you want to get access to hundreds of jobs in your city and build your own schedule with manual labor gigs?
This is a list of the best manual labor gig economy jobs:
- Handy: You can earn $45 per hour helping people with handymen services such as cleaning, electrical work, or plumbing.
- TaskRabbit: You can earn on average $110 a month working for TaskRabbit by doing house cleaning, handyman work, moving services and more.
- Bellhops: You can earn $15 to $21 per hour to help people move heavy boxes and furniture.
- TaskEasy: You can earn money for helping people with on-demand services like lawn care and snow removal.
On-Demand Rental Gig Economy Jobs
Have a car, RV, boat, or spare room to rent out? You can make money passively renting them out with these gig economy apps.
Here is a list of the best on-demand rental jobs:
- RVShare: You can rent out your RV and make up to $22,00 per year doing it according to user reviews.
- Turo: You can rent out your car when you're not using it with Turo. You can make 75% of what you charge to rent out your car on the Turo platform.
- Getaround: Similar to Turo, you can make 60% of what you charge to rent out your car on the Getaround platform.
- Airbnb: You can rent out your entire house, apartment or just a room on Airbnb. What you earn will vary by location.
- Boatsetter: You can rent out your boat on Boatsetter. You'll get charged a 10% listing fee based on the boat price, plus the processing fee is 2.7% + $0.55 per charge.
Best Side Hustle Apps in the Gig Economy
Check out the list below of ways to make extra money right now in the side gig economy online with side hustle apps.
All of these you can do from home in order to make money online fast:
Lucktastic is an Android app that offers earning opportunities for you but with a twist – you are actually able to make hundreds of dollars (with some luck).
The app offers free digital scratch-offs that you can try each day to earn some extra cash. You can win up to $10,000 instantly and enter contests every day. With over 1,000,000 winners to date, you could be next.
You can see our full Lucktastic review to learn more.
Survey Junkie gives out cash for taking surveys on different products and services. You also unlock rewards for virtual points that accrue as you take surveys. There are a variety of different products that you can choose based on your preferences.
As you build your profile, more choices open up adding incentives to keep at it. A great simple online gig that'll really pay you in cash.
If you browse the internet a lot, this could actually turn your past time into a moneymaking endeavor. Swagbucks rewards you for shopping online, watching videos, searching and answering surveys.
You are credited with points that you can then redeem with your favorite e-tailers online including Pay Pal, Amazon, Walmart or cash via PayPal. This is one of our favorite side gigs that pays cash instantly.
Are you fascinated with investing into billion-dollar businesses but never knew where you could get started?
Fundrise can help you get your feet wet with high-value real estate investments with only $500. Here, it is all about investing in private markets rather than the public.
They have an expert team of investment professionals who can help you with smart investments into several high returns businesses and it's really easy to get started.
They have great reviews from their customers and look like they revert with payments quickly. An award-winning company, they have paid out $57 million in cash rewards so far.
Trim is a high-tech AI assistant that you can use which streamlines your financial requirements. Automation is the key phrase here – Trim can help you save money by effectively automating a user’s everyday spends.
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✓ Has a 90% success rate to lower your bills
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✓ Easily track your spending
✓ Start a savings account
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It has some features that will surprise you like automatic Comcast bill negotiation. Trim trims the excess fat from your spending habits and keeps your financial profile lean and mean!
If you are a fan of getting rewards for purchases online, then you’ll love MyPoints. You can take up to $100 per survey, watch videos, read emails and more to earn points that you can reimburse for various online services.
They are also partnered with Swagbucks who was mentioned earlier. You can even redeem your points for cash and travel miles which makes it more flexible.
Vindale Research is another survey app for which you can get rewarded cash either through checks or PayPal and not points. This website is also optimized for mobile platforms so you can take surveys on the move. They have great reviews with Trustpilot and have paid our close to $7 million to customers already.
Paribus is an interesting take on something that we all have experienced – the sudden price drop after you’ve just bought something. While this can be heartbreaking especially if the product is expensive, this website alerts to price drops. You can use this information to claim refunds from the vendors themselves.
This is an interesting gig economy gig that Nielsen offers – all you need to do is install it on registered mobile devices and get $50 per year passively. It unobtrusively works in the background and collects certain statistics about browsing habits for which you get paid by them.
Fetch Rewards App
The Fetch Rewards app makes it super easy to save money on grocery purchases by letting you send over just a picture of the receipt. Your account will automatically be eligible for the offer on the sent receipt.
This works for any type of grocery receipt which makes this a very useful app. You can see our full Fetch Rewards review here.
Dosh Cash Back App
The Dosh Cash Back app is a simple method where you can avail cashback on several popular platforms and stores like Target, Walmart, and Tom’s just to name a few. All you need to do is link your card to the app and then use the linked card at thousands of supported stores and restaurants for a hassle-free cashback credited right to your account. They also have referral programs you can use to get more cash into your account.
Have genius-level IQ and looking to test it out? Well, we’ve got just the thing for you. Swagbucks Live gives you the option to satiate your thirst for trivia and also win prizes. You’ll win Swag IQ’s digital currency which you can then use to redeem gifts off their website.
LendingClub is another app and website that offers investment opportunities for you but with a twist – you are investing in actual people rather than some faceless organization.
These borrowers make monthly payments which the investors collect making this a rewarding and worthwhile investment prospect. The process is called peer lending, and this is one of the largest marketplaces that connect borrowers and investors.
Top Gig Economy Jobs
While we did not highlight all of the gig economy app-based jobs out there, we did list the most lucrative ones.
But if you wanted to see more, here are what we consider some of the most popular gig economy jobs.
Here is a list of gig economy companies for 2021:
- Airbnb – Rent out your room
- Amazon Flex – Delivery services
- Cabify – Uber competitor
- Care.com – Caregiver and home services provider
- Etsy – Sell your own products
- Fiverr – Freelancing services
- Shipt – Personal shoppers
- Talkspace – Licensed therapists
- TaskRabbit – Wide variety of home services
- Uber – On-demand ridesharing
- Lyft – On-demand ridesharing
- Wag! – Dog walkers
- Grubhub – Food delivery
Tips for Gig Economy Workers
There are a plethora of opportunities out there for you if you are a talented freelancer. There are a few things that you need to keep track of to survive in the economic climate today. We are going to list a few of them here and help you plan your independent contracting career.
This is perhaps the most important part of your freelancing stint, and this can make or break your plans. Budgeting is especially tough because your income stream is going to be intermittent for quite some time. It is advisable to start small in any case – if you’ve never freelanced before, set a low budget while keeping spending to a minimum. One valuable tip is to focus on what you can control when it comes to your budget – this includes everything from utilities to food and even entertainment which is easy with money-saving apps.
You need to keep this number as low as possible or until you start to get more steady-income stints on your freelancing platform. This step is critical because it sets the minimal basic budget for jobs. You can even accept gigs for a few months and then work out your budget from your lowest earning month.
Flexible financial goals
While the gig economy is a great enabler for people who thrive on being their own boss and setting their own goals, the opposite is sometimes true as well. Some people who are not used to this kind of freedom might find it too unstable for daily functioning. What is required here is proper goal-setting which also needs to be able to flex a bit in response to your changing requirements.
Working gigs can be, for the lack of a better word, temperamental. For instance, there might be a steady client who might uncharacteristically request a whole bunch of revisions because they have a new engagement with stricter guidelines. This means that payment would be delayed and you need to sort things out. It would be best if you allowed your budgeting and goals to be a bit more flexible (make smart financial moves) compared to a regular 9-5 stint. This means initially when you are still learning the market, you should make sure that you don’t “rock the boat” too much.
Plan for the endgame
You can’t work endlessly, and you need to hang up your boots – regular office goer or freelancer. You should focus on planning for this inevitability, and you need to keep adding to your emergency savings fund as well as for your retirement. A lot of financial experts have said that you need to save at least 15% of your income for a decently sized nest egg.
The key is to route your spending effectively so you can put away enough for your retirement. You cover basic expenses first, then you route it to your emergency savings and the rest you put it into your retirement fund. If you have debts of any sort, that should come way before anything else on the list.
The Gig Economy is Alive and Well
If you don’t like your job but are paranoid about making money in a side gig economy, don’t be.
As you can see, there are many ways where you can make money, and you don’t have to be stuck in a dead-end job for you to lead a comfortable life.
We hope that this article gave you some tips on the best gig economy apps for you to make some money on the side.